Let The Bad Times Roll

Paul Westerberg talks about drinking, depressed fans, and finding a reason to live

Westerberg: I've had more people in my life take their lives than... I think it's out of proportion with most people. I think a lot of them gravitate towards me because of the music. I did an interview with a guy from England last week, and he was telling me about this Japanese fan who used to follow me around, and Alex [Chilton] and Peter Perrett and I were her three idols, and then he said she slit her throat. And I was like, "Ooh. Well, good day to you, too!"

It never stops. I get letters from people who are sick and I can't even look at the shit. It's like, "What should I do? I'm gonna kill myself or my friend's gonna kill himself." I don't know. I don't have the answer.


Darin Back

CP: I guess I wonder about you and Sylvia Plath, and back to the idea of the creative mind, which can make for an exhausting endeavor, where your livelihood or your life in general is built around making something out of thin air. At some point, some part of you wants rest from that, you want that to stop. I wonder if you identify with her that way.

Westerberg: Yeah. I guess I would think that one wouldn't kill oneself during a dry spell. Although, my experience when I've been depressed, not only am I too depressed to sit down and write a song, I'm too depressed to pick up my feet. So if you can at least write about it, you're halfway away from it. It frightens me, the different people who have done it and the different people who have surprised us and done it. I could never do it, I don't think. I'm too chicken.

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