I would describe myself… Reluctantly
Music changed me… By giving me a way out. At first it was mentally. I got hooked by The Cars when I was 12 or 13. Living in a cowboy town in the middle of nowhere, I loved how listening to them could transport me to some other place. It was like living a double life. Ten years later, music literally gave me a way out. My big goal in life was to get ‘juiced in’ to a big casino by one of my uncles and park cars for big tips. That was it. But when The Killers blasted off, all of that changed.
When I’m not making music… I try to be the best dad I can be to my kids. Try to be the best husband I can be to my wife. And maybe get a hike in.
My biggest vice is… Well, Las Vegas has no shortage of great Mexican food. But I have a desire for one dish at one particular joint in town that borders on sinful. It’s camarones zarandeados at Lindo Michoacan. The shrimp are cooked in some voodoo oil chili mayo magic magnificence, and I may or may not be guilty of stopping for a plate before returning home from the airport after a long tour.
The last time I felt embarrassed was… Christmas time at a Vegas restaurant with my wife. There were carolers going from table to table singing standard festive tunes. It makes me uncomfortable when they sing to me so I thought I’d shut it down and request All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey. No way were they going to know it, much less belt it out at this swanky place. The joke was on me. One of the women in the group knew it and proceeded to belt it out from top to bottom. I wanted to hide under the table.
“My big goal in life was to get ‘juiced in’ to a big casino…”
My formal qualifications are… Piano lessons from age 7 to 11. When I was 5 or 6 we inherited an upright piano from my great grandma Dixie. Dixie was her showbiz name. Her real name was Melinda. She wrote country songs and actually received royalty checks from one that ended up being recorded by Mel Tillis. No one else in my family was creative. I owe a lot to that handed-down piano. My mother took me to lessons from around age 7 to 11. I still use the fundamental techniques I acquired in those tender years to this day.
The last time I cried was… I cry at church during the hymns all the time.
Vinyl, CD or MP3?… You can’t expect everyone to have a record player. CDs aren't so bad. MP3s do the job. I definitely don't define myself by which medium I choose to listen to music.
My most prized possession is… My wife.
The best book I’ve ever read is… East Of Eden. I'm a Steinbeck man. We read The Pearl in elementary school and I guess that's where he hooked me. But it wasn't until East Of Eden that I fully understood what a master he was. I've never been so immersed in a story before or since. I'd go to bed early because I knew what was waiting on the nightstand. Perfection.
Is the glass half full or half empty… The romantic answer is half full. The truth… half empty.
My biggest regret is… I’ve been lucky. I don’t really have anything looming over my head. However, if the right John Hughes movie comes on I do tend to feel like I missed out on something in high school.
When we die… Our spirit moves on and progresses until the Resurrection where it will be unified with a perfect body. We will have the opportunity to be with our families and friends.
I’d like to be remembered… As a good man who never gave up.