You've been given a robot that can be trained to perform one standardized
task perfectly, as often as necessary. What do you train it to do?
Tony Goddess: Punch-ins.
You are seriously ill. There are two vaccines that will save your life,
but both have side effects: one will permanently eliminate your sense of
taste, and the other will permanently eliminate all feeling in your
genitals. Which vaccine would you choose?
Tony Goddess: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd keep taste, I suppose. Presuming I already have found a mate that will stick with me through this terrible time. Sexuality is pretty much all in the brain anyway, and my genitals don't like tabasco as much as my mouth.
Somehow you've gotten into a fight with someone twice your size. Where do
you aim the first punch?
Tony Goddess: I refuse to engage in genital warfare, so, if possible, the throat.
The "fast-forward" and "skip" buttons on all your stereo equipment are
broken, and you can't afford to repair them right now. For the time being,
you can only listen to albums from beginning to end, without skipping any
songs. What albums in your collection are still listenable?
Tony Goddess: All of them. I really try not to keep records around that aren't merited, but a few...Radio City from Big Star, At Yankee Stadium by NRBQ, Call Me from Al Green, Toots and the Maytalls' Funky Kingston, Miles Smiles, From Elvis in Memphis, Dwight Twilley's Sincerely...
If given the perfect opportunity to be unjust, would a just person succumb
Tony Goddess: I suppose not but it really depends on the level of unjustedness.
You've been asked to write the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on
yourself. What does it say?
Tony Goddess: Oh, you know, born in Wilmington, Delaware. Played trombone as a child. Later studied guitar for a year and moved to Boston for college. In school started pApAs fritAs in attempt to challenge frat band hegemony, went on to worldwide fun. Currently living in France trying to finish lyrics.
You've somehow been given the chance to spend the day with a character (not
an actor) from any film or television program. Who do you choose?
Tony Goddess: Is this before or after my genitals are rendered useless? I'm drawing a blank here. I'd like to have a beer with Homer. Or smoke a joint with dem boys in River's Edge.
If you could instantly learn to play one instrument that you don't
currently play, what would it be?
Tony Goddess: Well I can barely play piano, but I'd love to be able to play like Bill Evans.
Otherwise, never having tried, tenor sax.
The people of the town where you were born want to name a building after
you. They've asked you to choose the sort of building that best matches
your personality. What kind of building do you choose?
Tony Goddess: Some old DuPont mansion that's utilized in helping people.
What month of the year do you least anticipate? Why?
Tony Goddess: Oh, I guess May. I love fall/winter so I'm looking forward to those months, and the summer means I can go swimming. January's the new year, February's cool cuz it's only got 28 days. March you're starting to notice the weather, April is my girl's birthday. May, you're just waiting for summer to get here.
What animal would you most like to house in your back yard, if you could?
Tony Goddess: That's tuff. I guess a dolphin, but I'd want to make sure it had enough room to be happy. If not, some kind of friendly monkey.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Tony Goddess: At first a footbal player, then a musician.
What's the best advice you've ever received? Who gave it to you?
Tony Goddess: "Music is sound organized in time" -- John Dougherty, my guitar teacher. Not sure if that's really advice, though. How about "You should check out Smile" from a clerk at Pipeline records? Or "Look both ways before you cross the street." Or "accentuate the positive." Johhny Mercer I think. Or "If you want a do right woman, you gotta be a do-right man." -- Dan Penn. Actually, right now, it's "Get off in it." -- Eddie Hinton.
You've been invited to perform as the middle act in a three-act bill. You
get to choose the other two artists. Who opens for you, and who follows
Tony Goddess: These kind of questions are so hard. Allowing that it's okay to get blown off the stage, NRBQ to open and Sly and the Family Stone circa 1968 to close. That's for a real dancing show. Otherwise, Thelonius Monk with Coltane on sax to open, and Otis Redding to close.
If you could buy any rare collection in the world, which collection would
you choose? (This doesn't have to be a famous collection...but it can be.)
Tony Goddess: This is kind of open ended. I suppose the collection of master tapes sitting in the basement of Capitol Records. Or maybe the collection in the Louvre, which I could turn around and sell, minus a few nice ones for the house. Or Rick Nielson's guitar collection. I'd probably go with that one.
You've been placed in the Witness Protection Program, and must change your
name. You're able to pick your new name. What do you call yourself?
Tony Goddess: Philippe Decoster.
What lesson should the world learn from the failure of all those dotcom
Tony Goddess: As the Lilys said, better can't make your life better. I don't want my computer to live my life for me. I prefer my mysteries to take time in unraveling. To tell you the truth, I don't know too much about it; my friends who were involved seemed to work hard and do they best they could, but in general I think large portions of American industries don't undertand that a lot of people don't want new, better, faster, etc.
What steps should airlines take to help avoid a repeat of the September
Tony Goddess: All of them. Better security, cockpit protection, cross checking passenger lists with Government security lists, a new identification system involving fingerprints, although that would help in more situations then just passenger verification.
What is the greatest invention of the last ten years?
Tony Goddess: Don't know, have there been any great ones? Any sort of vaccine or cure, I suppose.
Thanks to a breakthrough in technology, you can have a perfect
memory-recording of one event in your life. Everything is included --
taste, smell, sound, vision and feeling; it basically means that you can
relive the event over and over again. What event would you want to relive?
Tony Goddess: The moment I fucked everything up. No, um, there's none that I'd care to experience over and over again, I suppose I just look forward to tomorrow. Otherwise, maybe a family trip to the Grand Canyon.
What toy from your childhood would you most like to track down now?
Tony Goddess: My bike.
Assuming that money, legality, etc. is no object, what is your intoxicant
Tony Goddess: What about addicition? If that's no problem then... But on a day to day basis... I don't really drink to get drunk, so I'd have to say the devil's weed. Otherwise I'd like to try those toad skins you hear so much about.
Which is more dangerous in the wrong hands -- guns or knowledge?
Tony Goddess: Depends on the scale. These days, I'd have to say knowledge.
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Papas Fritas were last heard from on 2000's Buildings and Grounds, which inspired our then-staffer Deirdre Devers to write, "Buildings and Grounds will strike a chord with those who are products of the late '60s and '70s and grew up at a time when multiple harmonies and 'baa, baa, baa, baa' choruses populated the airwaves. Guitarist Tony Goddess, bassist Keith Gendel and drummer Shivika Asthana all take turns on vocals without causing the listener to wonder 'Who let that tone-deaf moron get behind the microphone?'"
-- George Zahora