Wednesday, December 14, 2005


At first I thought that indie hipster darling Devendra Banhart was an overhyped Marc Bolan wannabe, but after reading the following exchange I've reconsidered. It turns out he's truly fighting the good fight.

From a recent interview in The Believer magazine:
The Believer: I heard you got into a fight with Sammy Hagar.

Devendra Banhart: Yeah. when I started out, I didn't have a booking agent or a good label or anything like that, and I was playing really shitty shows. A friend booked a show for me at a place in L.A. that's also a sushi restaurant. At the time, I was way into Patty Waters and Diamanda Galas and Yoko Ono. I liked their confrontational, screeching styles--using your voice as an instrument--and I would do a lot of a cappella singing. I would strum a chord and hold the guitar up and sing the song in that key. It's a lot of falsetto, and I'd hold that for as long as I could. And this is a sushi restaurant, so, like, nobody's having it. And Sammy Hagar and his posse are trying to eat their spider roll or whatever. He looks like a canned pickle, or beef jerky, and you can hear him talking and talking, and I'm just doing my thing. I'm in a kind of trance, and he asks them to put the jukebox on. "Put on some Van Halen!" he says. and they do. Really fucking loud. Of course I'm aware of it, and I just start spitting in their sushi [phlegmy hacking sounds], and then the next one [more phlegmy hacking sounds], and I'm frothing at the mouth and it's all landing right in their food. So Sammy gets up, and he's got this really nasty curly blond hair, and I just grab it, sort of latch onto it. I'm pulling his hair and he's trying to grab me, and i end up on their table, and eventually we get pulled apart and I get asked to leave.

The Believer: Did you ever play there again?

Devendra Banhart: No, never. I would play there again though. Sammy, man, I'm waiting for the fucking rematch.