One of the more eclectic personalities to visit the Walker in awhile, Jon Langford in a punk rocker (The Mekons), country music fan (Waco Brothers), visual artist, activist, drummer, guitarist and producer. In anticipation of his February 10 and 11 Walker performances of The Executioner’s Last Songs, we asked him to participate in 8-Ball, a Q&A that runs in each issue of our print magazine. Here are the outtakes:
What was your worst job and why?
Corporate employee /musician signed to major label–crippling self-doubt, uncertainty, loss of self-esteem.
What’s the last (or favorite) book you read?
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
Every time The Mekons got signed to a major label. When I moved to Chicago in 1992, I had a lot of time on my hands–my wife was in grad school 16 hours a day and my band was dispersed across the globe after being dropped by A&M–so I started painting again.
What is one of the most unexpected influences on your art?
Dreadful contemporary Country & Western Radio.
What was your most character-building experience?
Getting up on the stage of the Double R Ranch in Chicago’s loop with a band called The Sundowners and singing Johnny Cash covers to really scary American drunks and surviving.
They say dogs and their owners tend to look alike. What kind of dog would you own?
I have a Chicago street mutt named Billie Bones and we don’t really look much alike but I believe we share something like 87% of the same DNA. I have no idea if that’s true but I believe it.