Over the years I have had the privilege to interview dozens of people from actors to musicians to writers and artists. This particular interview I was very excited about, for a number of reasons. Besides being a musician and actress, Texas Terri was also friends with a couple of my favorite writers, Eddie Little and Jerry Stahl. Since it has been, about, nine years since Little’s death it is becoming harder and harder to find anyone to talk to about him. And most of his friends aren’t the type to talk.
A few years back I came across mentions of Terri in Eddie Little’s Steel Toes and Jerry Stahl’s Permanent Midnight. I had to find out how all three of them, somehow, were connected.
I really lucked out, Terri is extremely kind, and as you will see unguarded. And I learned a few things as well.
1. Aside from recording and touring, you seem to be very dialed in with the literary crowd. You mentioned in the “Thank You’s” in both Jerry Stahl’s Permanent Midnight, and Eddie Little’s Another Day In Paradise. Are you a friend, a muse . . . ?
2. It’s like a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. You are mentioned in Another Day In Paradise, but so is Jerry Stahl, then you are also mentioned in Permanent Midnight. What was your relationship with Eddie Little?
Basically, I can put together the first 2 questions….I guess it’s no big secret to the world that Eddie, Jerry, and myself had some addiction problems. We all met in recovery and became friends. I used to cut hair when I lived in L.A. I was Jerry Stahl’s hairdresser. We were pretty close friends back then. I have lost touch with him but would love to catch up with him again. He came over to get a haircut before the pictures were taken for the Permanent Midnight. So that is a Texas Terri haircut he is sporting in the picture. I went on to work as an “extra” in the movie. It was amazing how close Ben Stiller took on Jerry’s persona for that movie part. He so nailed it. It was creepy in a good way. Jerry introduced me to Ben at the premier and it was so weird when they were standing there together talking. It was like there were two Jerry’s. I loved Jerry’s book a lot. Especially the part about the L.A. riots during the Rodney King thing. Took me back to that time and what I was doing. And just the life of trying to “act normal” while being totally out of control with a drug habit. I’m really happy for Jerry’s success. He is a fabulous writer and one hell of an interesting human being.
Eddie on the other hand, was a rougher character. What I mean by that is that his life was more on the street level of addiction as you can tell by his books. When I met Eddie in recovery, just like Jerry and I clicked, Eddie and I clicked as friends. Eddie was such a sweet person with such a sweet heart and soul. I remember going to his first book release reading in West Hollywood. He was so happy to see me there. It’s such a scary thing for an addict to actually accomplish something and then get up in front of people in a “look at me” type situation and feel comfortable. He was great that day. I was so happy for him. And his book was fantastic! I was really sad when I heard that Eddie died. Sometimes I wonder if the success was too uncomfortable for him so he went back to the more familiar lifestyle. I just know as a friend that Eddie was a very lonely person. All he ever wanted was to be loved.
I have met a lot of writers in my day. It seems like most of them love what they do but a lot of them don’t like to be put in the fishbowl to promote the writing afterwards. Makes them uncomfortable. I understand that. I used to love being interviewed about my life and my band stuff. Seems the longer I’m in the game, the more I just want to go perform and then answer questions about my life less and less these days.
I feel very honored to have been mentioned in the acknowledgments of both Jerry’s and Eddie’s books. I feel very honored to be their friends.
3. In Eddie Little’s second book, Steel Toes, he writes more about his interest and involvement in the Boston punk scene. Did Eddie get to see you perform?
I think both Eddie and Jerry at one time or another came to see me perform. We were all interested in what each other were doing creatively.
LIFE WON’T WAIT is out. For the complete Texas Terri interview order at: http://tiny.cc/rutyvw