Shut Up, Little Man!

Peter “Lady” Haskett, Interviewed by Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D. : Interviews with Eddie Lee, Peter Haskett - Shut Up, Little Man!

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Peter “Lady” Haskett, Interviewed by Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D. — at the Owl Tree Tavern in the Tenderloin (Aug. 1993)


SCENARIO: One evening about six months after the Shut Up Little Man CD was released, Mitchell and I decided to find Peter Haskett to attempt to explain to him that he was fast becoming an underground star. We also wanted to give Peter some "royalties" for his performance, and thus we came with a check cut by the record company. We had heard that Peter had moved from the Pepto-Bismol Palace to an even more run-down tenement in that seediest part of San Francisco, the Tenderloin. We found the address and was told by the ferocious asshole building-manager that he was not home. Therefore, we sat out on the stoop to await Peter’s arrival.

We waited and waited. Just as we were about to give up, Mitchell slapped me, pointed down the street, and said: "Shit, here he comes!"

Peter was walking painfully slowly, maneuvering his way up the hill toward us. He had on a little wind-breaker and a pair of sunglasses to shield his booze-saturated eyes. He also had a small plastic bag containing a quart of Gin, a big bottle of discount cream soda, and a baguette sheathed in its grocery wrapper.

As Peter arrived at the entrance of his tenement, Mitchell and I hastily introduced ourselves and explained that several years ago we were his next-door neighbors on Steiner Street. We informed him that we wanted to talk with him awhile. We would like to buy him a drink. He stared us up and down for a moment, his eyebrows arching over his shades, and agreed to join us. Just across the street was a little dive bar called The Owl Tree Tavern. We made our way inside and ordered some drinks [Peter: "Uh, Eddie, order me a Vodker"].

Time and the tide of endless booze had not been good to Peter. The fueled and manic voice on the "Shut Up Little Man" recordings, the voice that pierced and unsettled us so many low-down nights, was now long gone. Instead, his voice intoned in a long slow almost Western drawl. In fact, all and all, Peter was exaggeratingly sloppy and slow. There was something mushy about him, and I kept thinking that he was almost ectoplasmic. It was really quite sad.

Mitchell and I slowly attempted to explain to him what had happened over and over. In fact, it took more than an hour to tell the simple story over and over (six times in all), because he did not believe us or at least pretended to disbelieve us. [In the following transcript the story is repeated only two or three times in an effort to not be as painfully redundant as the re-telling was that night].

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