When two of the best fanzines in the world, Roctober and Ugly Things, and two of the best record labels in the world, Norton and In the Red all start going apeshit over a certain individual by the name of Andre Williams, perhaps it's time to take notice. Well anyways, this is exactly what I did. On the outset it's simple: Williams is known to many Cramps fans as the author of Bacon Fat, a toon Lux and Ivy have "championed" for eons. By the way, you've probably heard at least one of Andre's compositions before- a little ditty called "Shake a Tail Feather" (featured on yer sweaty gym partner's favourite movie soundtrack the Blues Brothers!) No doubt about it, Andre "Mr. Rhythm" Williams has pumped out an impressively "tasty" body of work , most notably manifested in the form of material such as "Greasy Chicken," "Please Pass the Biscuits," and "Rib Tips". Where there's grits, there's gotta be sex close by, or so says the legend, which is only confirmed by Williams penned screamers like "Jailbait", "Let Me Put it In" or "Pussy Stank." However, unlike a lot of olde skool rock'n'rollers (he's been in groups since 1954 for christsakes!), Andre Williams has emerged from a period of inactivity (read: a tough bunch of years literally begging on the streets of Chicago) with a couple of hot new albums and a long list of cool collaborators, namely Mick Collins and Dan Kroha of Gories/Dollrods/Blacktop fame, Jon Spencer, plus Pretty Things(!) axe-welder Dick Taylor, and LA noisemeisters The Countdowns. Contacted by phone on the eve of his first ever West Coast tour, at the Safari Inn in Burbank, California, here's what "Mr. Rhythm" Andre Williams had to say...
Nardwuar: Who are you?
Well, first off, you are Andre Williams.
So, Andre Williams, have you had any raw eggs recently?
Are you a good cook, Andre?
You like it real greasy, don't you?
Andre, who was a good cook? Was Solomon Burke a good cook? Did you ever eat any Solomon Burke food?
What particularly did you enjoy about their cooking? What was it that made it special?
On this particular tour, Andre, you have three costume changes, don't you? So you don't get greasy at all. Like, there is no chance of you getting the grease from your dinner on your clothes because you've got all these costume changes happening!
Are you into hats? Are you very big into hats, like haberdashy-
Are you a big fan of haberdashy?
Andre Williams, you are a survivor. Unfortunately, I guess a lot of rock 'n' rollers in the Detroit and Chicago area, you know, from the '60s and late '50s, had a lot of untimely deaths. Like Sam Cooke, his death was really bizarre, wasn't it? Like, he picks up a woman, takes her to a hotel, attacks the woman, then attacks the hotel manager, then the hotel manager attacks him with a pool cue! What a bizarre death for Sam Cooke!
You're very lucky, Andre Williams, like Otis Redding getting pulled from a plane wreck, or Marvin Gaye getting shot by his father, but Andre Williams is still here! How do you think, if you have to go, Andre, you'd like to go?
So you would not like to die onstage. You would let the people have their fun and then die in the intermission in between.
Andre Williams, didn't Barry Gordy use Marvin Gaye's wife, Anna Gordy, to spy on Marvin Gaye. Like, didn't Barry Gordy use his sister to help spy on-
Did Barry Gordy ever spy on you, Andre Williams?
Didn't you do some rap porno records in the early '80s?
How long did you work at Motown, Andre Williams?
What did you look like as a producer in Motown?
Was Barry Gordy much of a partier? Didn't he have a child with Diana Ross?
Andre Williams, did you ever get "agile, mobile and hostile" with Diana Ross?
How is men's cologne important, Andre Williams?
How does it affect the ladies? How does cologne affect the ladies?
Speaking of Barry Gordy, what about the other Berry, Chuck Berry? He loves the women, doesn't he, good old Chuck Berry?
Now you never videotaped women using the toilet, did you?
In your mind you did!
But you never videotaped women pissing on you at all, did you?
Well, that's good. You kept it to your mind.