Shut Up, Little Man!

Interviews with Eddie Lee, Peter Haskett - Shut Up, Little Man!

« Back to interviews list

Eddie Lee Sausage, interviewed by Fish Taco Magazine — Spring/Summer 2003, conducted by Señor Stinky

olooneys
Eddie Lee
in front of O'Looney's

Fish Taco: Tell me a little bit about yourself. . .
Eddie Lee: I am a writer, artist, audio verite musician, and white boy bookseller.
Fish Taco: OK, without being too bnb bb b specific [or not], where was the apartment located, and in what year did this go down?
Eddie Lee: The recordings were captured at 237 Steiner, in the pre-gentrification alcoholic haven of the Lower Haight between November 1987 and April 1989. We lived in a motel-like rotting structure that was painted a sickly pink; thus we christened the place “The Pepto Bismol Palace.”
Fish Taco: How old were you at the time?
Eddie Lee: I was a somewhat romantic-notioned, thrill-seekin' 23 year old moving from the Midwest to the 'Big City.'
Fish Taco: Do they still live there?
Eddie Lee: Peter and Raymond have been deceased for several years now.
Fish Taco: What kind of landlord was it, that would let shit go on day and night without doing something about it?
Eddie Lee: The landlord was a diminutive Asian woman named Nancy Lee [no relation]. She was essentially an absentee landlord, as I believe I saw her but once in the year and a half that we lived there. After we signed the lease, as she was stepping outside the apartment and heading for her car, she turned and noted: “sometimes the neighbors are a little loud.” Mitch and I laughed and said: “No problem.” We were into cranking punk rock music at blistering levels, so we thought that living next to people who were loud would diminish any expectations of us being, proper, quiet, respectful bourgeoisie. Of course, we had no idea that we were moving next to a 24-hour WWF drunkfest.
Fish Taco: Was your first run-in with Pete or Ray?
Eddie Lee: I first Ran into Ray. He was smoking a cig out on the veranda area that the apartments shared. He was very cordial, though a little muted in his communication. About two weeks later, I had a nasty run-in with Ray at about 4 AM, after a marathon fight between the two. I'd had enough and was so crazed by sleeplessness and persistent aural agitation that I tried to kick their door down. I weighed about 115 pounds at the time, so I got a running start and kicked the door as hard as I could repeatedly. That was when Raymond yelled at me through the door that he was a killer before I was born and he would be a killer after I was dead. Of course, I don't know what I would have done if I had actually broken down the door. But, you don't think of these things when you are as maniacally under-rested and as inflamed as I was.
Fish Taco: I'm taking it that “The Skinny Cocksucker Next Door” was Ray's term of endearment for you?
Eddie Lee: Yeah.

Fish Taco: Did you ever make it into the lair of Pete and Ray? . . .when I listen to the tapes, I get the sense that they lived in a shit-hole. . . I think I remember something about holes in the wall.
Eddie Lee: I did make it in their one time. Their place was pretty hideous. It was a dark interior, with abandoned plates of old food, strewn Budweiser cans, places where the walls had been bashed in by flailing bodies.
Fish Taco: Peter was always bitching about those 'cool dinners' he would make going to waste, any idea what those dinners where?
Eddie Lee: I think Peter liked to make dainty light little salads on those hot summer days.
Fish Taco: Who was Tony? . . . I take it he was Peter's lover. What was Tony like. . . he sounded like a fucking retard.
Eddie Lee: Tony was really scary. He was a drifter. I would say a couch-surfer, but I think Tony would surf anything - floors, abandoned cars, outhouses. He would show up periodically and crash at Pete and Ray's, work some manual labor gig, drink like a motherfucker, smack up Raymond, then move on. I once got into a verbal altercation with him in front of the place. He went psychotic on me almost instantly and spit right in my face. I didn't wash for days. Just kidding. It was a really raw interaction and after he spit in my face, I threw a half-full bottle of beer at him and just missed his head. Probably a good thing. Then, I ran. . . fast! It turns out that he had been in prison previously for beating women. Later, of course, he beat Peter so bad that he once again was thrown in prison.
Fish Taco: Didn't he beat the piss out of Ray a few times?
Eddie Lee: Yeah. He proudly proclaims on the New Zealand interview. “I beat his ass. I beat his ass more than once and put him in the hospital.” Like he was proud of it. I am thinking to myself, if I knew that I was being interviewed for a public for radio broadcast, I might consider not bragging about beating people and putting them in the hospital 'more than once.'
Fish Taco: Was anybody in their house employed. . . Where'd the money come from?
Eddie Lee: Neither Pete nor Ray worked. Unless boozing is a profession and I am not aware of it. If it is, these guys would be getting the high-paying true professional pedigree jobs. Peter told us that he received VFW checks and had a pension of some kind from an advertising gig he had (when he was capable). Ray was 'on welfare' as Peter often chided him.
Fish Taco: What did the other tenants think?
Eddie Lee: Well, most of the tenants at the old Pepto Palace had their own issues. There was a crazy child-beater mother, a crackhead who used to base up in the garage all the time, and a young male prostitute. So, when the cops showed up, nobody was rushing out to display that they were upstanding model citizens outraged by these two old drunken hooligans.
Fish Taco: In the tapes Peter mentions the “stony lonesome” . . . was that the jail?
Eddie Lee: Yes, that was Peter's name for the jailhouse.
Fish Taco: Where you Ardell? . . . or the 'Nova Express Times'?
Eddie Lee: Mitch was Ardell on the tapes, and I did the Nova Express routine.

Originally, when we first made our way out West from the Midwest, we stopped in some Podunk town in Nebraska. We found a thrift store and bought cowboy hats and cigars and 'western gear,' and then we proceeded to pretend for three days that we were these two dumn drunken cowboy fellers. We did the routine everywhere we went - bars, motels, casinos, gas stations - I was Ardell and he was Clem. So, that's where the Ardell name came from.
Fish Taco: Peter and Ray are both deceased, how about Tony?
Eddie Lee: Yes, Pete and Ray are both dead now, together in some perdition most likely. Tony was in prison until 2000 or so. Many have attempted to find him, but it is hard to find a moving target.
Fish Taco: Did you ever get to sleep?
Eddie Lee: Only after many beers or tequilas. . .
Fish Taco: What was the most insane thing you ever heard or seen happen between the two?
Eddie Lee: The worst was on Christmas 1987. It was our first Christmas away from home, and we were feeling pretty forlorn. Pete and Ray started a mammoth fight and before you know it, it spilled out onto the veranda in front of our place and Peter threw Ray over the railing down some 15 feet below onto the cement. The ambulance came and took the little man away. “Merry Christmas, Ray.”
Fish Taco: I guess the big question is, I know you've been asked before. . . was Ray a closet queer or does anybody really know?
Eddie Lee: I simply don't know. Homosexuality was certainly a preoccupation for Ray.
Fish Taco: How did you tape them. . . and did they know?
Eddie Lee: We taped them with a cheap mic from Radio Shack plugged directly into our cassette deck, which had a record feature. They found out we were recording them, when one day - after a solid week of maddening arguments day and night - we decided to retaliate. We took a speaker out onto the veranda, set it in front of Peter and Raymond's window, and played a tape of their previous arguments at a high volume. Now, if it was you or I, we would most likely be humbled or embarrassed by having to listen to a playback of our own hideous behavior. Not these guys. They got quiet for about ten minutes, and then they began to argue loudly over who sounded more like an idiot on the tape.
Fish Taco: If you had to, would you live next to them again?
Eddie Lee: Well, the funny thing is, I just moved to a low-rent apartment in a working class neighborhood in Seattle. My neighbors downstairs have been fighting on and off since I moved in. I am beginning to think its kharmic. I pounded on the floor a few times, when it went on too long or too loudly. But, then, I finally got sick of it, and slid a copy of the Shut Up Little Man CD under their door with a post-it note saying: “This is what I did to my last loud neighbors.” Things have been pretty quiet since then, and they are very very friendly in the hallway when they see me.
Fish Taco: And finally, how's your website going? Are you selling a lot of stuff?
Eddie Lee: The CD is selling well. There are a lot of sick fucks in the world.