...which broke the ice a little in one of those annoying, big-ticket interviews where the subject is doing 4-5 in a row at 15 minute intervals and trying to say as little as possible off the script. There was a huge rush on this, supposedly so we could get it up around the release date, which was (ahem), almost a month ago. Anyway, nice guy.
Hot Licks and Fast Cars: The John Hiatt interview
By Jennifer Kelly 31 August 2011
John Hiatt has loved racecars almost as long as he’s loved the guitar. The songwriter first picked up a guitar at the age of 11 and has had his songs covered by artists as diverse as Three Dog Night, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Iggy Pop, and Bonnie Raitt. Still, he grew up in Indianapolis in the 1960s with the roar of the track in his ears and his head.
“The Indy 500 was such a big deal,” he remembers. “The whole month of May was devoted to it. My buddies and I would go out two or three times during practice weeks and then to all the qualifying matches. We were just totally enamored by the whole deal. In those days it was the all the front engine Offenhausers, but just the sound of one of those on the straightaway…” His voice trails off in a reverie of adrenaline, exhaust and decibels. “I just loved that stuff. And the race car drivers were every bit as heroic as Otis Redding or Lightning Hopkins or any of the music heroes that I had.”