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.
4. Based on the Stahl and Little books, you seemed to be a friend/influence on writers who are known for being heroin users. You successfully cleaned up years ago. Were you friends with Eddie or Jerry during your “drug” days?
No, I met Eddie and Jerry after the fact.
I have been clean/sober for 21 years now. I hope that more people will get that through their heads and stop asking me to go drinking with them. It’s amazing how some of these people in euro cities get offended when I tell them that I can’t drink with them. Sometimes I feel really uncomfortable having to be in bars all of the time because of my entertainment career. But I do understand why people go out to bars to hear music and get really fucked up. I lived that life for a really long time. I’d still be living it if the alcoholism/addiction didn’t knock me down. But it did. So be it. There is life after alcohol and drugs for anyone out there wondering. I still love doing my music thing.
5. Both Permanent Midnight, and Another Day In Paradise were turned into fair movies; you yourself have a pretty decent film background, from 8MM to Punk’s Not Dead. What’s your favorite film experience?
There are a lot of them. 8mm was fun although my scene ended up on the cutting room floor. i saw the movie, the scene was not necessary. But it was great fun working with the director, Joel Schumacker (sp?) and the actor, Peter Stomare. Both of them are so creative and wonderful human beings.. I loved meeting and becoming friends with Angelina Jolie on a movie I was doing extra work on. She sponsored my band for a while. Prey for Rock & Roll was really cool to work on because I got to perform with my band doing one of my songs in the movie. My friend Cheri “Love Dog” Hubert wrote the screenplay. That movie really hit home with me. These are just a few of the wonderful experiences I’ve had. I really miss working on movies and commercials now that I’m living in Berlin. I did a couple of extra work gigs in Berlin. Their pay scale is too weird for me. When it goes into overtime, you actually get paid less than your regular pay per hour.
To end this, I’d like to tell you that in 2011, I was talking with Lydia Lunch at herBig Sexy Noise show in London. She thinks I should write a book. She thinks I’ve got some good stories to tell and if anyone can pull these stories out of me, it will be Lydia. Last summer I was in Spain for a music event and went to Barcelona for a few days afterward. I met with Lydia at her home and she went over some ideas with me and gave me several books including her own to read to get me rolling. I just recently went to her reading in Berlin. Was great to see her again. The first thing she said to me is “get those stories written”. Being told by Lydia Lunch to write a book is such an honor as she is probably the most open and fearless woman I know. I adore her. And that she wants to help me is the coolest. So I’d better get on it, ay?
And you, Michael are also a great inspiration to me. I love your writing style and your stories.
Thanks for asking me to answer these questions and having me as a part of your world….Texas T
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