Beck and Will Ferrell talk spandex jumpsuits

Ferrell provides the perfect visual for Beck's Lonesome Tears
Ferrell provides the perfect visual for Beck's Lonesome Tears

Although we're not quite ready to hand over our press hats to Beck on a full-time basis, we have to admit, the genre-bouncing Mr Hansen can be a most probing reporter.

Last month, Beck launched a Q&A feature on his website called Irrelevant Topics (has he been reading too many of our interviews?) in which he chewed the fat with Tom Waits. Now he's going really deep, sitting down for a hard-hitting phoner with actor Will Ferrell.

"I met Will in 1997 when he was a new cast member on SNL and I was a musical guest," Beck writes in his introduction. "Somehow during rehearsals I got asked to participate in a skit with him. Over the years I got to watch him work several more times during his tenure as a cast member, undeniably a comic genius."

In the beginning of the interview, the two consider the use of the word 'solid' as an adjective. From there they discuss local California '70s TV commercials, Cirque du Soleil, and other timely topics.

The most notable exchange, however, concerns a tsunami relief benefit at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theatre in January 2005, during which Ferrell donned a full-body red spandex suit and danced during Beck's performance of Lonesome Tears:

W: You know, I was driving home in anticipation of this phone call thinking about when we did the benefit for the tsunami relief, and I came out in the middle of your song, gyrating against a---- what's that instrument?

B: The harmonium?

W: The harmonium. Yeah. And that might be, our little exchange, might be one of the highlights of my career right there.

B: I was definitely impressed by the pneumatic motion of your lower extremities towards my harmonium.

W: (laughing) Right, but you---

B: And your pelvic thrust ability...

W: Right. But your delivery was perfect as to how, kind of, slightly annoyed you were with me but yet you still committed to the song.

B: (laughing)

W: What's the song again? Because it's such a beautiful song. (humming the song) It's one of your more heartfelt songs.

B: It was Lonesome Tears maybe?

W: That's it. Yup. You were performing it very earnestly. It was the perfect setup.

B: You know, I think I retired the song after that.

W: Oh no! (laughing) I kind of ruined it for you...

B: No, actually it was missing something after that, because you were dressed in that red spandex unitard. I've seen unitards but I've never seen one that actually goes over your head as well.

You can read the rest of Beck's interview with Will Ferrell (it's only Part 1!) right here.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.