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Attention campers! Don't forget to listen to the music before you leave here -
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The Interview with Peter Cross, Part 1
"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" and Amy
In 1995, I lucked out by finding a cute young programmer named Amy who became my web site "design guru".
After we were finished working on this web site, Amy asked me to do an exclusive interview with her, and this is
what ended up being recorded:
Amy: OK, we're on tape.
Peter Cross: Great, Amy, why not? I love tape, I eat tape, I live for more tape - in fact, my entire life is
a quest for better recording tape. I also live for beautiful women like you, Amy.
Amy: Are you flirting with me, Mr. Cross?
Peter: Yeah, I'm a world class flirt - this boy just can't help himself.
Amy: Oh dear, Mr. Cross, you're making me blush! So now may I call you Peter?
Peter: Please do, Amy, because if you don’t, I may forget who I am, and I need all the help I can get these days.
Amy: All right then, are you really a serious artist?
Peter: No, Amy, I can't draw at all. And my painting is absolutely hopeless.
Amy: Peter, were you actually born in the West Village?
Peter: Yeah, at 50 West 9th Street to be exact, and my first food was breast milk. And that's how I later developed
my almost obsessive obsession (not with the milk).
Amy: How cool, Peter, you grew up in the West Village?
Peter: No, my parents moved to the suburbs when I was 3 to escape the crowds.
Amy: Then you are a suburbanite, Peter?
Peter: Worse than that.
Amy: How did the rock and roll business ever let you inside?
Peter: Pure accident. I was just barely learning drums, playing along with Young Rascals records (yeah, Dino
Dinelli) with just a snare drum, bass drum, high hat, and one cymbal, when I got a phone call from Tor Pinney from
“The Dolphins”! Wooo! They were the hottest band around because they had a regional hit record called
“Surfing East Coast”, a blatant rip-off of the Beach Boys "Surfing USA", and they had just lost their drummer and had
auditioned everybody in town and did not know where else to turn. I went down for the audition, and they asked me to
play only three songs with them. Can you imagine that? Well, dig this! The first song was Good Lovin',
the second was Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore, and the third one was Do You Feel It. All three were off the
first Young Rascals album! I got the job, of course. The Dolphins played up and down the East Coast, mostly
as second act to headliners, but because our equipment was already set up, we often backed up headliners such as The
Drifters, Little Anthony (who was getting littler all the time by then), and I believe we backed up the Coasters, although
I could not swear in court that they were the real Coasters because I distinctly remember there were a bunch of fake
Coasters at the time. I have a memory (but no mammary) of a resort called "Grossingers", a gross enough example of jewelry
and Jewery at its finest in the Catskill Mountains (hey, no offense, I’m Jewish by ancestry), and I seem to recall falling
off my drum stool over their performance of Charlie Brown and Poison Ivy. It is possible that I am inventing some of this
because I suffer from “short term mammary loss”, but the essence of the story is true, I think. At least for now, but I
reserve the right to change my testimony at any future date.
Amy: OK, so you joined The Dolphins, Porpoises, whatever . . . Then what? You
better say something really interesting in the next 30 seconds or my Interest Meter is going to cut off your oxygen flow,
and I do not wish to be associated with your bad odor!
Peter: Ummmm . . . (thinking fast) . . . The Dolphins changed into the Chains, which in turn changed into the first
public version of Steam, with the smash #1 hit entitled (groan), Oh Lord, “ Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss ‘Em Goodbye”, an
unbelievably unpoetic understatement that sold 5-1/2 million records internationally and maintained residuals to its
producer, Paul Leka, for all time as far as I know. Paul also produced “Green Tambourine”, so let us not condemn him out of
hand for complete lack of lyrical content, please. For his unique use of the tambourine alone in creating a record which is
actually half decent, Paul deserves to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Half Decent Music.
Amy: Your 30 seconds is up, and that was NOT interesting enough!
Peter: I was at Woodstock, behind the stage with Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm.
Amy: Can you prove it?
Peter: Many years later, I stayed with Wavy Gravy at his Camp for adults called Win-a-Rainbow in Layton, Ca., and he
remembers something about Woodstock, but nothing about me. I had seen a poster on a telephone pole in Berkeley that
advertised "guitar teachers on stilts" and I simply couldn't resist that. So I hopped in my car and drove all day up to
Layton. Wavy slept on a mattress right next to a stream on the property with no weather protection at all. He sat on his
mattress and played me a very heartbreaking song he wrote about his ex-wife, using a stringed instrument that only had one
string. Jorma Kaukonen from the Jefferson Airplane turned out to be the guitar player who was supposed to be on stilts but
I never saw him do that. He taught guitar at Wavy's camp and remembered me very well from when I met him at the Heliport in
Mill Valley, but with his short hair, I failed to recognize him. If that ain't enough, my sister was at Woodstock with me
but she is now a Buddhist Monk in France and runs the Zen Centre de Paris. You can call her if you want to. Amy, you don’t
think a Buddhist Monk would lie about a thing like that, do you?
Amy: No, just checking your credentials. Please hold . . .
Peter: I hate being put on hold. If it wasn’t you, Amy, I would definitely hang up.
Amy: OK, we’re back, and you apparently passed our credit check.
Peter: Whoopee-doo, can I buy, lease, or charge your boss?
Amy: You really push the envelope, don’t you Mr. Cross?
Peter: If you don’t call me Peter, I may just peter out of here.
Amy: Hmmmmmmmm . . . Let me check our insurance policy about petering out.
Peter: And while you do, let me tell you a bit about my life in Greenwich Village.
Amy: I thought you said you escaped to the suburbs?
Peter: Yeah, but at age 17, I escaped the suburbs and moved back to the Village - 49 Prince Street to be exact,
right in the heart of Little Italy, with the long black sedans, guys named Large Louie, and the smell of garlic pasta
intermingled with garbage of unknown origin.
Amy: This is supposed to be interesting to our audience?
Peter: Wait a minute . . . Hold the phone . . . Who IS your audience?
Amy: Well, it's only me and this recording machine just now, but you never
know how many people might eventually read what you're saying to me if I ever decide that you have anything worthwhile to
Peter: Wow, this is potentially historic! I'd better watch my spelling and grammar for all those unfortunates who
may have to study this interview for some music class, west coast enlightenment through “feeling” seminar, or other
accredited farce - whoops, I mean course.
Amy: You do have a knack for digressing. Can we get back to the point please?
How many stars have you met, and how many did you sleep with?
Peter: Amy, you're making me blush now! But to answer your question - over 17, and zero, respectively.
Amy: You slept with no stars at all? And you think our audience has some
OTHER interest in you?
Peter: No, I guess not. But I slept with many ladies who should have been stars. I will never forget any of them,
even though I don't remember any of their names. It was truly the best of times.
Amy: Well then, at a very minimum, will you remember my name? And for the
record, which stars did you actually meet?
Peter: Chronologically? To the best of my feeble recollection:
- King Louis the 1st (“They’re Coming to Take Me Away, ho ho, he he, ha ha”). The Dolphins were the second act.
- Ben E. King - The Dolphins were the second act.
- Little Anthony - The Dolphins were the second act. Hey! Second act to Benny the King and Little Anthony is really
- Freddy Scott - my one hit hero, possibly the greatest one hit singer of all time.
- Peter, Paul and Mary - at the Café Wha in the West Village. I thought they were just average, with not much vocal blend
at all, and so I advised them to stick to instrumentals. Good thing nobody ever listens to me!
- The Left Banke - at Mercury Records on 57th St. We met in the bathroom ("Smokin' in the Boy's Room", you know!).
- Half the cast at Woodstock, but with half the brains. The hash was memorable.
- Cat Stevens - in Nat Weiss’ gay apartment prior to the release of Cat's first hit "Baby it's a Wide World". Nat played
it for me while Cat sat there, but I refused to succumb.
- The Eagles - at the Record Plant in LA in the infamous “Rack Room”.
- Prince - at the Record Plant in Sausalito. He told me he was going to be a HUGE star, and after I listened to his
music, I advised him not to quit his straight job. So much for my knowledge of the record buying public!
- Sly Stone - who had a private bedroom at the Record Plant, Sausalito.
- Steven Stills - all night-er with some white stuff at the Record Plant, Sausalito.
- David Crosby - backstage. David was so nice, and very friendly.
- Graham Nash - backstage. Graham was the most gracious star I've ever met.
- Jerry Garcia - another all night-er at the Record Plant, Sausalito. Jerry was a brilliant conversationalist and he kept
me enthralled all night.
- Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassidy from The Jefferson Airplane and at that time, Hot Tuna - in Studio B at The Heliport in
- Ringo Star at the infamous “Clapp house” on Paradise Island, Nassau, The Bahamas (owned by Jamie and Jorje Bonnilla,
the equally infamous "Columbian Brothers" from that lovely city of Medellin).
- The God Jimmy Page - in my dreams!!!
There are more, but I would rather not get any further into it at this time (legal difficulties, potential conflict of
interest - you know . . .)
Amy: Yes, I've heard that you are getting some imitators already. I was going
to ask you about that. What the hell is Starcrost supposed to mean, anyway?
Peter: I am Peter Cross. Because of my horrendous personal karma when my children were kidnapped last year, I
became “The Crossed Star", and I decided to name my production company Starcrost as a result. My studio band, which does
not actually exist as a band is Crossfire, and my publishing company is named Hot Crossed Buns. I can go on with this cross
thing forever I think (that is, if Jesus does not actively object, and if He does, I’m outta here in a hurry and I will
legally change my name to Alonjosephus Smith and become a monk). If I host my own chat room, it will have to be named
Crosstalk (just as a tip-your-hat to AA), and then I suppose we will have to follow in the footsteps of Ted Turner and have
a Cross channel, and then imitate that inimitable Brandon guy with the record company, the airline, the balloons and the
Virgin stores which we will have to buy out and rename as Cross Stores which we will fill with priceless memorabilia signed
by me just before I die. One last thing. I make my own killer barbecue sauce from scratch. Guess what it's called? Cross
Amy: Cross Sauce? - that's a hoot! But our audience wants star talk.
Peter: I am Starcrost, you know, and there's supposed to be only one Starcrost in all of cyberspace.
Amy: That bit about the Cross Stores sounds like you're planing to die.
Peter: Well I wouldn't ever say "planning" to die, no. Expecting, yes. Planning, no.
Amy: I think it’s a question of how soon, isn’t it?
Peter: You hit the nail squarely on the head there, Amy.
Amy: I live a clean life, exercise regularly, eat well, pray daily, respect
the inherent integrity of all human beings, and I choose to live in California because my heart is with the Beach Boys and
these endless repetitive shopping malls populated by absolute non-entities. Except every now and then you come across a
Daniel Boone type character with a very large knife, who says . . . “Now THIS is a KNIFE"!
Peter: Hey, Amy, I spent an entire year living in southern California that I would just love to repeat over and over
again. I lived in a place called Paradise Point, right on the cliff overlooking the best semi-private beach in all of
California. Its official name is "Thousand Steps" beach, and it's actually located in South Laguna. You have to see it to
believe it, Amy! I rented an old house for $200 a month that was built by Bette Davis. Because she was a very short woman,
the ceilings were about 5-1/2 ft. high and I had to bend over all the time, but it was totally worth it to be on that beach
and to have the California ocean experience. There's a huge cave at the south end of the beach and there's lush flowered
vegetation everywhere. Women feel safe to go topless there. I've been to beaches up and down the entire California coast,
but I've never seen anything like this one! Nowadays, there probably isn't a house overlooking that beach that is worth
less than 10 million dollars.
Amy: That's great, Peter, but how many stars did you say you slept with,
Peter: I think we both need some sleep, Amy, you keep asking me that same question. This interview is concluded.
What do you say we title it Part 1?
Amy: I will have to check with our sponsors.
Peter: Take a meeting with them, Amy. Do lunch. And keep the receipt.
Amy: Our lawyers will be in contact with you, I’m sure.
Peter: Tell them that I look forward to having fun with them in court because I've actually represented myself in
In Pro Per and judges tend to like me. You don't believe me, Amy?
Then read The Truth About Lawyers .
Amy: OK, I will. But then this is the end of The Interview with Peter Cross,
Peter: There is no end, Amy - Einstein proved it!
Peter: Einstein was a very close personal friend of my family, Amy, and I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you
right now if it wasn't for old Albert. The entire story of what he did for my family is at:
Professor Albert Einstein - My Family's Savior . And THAT is the end of Part 1 of
Amy: You can’t just leave us hanging here, can you?
Peter: I’m afraid I have to, because we are about to get into really serious stuff, like the Theory of Relativity,
The Unified Field Theory, the origin of the universe, the reason for it all, why it keeps going in the face of apparent
failure, and where it will all end up! Stuff like that. I promise to explain it all, in Part 2 of this interview.
Peter: Please remind me when we resume this interview that you are entitled to three questions about anything at
all concerning life, God, etc. BS intellectual questions about obscure facts are NOT included, and I will truthfully answer
all three questions to the best of my ability, which is formidable.
THIS IS THE END OF PART 1
Sincerely, yours truly, warmest regards, forget-me-not . . . BE ALL YOU CAN BE
If you've gotten this far and you've been entertained, please continue on to Part 2 by clicking on:
The Interview with Peter Cross, Part 2
If you've gotten this far and you're wondering why you did it, go:
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Text and web page design copyright 1996 © Peter Cross