We tend to look at successful athletes and make them almost bigger than life. I have seen many young men who have achieved greatness. I have also seen those who have come up a little short of their potential. I do know that those who succeed have been able to recognize within themselves the potential to do something well and then work hard to prepare themselves for that eventual opportunity. Others wait for the opportunity to come and then start to work, thus coming up a little short.
Opportunities may come along for you to convert something -something that exists into something that didn't yet. That might be the beginning of it. Sometimes you just want to do things your way, want to see for yourself what lies behind the misty curtain. It's not like you see songs approaching and invite them in. It's not that easy. You want to write songs that are bigger than life. You want to say something about strange things that have happened to you, strange things you have seen. You have to know and understand something and then go past the vernacular.
The first movie I ever saw was a blaxploitation movie. It was called 'Monkey Hustle.' Like I said, just listen to the name. That's a blaxploitation movie. It had these incredible, bigger-than-life images of people who looked like I did. Or who looked like I wanted to look like.
ELVIS PRESLEY was bigger than life. His success was documented and laid out for him. He came to the first show I had in Memphis, and it was very nice. He sort of treated me like an equal, because we were both fresh in the business. We got to be great friends and kindred souls.
I think we're fascinated by gangsters and that whole lifestyle and crossing the line. We get sort of stuck in our normal lives, if you will, and you want to be bigger than life and I think people somehow live through these sorts of characters.
We were born ahead of our time. Don't forget that the riot-grrl scene had a lot to do with making The Slits a legend, and that didn't happen until the early '90s. We couldn't get together before then, because the legend hadn't been built yet. In the 2000s, we've become bigger than life in that way. It's become really important for The Slits to be here now, but idealistically, we should have done it in the '90s.