from Who Weekly, 2 August 1999
Stephen Cummings has a 13 year-old son, Curtis, who likes Jebediah, Fatboy Slim
and Regurgitator. What about Dad's music? "I think he's a bit embarrassed by
his father," grins the 44-year-old Melbourne singer-songwriter. Cummings's
latest embarrassment is his ninth solo album, Spiritual Bum (Festival).
And that's to be followed by the publication of his second novel, Stay Away
from Lightning Girl (Random House).
Where does the title Spiritual Bum come from?
I was reading a book about Henry Miller living in Paris. Everyone around him
was getting into gurus and he was the only one who wasn't, so they referred to
him as a spiritual bum. I really liked that.
Do you prefer writing books or writing songs?
I find music really natural because I've done it for so long. With the book
writing, I'll probably get good at it eventually, but I'm learning a lot along
the way. My parents were huge readers - my father read westerns and my mother
read romances - so it rubbed off, even if it was all pulp fiction.
I hear you've been buying a lot of albums that you used to like as a kid.
Mott the Hoople, old David Bowie, the Faces, early Roxy Music. That early '70s
period was the peak for music generally. I mean, there are still good things
coming out now, but even the average stuff from that time was better.
Medibank's "I Feel Better Now" jingle is from one of your songs. How long has
that advertisement been playing?
Nine years. It's amazing, isn't it? Every time they renew it I get a cheque in
the mail. It's not a lot of money, but it's still very nice to get it.
the Stephen Cummings site - email: feedback AT lovetown.net