Tod Goldberg, whose name is familiar to RS fans from his recent article in
the Las Vegas Mercury - "Goldberg: Open Letter To Rick Springfield",
was extremely generous in granting Ricktopia an interview with him.
Tod is an accomplished writer, who in addition to writing a weekly column for the Las Vegas Mercury, has written the novels Fake Liar Cheat (Pocket Books, 2000) and Living Dead Girl
(Soho Press, 2002) and the editor of Hungry? Thirsty? Las Vegas (Really Great Books, 2002). In addition, Tod teaches a creative writing class at UCLA. (to find out more information about
Tod, visit his website: www.todgoldberg.com).
Tod is extremely witty, very funny, and best of all....he's a Rick fan! OK, maybe "fan" is a strong word, and it may be by default because his sister was a big fan in her youth, but nonetheless, he's familiar with
Rickdom, and he's been a great sport with us!
Meet Tod Goldberg.......
Did Rick end up coming to your book signing? If so, how was that?
Rick, sadly, did not attend my book signing for my new book LIVING DEAD GIRL. I'd been forewarned by many members of Rick loyal following that he had fool heartedly scheduled a concert in Chicago for the afternoon of my event. A call would have been nice. Or at least flowers.
What was your earliest memory of Rick Springfield? Was it that song about "that brazen hussy betrothed to Jessie."?
Actually, my first memory of Rick Springfield is when he appeared for about five seconds as Apollo's impetuous younger brother on the premier episode of Battlestar
Galactica. (I think his name was Zack...) He was summarily blown to bits by those evil, evil
Cylons. Alas, we did not meet again until my sister forced me to watch General Hospital everyday after school.
What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced?
Returning this interview on time was a big one...and I failed miserably there...the other would be convincing my wife that despite the fact that I resemble George
Clooney, I'm really just a humble, fun loving guy.
Why did you decide to enter the field you are in? What genre of writing do you prefer to do? novel? article/essay?
I always wanted to write - its in many ways the family business (my brother, my mother, my uncle and I are all professional writers) - the hard part was figuring out how to earn a living doing it. What I learned was that novel writing came somewhat naturally to me. The truth, however, is that I wish I could write short stories for the rest of my life.
What is your favorite Rick Springfield song?
In a three way tie, its: Written in Rock, Love Somebody, and Don't Walk Away.
Last CD you bought?
Another three way tie: I recently bought Neil Young's "Are You Passionate?" Pete Yorn's
"Musicforthemorningafter" and Eminem's "The Eminem Show".
Are you currently teaching creative writing? If so, do you enjoy it?
Yes, I am currently teaching creative writing at the Writers' Program at UCLA Extension and I enjoy immensely. A captive audience is a wonderful thing.
Have you seen Rick in EFX ALIVE at the MGM in Las Vegas? If so, what did you think?
I have not seen EFX, though once I saw Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy in the same restaurant at the same time and that, let me tell you, was the surest sign of the apocalypse one could ever want.
How would you describe yourself?
In hushed tones, while holding a high ball in my hand...
Tell us a little about the Las Vegas guides, the one about drinking and eating as well as the one about the sleazy night life! Did you do the research for these guides personally?
The guides are a sort of fun diversion for me from the serious fiction writing I do. I haven't written the sleazy night life one yet - I'm actually just editing that one - but the one on the dive bars and cheap restaurants was a colon searing test of wills. Not only did I do the research, I also wrote the whole thing, most of it on napkins and crumpled one dollar bills. Wherever you are in the country, pick up Hungry? Thirsty? Las Vegas and witness for yourself the degradation I put myself through...
What is your life's philosophy?
To quote Jimmy Buffet: I've read hundreds of books about heroes and crooks and learned much from both of their styles...
According to you, Rick and you seem to have a lot in common. What would be the strongest bond between you that would sustain a true friendship?
Well, duh, we're dead ringers for each other. After that, it would probably come down to the fact that my sister might kidnap him and I'm his best hope for a timely and safe escape.
Define success. Failure.
Success: A full jar of peanut butter when the urge to have a PB&J sandwich strikes at 3am.
Failure: Realizing, yet again, that it is very odd that I crave PB&J sandwiches at 3am on a regular basis.
Who are your role models? Why?
I don't really have any role models per se. I guess I've always wanted to be the first Tod Goldberg.