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 Fly Below The Radar (2003) | Road Movies (2001) | All Music Guide 

Mini-Bio:  Simon Petty | Tim Walker | Sid Jordan | Malcolm Cross 

Mini-Bio: Petty Details (2004)

In 2001 you answered the question, what is your greatest Minibar moment to date. How would you answer that question now?
Playing to a sold out Troubadour last July for our "Radar" release party: cake, gin and 500 of our closest friends, all mixed up like a big delirious Sherry Trifle.

Do you have a favorite track on Fly Below the Radar?
I like "Snake Buckle Belt" a lot, 'cos it's at the end so it doesn't get heard as much. It's very nostalgic, which is a great form of sadness, in that you can dip into it without really tarnishing the rest of the day with out-and-out misery.

What's in your CD player right now?
Actually been listening to the radio, 103.1, a lot recently, which is a liberating experience. CD wise, Bob Dylan's Bootleg series contains some amazing stuff that would have been the highlight of anyone else's record, but he chose to leave them off (eg: She's Your Lover Now, If Not For You and Let Me Die In My Footsteps). Retriever by Ron Sexsmith is a tour de force, a trompe d'oeil and a piece de resistance all at once. Most entertaining recent album I've heard is "A Grand Don't Come For Free" by The Streets. I have it on tape: does that count?

What movie has the best soundtrack?
The Royal Tennenbaum's has a strong old soundtrack, but Jonathan Richman's contribution to "There's Something About Mary" should not go unmentioned.

What lyric do you wish you had written?
"What once was a puppy is now a dog, And what once was a piglet is now a hog" ("Back In Your Life" by Jonathan Richman)

Did you have any pets growing up?
No dogs, no hogs, just a couple of doomed goldfish

What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?
One with "26 Today" written on it

What embarrassing childhood story would your sibling(s) tell us about you?
I cut the end of my finger off on Christmas Day, ensuring that my brother Mark owned his new Swiss Army Knife for a total of about 25 minutes

What did you learn about the music business from your time with Universal?
It's much more pleasant to cut the end of your finger off than it is to make records for a major label

If forced, would you rather watch Yo! MTV Raps or Headbanger's Ball?
Staple my eyelids open and tie me to a chair, and I'll happily watch either

What's in the perfect sushi roll?
Avocado, cucumber and fatty tuna

What's your guilty pleasure?
The "They're Just Like Us" page in US Weekly, in which stars are photographed doing "normal" things eg: Jennifer Garner goes out with wet hair, Ashton sends a text message, Courtney barrels another rail of coke, etc.

Which reality TV show could you win? Which reality series could your bandmates win?
Me: "I'm Not Really A Celebrity, But Get Me Out Of Here Anyway" (competitive, unhygienic, experience of The Outback)
Sid: "Big Brother" (able to stay indoors for weeks at a time)
Mal: "The Bachelorette" (Oodles of the requisite charm)
Tim: "Trading Spaces" (in which his handyman expertise could combine with his innate ability to chuzzle at will)

What's the biggest improvement that "Pimp My Ride" could make to the Minibar van?
Turning the 'Check Engine' light off

When you moved to the U.S., what was the biggest surprise about American culture?
The humble burrito

If you weren't a musician, what do you think you would you be doing? What jobs would you suggest for your bandmates?
Me: New Age Vicar
Mal: Speedway Champ
Chuz: TV DIY Specialist
Sid: Chapeau Shop

It's xxxx year (you decide) and you're a festival promoter. What bands would you book for an amazing summer show?
Topanga Canyon 2008

Main Stage:
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
The Flaming Lips
Teenage Fanclub

Indie Stage:
The White Stripes
The Hang Ups
Super Furry Animals

Dance Tent:
The Streets
The Bhundu Boys

Random Singer Songwriter Tent:
Nick Cave
Evan Dando
Darrin Tehrani
Bob Dylan

What shocking fact will be revealed when Minibar is featured on VH1's "Behind the Music"?
Even though we're English, we're not actually gay

Photos by Heidi Ferguson, except #2 by Paul Schreiber and #3 by Tim Walker

Mini-Bio: Petty Details (2001)

Where and when were you born?
Sheffield, England, in the spring before the Summer of Love.

Do you have any brothers and sisters?
Older sister, Rachel, and two younger brothers, Mark and Jez

Who were your favorite bands growing up?
From age 10 to 18, in vague chronological order: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, glam period David Bowie, Queen (that's the group, Queen, not a description of glam period David Bowie), The Jam, AC/DC, The Everly Brothers, Squeeze, Elvis (C not P), The Smiths, Otis Redding, The Pet Shop Boys, and finally, thank God, Bob Dylan. I never owned albums by Meatloaf, Dire Straits or The Human League. They have must been my brother's. Or something.

What was your first experience as a concert-goer?
Queen (that's the group, Queen, not a description of how I looked at my first concert), with my brother Mark who owned all those bad records, at Leeds United Football Stadium in the heady days when Freddie wore his leather cap without a hint of irony.

What was your favorite experience as a concert-goer?
I couldn't pick between Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Phoenix Festival in '96, The Smiths in Manchester in 1984, Bob at Irvine when he played just after us, or Nina Simone at The Wiltern last year.

Previous to Minibar, what jobs had you held?
Ice Cream Vendor, Surveyor's Assistant, Pub Entertainer, Ski Report Voice-Over Man, Drug Counsellor, Barman, English Teacher, Busker, Bird Researcher, Ski Instructor, Office Clerk, Care Worker, Postman, Director of Children's Musicals, Aromatherapy Oil-Bottler, and not forgetting my little-known prowess in the art of selling of shoes.

How and when did you join Minibar?
Ages ago I just said "Right, you f***ers, this is MY band."

What has been your greatest Minibar moment to date?
Wilco at The Wiltern last year, and The Wallies in Seattle from this.

What lead vocalist and/or songwriter has influenced you the most?
Lennon and Dando

What is your songwriting process?
I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you

Is there an artist that you'd like to collaborate with?
Sir Paul McCartney, Iggy Pop and that bloke out of The Lemonheads. At the same time.

Do you have a favorite track on Road Movies?
It changes, and sometimes I can't listen to any of them, but "Cool Water" still does it for me most often, I think.

What is your favorite song to perform live?
"So Long Soho" Space Jam Freak Out Section

What is in your CD player right now?
Tim threw our CD player away, but if I had one right now it would be Joni Mitchell, Blue

If you could go back to any moment in musical history, when would you choose and why?
I'd like to have been 17 in the spring before the Summer of Love. "Acid, booze and ass, needles, guns and grass, lots of laughs", as someone who was there once put it.

What do you like to read?
Miserable fiction about the Vietnam war.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?
Grumpy from Snow White

What adjective would you use to describe the other Minibar members?
Sneezy, Bashful and Dopey

What do you miss most about England?
Pubs, and the people I used to go to them with.

Is there a household item that you can't live without?
Tetley Tea

Describe a game of "Rock & Roll Jeopardy" against your bandmates.
Mal would do well on the obscure 70's funk questions, Tim would rather be playing Sh**head, I would become fiercely competitive, and Sid would win without trying by being really really lucky.

Last updated: Sep 24, 2006 - 07:39 AM PDT

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