4. Love - Happiness - Freedom
Sir Richard Bishop
BS: What about some of your worst gigs?
SRB: Oh boy. Solo, I’ve had gigs where nobody shows up…Solo, I haven’t really had many problems. In the early days of Sun City Girls, every gig was a question mark; you didn’t know what is going to happen. And I think that was great. That was kind of cool, because there were always punk crowds, people usually younger than us, just smart-ass kids who don’t know anything, but they’re playing the punk game. In the early days, they just hated us, because we didn’t play music they liked. We didn’t play music they can trash to. We played shit that fucked with their heads. Once we realized that, we just loved it, so we just kept doing that. Years later, some of these kids have grown up and I’ve heard from a few of them, over the years, ‘man, we didn’t get you back then, guys, but now I get it’.
DR: One day you’ll understand.
SRB: Yeah, kind of. I think that’s funny, but I also think it’s pretty great. At that time, it just wasn’t cool for the punk kids to like what we were doing, because they had all these other punk bands that they could identify with, that were kind of…predictable…You knew it’s going to be 3 chords over and over; we just never did that. We could have done it, we just never wanted to. We were weirder, for sure.
DR: What makes you happy?
SRB: Stay with good people around me, you know? I’ve got a great girlfriend for ten years. Love is important. And being able to do - I guess - what I want to do. That’s key. I’ve spent years working for other people having jobs, just like everybody does. Now I work for myself, I take responsibility if I fail or if I succeed and I try to just do things on my own terms. And it’s been easy to do that, the last several years. But I think that things are changing, it might get more difficult, because it’s just how the world is. But I think that’s really important – to be surrounded with the right people, don’t listen to anybody’s bullshit and just do your thing. But be ready to take the blame if anything goes wrong. I don’t like to depend on other people. I don’t want to depend on hand outs from my government; I don’t need any favors from anybody, I don’t want to owe anybody any money.
BS: Oh yeah.
SRB: And I don’t, right now. And that’s huge; I don’t have any debts or anything. So, yeah, I think just doing things on my own terms, as best as I can, I think that’s a huge thing and I hope I can continue doing that. I don’t harm anybody; you leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone, just let me be, don’t get in my shit, don’t tell me what to think or what to do, so everything is fine. But that’s changing, especially in the States. The States isn’t the greatest place in the world; everybody thinks it is, but it’s not.
BS: We have Mormons…running around here.
SRB: You have Mormons?
BS: From the US. They’re approaching people and the first question they ask is not about religion, but is ‘what do you think about USA?’ It’s all about the US.
DR: What about love? Since you mentioned earlier that love is important…
SRB: It depends on your definition of the word ‘love’. I don’t think there is a definition; you just know it. To me, it’s really important to have, in my case, not just a great girlfriend (with whom I’ve been together long enough to pass our bullshit, we’ve grown up), but it’s also people, friends. You know that they are there for you, if you need them. Family it’s kind of important too. The way I look at it is, the people I love in my life, if they would to go away, that would be really bad. That’s kind of how I look at it. And I think it’s because we’ve all lost people in the past, so we know what that could be like. So, if you find the right group of people - whether it’s one person, a girlfriend or boyfriend - it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, whatever - you find those people, you get them into your world and everybody is happy there, that’s huge, it’s just fucking huge. I’ve lost my parents, I’ve lost friends over years; Charles is a great example. Once they’re gone, you really can see the devastation that can do to you and to other people, so it’s like a wake up call. Don’t fuck it up. So that’s using love in that sense. It’s not just hippie love; it’s unconditional love, universal love. It’s not just love for people; it’s love for everything. You can always do so much. I’m not going to go around preaching love or anything, it’s not my job, people have been doing that for years and hasn’t gotten them anywhere. So it’s just an individual thing, you know? There are some people who probably don’t believe that, they believe in the opposite. And that’s fine, I don’t tell anyone what to believe. It’s important in my situation, but I don’t see how this couldn’t be important to anybody in that situation, so… that’s just one of those things.
BS: Maybe for some people, they’ve never seen it. It’s not that they don’t believe in it, they’ve just never seen it happen. They just go around doing business. (laughs)
SRB: Yeah, well, maybe they have to do that for a while before it happens, who knows? But I also think you have to be open to it. You have to let it come to you as well. I think if you go looking for it, it isn’t going to happen.
BS: Someone told me that she’s afraid not to get hurt, so for that she prefers to keep distance from everyone.
RB: I think that’s common with a lot of people. Because she’s probably been hurt. I mean, we’ve all been hurt, probably. That’s part of life, man, that’s how you learn more about it, you got to hurt. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who’s never been hurt in any way; that person must be dull. You got to have the range of emotion and just life experience - I think - to know what’s possible. Nobody wants to get hurt. And at the time, anytime I’ve been hurt emotionally, whether it was from family or loved ones, old girlfriend or whatever, at that time is was horrible, when it was happening. But then I realized, shortly or after a little later, that ‘no, it had to be that way, that was absolutely necessary for that to happen, because of this, of what I’m doing now, otherwise this wouldn’t have happen or whatever… I don’t know. It’s just - kind of - an old philosophical, metaphysical and spirituality in there.
BS: Speaking of spiritually, I personally think that, if anything divine exists, it’s multiple; it’s not one thing. How do you see it?
SRB: I don’t know.
BS: Me neither, I’m just speculating a little bit.
SRB: I’m not really a religious person in that sense, but I think certainly spiritual. I’ve spent a lot of my life studying religions; other religions mostly - Hinduism, Buddhism. But only because I’m interested in certain aspects of it, not that I’m going to worship it or anything, it’s just that I find it interesting, it’s an interesting subject.
You take the sun away; we’re all fucked; so that’s pretty important, that’s like a god, almost. You got a massive universe that we know nothing or very little about, so, yeah, I don’t know if it’s multiple, or one, or whatever, but there’s a lot more out there that’s bigger than me. I know that. And I think people over time have just put different names to different things, representing different things, and at some point, certain people into certain positions realized the power they can have by just focusing on one thing and just try to rule, based on that. And that’s where I just disagree with it, because it doesn’t work that way, no. But most people believe it does work that way; and that’s cool.
BS: So it’s not really how you present it, but it’s more like what you do with it, right? You can turn anything into shit.
SRB: Sure you can, absolutely. It’s just how you feel about it and how you experience it. I’ve had some crazy experience in my life - spiritual, magical, evil; I’ve had a lot of stuff. I don’t question any of it, I just recognize it ‘ok, this happened, this happened, what’s it all mean? I don’t know. But it means something. It’s real; to me it’s real. But I’m not going to go and tell people about it, because that was for me. It hasn’t anything to do to you, or to you…you have your own experiences; your own…exchanges with whatever energies are out there. It almost has to be individually experienced; because what works for me is not going to work for you guys, and vice versa. What you tell me is not going to convert me in any way. But a lot of people do that.