Nine Questions

Continually in trouble for humming while eating at the dinner table as a child, Heidi MacDonald has been a devout music fan her whole life. She was raised on Herb Alpert and Dave Brubeck in Salem, Ore., where post-Campfire Girl-meeting dance sessions changed her life. She moved to Houston in time to enjoy the disco and Urban Cowboy crazes, then on to Austin, Texas, where she danced to huge touring African bands, reggae groups and punk rock. Best known in Tucson for sporting the "Pussy" car around town, she still goes to shows, but spends most nights at home writing, where she regales her cats with absentminded, hassle-free humming.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

Johnny Cash and the Carter Family, Portland Coliseum, 1969.

What CDs are in your changer right now?

I listen to new music on my old radio station, plus these songs lately (on CDs and LPs): David Johansen, "Frenchette"; Chris Montez, "The More I See You"; Public Enemy, "911 Is a Joke"; Roxy Music, "In Every Dream Home a Heartache"; Oneida, "Sheets of Easter"; Nirvana, "Lithium"; Jim Stafford, "My Girl Bill"; Dionne Warwick, "Trains and Boats and Planes"; The Baptist Generals, "Unimaginative."

How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?

900ish: 15 percent cassettes, 50 percent LPs, 35 percent CDs.

Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?

I have a couple of times, legally, from band sites.

What was the first album you owned?

Cat Stevens, Teaser and the Firecat.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

"Gracias a la Vida" by Mercedes Sosa.

Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

Gospel? Guilty pleasure: singing along to AM radio while I'm driving.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

I saw Sun Ra in 1980, almost by accident. He and his Arkestra transcended the concept of "giving a concert." Since then, I've sought out live music--you gotta be there!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Tom Waits, The Early Years, Vol. I ,or Marvin Gaye, Here, My Dear.

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