The Lucky 13: Q & A with Pat McCurdy
by Adam McKibbin
Like Madonna and Cher before him, Pat has achieved that rare plateau of success where surnames are dropped. "Seeing Pat" is a highlight for countless twenty-somethings around Madison, Chicago and his native Milwaukee.
ADAM: Hey, Pat. How's life?
PAT: Absolutely peachy.
ADAM: What's in your CD player these days?
PAT: "The Grand Duke", Gilbert & Sullivan's last operetta. "Capitol Records Rockabilly Party Vol. 1".
ADAM: The world ends tomorrow and the Ticketmaster Upstairs starts recruiting for the Eternal House Band. Who's playing?
PAT: The Kinks, circa 1966-1969.
ADAM: How about the House Band down in Hell?
PAT: Uncle Kracker.
ADAM: About how many live shows do you play in a year?
ADAM: You're lucky to have a rabidly loyal following; fans who seem like they know every word to every song. But surely every night isn't like that. What's the worst gig you've suffered through in the past few years?
PAT: I played at a college in Florida at lunchtime for 500 people who refused to turn around and watch me. I played to people's back for an hour. No applause. Nothing.
ADAM: You've been on the bar circuit for a long time now. Do you get sick of the Regent St. Retreat (Madison) and the Lounge Ax (Chicago)? Any chance you're going to retire from the scene some time and tour the coffeehouse circuit, playing sold-out shows of serious, acoustic love songs?
PAT: No. I'm too energetic and my attention span is too short.
ADAM: Going along with that, do you feel that the success of songs like "Sex & Beer" and "Screw You" makes it easier or harder to play more heartfelt material like "Ann Marie"? After you make them laugh once, do they expect you to make them laugh every time?
PAT: Harder. People like the funny Pat best.
ADAM: We share an alma mater. Did you have as much fun at UW as I did?
PAT: More. I could drink when I was 18.
ADAM: Whenever I've seen you in concert you always seem very on top of what's going on in the world, especially with pop culture. Where do you turn to for information when you're on the road so often?
PAT: The New York Times, subscriptions to about 20 magazines, entertainment TV, NPR, and scanning the radio dial in the van while traveling.
ADAM: Your three hotspots are Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. What are the differences you see between the crowds in those three cities?
PAT: Madison--most youthful. Milwaukee--most eclectic mix of people. Chicago--richest.
ADAM: Do you have any desire to spread the word to the coasts? Playing a show in, say, Los Angeles?
PAT: They just don't need Pat in L.A. They probably have dozens of me.
ADAM: Who let the dogs out?
PAT: Find them and kill them.
Pat McCurdy's latest CD, Fainting With Happiness, is available on Pat's web page at http://www.patmccurdy.com