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“It was a strange period, a real transitional phase in music. I had become a huge Elvis Costello fan. His first album, My Aim Is True, I bought it because I liked the cover. I got the cassette and listened to it in my car over and over, hundreds of times. I told everybody how fantastic it was. I went to see Peter Asher, and I told him, ‘This guy is the bomb. I love what he’s doing!’ I even liked the way he dressed. It felt so fresh to me.
“At that time, we were coming from the singer-songwriter thing. People were walking around in promo T-shirts and jeans and sneakers, and wearing shaggy haircuts and stuff. I hated it. To see how punk bands were dressing, I thought it was fun. It was cool. I said, ‘This stuff is fun. I wanna have fun, too.’ I wanted to wear jackets with skinny lapels and skinny ties. I was tired of looking like a hippie. Fuck that shit – I hate fuckin’ bell bottoms! [Laughs]
“Waddy was stuck in his ways, and by the way, that’s to his credit. He has a very definite way of playing, and he knows who he is. He can also make himself fit into situations you wouldn’t believe. I don’t know if he quit or walked away, but I found myself there to play with Linda in a bit of a new context.
“The way I saw this record was like what Billy Joel says: ‘It’s still rock ‘n’ roll to me.’ It was fun, and it had energy. I remember telling Peter that Elvis Costello was playing at Hollywood High School, and he got tickets for the bunch of us – me, Linda, Andrew Gold, we all went. Linda heard those tunes, and she went, ‘Hey, those are great songs.’ She couldn’t care less what anybody else thought. She followed her own drummer, to quote from one of the songs. There’s nobody smarter than her.
“The songs we played were fun and groovy. A lot of people from the ‘70s might have been intimidated, but I wasn’t one of them. I thought what we were playing was great. It was a kick in the ass, and I was thrilled that we were creating something that felt upbeat. The bottom line is that Linda was singing songs that she loved at the time. She wasn’t trying to go punk or new wave. She was following her instincts.”