I realized tonight that my about page totally blows. It’s usually the first thing I look at when I surf to a new blog, so I thought I’d do up a little “Philip Clark 101.”
1. Born March 18, 1971 to Russell and Elaine Clark.
2. Green eyes, dirty blonde hair (lighter in the summer, darker in the winter). Holding steady at 140lbs. for the past ten or twelve years.
2. I have friends who claim to be “five foot eleven” or “five-eleven-and-a-half.” I am taller than them, but I would never claim to be six feet tall. Strange.
4. I skipped Grade One because I could read. I went from Dr. Seuss to Hardy Boys to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
5. I own a pair of green sweatpants that I wear around the house on lazy Sunday afternoons. In time, you will learn to love them as I do.
6. I was raised in a good Baptist home.
7. For most of my life I have been a good atheist.
8. I wiped out on a skateboard and suffered a concussion on April 23, 1988.
9. I got alcohol poisoning on Dec. 30, 1995 and went three years without touching a drop of booze.
10. In 1999 I spent nine months on an abandoned army base in the middle of nowhere with 5 other guys. This is where I learned the secrets of the audio trade.
11. I have one brother, Steven. He’s 29, married, one kid. Teaches elementary school in Saint John, New Brunswick. No one else could ever share my sense of humour so fully.
12. One of my grandfathers died before I was born. He was a woodsman. Cut himself quite badly with an axe, walked home and bled to death on his front steps.
13. My grandmother gave me his jackknife.
14. My other grandfather broke his back in the coal mine. He’s still kicking around though.
15. Parents: still living. Grandmothers: still living.
16. I’ve had two uncles die from cancer in my lifetime.
17. I ride a girl’s bike that I’ve named “Jennifer.” People I don’t know say hello to Jennifer on the street. She’s a celebrity.
18. I am a raging carnivore.
19. I can eat just about everything. I sometimes have trouble digesting green beans, and tofu. (Stand back, vegetarian, or I’ll eat you too.)
20. I can drink neither beer nor wine. The smell alone is sufficient to trigger a terrible migraine headache.
21. I prefer to wear glasses at home (convenience) and contact lenses out (peripheral vision)
22. I love winter. My favourite month is February.
22. I used to play a lot of chess. I’m sure my 12-year-old self could kick the ass of my 32-year-old self.
23. These days I prefer backgammon. Way more sociable.
24. I own a kite I have never flown.
25. I hate computers unless they are Macs.
26. The first record I learned to play on guitar from beginning to end was “Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne” by GBH.
27. I was in a band called Catch23–named after a GBH song.
28. At one point I had the biggest mohawk in New Brunswick.
29. For the past ten years, my preferred hairstyle has been shaved. Sometimes I let myself go for a couple months.
30. My hair grows wicked fast.
31. However, I couldn’t grow a beard if I tried.
32. I’ve never really tried. Beards, ugh.
33. Drugs I’ve never tried: LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine…
34. Drugs that have driven friends insane before my eyes: LSD, ecstasy.
35. I believe I may have tried PCP by mistake. I can’t be sure. I felt like a rat in a cage.
36. In June 1990, I resolved to quit smoking pot for ten years.
37. In June 2000, I smoked pot for the first time in ten years.
38. It served to remind me of why I quit. The shit hits me way too hard. I hallucinate.
39. Shitty jobs I’ve had: paperboy, donut baker, hotel porter, assembly line worker.
40. I have been very poor, slept on couches, depended on the food bank to survive.
41. Nowadays I have two jobs, but it still surprises me to think I can go to the store and buy a CD I want.
42. I still wear some of the same clothes I had when I was 16–half my life ago.
43. My favourite piece of clothing is my old, worn, black leather rocker jacket.
44. I had a girlfriend from Dec. 21, 1997 until Mar. 21, 1998 and have been happily single ever since.
45. I have two irrational fears: heights, and filling out forms.
46. I never feared heights until I fell backwards off a stepladder when I was a kid. I only fell a few feet, but something fused in my brain while I was in midair. Now bridges and the tops of buildings make my stomach swim.
47. Laugh if you want, but if I have to fill out a form, I break out in a sweat and feel like I’m going to hyperventilate. I can usually get my name and address down before I have to walk around and catch my breath.
48. My parents do my tax returns. My mom has said she enjoys forging my signature.
49. I have never applied for a FACTOR grant, lifeblood of so many Canadian musicians. I have probably missed out on countless opportunities because I can’t fill out forms.
50. When I lived with Sara Spike, it was great. She loved filling out forms. I would appear wordlessly with some student loan remission form in my hand, looking scared. She would say, “Oh, come here, Philly. What’s your social insurance number?”
51. I haven’t made a resume in six years.
52. A job you have to make a resume to get is probably a job I do not want.
53. When I was 14, I took acoustic guitar lessons. I hated it so much that I gave up playing guitar for 5 years.
54. I bought my first electric guitar–a black ’75 effects Univox–for $30. I still have it.
55. These days, my main axe is a wine-coloured Gibson SG.
56. Every other guitar I’ve owned, I’ve smashed (including a B.C. Rich Warlock).
57. I started playing guitar and bass around the same time. I’ve never smashed a bass.
58. I’m going to try to write down the names of most of the bands I’ve been in (that actually performed live). Safe, Somersault, Nebraska Girl, USSR, Catch-23, Spinoza, Equation Of State, North Patrol, Rome Plows, Rebecca West, Martello, B-12, Bass Cadets, Jaguar Knight, Rotator, A/V, 9Volt Sound System. Good times, good times.
59. My first live electronic music performance was at the Bayside Junior High Winter Carnival King And Queen Talent Show in January, 1985.
60. I used a Commodore VIC-20 and a Casio SK-1. I never made it to the semi-finals. No one understood what I was doing.
61. Thus setting a precedent.
62. I have a natural lack of musical talent. Sometimes I wonder why I chose this hobby and I envy those who make it look easy.
63. I resent people who claim to have “no regrets.”
64. I roll my eyes at people who claim to be “not religious, but very spiritual.”
65. I wave my private parts in the face of people who say, “One day you’ll meet that special person.”
66. My favourite Chinese food restaurant is Robie Food in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
67. I dropped out of grad school to go on tour with a rock’n’roll band.
68. I burned all the hair off the backs of my hands (set on fire during KISS lip-sync contest performance–sometime in 1984. We lost).
68. One side of my ribcage sticks out farther than the other (leaped into the crowd and landed on a chair during D.O.A. lip-sync contest performance–July 1987. We won).
69. The cartilage in my nose is slightly bent (landed face-first on the stage during Catch23 performance in St. Stephen–August 1995).
70. I love Modern art and am an avid student of Modernism in general.
71. T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, A. R. Ammons.
72. Chaucer, Homer, Shakespeare.
73. Alfred North Whitehead, Leibniz, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Heraclitus.
74. Alice Munro, John Metcalf, Ray Smith, Mark Anthony Jarman.
75. Meet me for breakfast at the North End Diner.
76. The longest committed relationship I’ve ever had: three-and-a-half years, from June 7, 1991 until early January, 1995.
77. I was completely faithful, right up to the night before we broke up…
78. Languages I’ve studied: French, Russian, Old English.
79. Old English is much sexier than modern-day English. All those thorns…
80. Only country I’ve visited other than Canada: the United States of America.
81. Five places I most want to spend some time in: St. John’s, Newfoundland. Whitehorse, Yukon. Montréal. New York City. Paris.
82. And oh, I want to go visit my 91-year-old grandmother in Gaspereau Forks, New Brunswick. That’s my place in the world.
83. When my dad came home from work, I would ask him how his day was, and he would say, “Long.”
84. I would ask him what he did all day and he would say, “Oh, I draw pictures of the insides of phones.”
85. He’s retired now. I’m still not sure exactly what he did for a living.
86. I want to get rich so I can buy my dad a fancy sportscar.
87. When I was a kid, my favourite toys were Tonkas. I had a dump truck and a road grader. I would push them around in the sand pit behind my house while making “vroom vroom” noises.
88. In grades three through twelve, I was involved in the drama club, school plays and whatnot. Was I ever a brilliant child actor? I doubt it.
89. In the summer of 2002, I was the best man when Lukas Pearse and Melissa Andrew got married. The viola player at the ceremony was a woman named Megan. I have seen her exactly twice since then. She’s so hot. Wow.
90. I have a Joint Honours degree in English and Philosophy. Dean’s List, highest academic standing in English.
91. I have ten grand in student loans from University and audio school.
92. I hate telephones. They ring and wake me up. There’s got to be a better way.
93. I love supermarkets. I’m the slowest shopper in the world because I just wander around, looking at everything.
94. Let’s go get a burger.
95. Kiss me on the neck.
96. When I buy a car, we’ll go on a road trip together.
97. Mmm mmm, I love technology. Every time I put a DVD in my laptop and hook up the speakers and the subwoofer, it gives me a ticklish feeling.
98. I love getting in bed. I jump right in and pull the covers all the way up and wiggle around and say “Hee hee hee.”
99. I hate getting up. Mornings, I just don’t want to know about.
100. Except I’m always at my horniest when I first wake up, so watch out.
101. When my brother and I were kids, we wanted to be garbagemen.
Here are some photos by Robin M., who is a lovely lady. She caught me indulging in my favourite summertime activity: having a nap on the back porch with my cat, Vickers.
And here I am standing outside the Anna Leonowens Gallery at NASCAD, looking somewhat pleased with myself: