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“There were two records I loved when I was a little kid – I’m talking four, five, six years old. One was Roger Miller’s Greatest Hits; I made my mom and dad play it over and over again. But I'm going to talk another record that was probably more important in that it subconsciously informed who I am, and that’s Oscar Brand’s American Drinking Songs.
“I’m a fairly heavy drinker and have been for a long, long, long time. I’m not an alcoholic, but I do socialize a lot. I drink at home, or I’ll go to bars by myself, so I drink every night pretty much, unless I’m very sick. I have a very strange, high tolerance for alcohol, and I could always drink more than my friends.
“American Drinking Songs had a photo of people in a bar drinking – I remember that. I haven’t heard the record since I was seven or so, but the song Little Brown Jug was my favorite. I remember how it goes: [sings] ‘Oh ho ho, oh hee hee, little brown jug and I love thee.’
“I didn’t even know what drinking was when I first heard the album – I certainly didn’t have a taste for alcohol then – but the concept that came from the songs seemed like so much fun: You get this thing in your glass, you drink it, and then you have a good time singing. So this record sowed the first seed for my predilection for going to bars and socializing. And, of course, I don’t mean nightclubs; I mean actual dive bars, where you go and you have conversations for five hours about religion and philosophy and politics and pop culture and shit with a bunch of strangers.”