the "wrestling record"
and kathleen hanna

kathleen hanna's spiel at the end of "heartbeat" from mike watt's "ball-hog or tugboat" album (columbia records) from 1995:

"Hello. Mr. Watt. This is Kathleen Hanna returning your phone call. Bout 3:45 on Monday and it's about that fuckin record that you asked me to do something for. And I guess I'm responding to that now cuz I have a few minutes. And I just wanted to tell you...uh, I have a friend who was raped by, fucked by, whatever you wanna fuckin call it by this guy on your record, gonna be on your record. He's a big rockstar. Yeah when he was 27 and she was 13 he was a big rockstar too. And uh, I don't know if the phrase "power imbalance" means anything to you. But uh, I'm just not so sure I wanna be included in your little white rock boy fuckin hall of shame here, you know? I'm just like "Do I wanna be sandwiched in between some of these guys that are just doing the whole, like, big-white-baby-with-an-ego-problem thing?" I mean, [sighs] get over it! It's so boring. It's like, a lot of these guys should just fuckin quit music and become lifeguards at like Wild Waves or some shit. So they can just like get their fucking, you know, anger management thing going. They can just get their power trips out on the kids, they can just do the whole thing. Maybe they'd be actually saving someone's life. "Hey, don't run by the pool. No cutoffs." You know? That's what I hear when I hear some of this you know music by a lot of these fuckin guys, you know? And I mean, I guess what I'm saying is "I'm just too cool... to be on your fuckin record." You know? It's like I really don't wanna perpetuate or be included in a thing where it's just a bunch of like, I don't know, just like this new. The music coming out by guys right now in the sort of like rock world or alternative rock world or used-to-be-punk world or whatever. It's like the whole, "I'm a straight, white, middle class, male, rockstar guy, but I'm so fuckin oppressed." "I'm a loser baby why don't you kill me." [Sigh] Yawn. Like super fuckin yawn. So yeah, I guess what I'm saying is No. No. No. No. I'm not interested. No. I don't wanna be on your fuckin record. No. But ummm. Mr. Watt. Dude. Babe. Sir. Uh, you need to get me my fuckin Annie soundtrack back like soon cuz you've had it forever and I know you haven't even fuckin listened to it yet. Just like, gimme a call and tell me when that's going to happen. And ummm. I'll talk to you then. Bye."

- - - - - (addicted to noise - now r.i.p.) had kathleen hanna saying this about her part in the song:

ATN: How about "Heartbeat" [the answering-machine message from Hanna on Mike Watt's 1995 album, Ball-Hog Or Tugboat?, during which Hanna says she's declining to appear on the record because an alleged rapist is also on it]?

"You caught me in an honest mood, 'cause usually I lie," Hanna said.

Hanna: Yeah, that's different.

ATN: Now he called you up and asked you to do the actual song that your message is tacked onto?

Hanna: He didn't ask me to do a song. He didn't even ask me to do anything. I forced my way onto that record. OK, I'm going to tell you the truth. You caught me in an honest mood, 'cause usually I lie. That's really bad. I'm probably going to hang up the phone and have a total seizure, a panic attack. I'll be going, "Oh my God, I told the truth to someone."

I met Mike Watt, I don't even remember where. And he was telling me about his album. And I said, "It sounds like there's only one woman on this whole record, and there's, like, 300 guys." I was like, "What's the problem?" And he was like, "Do you wanna do it?" He didn't even know me. I don't even know if he knew I was in a band. And I said, "Yeah." Then I walked away, and I was visiting New York City and staying in a friend's apartment. I just spent an hour thinking about what I would want to do. The whole idea was that I didn't want to be on the record, and I kind-of said I wanted to be on the record to be annoying. And then I was like, "Uh-oh, I kind-of said I would do this." I don't think he gave a shit whether I did it or not. He just was like, "Whatever, you can do it." He's a pretty nice guy, a pretty funny guy, a pretty smart guy. Then I was like, what do I wanna do? And I was like, Oh my God, do I really want to be on a record with fuckin' Henry Rollins at this stage of the game? I mean, I love Black Flag, but c'mon. And I was like, this is really weird company to be keeping. I was like, "I don't want be on it, but I do want to be on it," so I decided to record that ambivalence. The way I figured I could do that was to record me rejecting being on the record. So it's this whole thing of recording my absence. Or recording the absence of resistance. That was my idea, to have a record of absence on the record.

It also made it an interesting thing because of the idea of authorship and ownership. People didn't know if I really had left that message on the machine, and then he just put it on without my permission. Or if I left the message on his machine hoping it would go on. The thing is, there was no machine, it was just a recording. He never really had my Annie record [a reference to Hanna's admonition to Watt at the end of the message to return a copy of the soundtrack album]. I made that whole thing up, I barely even know him. It's just art.

ATN: It's perfect. It's almost Andy Kaufman-like. I have written down here to ask you if Watt asked for your permission.

Hanna: Yeah, he did. It was a specific art piece, and I can say it now because everyone's forgotten about it. Actually my friend from junior high heard it on the radio. I was like, "Omigod." She's like, "You sound like such a freak, what's wrong with you?"

this page created 14 mar 06