The Flashback Interview: Stacey Q
My newest Pop Geeks interview subject, Stacey Q, is actually one of the very first talents I ever had the pleasure of interviewing. We were connected to each other by our mutual friend Shawn Winstian on MySpace in the late 00s, and I did an e-mail interview with her that was published on a short-lived website called Old School 4 Life. I was with that site during a brief period of time where I’d left my writing base, RetroJunk.
I would later republish the interview on RetroJunk when Old Schoool 4 Life went down, and it got a decent response. I actually had the good fortune to talk briefly to Stacey Q on the phone in 2007. I only got her call because I’d left work early that day due to hurting myself on the job. Me and Stacey got along very well, but as MySpace faded and I lost her number, I had the feeling that I would never have the chance to talk to her again, a feeling that saddened me as I felt a support from her that I didn’t feel from my immediate family at the time.
Many years later, Shawn gave me some updated contact information for Stacey Q. I reached out once in 2021, but my writing for this site kept me busy, and I didn’t reach out to her again until this year about the possibility of a new interview. Even though we’d only talked on the phone once before 2023, from our conversation, it was clear we’d made an impact on each other, and that impact is reflected in the interview you’re about to read, an interview that reflects the maturity and wisdom I’ve gained over the past decade-and-a-half or so.
Say hello again to Stacey Q!
Johnny: Hello, Stacey.
Stacey Q: Good morning, Johnny Caps.
Johnny: How are you?
Stacey Q: Very well, thank you. How are you?
Johnny: I’m doing very well. I’m really looking forward to this. Let’s start with this. Before revisiting the early days once more, I would like to ask about your more recent work, starting with SSQ’s 2020 album Jet Town Je T’Aime. Having listened to the album, it seems like a bit of a concept album, and to my ears, the concept sounds like travel. Would that be accurate to say?
Stacey Q: Well, I guess so. It is a universal thing. A couple of the songs are mine, but the majority of the record is Jon’s. He, of course, traveled a lot, and lived in France for a long time before I met him, so I would say traveling to France (laughing) more than just plain traveling. Yes, I think you’re right that there is that.
Johnny: Alright. Of all the songs you worked on for the album, which are you most proud of having written?
Stacey Q: Maybe I have a big ego, but if anything of mine makes it on, it’s usually something I’m very proud of. Land Of Snow, I guess, because I wrote that one all by myself. I love the song Land Of Snow as it’s about Tibet and their beliefs. It’s Land Of Snow and Two Weeks In Paris. Those are the two that I’m proud of.
Johnny: And what excellent songs they are.
Stacey Q: Oh, thank you.
Johnny: As the album’s songs have their share of remixes, who would you most like to have remix a song from it next?
Stacey Q: I’m going to always go with Jon. I’ve always liked our mixes better. Someone reworked a remix of Shep Pettibone’s Don’t Make A Fool Of Yourself, which we’re now adding to the live sets on the Lost 80s Tour this year. That’s going to be fun. I vote for us. We like remixing our own stuff, but maybe this is what you’re looking for. A few years ago, somebody that my boyfriend went to school with, Dave Aude, did those great remixes on S&M and E.T.. I think Dave Aude wins the award for remixing.
Johnny: Alright. Speaking of collaborations along those lines, we were first introduced to each other many years ago by a mutual dear friend, Shawn Winstian, who has collaborated with you on several projects, most notably the 2010 album Color Me Cinnamon. What made that album so special for you to work on?
Stacey Q: A big shout-out to him and his mother. They could use everybody’s well wishes. It was special since I hadn’t really made an album since 1989. We did release the Greatest Hits, but that was different. There’s also the fact that Shawn Winstian collaborated with Jon and I on the songs. It was very fun. It was like working on it with your family.
Johnny: Okay. One of the album’s most noted songs was Going Goth. As the term means many different things to many different people, what did Goth mean to you in this context?
Stacey Q: Well, I’ll say it again. Even though it sounds a lot like my catchphrases in Shawn’s songs, Shawn penned the poems. I know what it means to me as far as singing the song goes, but as far as the sentiment of it, you would have to ask Shawn because he’s the one who holds all those secrets.
Johnny: Okay. If I may ask one more question about Color Me Cinnamon…
Stacey Q: Sure!
Johnny: Two more songs that stand out for me from that album are the songs Below The Surface and Masquerade. They both seem to speak about identity, sexual in the case of Below The Surface and personal in the case of Masquerade. Is that what you were aiming for with those songs?
Stacey Q: I believe that Shawn, in the lyrical content, expressed himself quite clearly, and I think your list of things just now are the things he wanted to address. You understand the songs. i used to have to ask him, “Shawn, what’s it about?”, but you get it.
Johnny: Eh, it’s the writer in me. I love words.
Stacey Q: Yes, I believe it is (laughing).
Johnny: Now, jumping back to your very early days, you started out as a dancer, so who were your biggest influences as a dancer?
Stacey Q: As a dancer, the classical ballet is my influence. I can’t really claim any others because that is the only form of dance I had such a love affair with. That’s all I wanted to do. When that came crashing down, as things often do when you’re young, I had to pick other things. For years, decades, I had a hard time picking one, so thank god Jon came along so I could apply it.
Johnny: To stay with dance, I’ve asked this of friends and former interview subjects like Jamie Rose and Shelley Michelle, and now I’d like to ask it of you as well: If you could put any dancers from throughout history on your dance card, who would you like to cut a rug with?
Stacey Q: Does it have to be men? Because most of the dancers I love are women.
Johnny: You can choose anyone.
Stacey Q: I’ll have to go with Svetlana Zakarova, the great ballerina from the Bolshoi, and my grandfather. I wish I could dance once more with my grandfather, Paul Tibbet.
Johnny: So dancing’s been a part of your family for a long time, huh?
Stacey Q: Well, singing, actually. Lawrence Tibbet, the great baritone from America, the best there will ever be, and that’s no dis to some of the guys who have played The Phantom. They’re awesome, and I might even have a secret crush on one, but Lawrence was a great opera singer, self-taught. He’s my third cousin, my grandpa’s cousin, so it’s in the family.
Johnny: To go to a different question, it’s well-known that you were a cast member at Disneyland in the 70s. Was that only as a dancer, or did you ever play any characters, face or otherwise?
Stacey Q: I was originally cast, at 11 years old, as the original Dutch Puppet in Pinocchio, and while that was a character, it was just a dancer. If you know Pinocchio, you know The Dutch Puppet and Stromboli, but most people don’t, so that’s the character that I danced for several years.
Johnny: Okay. You’re not the only Disneyland cast member from the 70s that I’ve interviewed as I also count actress Kimmy Robertson of Twin Peaks fame among my friends, so did you ever cross paths with her during your time as a cast member?
Stacey Q: I’m sorry. I don’t know her, and I don’t believe so. Maybe I have. I was 11 years old when I started there, and sometimes I see people from the past, like Tom Tancredi, for instance. He’s stayed with Disney, as has Barnett Ricci, the great choreographer. The last I checked, she was still working with Disney in Burbank, and Barnett Ricci is a great choreographer.
Johnny: Alright. According to Wikipedia, an early musical gig of yours’ was impersonating members of The Go-Go’s for promos on a California radio station, so have you ever crossed paths with any of The Go-Go’s during your travels as a musician, and if so, what did they think when you told them about the impressions?
Stacey Q: You know what, Johnny? That’s an adorable question. I thank you very much because, as you probably know, Belinda Carlisle is going to headline the L.A shows for Lost 80s Live. I know Belinda and Jane Wiedlin, but I never said it directly to them that I did that for KMET, but those were soundalikes, which were universally famous.
Johnny: Alright, so going back to music, this year marks the 40th anniversary of SSQ’s debut LP Playback, so will you be doing anything special to mark the occasion, or is it still too early in the year to tell?
Stacey Q: You might not believe this, Johnny, but when you’re friends and bandmates with people that long, and you’re still together, it’s very important to celebrate. Every day, we make it a point to do something special for each other as the decades roll by.
Johnny: Well, it’s very good to have friends like that…
Stacey Q: Like you, Johnny. That’s why we’re speaking at this moment. You are, by osmosis, an old friend of ours’.
Johnny: Thank you so much.
Stacey Q: No, thank you.
Johnny: What are your favorite memories of the video shoot for Synthicide?
Stacey Q: I’m afraid to tell you because they would be so candid that I don’t dare say them.
Stacey Q: Well, it was our first big, major label video shoot, and I was green, so I was throwing fits about them having stand-ins for me because their hands didn’t look like mine, and all this stuff. They were just laughing at me. I remember that what we wore was very special because a friend of Jon’s family, Alan, had made those. Jon designed the jumpsuits, and Alan made them. I designed my dress, and he made that for us, so that was very special as well. There was also the fact that we shot that at the Desilu studios, the lot where they used to shoot I Love Lucy.
Johnny: Cool. Speaking of music videos, you did some, if I may be so bold, scorching hot work in the videos for SSQ’s Screaming In My Pillow. Was there any nervousness on your part about what those videos required, or were you ready for it when filming?
Stacey Q: I have one phrase for you: Aah, youth! I was 23, so what do you care? Actually, I was trying to emote at one point, and I was crying before the shot. The DP ran up to me and said, “Honey, are you okay?”. I said, “I’m just acting, you fool. Don’t you know that?”.
Johnny: Well, the song does have a rather wistful tone to it, especially with the harmonica at the beginning. I think it’s a very underrated song.
Stacey Q: In many cases, yet. I’ll tell you that in India and South Korea, SSQ was a big hit, and even though we got banned in Germany for the SS, which has nothing to do with the Nazis, they kept it on. Here in America, there’s a radio station in Salt Lake City that has always adored that song. Just two years ago, when I started touring with Lost 80s Live, the people from the radio station said, “I remember that song, Screaming In My Pillow”. Salt Lake City and India loved it. Everybody else probably didn’t even see the record. It was hard to find.
Johnny: You never know where it will be a hit.
Stacey Q: You never know (laughing).
Johnny: On a similar note, jumping ahead to the late 90s/early 00s, you collaborated with the late Karen Dior on several musical projects, so what are your favorite memories of collaborating with her?
Stacey Q: I would like to clear the air about that. Some of this might sound harsh to some people, but I’m thinking that the people that see these things you write will really want to know. Several things stand out. First of all, Karen approached me…Geoff, as I call him.
Stacey Q: The fact was he was sick with AIDS, and I would’ve done anything for him. That’s just the truth. His friends took care of me when I was feeling ill myself.
Johnny: Duly noted.
Stacey Q: Thank you very much, because I love Geoff and his friends. Sharon Kane, if you’re out there, I love you, very much so.
Johnny: Returning to the 80s, this year also marks the 35th anniversary of Hard Machine. Looking back on it, what did you do with that album that you don’t think you did with Better Than Heaven?
Stacey Q: That’s interesting. When it comes to the song Hard Machine, Rusty Anderson, who now plays guitar with Paul McCartney, was playing in my band at the time. We came into the studio and we set everything up, and I sang it live. We actually recorded that song live all together. I just wrote the words quickly, and then Rusty Anderson said, “Wow, you guys sound great! You must have done this song a lot”. The truth was that we had never done it before, so that song was recorded live. That’s the difference.
Johnny: Staying with that album, what was the inspiration behind the song Don’t Make A Fool Of Yourself?
Stacey Q: To be completely honest, I think it’s self-explanatory. You’re just telling your lover, “Don’t be a jerk”. That’s it.
Johnny: I can understand that. Sometimes the best songs are the direct ones. Staying with the album, the song I Love You is a very fast song, so have you ever been tempted in some performances to do a more slowed-down version?
Stacey Q: The song I Love You is about my best friend Danny, who passed away, so no. Slowing it down would probably make me cry more rivers.
Johnny: Sorry about that.
Stacey Q: Oh, sweetie. Don’t apologize. We’re all good. That’s life, you know? These things happen.
Johnny: Similarly, although your performances in 80s-themed concerts have you performing your songs in a style reminiscent of the original recordings, would you ever redo them at other concerts in a different way like, say, Two Of Hearts in the style of, and I hope I’m not bringing up a sore point, the Sue Gatlin version, or with the Japanese lyrics of Yoko Nagayama’s version?
Stacey Q: Let me say, for both of those young women, I have no sore feelings. It’s more the dealings of the other people, but Sue Gatlin, I will always be grateful, and Yoko Nagayama, if somebody covered your song and they became a big star in Japan, that was okay. It was like bootleg records. I have nothing against them, but as far as the music biz goes, I’m not knocked out. Do you need me to elaborate?
Johnny: Just a little. I guess when you say you’re “not knocked out”, that means you’re just used to it?
Stacey Q: It means it’s just a nice way of saying what I’d like to say (laughing).
Johnny: Well, to go to a different song, on your album Boomerang, you covered George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord, so is George Harrison your favorite Beatle, do you prefer a different Beatle, or do you like them all equally?
Stacey Q: I can’t believe that you’re asking me that question because I’ve just spent the last couple of days only listening to The Traveling Wilburys and KD Lang duetting with Roy Orbison. Boy, I’ve learned so much just by listening. George Harrison is not my favorite Beatle, but I think The Traveling Wilburys are one of my favorite projects that an ex-Beatle was ever on. I think he got involved in projects more so than anyone else.
Johnny: Yeah, I can see that. He was always collaborating whereas the other Beatles kept to themselves somewhat.
Stacey Q: It seems to me that George Harrison was just a straight-shooter. He didn’t yuck it up or try to get you to adore him like some others. He would say it, and everyone would go, “Oh, my god. Why didn’t I say that?”. He just said the truth, even if it didn’t sound good.
Johnny: Staying with you, though, your singing voice has a very diverse tone, so how many octaves is your voice?
Stacey Q: I could not tell you because I’ve never had any singing lessons or coaching, but I’ve been told it’s a 7.
Johnny: Impressive. I say a diverse tone, and I mean it as a compliment because you have a very good singing voice. There’s a live video of you from the late 80s performing We Connect on The Late Show With Joan Rivers…
Stacey Q: …Which is a great clip (laughing).
Johnny: Yeah. I mean, you really rocked that song live, and you did an amazing job with the vocals.
Stacey Q: Well, that particular show was a culmination from since the day I met Jon in 1981. It culminated in doing a good job live there, you know? I had to work very hard, and I’m still working very hard. I’m not a singer. Like I said, I’m a dancer, but I sure love singing. Maybe not as much as Lady Gaga, but the reason I make records is because I’m still trying to do better, and I love it. What can I do? I love the recording process, and I love fronting a band in front of people, too, which is something that was never on my list of things I wanted to do (laughing).
Johnny: Well, it’s amazing work you do. Transitioning to your film work, one of SSQ’s best songs is (Tonight) We’ll Make Love ‘Til We Die from the soundtrack to The Return Of The Living Dead. I think that song should’ve been nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar at the 58th Academy Awards, so did Orion Pictures ever put together such a For Your Consideration campaign?
Stacey Q: I’m not the one to ask. If Dan O’Bannon was here, you could’ve asked him, but there were plenty of people who were involved with the project. When they released an anniversary project, I was the music spokesperson, which I was very grateful for. It could’ve been .45 Grave or anybody, but they picked me, and so that’s why the music video appears on the reel, and that’s why I was invited to the book signing. Boy, was that a good feeling. Being involved in a film that most people found laughable, but is now often found in the Top 5 of horror films is just incredible.
Johnny: Indeed. It’s definitely a classic. There were not only several SSQ songs on the soundtrack to the 1985 comedy Cavegirl, but you yourself played the character of Brenda in that movie, so what are your favorite memories of that shoot?
Stacey Q: Oh, my god. Have we not ever covered this? Because we could write a book on that stuff. Most of it’s hilarious. Some of it’s not. I remember a little girlfriend of mine who was making music also. Her name was Sydni King, and she was hip to all the new wave and alternative stuff. We used to groove at night to artists like The Dominatrix. We’d dance around with bows in our hair.
Daniel Roebuck became a huge, famous, award-winning actor. He did some very big films, like The Fugitive with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. There’s them, and Dan Roebuck, and he was kind to me. He really grew into a great actor, and I love him very much.
Johnny: Fantastic to hear. In 1989, you played Leah Jennings in the action movie One Man Force. How did you get involved in that project?
Stacey Q: Almost anything acting-wise, after I started singing with Jon, they called us. I didn’t have an agent, I wasn’t farming out for work, and it takes all your energy to make it in that field. Whereas some people can do it all, I had to concentrate on the band.
My agent was originally Michelle Pfeiffer’s agent. His first name was John, and what he did for me on that movie when they cast me was tell me, “No matter what, the first time you appear on screen like that, you have to get [blank blank blank amount of dollars]”. When John said, “What should we ask them for?”, I said that, and we got it, so I will always be grateful for John.
I have no idea how Hollywood people feel about him. I knew Michelle Pfeiffer as she lived in Garden Grove and I lived in Anaheim, so we were much closer than one would’ve thought. That movie, John got for me. I didn’t quote the price, but I remember an attorney named Jimmy Mulholland told my friend Phil Speedman, who had tried to bring me to the William Morris Agency. I had a contract there, but it didn’t work out, so those are my thoughts there.
Johnny: Okay. Jumping onto TV, you played Cinnamon on two episodes of The Facts Of Life, so did you feel welcomed by the cast during your time on the show?
Stacey Q: Is that a trick question? (Laughing) I have to say yes, very much so. I felt welcomed by the representatives of the rest of the cast. I’ll say that Mindy Cohn and Cloris Leachman were absolutely, fabulously great to me, and the rest of them? It’s water under the bridge. Afterwards, Nancy McKeon and her brother actually came to our studio to record after that, so you know what they say in California if you’re a beach bum. It all comes out in the saltwater.
Johnny: It’s true. You appeared on several episodes of the late-80s revival of The Hollywood Squares, so what, in your opinion, was your funniest bluff when you were called on?
Stacey Q: I don’t know if they actually showed it, but my funniest bluff was a dis on Davidson, so I’m not sure. I wasn’t very funny, but the ones that were funny? I don’t think they made it because they were a little too funny. I hesitate to say it because I didn’t have any reason to say anything weird about anybody. I will tell you that Tommy Chong was my hero at that shoot.
Johnny: Oh, cool.
Stacey Q: Tommy Chong and Charo were my heroes, and Joan Rivers, of course. Joan Rivers was a love of a friend to me, and I love her very much.
Johnny: Fantastic to hear. A rather unique acting role for you was voicing Karin in the American dub of the anime Stratos 4. What led you to work on that show?
Stacey Q: Oh, I had such high hopes at that point because my personal life was such a nightmare. Mike Eckart, who had been a part of our band in the past, said, “Hey, I’m doing this now”, so I paid the money. I got back on the Screen Actors’ Guild, I recorded once for the director, and he never called me again (laughing).
Johnny: I’m sorry to hear that.
Stacey Q: We know Elizabeth Daily has the corner on voiceovers, though. It’s not that easy to get in because she’s so great, and it’s hard to get past her.
Johnny: I actually interviewed Elizabeth back in 2015. She’s fantastic.
Stacey Q: She’s my friend.
Johnny: To go to a different question, as you’re a California native, and as the first few decades of your career coincided with the last few of his, did you ever cross paths with Bob Hope on any project or at any entertainment industry events?
Stacey Q: Did you know that I did, or are you just asking that? Because I did.
Johnny: I’m just asking.
Stacey Q: I went to the Spruce Goose, and Bob Hope was performing there along with a friend of mine. It wasn’t like “Stacey Q and Bob Hope”, but I was in the audience and, yes, that was the first time I’d ever seen Bob Hope live. Later on, somebody did ask me during wartime if I would go to Iran and Iraq, and I said, “Yes, I would”, but I was never called on to go.
When I think of Bob Hope, I don’t think of comedy. I think of his loyalty to the troops. That’s what I think of Bob Hope. I don’t think of Palm Springs. I don’t think of golfing. I don’t think of his movies. I don’t think of Dorothy Lamour. I think of his duty to the troops, and that’s his claim to fame, if you ask me.
Johnny: Okay. Returning to you, though, in recent years you’ve made appearances at conventions like Fanboy Expo, and you’ll be coming to the Hollywood Show in a few months, so what’s been the most rewarding part of attending conventions for you?
Stacey Q: Well, I have to say, laughingly, that the big score there is that the people who come to those events are there to spend money, and that is just the truth. If you have something that they want, and they’re a fan like that that can resell, they’ll buy it. I went once or twice, and one time, I made a whole lot of money. The other time, I had a line longer than anybody, and I was so embarrassed that I got up, excused myself from the table, and visited some other stars.
I thought, “These are great talents, but the kids don’t remember them”. I’ll tell you. There was Marky Ramone from The Ramones and Cherie Currie from The Runaways, and me and the actors in Knoxville several years ago, and I felt so embarrassed because the line was out the door for me, and these other people were sitting there, eating their lunch. It has to do with your era and what you know because I thought, by far, these people had done so much more work, so I felt grateful, but a little embarrassed.
I mean, Marky and Cherie are sitting there, and some of the most famous actors from Star Trek that you could imagine, and they’re just sitting there. That’s wrong. Gary Busey was also there. Again, it’s just wrong for me to have the longest line.
Johnny: I see.
Stacey Q: Okay. Thank you (laughing).
Johnny: I’ve asked that of several talents who have been on the convention scene. It’s always interesting to get different responses.
Stacey Q: Okay, let me tell you I’m not on the convention scene. That would be different from somebody who is on the convention scene. I’m not. Once in a blue moon, and now I’m going to do one in June in Burbank. I love it. That’s where I’m from. I met Traci Lords at a show, and I wouldn’t have met her otherwise. It was a very enjoyable talk we had.
Johnny: I apologize if I caused offense with the term “on the convention scene”.
Stacey Q: Yeah, let’s call it the “paid autograph scene”. Somebody that buys and sells memorabilia. That’s what it is.
Stacey Q: The majority of people are not going there to buy my autograph for themselves. They’re going there to sell my autograph to somebody else. Is that not right?
Johnny: It all depends. When I go to Chiller…
Stacey Q: No, not you, Johnny. We know what you are. You are a loving, adoring fan. I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about a lot of the other people.
Johnny: That’s true. When I went to the Chiller Theatre convention in October of 2014, my first time attending there, I was on line to meet actor Yaphet Kotto.
Stacey Q: Johnny, can I speak honestly? I do not believe you have any ulterior motives at all. You’re an upfront person, and we know what you’re there for. Okay?
Johnny: Oh, yeah. This isn’t about me, though. It’s about the guy in front of me. I just wanted Yaphet Kotto’s autograph for myself, but there was this guy ahead of me who had, like, 20 Alien posters that he wanted Kotto to sign. While I was waiting, I was like…
Stacey Q: There’s a limit, yeah, and people are selfish and disrespcetful, but that’s not you, Johnny.
Johnny: Thank you. So what’s been the most wonderful piece of memorabilia you’ve signed at a convention?
Stacey Q: I’ve signed so little. I’m not a big star like that. I couldn’t even tell you.
Stacey Q: I don’t have that (laughing).
Johnny: So the convention I always attend is New Jersey’s Chiller Theatre convention, which I don’t believe you’ve ever attended, so is there a chance you might attend Chiller at some point in the future?
Stacey Q: Well, if you know the guy who runs it and you mention it to him, all he has to do is contact us, but I don’t know them, and I don’t go after it, you know?
Johnny: Well, when I go to Chiller this April, Kevin Clement, who runs it, is a friend of mine, so I will mention your name to him.
Stacey Q: Kevin Clement. Thank you for mentioning his name. That’s all you have to do. Much of the stuff I get now is where somebody will mention my name, and then somebody will go, “OH, I love her!”. I’m very honored because you know me, Johnny. I don’t have an agent. I’m not out there promoting myself.
I like my life. I want everybody to be happy and harmonious, and that’s what I care about. I’m not trying to rake in the bucks or be more famous. I just want everybody to get what they want and be happy.
Johnny: That’s a very noble thing.
Stacey Q: I’m not noble. I’m so not noble. It’s simple, ordinary. If you had time to think about it, everybody would, I’m pretty sure without any problems, decide that’s what we want because no matter how great things are for you, if everybody else is having a bad time, it’s going to step on your head. Just caring about what happens with you is not going to help you out.
Johnny: Definitely. Although it has receded a bit in recent years, I’ve noticed there’s still an awful lot of snark and snideness about the pop culture, fashions and hairstyles of the 80s, and if there are any snarky or snide comments about the pop culture, fashions and hairstyles of the 90s, it’s only about the early 90s, which many people think is still the 80s, so why do you think people are so reluctant to make jokes about the pop culture, fashions and hairstyles of the 90s?
Stacey Q: Let me harken back to the mid-to-late 80s, okay? I’m going to talk about Charlie Sexton. You can call him whatever you want, but the fact remains that that kid, at 17 years old, was one of the best guitar players to come out of Austin or anywhere, and that’s just the truth. People can really make a mistake.
Now I can mention names here. I can mention some hair bands that I think stink, but some of them are friends of mine, you know? They’ll say, “Yeah, we stunk, but we just wanted to be like Sweet”. Do you know what I’m saying?
Johnny: I get that.
Stacey Q: They’ll tell you right now, “we just wanted to be like Sweet”. Do you know them? Are you familiar with Sweet? They had great songs.
Johnny: Yeah, I know Ballroom Blitz.
Stacey Q: Yes, but in between there, their appearance and their dress was just outrageous. if that’s all you have to do with your time, you have WAY too much idle time to pick apart hair bands. It’s like, “Are you in a band? Then shut the fuck up!”. That’s what I think.
Johnny: Okay. If you don’t mind me asking this, as you’re a practicing Buddhist, how have you beliefs helped you?
Stacey Q: My own beliefs haven’t helped me at all (laughing). It’s the Buddhist beliefs that helped me.
Johnny: That’s what I mean.
Stacey Q: This is the thing: Be a good person. This is the basic Buddhist belief. It’s not all the practices, and it’s not the retreats, all this formal stuff that people think Buddhism is. It’s not that. It’s that you have an open and relaxed approach to anything that happens to you. Don’t get worked up, and have a good heart. That’s the basic thing, which is no different than if you believe in Jesus Christ in that basic tradition. I’m not saying that about every Christian Church, but if you go to the root of it, it’s the same.
Johnny: My dear friend and former interview subject Debbie Dutch chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a form of inspiration. Do you use that chant in the same manner?
Stacey Q: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has never been an inspiration for me. I don’t know where you heard that. I know what it is, but that’s not my thing. It never has been.
Johnny: I’m sorry.
Stacey Q: No, don’t apologize. It’s wonderful. My dear friend, Suzi Carr, formerly of Will To Power, practices that. We join together in our Buddhist ideas. Whatever works for you, just don’t get too caught up in the concepts of it. It has to come from you, not somebody else’s concept, no matter what you practice.
Johnny: Sound advice. To go to a bigger picture question, you’re a BoomXer, part of the micro-generation born between 1955 and 1963 that, as can be inferred from the name, bridges the Baby Boomers and Generation X, so how has being a BoomXer impacted your outlook on the world?
Stacey Q: I have no idea. I have it all wrong. I thought the Baby Boomers were a different era, so I don’t know. I’ll have to study that to come back and give you a good answer, so the next time we do an interview, I’ll have an answer for you.
Johnny: Okay, so I now come to my final question. It’s different from what my final question for an interview used to be, and it’s this:
Stacey Q: Yes, I will marry you in the Spring! (Laughing)
Johnny: What’s next for you?
Stacey Q: Marrying you in the Spring, but I will start on our Lost 80’s fundraiser for St. Jude’s Hospital, and then I’ll go tour until December for another year with Lost 80’s Live.
Stacey Q: Is that fantastic?
Johnny: I think so.
Stacey Q: I’m so fortunate, man.
Johnny: It’s always great to hear when a person is happy. That does it for my questions. I again thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to speak to me. As I do wrap it up, I just want to say that I’m glad we’ve been able to reestablish a connection.
You see, when we first spoke in 2007, I was in a very dark place emotionally. I had a lot going on. I didn’t know how to deal with the effects of my autism spectrum disorder. I was dealing with a mother who didn’t know how to deal with it, either, and who would die of cancer several years later.
Stacey Q: I’m sorry about that, Johnny, but please know I’m your friend. If you ever need me, you call me, and I’ll come running.
Johnny: That’s what I did want to get at because pop culture, especially that of the 1980s, was one of the only things that kept me sane and gave me guidance during a very dark time. Your music was one of the things that inspired me, and really cheered me up during some very dark times. I wouldn’t really achieve the light until 2012, and you’ve played a big part in that, and it’s an honor to talk to you again.
Stacey Q: Oh, Johnny, if you only knew that I had the same story. Everything was so dark for me, but music, and meeting Jon, saved it for me, so I have the same story.
Johnny: It’s amazing the power that pop culture has, and I’m just grateful that I was eventually able to get my ASD to work for me instead of against me. It’s allowed me the chance to do this writing, to interview these talents who have made the work that got me through dark times.
Stacey Q: We were always rooting for you, Johnny, since the day I heard of you.
Johnny: And I’m glad to have that support in my corner. I’ll never take it for granted.
Stacey Q: Please believe me. If you’re not feeling so well, please call.
Johnny: I will.
Stacey Q: I love your assertiveness. You know what? You don’t resemble any problems happening. Can I please say that?
Johnny: You certainly can.
Stacey Q: I want you to know that because I remember you from before, and we’re in the same boat.
Johnny: Well, there’s nobody who I’d rather be rowing with than you.
Stacey Q: Oh, my god, Johnny. I fucking believe that I want you in my boat. I just want to say to people: Do good, be good, and purify.
Johnny: That’s great advice for everybody.
Stacey Q: Yeah. Other things are much more difficult, but if you can, just consider everybody else also.
Johnny: I certainly will. Well, until then, thank you so much for your friendship, and I’ll definitely be in touch again soon.
Stacey Q: Do you think we did okay?
Johnny: Oh, I think we did wonderfully.
Stacey Q: Okay, good. If there’s anything else you want to know, give me a call.
Johnny: Thank you very much.
Stacey Q: Thank you very much, Johnny.
Johnny: No problem. I hope you have a wonderful afternoon.
Stacey Q: You, too, my dear.
Johnny: Alright. Be well.
Stacey Q: Yes. Best of luck to you, honey.
Johnny: Thank you very much.
Stacey Q: Bye bye.
I would again like to thank Stacey Q for her time and friendship, and for taking the time out of her schedule to speak to me. I also owe a tremendous thank you to our mutual friend Shawn Winstian for putting this all together, both in the 00s and in the New 20s.
For more about Stacey Q’s upcoming appearances, you can visit her Facebook page.
Coming soon to the Flashback Interview are conversations with Oscar-winning makeup artist Kevin Haney, dancer/singer Deborah Jenssen, two-time Oscar-winning sound designer Russell Williams II, Oscar-winning hairstylist Anne Morgan, and actress/singer Tricia Leigh Fisher.
Thank you as always for reading, everybody.
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