:: Article

Please Give Me Orders!

Doc Corbin Dart interviewed by John Szpunar.

thecrucifucks

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I dialled the phone. Well, no, that isn’t entirely true. I knew it was going to ring, but I didn’t know who would answer. Art had given me the number earlier in the day. “Here’s his current contact info, as far as I know. I left him a message and he didn’t call back, but the machine totally seemed like it was his.”

Worth a try, I thought. Why not? I punched in the number, cleared my throat and waited. It seemed like an eternity before I heard the first ring. Then, abruptly, I was clicked over to the machine. Five high-pitched beeps.

I settled back and tried to think of something to say. It was almost impossible after hearing the recorded voice on the other end of the line. It was a high squeaky voice that broke and cracked as it delivered a rambling greeting. A greeting that made little sense but still managed to make all the sense in the world: “You will be walking a dangerous path. Remember to bring a swooorrrrdddd. And when you get back, everyone will know that you’re a phoney…”

I smiled. I had the right number all right. I hung up, waited a while and dialled again. This time I was ready. I gave my name, number and the time of my call, wondering if I’d ever get a response.

The phone got me out of bed. “Hello, John? This is Doc Corbin Dart from The Crucifucks. I got your message–sorry I didn’t call back sooner. I just woke up from my nap.” I looked at the clock. It was almost midnight. “I’m usually around every day. They’re all the same as the next. Except sometimes I go into the woods…”

We made tentative plans to meet at his house in Okemos, Michigan, just outside of Lansing, the state capital–a fitting place for political distaste to fester.

Doc Corbin Dart was the frontman for the legendary American hardcore band, The Crucifucks “The biggest threat to American democracy since Communism.” 1985 and 1987 saw two LPsThe Crucifucks and Wisconsinon Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles Records. Powered by Doc’s high-pitched squeals, The Crucifucks were cynical and sarcastic, a Midwestern companion to MDC, Dead Kennedys and The Dicks. There was a peculiar difference though. When Jello Biafra sang ‘Kill the Poor’, you knew it was only wicked satire. When Doc Dart sang ‘Hinkley had a Vision‘, you had to wonder. Sample some of his lyrics:

Death is a blessing as a gift to the rich / Pardon my smile as the powerful twitch / Genocide or suicide/ They think they can piss on anyone / Maybe it’s not so bad that we can still buy guns/Just like the Berlin disco and the chumps inside / And the stupid space shuttle and the fools that cried/ If it wasn’t for all the friends I made / I would have bombed more than one fucking holiday parade

A police mugshot of Doc Dart adorned a lyric sheet. He looked like someone who, friends or not, might just bomb the parade anyway.

Doc kept a low profile during the next few years, but managed to record a morose solo album, Patricia, for Alternative Tentacles in 1991. 1996 saw the Alternative Tentacles release of a seven-song CD called L. D. Eye (short for ‘Little Doc’s Eye’), a return in many ways to the melodic style of Wisconsin. Along the way, Doc also ran for mayor in Lansing, became a mystic called Number 26, and had several encounters with the police. I wondered what his mugshot would look like twenty years later.

We’d set the interview for Sunday at noon. I arrived in Okemos at 11:30. I debated whether I should show up unfashionably early. What the hell, I thought. He’d told me to stop by as soon as I got into town. I pulled into his driveway and looked at the house in front of me. It was a large, two-storey cinderblock building. Gigantic pictures of rabbits and deer were plastered to its walls, along with a hand-printed message that read:

DEAR CHILDREN: REMEMBER YOUR HISTORY LESSON? REVOLUTION IS GOOD BECAUSE IT PUNISHES BAD PEOPLE.

I walked up to the door, knocked and waited. The door opened just a crack. The light inside was very dim.

“It’s John,” I said. The door opened a little wider, and through the darkness, I could see the L. D. Eye peering back at me. It squinted then widened, and the door opened further. I took this as my cue and walked inside…

3:AM: How have you been these days?

DOC CORBIN DART: I’m doing pretty well. The last four years have been kind of a real flip for me because I’ve suffered from depression for so long. But my life’s been almost enchanted for the last four years. It’s kind of been sliding a bit because of a lot of petty trouble I’ve had with the neighbours, but for the most part, I’m doing good.

3:AM: How long have you been here in Okemos?

DCD: About four years. It’s like my last stand in the Lansing area. Just about every other place in Lansing has bad memories so I’m on the fringe right now. And I live right next to this nature reserve, which is essential for me if I’m going to stay any longer. I have to be near the natural world.

3:AM: So what’s the basic attitude towards you over here?

DCD: You know, it’s hard to get the basic attitude because the only attitudes that I get or that I see directed toward me are the hostile ones. Of course, the liberals just keep their mouths shut; they’re afraid they’re going to say the wrong thing or something. I don’t know. I thought it would be more of a pseudo-intelligential bastion with professors from Michigan State University, but someone filled me in. It’s just really conservative types out here. Most of the people are crude and vulgar. It’s a real disappointment.

3:AM: Can you tell me anything about your childhood? Did you cause a lot of trouble?

DCD: Well, you know, I was really, really shy for the most part. And then there were times when my heart would start beating really fast. And all of the sudden, I’d do something that was really weird to draw attention to myself. I don’t know if the word’s precocious or what. I would ask penetrating questions, starting at the age of seven or so in grade school and in Sunday school. And I would get these reactions from the teachers like I was some kind of a monster or something.

After so much of that, it got to the point where I was afraid to raise my hand. Maybe I got to believing that I was a monster. After a while I thought if that’s the way they’re going to view me, so be it. But I wasn’t a real troublemaker, I was always just pulling little pranks. And I never broke the law. Never stole. I just tried to shock every once in a while.

3:AM: How did you get along with your classmates?

DCD: My father has this family bank and a lot of the kids resented me. Some of the farm kids thought I was frivolous or something. But we didn’t really live that extravagantly. I tried to get along with everybody. I didn’t particularly like the jocks. I got along really well with the people that everybody made fun of.

3:AM: I read that you were classically trained as a musician. Is that true?

DCD: Barely (laughs). I did take classical piano and classical guitar, but I did very poorly at those things. I learned the rudiments and did very good with them. So I guess I have kind of a classical background there. But I couldn’t sit down right now and play a full piece on the piano. It’s been so long…

3:AM: You attended Michigan State University, majoring in anthropology.

DCD: Yeah. That’s where I got my degree. Cultural anthropology. It was great. I started in psychology then I switched to communications or something. I took this anthropology class and it really fascinated me. It was very political because there’s so much colonialism that enters into the study. So I switched to that as a major.

3:AM: Did you go any further after that?

DCD: No, I’d like to though. I still want to prove that Jesus never lived! Even the atheists want to say that he was a real person, so he can only be a person. There is no proof whatsoever. The New Testament is the only real source they have. It’s kind of like taking the text from The Night Before Christmas to prove that Santa Claus existed. All these filmmakers want to show Christ as a man! Give me a break! He was a myth; he was a god.

3:AM: I read somewhere that the assassination of John Lennon was a big turning point in your life.

DCD: Yeah, it really was. There was an article in Melody Maker or New Musical Express that was written just a couple of months after it happened. And there was some real compelling evidence, at least to me, that Chapman had some help. The idea of a lone assassin is kind of a myth anyway. I can’t remember the last time that there was only one person who did it. Other than Hinckley. Wait, not even that. You have to go way back to William McKinley and Leon Czolgosz.

Anyway, I was always pretty much convinced that Reagan and that crowd had something to do with Lennon. I was a pretty angry fellow to begin with. I was nauseated by the fact that Reagan had been elected. Put those two things together and I was really angry. All the other people from the 60s were just doing coke and making bucks. The entire thing disgusted me. John Lennon was always really a big influence for me.

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3:AM: How would you compare the politics of the punk movement with what happened in the 60s?

DCD: I don’t know. You had a variety of flavours of so-called punks. Some of them were just so disenchanted with their lives because their lives were so vacuous. They were from the suburbs and things like that. And after they became punks, their lives were still vacuous. They just skateboarded and watched MTV. Then, there were some who were right-wing. But there was a core of them who had certain ethics and morality. Their heads were a lot more open to better music too. The stuff just didn’t have to thrash all the time for them.

3:AM: What was your first experience with punk rock?

DCD: Well, I heard The Sex Pistols on the radio, on some special show in 1976. That was just so refreshing to me. A lot of my friends had a lot of trouble with it. They just couldn’t make that leap. But I really liked the British stuff like CRASS. And I liked Dead Kennedys. I was buying all of their records.

3:AM: How did The Crucifucks get together?

DCD: I met these two fellows at this place–it was kind of a New Wave club. Black Flag played there; Lydia Lunch performed there. I don’t know how I even got up the courage to talk to them. I was really, really shy. But they were in a band called Idle Hands. They kind of sounded like Joy Division, but it was all intense. They were really good. Somehow we started talking and I told them that I could sing. Which I’d never really ever done before.

3:AM: The Crucifucks were pretty intense in those days.

DCD: You’d have to say that! I wasn’t what you’d call politically astute, but I’d been leaning toward anarchism for quite some time. I was also probably severely depressed. It was a highly personal thing to me. I came up with the name while I was sitting in a bar, and I thought: man, I’m just going to go as far as I can take this. I’m going to do whatever I want to do and nobody’s going to stop me. You know, I hated cops because of some shit that went down before. It seemed like any time I had any business with them, they were dishonest. Stupid too. So I had a little bit of a grudge going there.

3:AM: The band had a lot of troubles with the cops over the years.

DCD: Yeah, but I think you’ll notice that none of the other guys ever got arrested (laughs)!

3:AM: Where did the mugshot photo come from on the lyric sheet of your first album?

DCD: I wish I could remember. There were so many confrontations that I just couldn’t tell you absolutely for sure where that one came from. I could have been the result of me passing out flyers at an upscale restaurant. The cops came real quick.

3:AM: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?

DCD: The only thing I can remember writing is ‘By the Door’. It wasn’t even supposed to have a rhythm to it. It was supposed to completely annoy the fuck out of people. Gus, our guitar player, came up with the clock noise. I was lying in bed with a hangover or something when I wrote it.

3:AM: I take it that the song is supposed to be a comment on the mundane existence of most people’s lives?

DCD: Yeah, I think it had to come straight from my childhood and my mom. It’s funny, there’s that watch business in the song. My son figured this out: if you’re wearing a watch and the little hand is on the two and the big hand is pointing at you, that means it’s pointing at six. Which turns out to be my new name now, 26.

3:AM: What was the basic reaction of the crowds when you played?

DCD: Well, people knew who we were, they’d heard our tape. They were your average punk crowd. They were doing their thing. Punk was quite exhibitionist; you had people saying, “Look at me”. Everybody seemed to be happy. And it was always fun when we had older people there along with the kids.

3:AM: You were quite a bit older yourself when you started the band.

DCD: 29. 28 or 29. I was a late bloomer. I still am.

3:AM: Tesco Vee from The Meatmen interviewed you in his magazine Touch and Go. What did you think of him? He was from Michigan too.

DCD: Yeah, I think he’s from Jackson. I don’t know; he gave us our chances to play. He always did a lot of promoting around town. Obviously, there was quite a difference between what he was doing and what we were doing. And there was always the danger that we were going to ruin a show because we were so outrageous. I guess he liked us. He had a falling out with some of the people who liked us over political things. I never had a problem with him; I didn’t like the concept of The Meatmen’s ‘One Down, Three to Go’, a song about killing the remaining Beatles. I wasn’t that into that stuff, but he had another band called Blight that I really enjoyed. He was a pleasant fellow.

3:AM: You got into some trouble from flyers that you did with MDC depicting blood-stained police officer obituaries.

DCD: Yeah, we put them all over town. We booked this place for the show– every place we seemed to book turned out to be owned by the city. So then they could come down and close the show down. That’s the way that one worked out. The flyers–they hated that– we were really horrible. They put it on the news and everything: “Millions of Dead Cops, blah, blah, blah.” Finally, this British guy who owned a big house in the middle of nowhere offered up his place for us to play.

Because of the publicity we had a huge show. MDC said it was the best show they’d ever played up until that point. So sometimes the publicity works. I’ve always been real big on that, just raising holy hell. Sometimes it works to your advantage.

3:AM: The Crucifucks formed in 1982. When did you put out your first record?

DCD: I think we finished recording it in 1984. You can imagine how sick of the songs we were by then.

3:AM: How did you get hooked up with Jello Biafra and Alternative Tentacles?

DCD: I think that we got that deal thanks to Tesco from The Meatmen. Dead Kennedys played Detroit, and he got us on the bill. Biafra told me later, “I just saw the name and I knew I had to see you.” He told us to give him a call when we were ready to record. He’s still really good at seeing bands. He’s so interested in the music. I wish I could say the same thing about myself. But that was a good break for us.

3:AM: Spot produced your first record. He did a lot for Black Flag.

DCD: I’m sure he wondered why we were recording. We didn’t really have what you could call songs. I think, more than once, he made comment like, “This is horrible, what is this?” (laughs).

3:AM: You were originally going to use a Diane Arbus photo for the cover of the first album.

DCD: Yeah. I think our drummer Steve wrote her and asked permission, but we couldn’t get it. The Crucifucks didn’t usually ask permission, but she was so good that it was the honorable thing to do. It was a great picture; it would have fit. It was of a kid holding a hand grenade and he look really spritzed out.

3:AM: I take it you didn’t bother to ask permission to use the recorded phone conversations that appear on your first album.

DCD: Nope. I was surprised that we never heard back from any of that. I’m sure Biafra breathed a sigh of relief. It didn’t do him any good; he’s been in a lawsuit of some kind ever since! I really feel for that fellow. He does so much for people and life is just kicking him all the time. It’s really sad. I tried to help with this new lawsuit involving the ex-Dead Kennedys. I just gave him our royalties. I sure hope it helps. I hope a judge reverses that decision.

3:AM: The first album has recordings of a cop calling you a few times, warning you to cancel a show. Did the police ever show up for that one?

DCD: (laughs) That show went down. We ended up playing in the woods next to this guy’s house, but the cops did show up. They chased me through the woods, but they never caught me. That was the Meridian Township Police Department. It’s so weird! Now I live in Meridian Township. And it’s the 20th anniversary of The Crucifucks. And I have the same police department dragging me out of my house, trying to commit me to a mental institution! Here I am older, a lot wiser, abiding the law and everything else, and it still happens to me. It’s incredible. I’ve got to get out of this state!

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3:AM: Why did they come by this last time?

DCD: It was because of some signs I had in front of my house about September 11th. There was heavy pressure from the people in Okemos for me to take the signs down. And there were people making these frivolous, bizarre complaints about me. They were lying about me. My house was being attacked by vandals quite regularly, and I was getting all these death threats. Everyone was hysterical and I was on the verge of being hysterical because of all the pressure.

I wrote this four-page letter complaining about things. There were a few insults in there too. The cops deliberately misconstrued what I had written, saying that I had made threats. So they just came right in saying, “We’ve had enough of you, Mr. Dart.” Two of them showed up. One cop put his foot in my door so I couldn’t close it. They took me down to the mental hospital to see if they could have me committed. I was so fucking stunned–I wasn’t about to fight them. One guy followed me into the bathroom. It gave me the creeps, man. I didn’t have one soul I could call for help.

The funny thing is this: I knew the first psychologist who was supposed to study me, so he disqualified himself. He said that I’d have to spend the night and wait for someone else. I couldn’t do that; I had a sick bunny rabbit at home that needed its medicine. He called in this woman, and after she talked to me, she said that if she hadn’t seen my signs, she would have thought I was delusional about the death threats. I would have been locked up indefinitely. I came that close. So we’ve got a lawsuit going in federal court right now.

3:AM: You dedicated a song to Norman Mayer, the guy who held the Washington Monument hostage for the better part of a day back in 1982.

DCD: Yeah. I think his beef was nuclear build-up. That was one of the first day-long extravaganzas that CNN ever had. They just showed him pacing back and forth in front of the Washington Monument. They shot him four times and killed him. It turned out that he didn’t have any explosives.

3:AM: He had a sign with him that said, “No Genocide or Suicide’”. That must have been an influence for your song ‘Legal Genocide’.

DCD: I didn’t know about that! That is weird! I guess it would have to have been a subliminal influence because I don’t remember the sign!

3:AM: Let’s talk a bit about the Rock against Reagan tour. You played with Dead Kennedys, The Dicks, MDC and Crucifix. I guess the Yippies set that up?

DCD: (heavy laughter) Yeah!

3:AM: Gary Floyd from The Dicks said: “Thank God for the Crucifucks. The Dicks and The Crucifucks sort of kept each other sane on that tour by just sitting back and going, oh God, what did we do? Why are we here? It was three months– three fucking months! It was quite amazing. I don’t know what political good it did.”

DCD: (more laughter) That thing did seem long! One of the reasons was that there were so many days in between the gigs. There was so much waiting. The Yippies were on another timescale…somewhere in the cosmos! They were smoking pot all the time. If they told you that they were going to leave at eight in the morning, you’d leave at four in the afternoon. That kind of shit. But they set the whole thing up and we played at the state capital steps in Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois; we played on a flatbed trailer going down Fifth Avenue in New York City; we played in Central Park; and we eventually played in front of the Washington Monument in DC.

You have to hand it to them. How else are you going to play in that kind of venue? The thing was this: we got this pamphlet that said they were going to provide us with transportation and food, all this stuff. It turned out to be this old bus. There’s just no way to describe it. It was like being a refugee for three months. Gary was absolutely right.

3:AM: He said something about meals consisting only of turkey dogs?

DCD: I never had any of those! It was grains and nuts. I don’t remember the food that much because we were always trying to find beer. But The Dicks kept us sane too. I can’t think of any other time that was an equivalent to those days that we spent with The Dicks as far as having pure fun goes. Those people were just so unique and honest, funny and smart. We just had a blast.

3:AM: You told me the other day that Gary Floyd hated the cops even more than you did!

DCD: Yeah! And he told me a story about a friend of his that hated them even more than he did. This friend of his killed a cop. He apparently died in the seat of his cop car. They all went to his friend’s trial to hear the radio tape of this guy gurgling and dying! (laughs) Yeah, The Dicks hate the police! Those guys were great. Musically great. They were bluesy rock n’ roll. Gary has so much charisma as a singer and a really great voice.

3:AM: The next Crucifucks album was called Wisconsin. Who played on that one?

DCD: It was me, Gus and Aaron Vander Pool–who was probably the freshest influence we had.

3:AM: Who was responsible for the change in your sound?

DCD: Well…partly Gus. He wrote some cool chord progressions. I liked the album a lot. I have no warm feelings at all for 90 percent of our first album. For me, it’s like a spoken word album with a little noise in the background. As far as I’m concerned, if you listen to a spoken word album once, you’ve listened to it plenty. So I look at Wisconsin as our first album in a way. We were musicians this time. I’d say that musically, Vander Pool is responsible for 40 percent of that album. Gus was 40 percent and I was 20 percent. The two albums are entirely different from one another. I kind of hate to see them on the same CD. I don’t think someone should have to buy the first album if they only want Wisconsin. It’s kind of silly.

3:AM: What’s your fascination with the state of Wisconsin?

DCD: I was just enchanted with Wisconsin every time I went there. It’s like a different country to me for some reason. And the people there were always very good to us. So I kind of call that home.

3:AM: The song ‘Earth by Invitation Only’ has you taking an anti-abortion stance.

DCD: (stunned) What?

3:AM: Well, you sing, “More women than ever are investing in this death trap. That’s liberation?”

DCD: Ohhhh. That just means that women’s liberation was translating in the major media as something that amounted only to women doing the same jobs as men. In a sense, they would become the new CEOs and do the same damage that men were doing. No, I’ve always been pro-abortion. Not just pro-choice but pro-abortion. There’s just too many people around. That accounts for all of our problems.

3:AM: In the song ‘Pig in a Blanket’, you talk about psychic murder.

DCD: Ah-ha! There are threads from that that go right up to my activities today. That song is probably half-fictional. Some people try to take my songs and what I do literally, but I’m an artist. People are still pissed about the song ‘Lights Over Baghdad’. But psychic murder was a thing that I practiced with, I would say, a great deal of success. In some of my more lucid moments, I would concentrate my anger and rage–and I had a complete and total amount of rage–on one place or one person. There was this police helicopter that kept flying up and down past my apartment so I focused my rage on it. There was kind of a delayed effect, things didn’t happen until the next day. It took me about 20 minutes to put the hammer down on this guy. But the helicopter crashed the next day. The policeman survived, but the helicopter blade was bent. He came running out of his helicopter and his head was chopped off. So that was one incident.

One time, things went awry. I tried to blow up City Hall. That morning, the gas station right between me and City Hall blew up. I mean, you can easily call this all coincidence. The case that impressed me the most happened right after my family was taken from me. This is all kind of tied into what the police had done to me back in 1987. But I was mad at my in-law’s family. So I did my thing for about 15 minutes, and I even pictured what would happen to them. The next morning, they were hit head on by a truck and they were dead. I think I’ve paid dearly for that–the laws of nature can take care of you quite harshly in these cases. I made a pledge to myself that I wouldn’t do that anymore.

But I’ve been studying mysticism and I’ve seen other people who have done it. In fact in the last four years, I’ve devoted at least six hours a day and hours more of study to mystical practices–going into a trance and such. That’s been my main motivation for my daily activities lately. I know it sounds pretty fantastic, but if they’re coincidences, then they’re the most wonderful coincidences that could ever happen. At least for me (laughter)!

3:AM: What can you tell me about your mayoral campaign in Lansing? What year was that?

DCD: 1989. That was another case where I thought I could do anything. I don’t think I–there may have been a few moments where I saw myself as becoming mayor but…

3:AM: What was your platform?

DCD: Well, of course I had this anti-police thing, but my main issue was rape. I’d heard that Lansing and Flint were third and fourth in the nation in rapes per capita. And I’d had a close friend who’d been raped and it destroyed our relationship. So I hooked onto that issue and I worked really hard. I spent $400 and I walked everywhere in the high heat of the summer. I put up with all the ridicule and such. I only got five percent of the vote. But when it came time for the election, the top two candidates were tied up, they were even in the polls. I cornered them in a radio talk show and said, “What are you going to do about the rape in this town, fellows? This looks pretty bad. What are you going to do?” An hour later, the Mayor came down to  the baseball card shop I owned at the time. He said, “I want your endorsement. What do you want?”  I said, “Well, I want a rape crisis centre.” He said, “OK, you’ve got it.”

So I got everything I wanted and didn’t have to be mayor. It was almost a miracle. It was probably the happiest day in my life. Not many people know about that.

3:AM: How long do you think you would have lasted if you were elected?

DCD: (laughs) I don’t know. About six months! Six months at tops! Of course, I wouldn’t have worked down there, I’d have kept my base of operation in the little room where I sold my baseball cards.

3:AM: This was around the same time that you recorded your first solo album Patricia.

DCD: Yeah. I had something really personal happen to me right after my campaign that threw me right into this hell. It opened up the gates of hell for me. I didn’t want to be conscious. I didn’t want to be conscious for years, as a matter of fact. It was just fucking agony every single day, every single hour. Somehow I managed to pick up a guitar. I had to do something. I traded this Mickey Mantle baseball card for an old Martin 12-string guitar. That’s where all those songs came from.

3:AM: Do you still have it?

DCD: Yep…

3:AM: After that, you did another solo album called Black Tuesday that was never released.

DCD: It was another thing that had to do with Patricia, who was my psychologist. There was some remarkable, bizarre, fanciful type of event that I thought had occurred. But then Tuesday came and it blew that all away. I was really out there by that time. I’d kind of gone into regression. That’s where the name Little Doc’s Eye came from, the name of my next band. I kind of got ‘little’ for a while. She put me into regression and left me there. She said we couldn’t go any further because it was too dangerous. I’d have to be hospitalised to complete the therapy. I never did complete it.

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3:AM: L. D. Eye came out on Alternative Tentacles as the title of a Crucifucks album. Was this a plan to cash in on the name?

DCD: That was a dilemma. The way I was going, we would have been called L. D. Eye and Biafra may or may not have put it out. But as it turns out, I wrote some political tunes; not for any other reason than that they came out of me. There was the thing in Iraq, the police. I did an IRA tune and thought, well, this is a Crucifucks album. It’s me, I’m The Crucifucks. So I don’t see anything unethical about that at all. We played some gigs as L. D. Eye.

3:AM: I was going to ask about that, but first, I want to hear about your song about the IRA volunteer who died in the hunger strike.

DCD: I guess the reason that I focused on that particular fellow was because of a book I read. There was this picture of Thomas McElwee lying in a casket. I just couldn’t get it out of my head. It just really touched me. So that’s why I chose McElwee out of all the strikers. Biafra was kind of saying, “Do you know what the IRA does? Blah, blah, blah…” I said, “It’s an historical tune. It’s not an endorsement, it’s about a particular time in history.” I saw it as pretty much black and white. The conditions in that prison were horrific. These guys were all offering their lives because they wanted to be recognised as political prisoners. Thatcher just turned her back on them and let those poor fellows die. That was pretty black and white to me. Anything that the IRA has done, before and after that doesn’t have a hell of a lot to do with it.

3:AM: About the shows that you played as L. D. Eye…

DCD: We played in Lansing a few times. We went down to Ohio—I can’t remember if we were The Crucifucks or L. D. Eye for that one.

3:AM: Well, when Art Ettinger (who set up the show) interviewed you back in 1996, you were still straddling the fence on that one.

DCD: Yeah, the album was just about to come out. My dilemma was that the name The Crucifucks was kind of a curse. My plan was to do the first album as The Crucifucks and call it L. D. Eye, and then do the next album as L. D. Eye. Because I honestly thought, and still do, that my music was important enough that it shouldn’t be simply be picked up by a handful of people because the name was so offensive to everyone else. It’s as simple as that.

3:AM: So you’re still playing? You’ve got a band right now?

DCD: We’re rehearsing the tunes that I’ve written. And we hope to record soon and then ask Biafra to put the album out.

3:AM: Will you tour at all?

DCD: I’d like to say for sure that we’ll tour right away. That’s precisely what I want to do as soon as the album comes out. But the logistics are kind of hard because I really need to be medicated if I’m going to do that. I have no idea how I’ll transcend that problem. But we’re going to do our best. We’ll need a few more musicians though.

3:AM: My last question has to do with cigarettes…

DCD: (laughter) You asked if you could smoke in my house! It’s not only recommended, it’s essential! I get mad when people don’t smoke! Only I prefer it when people use organic tobacco. The paper doesn’t burn evenly, but all of the poisons that the corporations put in there are gone, gone forever…

john1

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
John Szpunar is a freelance writer living in Detroit, Michigan. From 1998 to 2008, he co-ran Barrel Entertainment, a DVD label specialising in arthouse, gore and sleaze films from around the world.  Releases included Jorg Buttgereit’s Nekromantik, Barbet Schroeder’s The Charles Bukowski Tapes and Harry Kumel’s Malpertuis.

Special thanks to Art Ettinger for providing the invaluable information and insight that made this interview possible.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, April 6th, 2011.