Roots & Americana
Having breakfast with Supersuckers frontman Eddie Spaghetti is a hoot. Having breakfast with Eddie Spaghetti and his 4-year-old son, Quattro, is a goddamn laugh riot.
It is right that Quattro (thusly named because he is Edward IV, not in homage to glam rocker Suzi Quatro) joins us, because this repast is an excuse to discuss Old No. 2—Spaghetti's second foray as a solo artist into country music—on which Quattro is a featured guest vocalist.
Quattro's big number, the woozy "Sick As a Dog," was cut in two takes, he reveals between bites of grilled cheese sandwich. "I sang it one time and then after my nap I sang it again." (While you need not worry about seeing Spaghetti senior on Showbiz Moms and Dads, this is not Quattro's musical debut—he joined Pearl Jam to sing "Rockin' in the Free World" during a recent show up in Thunder Bay.)
Like father, like son. When Edward III was a boy, he lived for the rock, too. But the dominant popular music in Tucson, Arizona, where he spent his formative years, was country. As ringleader of a "young, urban, rock 'n' roll band" signed to Sub Pop, for many years Spaghetti feigned disinterest in Nashville and its ilk. But eventually, he caved. By 1995, when the Supersuckers met Willie Nelson, any lingering pretense of disdaining country evaporated. "Now I think the good, old, country guys are way more 'er'—cooler, tougher—than any punk rock dude ever was."
Old No. 2 features a mix of covers and originals. In a balls-out move, Spaghetti—who plays Sonic Boom Ballard and the Tractor on Tuesday, October 18—opens with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You." "I never even liked Dylan," he admits. "Everything about him annoyed me. Then in the last couple years I dug a little deeper, and boom, here I am covering his song."
That selection sets the tone for a record that is unexpectedly... well... tender, considering it comes courtesy of a dude who once sang "you can use my dick for a walking stick." Eddie was as surprised as anyone to find he had a lovey-dovey side. "It wasn't until I finished the album that I noticed there's a much more romantic theme than on anything else I've done before."
Old No. 2 also features his take on Tom Waits's "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," a perfect choice for a guy who has managed to get older without losing his lust for adventure. "That's another thing that is cool about country music: It's okay to grow up," Eddie concludes. "It's great to take the expiration date off of your artistic career. In any other profession, growing old is celebrated... but not in rock and roll. Which I still like—I want my rock and rollers to be kids in skinny jeans with cool haircuts, too—but there's room for everybody." Including some other "ers": fathers and preschoolers.