life has taken more twists and turns than the PCH. The 49-year-old gained early notoriety as the lead singer of seminal Orange County punk rockers
. After five years fronting the group, Grisham left amid rumors of substance abuse and acrimony from the more mainstream hard rock direction in which the group was heading.
No. I had no idea what was going on. I guess they sent me a letter and it got returned because the address was wrong. Then, she sent an email explaining that I received this award. At first we thought it was bullshit like, "I'm a Nigerian banker. I'm sending you an award so send me your social security number and your bank account." It's just like...you won an award and it only cost you $500 to pick it up [laughs]. Both she [Debbie] and her son would come to my shows together. That's the cool thing about TSOL. We've been around for so long--since 1980. I actually had a kid say to me "Hey, my grandfather turned me on to you guys." So, they thought I should get the nomination for the arts. Hey, why not? Who else are they going to give it to around here? Somebody that deserves it [laughs]
What do you feel has been the greatest achievement in your career?
I don't know.. that sounds bad. I don't think I've done it yet. I'm always looking for something new--I just finished a book that comes out in May, which was a big deal. I will probably make a couple of more records and write a movie. I'm still alive...that's a big achievement. Especially since all my friends are dead. You know what the cool thing about being alive is? When your alive, the kids actually show some respect for you because you've been around for so long. They say, "Fuck, he may be a prick but he's still alive." You want to know a funny story?
I was doing an interview one time at my mother's house. Growing up, my mother's house was always crazy. My grandmother got Alzheimer's, but my mother didn't want to put her in a home. So, we tied her to a chair in the living room--like a seatbelt. It was a bathrobe tie, and we tied her to a recliner so she couldn't get up. We were trying to take care of her.
[Grisham's manager]: It's called elder abuse!
Well, she's roped in and these journalists were coming over to do an interview. It's 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I'm in a navy-blue Japanese dress--I wore it to piss my dad off, and I forgot they were coming. The journalists showed up and I tell them to come in. They turn around and see an old lady tied to a chair, and she's looking at them and growling. So, I'm still in a dress talking to them on the couch and my mother comes downstairs and she goes, "Oh, great. Oh, great. Another interview where ever word is fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck." Then, she just walks out of the house. When the article came out and it described the scene, it said, "Jack had no idea we were showing up. There was an old woman tied to a chair, and all of a sudden--what we think is his mother, suddenly walks down the stairs screaming 'Fuck."' When the interview came out, I gave it to my mother and said, "Damn right, another article where all they say is fuck in it, Mom!"
You're a clinical hypnotherapist and a master neuro-linguistic programmer. Has your past helped you to help others? How is your Huntington Beach practice doing?
Yes. I think a lot of it is a matter of empathy. I see and help a lot of people. Do you know who Soupy Sales
is? He's a famous comedian. His sons, Hunt and Tony Sales played with David Bowie
and Iggy Pop
. Anyway, I played with Hunt Sales for a long time. He's a total character with gold teeth, and the best drummer in the world. So, he had a birthday party and his mother goes, "Hey Jack, come inside. I want to show you some nice cake I got for Hunt." She shows me the cake, and it says: "Nigga please, you are da' cheese." She was 90 and clueless.
Your first book, 'An American Demon' is slated to be released in 2011. How long did it take you to write your memoir?
For the last six months, I've been writing my book. I had the idea to write a book in 2005. I spent a year on it and gave it to an agent who said it was shit. I sent it to a friend of mine and he said, "Jack, I know you and I really like you, but I'm 15 pages in this book and I want to shoot you. You are an asshole and I hate this character." I said, "Well what am I going to do?" A big shot manager around here sent a tape of me giving a reform talk to prison inmates to a person in New York. They got someone to help me, but then the entire economy collapsed. Then, I had no one to help me because there was no money. I'm stuck writing it by myself, but I didn't want to make it fucking boring and I had a deadline. I was writing this book and it was still a piece of shit. So, I was walking in the wetlands out here and I got my idea. I thought, " Oh my god, this is it!" I came home that day and starting rolling with 10,000 words the first day. I sent it back to the agent in New York who said, "It's intelligent, dark, humorous. It's fucking everything." It's funny because the ECW publishing company that's out of Toronto is located in a country that I'm not allowed to visit. I'm not welcome in that country, so I can never go to the offices to talk about my book.
What can we expect to read in it?
I'm in my office all day writing. My family actually did an intervention on me, because I was always locked up in the office for 20 hours a day eating bad food.They thought my methods had become unsound. My daughter said, "Dad, you need to come live with me because you've completely lost it." I was 48 at the time and she pictured me in a pair of Depends on the sofa. That's what she was thinking. You know, once you get an idea for a story, it won't stop. The book is done, but its being typeset for print, and now I'm going through the pages word by word. Now I'm tearing it apart again. I'm thinking, "Fuck, did I really write that?" It doesn't make any sense... Getting the editing done has been my focus. The book is really trippy. There are people snatching bodies in the book and gods that turn into demons. It's a novel based on my life, but it has nothing to do with me. It has to do with me, but it really has nothing to do with me--if that makes any sense. It's like the three sides of man. The character has multiple personalities.
[Grisham's manager]: It's a novel based on your life.
Yeah, just as much as the World Trade Center is based on Bush blowing it up [laughs]
Do you identify with this character who is a sociopath?
Well, I wrote the shit. There has been times when I've beaten people. It's pretty funny to hit someone in the back with a bat or something...Sometimes that's funny. You laugh when people get hurt, right?