Ron Sexsmith The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Published Oct 01, 2002Ronald Eldon Sexsmith, was born in St Catharines, ON, and currently calls Toronto home. The internationally acclaimed songwriter's latest album is called Cobblestone Runway, and he's touring Canada this month.
Borrowed a Fender Rhodes from my friend Dave Matheson and have been messin' around on that. The new Kyp Harness disc is pretty wonderful. Shoppers Drug Mart has these yummy strawberry/banana protein bars. Oh and my girlfriend bought me a portable record player awhile ago, so the old vinyl has come out. I still think it sounds the best.
Mind-altering work of art:
There's a great animated short film called Paradise from the NFB. I think it actually dates back to around '85. I don't know why I like it but I do.
Most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Singing "Rocket Man" with Elton John and Ryan Adams at Lee's [Palace, in Toronto] was pretty memorable for me, even though I couldn't hear a thing. Touring with Lucinda Williams in the days and weeks after September 11 was very intense. All the shows were quite emotionally charged, as you can imagine.
What has been your career high and low?
High: Opening up for Bob Dylan in Vancouver and hearing him thank me from the stage during his encore. (Someone actually sent me a tape of just that part.)
Low: Introducing myself to a guy wearing a Ron Sexsmith T-shirt back in '95 and hearing "You mean it's an actual person?"
What should everyone shut up about?
Reality TV. Martha Stewart.
I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
The Burl Ives "Snowman Voice-Over" Foundation.
What trait do you like and dislike most about yourself?
Like: I make up my own jokes.
Dislike: That I actually try them out on-stage.
What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
Someone who'd use the word songwriter and Richard Marx in the same sentence.
When I think of Canada I think:
Gordon Lightfoot at Massey Hall. One of my favourite things in the whole world.
What is your vital daily ritual?
I run up to the top of a very large hill, then I wake up and have a coffee.
How do you spoil yourself?
Sometimes when I'm on the road I'll actually eat that giant Toblerone chocolate in the mini bar, but only if I'm depressed or feel I deserve it.
What was your most memorable day job?
I had a detective agency when I was a kid and actually got hired for one case. "The Case of The Missing Watch."
If I wasn't playing music I would be:
Pretty darn useless.
What is your greatest fear?
That I may have to get a cell phone one day.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Magical Air Freshening Powers.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Bill Withers' music, but then again so does Bing Crosby's music.
Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
No difference really. If you're good you may get an encore.
Strangest brush with celebrity:
Peeing beside Sting at the Ivor Novello Awards in London.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Charles Dickens. He strikes me as a mashed potatoes kind of guy.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?