Nine Questions

Hank Topless

Country-blues singer/songwriter Hank Topless has called Tucson home since the age of 3. The apogee of his musical life (thus far) was sitting in with guitar legend Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. He'll appear at Plush on Sunday, Sept. 12.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

Leon Russell at Feyline Field in Tempe. I was 12, so ... 1974. My parents took me. The psychological effect of the high volume would lead me down bad roads in later life.

What are you listening to these days?

Lloyd Green, Mississippi John Hurt, Loretta Lynn, Roscoe Holcomb, Ray Price, Al Perry, Billie Holiday. I suspect that there are probably a lot of truly phenomenal new young artists out there ... but I'm too old, mean and ugly to really give a fuck.

What was the first album you ever owned?

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Not Fragile, in 1975. It beat the hell out of my Donny Osmond tape.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

I'll admit an aversion to parody music. ... It just seems like all that imagination could be used to make something ... else.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

George Jones in his mid-'60s heyday, stoked full of mania, preparing for the long way down.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Frampton Comes Alive! When I was 14, I damn near robbed a liquor store for money to buy a talk box.

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

Gillian Welch, "I'm Not Afraid to Die." Even though I kind of am.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

J. S. Bach. While in college, I discovered Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, and realized that I knew nothing about music.

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

The Doors, Strange Days. I love "People Are Strange." It's so wistfully pretty, with a jaunty weirdness, and it tells the truth. I suppose that description sums up what I appreciate in life.

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