In our sixth interview, we talk with none other than Leif Garrett, the 70's teen idol, musician, and actor. So, without further delay, here is Leif Garrett!
First, Leif, can you tell us what you've been up to? Where can people go to find more about you?
My website is www.leifgarrett.net. Besides recording the song with LNJ, I recorded a song for the movie I did with Aaron Carter called "Pop Star." I worked with Michael Lloyd who was the first producer I ever worked with. Michael produced my biggest albums.
You've had a long career, landing acting jobs at age five and having hit records at 16! But that was back in the 70's, and now it's 2005. Why do your fans still have a strong attraction/fascination with you?
I've collected new fans because of things like "Behind The Music" and my association with other rockers - playing with people like Dave Navarro, Camp Freddy and stuff like that. I think the reason why the old fans have hung in there is because they genuinely liked the music that I did. Also, that was a very influential time in their life and I was a part of it.
Rumor has it that your former record label released a greatest hits album entitled "The Leif Garrett Collection" in 1998 without your knowledge. How has the record sold? Did you ever see any royalties from this CD?
My former record label was bought out. The label was started by me … meaning my music started it, funded it. And then it was bought out by some company that released the Greatest Hits Collection. Not only have I not seen any royalties from that, but they wanted me to promote it — the compensation being a couple of CDs.
We recently saw you in the movie "Dickie Roberts Former Child Star." In the DVD features we saw you in a music video with other former child stars. For one minute you're in the group, but then you're gone! Where did you go?
I wasn't comfortable in that setting. I did one take and then I left.
What did VH1's Behind the Music do for your career?
Yes, it helped. I think that it introduced a lot of young people to my career and my past and present music. It has been apparent in the fan mail.
Leif Garrett and The Crush Ups have a new song called "Betty Ford For X-Mas." Can you tell us about this song?
It's a joke song. It was for fun. A friend wrote a poem called "Betty Ford For Christmas" and then I reworked the lyrics and wrote the music. We recorded it and put it out for fun. The single is available at iTunes.
Name the three highest and lowest points of your musical career to date.
High points: First, playing the Houston Astrodome for 35,000 people. Second, flying back from London to New York City on the Concorde to make it in time to interview for "The Outsiders" and getting the part. Third, just knowing that I've pleased so many people with what I've done.
Low points: First, becoming addicted. Second, working with some of the people in the music industry that I've worked with. Third, not having a record deal right now.
Name the three highest and lowest points of your acting career to date.
High points: First, doing all the great television shows that I did as a kid. Second, winning Cowboy Hall of Fame for "Peter Lundy & The Medicine Hat Stallion." Third, doing "The Outsiders".
Low points: First, doing "Cheerleader Camp." Second, not working as much as I want to be right now in film. Third, people still coming up to me and talking to me about the "CHiPS" episode.
You recently did a song for the new Liberty n' Justice CD called "Sight Unseen." People who have heard the song say you did an amazing job. Some could not believe it was "Leif Garrett." People at the session said you were doing okay until the girls showed up or the Red Bull kicked in and then you were amazing. Which was it: the girls or the Red Bull?
It was none of the above. It was getting comfortable by working with new people and learning the song … or becoming 100 percent comfortable with the song.
What did you think of "Sight Unseen?" Was this your first time singing a Christian rock song?
Yes, it was the first time that I've done a Christian rock song. But I don't think of it that way. I think of it as a really good song about a good subject matter.
One night I was watching TV and an episode of Star Dates came on and there you were, going on a date. My goodness man, what where you thinking?
Good question. I still ask myself the same thing.
Spiritually what do you believe?
I believe in a higher power and I believe in good and bad, right and wrong. You sleep in the bed you make.
Your biggest hit was a pop/disco song called "I Was Made For Dancing." What style of music do you like doing? Is it true that in the late 70s and 80s your record label would not let you pursue the music that you wanted?
I prefer rock n' roll, but obviously pop is based in rock n' roll too. But yeah, it's true. The record label wanted me to do a lighter style of music than what I wanted to do. I wanted to do The Stones, Zeppelin, Bowie, Elton John.
What advice would you give any former or present teen idols?
Don't believe your own publicity and stay on top of your finances. Don't leave that up to others.
You had a role in the 1983 blockbuster film "The Outsiders." Do you have any stories from the set you can share?
Francis Ford Coppola gave the Greasers and the Soc's different rooms. The Soc's got suites and the Greasers got regular rooms. He tried to create animosity between us so that we would bring it to the set, to work. We used to have rumbles in the lobby for fun.
You do a lot of charity work. How has this work affected your life?
I've done a lot of work with the March of Dimes and lots of other charities. I'm about to perform at a charity event for the American Red Cross for the South East Asia Relief Fund. I still like to do whatever I can for charities.
What does 2005 and beyond hold for the musician/actor Leif Garrett?
Hopefully it'll hold the rest of what I want to achieve: to sign a deal and to be able to do the music that I want to do. As far as acting goes, to continue working in film.
And finally, a LNJ 4-ALL word association. We will mention a name or thing, and you give us your thoughts:
Michael Jackson (pop singer)
I'd rather not comment. Let's let the justice system do it's work. I don't know all the facts
Slash (Guns n' Roses / Velvet Revolver)
Twice bitten by success.
Corey Feldman (80's teen idol)
Oh my … I don't know
Mike Layne (producer of Liberty n' Justice)
For the brief time that I got to work with him, really cool
Hank Williams, Jr. (musician)
Bad football jingle
C.C. Deville (Poison)
Michael Hutchence (INXS)
Rest in peace, my friend
Barb Papageorge (manager)
A great friend and business partner
Justine Bateman (Mallory Keaton from Family Ties)
I wish her all the best
Anne Robinson (The Weakest Link)
Not as cold as she appears to be