Nine Questions

Stu Jenks

Stu Jenks is a photographer, writer and musician. Born in Virginia, he has lived in the Sonoran Desert for more than 25 years. Dementia Blues, a photo-memoir book about his dying mother, was released earlier this month. Get more info at

What was the first concert you ever saw?

My first acoustic was the Royal Scots (Dragoon) Guards Pipes and Drums Band, 1972, Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, N.C., with my mother, Mary. My first electric was Traffic's Low Spark of High Heeled Boys tour, same year, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C. Without Mary.

What are you listening to these days?

Bruce Cockburn, Small Source of Comfort; Scala and Kolacny Brothers, Circle; Neil Young, Le Noise; Elvis Costello, Secret, Profane and Sugarcane; and Krishna Das, Heart as Wide as the World.

What was the first album you owned?

First single was Johnny Horton, "The Battle of New Orleans." The first album was Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, Whipped Cream and Other Delights.

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

Opera. I've tried.

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

The Monkees headlined a show at Dorton Arena in Raleigh when I was a kid, and Jimi Hendrix opened for them. I would have loved to have been a fly on that wall and hear Jimi get booed off the stage.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Depeche Mode. ... And Gary Hoey, Ho! Ho! Hoey! at Christmastime.

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

I have a whole set planned for my funeral at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal: Ben Folds, "Magic," performed by the University of Chicago's Voices in Your Head; Muse, "Blackout"; and Krishna Das, "By Your Grace/Jai Gurudev."

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Neil Young, On the Beach, in Bo's dorm room at Carolina, with a head full of Colombian.

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

Peter Gabriel, Secret World Live.

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