The work of the art student is no light matter. Few have the courage and stamina to think it through. You have to make up your mind to be alone in many ways. We like sympathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted with himself, grows up and on, not stopping with the crowd. It costs to do this. If you succeed somewhat you may have to pay for it as well as enjoy it all your life.
I was a student in London in the '70s, so CBGB really wasn't on my radar at all. Obviously, I was aware of the emergence of the Police in England and as an art student, I was very aware of David Byrne, but I suppose my musical taste at that time certainly didn't stretch towards the Dead Boys or the Ramones.
I had just arrived in New York from California. I was nineteen years old and excited beyond belief. I was an art student and an acting student and behaved as most young actors did - meaning that there was no such thing as a good actor, 'cause you yourself hadn't shown up yet.
A very young painter is seldom alone. If he is an art student, he is in an art school with other students. He does not yet know that one day he will have to face himself as a solitary creature enclosed in a space of four walls... and that he will have to be a self-propelled being, with no one at is side.
I'd gone from being this art student messing about with music to this girl with a record deal, magazine front covers and all this hype. In many ways, it was everything I ever wanted, but when it happened all I felt was total, paralysing fear.
There were some extremely good teachers there that were great artists really in their own right. It was actually very hard to concentrate on getting down to going any work being an art student especially when it's a flighty thing at best.
No one on the street thought anything of the downtown girl dressed in black who had paused in the middle of midtown foot traffic. In her art student camouflage she could walk the entire length of Manhattan and, if not blend in, be classified and therefore ignored.
In a personal way, to do with family and the father-son relationship, in a kind of artistic way with regard to him being an art student. I also studied the visual arts at Lancaster University. I then decided to become an actor as he was becoming a musician. And then as an actor/performer, we have similar sort of interests - music hall and that whole world. So, there's a lot that I felt connected with.