Seeing how Matthew Slessler—Pure Pod for Now podcaster, beer slinger, music nerd, cat enthusiast—is probably the most well-liked man in Portland, we'd be fools to not let him do whatever the hell he wants in this blog. Thankfully he only wanted to talk to classic bands of yore and ask them ten questions. Everyone wins.
1. Almost 26 years ago today, Berlin had their coming out party at the US Festival. What do you remember most about that day?
It was every musician’s wet dream. I don’t care how big I’ve ever been or will ever get, that was a once-in-a-lifetime truly BAD ASS EXPERIENCE! David Bowie, U2, The Pretenders, Stevie Nicks, Steve Stevens, Joe Walsh... ALL IN ONE DAY!! AND WE GOT TO PLAY TOO!!! Steve Wozniak, the man from Apple who funded the whole thing, gave my mother his All Access pass—with his picture on it—so she could go anywhere she wanted at any time. He also took her up in his private helicopter to see the whole scene of 250,000 people from an aerial view, pretty spectacular for her! For all that, I will love him forever.
2. "Sex (I'm A...)" blew my 14-year-old mind the first time I heard it. Does it bring you comfort, or creep you out, that you cast a spell over pretty much every adolescent in the early-to-mid '80s?
“Comfort” is a strange word to use. That wouldn’t be it. I appreciate that 14-year-old boys, or anyone for that matter, responded to it like I did writing it. It was a musical masturbation in a way, a lyrical description of the way I wished my own sex life would have been at the time. I guess a lot of people wished for some of that same thing.
3. Why do I dance like Molly Ringwald in the Breakfast Club every time I hear “Dancing In Berlin”?
The same reason I dance like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever every time I hear “Stayin’ Alive.”
4. Since Berlin splintered during Count Three and Pray, do you feel that this (really good) album is overlooked?
Well thank you. I didn’t know how to keep the Berlin sound fresh by the third record, and my choices of different sounds might have been too far left for a lot of the fans. I can’t blame our break-up for its reception.
5. Now that I think about it, John Crawford dances like Molly Ringwald in the Breakfast Club as well.
Pretty much every guy I know danced like that in the '80s.
6. Have you ever told someone you “loved them” while you were looking away?
7. Pleasure Victim sounds so European with the Gary Numan/Giorgio Moroder-esque keyboards, and subjects like “The Metro,” not to mention the actual name of the band. Had any of you actually been to Europe?
My mother took me with her to Europe when I was 15 years old, three years before I met John Crawford. My dad had just died, and it was the first trip she and I had ever taken alone together. However, my first trip to Berlin was actually with the band.
8. Do you ever get requests to bring back the whole half-black/half-platinum hairdo?
You must not have seen me in awhile. I’ve had that hairdo for the last 10 years, though it’s a lot longer now. The look originally came out of necessity; my hair was bone-straight, no volume, and wouldn’t hold a curl. I kept trying to make it big Stevie Nicks/Farrah Fawcett wavy, but every night onstage it would be flat again by the second song. Finally David Diamond, our keyboardist who also did hair, decided unusual color would be a better way to go, and my new look was born.
9. On a scale of one through ten—one being “no chance in hell” and ten being “bet the house on it”—what are my chances of hearing "Pictures of You" in Portland?
Probably a seven. My favorite video in our show is during “Pictures of You.” It’s a lot of baby pictures of me and the band, it’s also included in our new DVD/CD combo, All the Way In coming out July 8. The only place you can get it before then is at our shows.
Who knew Terri Nunn would be such a good sport. So what did we learn here?
1. The word “comfort” creeps her out.
2. I clearly have not seen her hairstyle in 10 years
3. She only responded to nine of my questions, but to be honest, that is nine more than I thought she would answer. (Also, their keyboard player is named David Diamond and he does hair!—Eds.)
Thanks Terri! You ahem take my breath away.