Q: Is there any reason for Roland being Norwegian. There is an ancient Norwegian song based on the central European poem called "The Roland Poem", but I don't think the reason is there. The Norwegian song is about a king and his helper Roland that fights against heathen people...Or is it a comment to Norwegian double standards, giving out the Nobel Peace Prize at the same time as selling weapons to many different countries around the world?
Arne (from Norway)
A: In many interviews, WZ gave credit for most of the lyrics to the late David Lindell, American mercenary. I can find no mention of why they chose Norway, but it does seem to fit in with the Roland Poem you mention...Roland fighting in the name of whomever hired him. Well, at least until that Son-of-a-Bitch Van Owen shows up. (I know, it's not much of an answer, but I really did try to find it.)
I had some questions about the exquisitely funny photos in the booklet that came with the "Genius" CD. They were generously answered by Hugh Brown, the photographer:
Q. "Where the hell do you get stuff like that?"
A. Pleasure Chest, a West Hollywood sex toys store, for the ball gag. A gift from Mickey Rourke when he was moving out of his loft, which was next door to the studio where all the Genius photos were shot, for the riding crop.(Trivia bit - The very riding crop which was used by Mr. Rourke on Ms. Basinger in 9½ Weeks.)
Q. "Did somebody have to go out and buy that just for the photo?
A. Yes. My own weren't as photogenic.
Q. "Did Rhino foot the bill and how do you explain that on an expense report?"
2A. Don't have the report in front of me but I believe it said "ball gag, warren zevon photo shoot." I think the same report included "prop rental of 11 coffee cans filled with shell casings".
Q. "Or did somebody actually have them on hand?"
A. Skulls, warmup jacket, Prince necklace, eyepatch, bandana, chopsticks, wig, toothbrush, straight razor, bolo tie, some passports, on hand. Everything else rented, borrowed or bought. Monocle, mirrored by my optometrist. Glasses from WZ.
Regarding the two Lee Ho Fook menus, Hugh said: The redder one in the WOL photo I made, based (loosely) on a photo of an old menu from the restaurant.
Warren had told me that he'd never been there so I wasn't sure how Lee Ho would respond to a request for a menu or if they even liked the song, so I made my own. The day I finished the menu, Will's liner notes came in talking about the restaurant and the old posters. After a few difficult phone calls, (their English was slightly better than my Chinese), I sent them a fax with my request. Turns out the manager was a fan, asked if I had any WZ memorabilia to send them and they sent me the slightly worn version now located in the liner notes.
(Because they were so accommodating I changed one aspect of the WOL photo. I had gotten a bunch of shed coarse wolf hairs from the zoo and I was going to sprinkle them on the table, plates, etc. but I didn't want to imply that LHF was dirty so I chickened out.)
~~~end of Hugh Brown segment~~~
Q: What does "Monkey Wash, Donkey Rinse" mean?
A: Courtesy of stories told by Mr. Dave (Lindley) in between songs: WZ called Mr. Dave and asked him to play on a song called Donkey Wash Monkey Rinse. "Wow, that sounds great. What is it about?" "Awww, I can't explain it." "Well, no, I want to know what it's about." "Well, in Marrakech they do this thing, where they bring a donkey into a courtyard. And the donkey has a very, very good friend. And this friend is a monkey. And the monkey does certain things that make the donkey very, very happy. And because he's very, very happy, he reacts in certain ways. So the monkey washes, and the donkey rinses." "Oh."
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