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Bruce Hornsby

A Conversation with Bruce Hornsby

Puremusic: How are you, Bruce?

Bruce Hornsby: I'm fine. How are you?

PM: Good. Where does this call find you this morning?

BH: I'm in my house in Virginia.

PM: Ah, yeah. So you've been there like from the beginning, right, never moved away?

BH: Oh, no. I moved to L.A. in 1980, and moved back here in 1990. I spent Tom Wolfe's "Me decade" in L.A., trying to get something going for me.

PM: [laughs] "Glad you could all show up, for me."

BH: Exactly.

PM: [laughs] And you veritably did get something going for you in the '80s, right?

BH: I was one of the fortunate ones. I went to L.A. and got what I went there for, and then got the hell out. Got the hell out of Hell-A.

PM: Yeah. [laughs] And ten years is a long time to spend in Los Angeles for a Virginia boy.

BH: It was. It was never for me. I miss the posers and artifice. That was the best part.

PM: [laughs]

BH: It was a great comedy to me. I would never rag on it. I thought it was the best part.

PM: Oh, yeah, it's an incredible theater, no doubt.

BH: It's hilarious.

PM: So how many kids do you guys got?

BH: We have twin boys, fourteen years old.

PM: Wow.

BH: One of them is a big metal head.

PM: Really?

BH: Classic rock. He likes Kiss and Ozzie.

PM: Oh, right, so both sides of the rock fence, kind of.

BH: Yeah. And then my other son likes soundtrack music, James Horner and John Williams.

PM: Wow. How diametrically opposed.

BH: It's hilarious. They're twins, and they're very different, yeah.

PM: So are either of them as you were at their age?

BH: One of them is a lot like I was at his age, in the sense that he's a jock, and that's what I was when I was his age.

PM: Right. Because I recall meeting you once, and you were sitting down, but you looked quite tall.

BH: Yeah, that's right. I'm six-four.

PM: Six-four, right. And are they sprout-like as well?

BH: No, they're small. They're going to grow, but they're not going to grow like me--unfortunately. I'd love it if they were looking down on me, but I don't think that's going to happen.

PM: Right. And so it won't be the same kind of one-on-one in the driveway that it might have been. [We don’t want to leave anyone out--it’s a basketball term.]

BH: Oh, we still play one-on-one in the driveway like crazy.

PM: Oh, really?

BH: We have intense games. Yeah, that's all fun. So he's like me in that way. And the other one is very much interested in aviation, and he wants to be a pilot.

PM: Wow. So is the metal head like you or the Horner guy like you?

BH: Well, the metal head is the jock.

PM: Right.

BH: So he's more like me. He's more like that side of me. And people tell me that they think that a combination of the two is me.

PM: Right. And that's how it goes.

BH: And I think that's probably very true. The soundtrack guy is a fantastic runner. He's incredibly fast.

PM: Oh, you mean like a sprinter, or like long distance?

BH: He has incredible endurance and can just run you into the ground. He ran a sub-five-minute mile as a seventh-grader.

PM: What?

BH: Yeah, really, I mean, freaky.

PM: Oh, my God!

BH: Yeah, truly gifted.

PM: And so is he doing that?

BH: Well, no, only when he wants to. It's not really fun for him. But he's going to run in high school, starting next year. So he's just starting to kind of get into it. I mean, he came in second in the country as a ten-year-old in the Junior Olympics AAU in Knoxville, Tennessee.

PM: Holy jeez!

BH: Yeah, he's really a good runner. But he got burnt with it, so we said, "Hey, well, then stop."

PM: Yeah.

BH: "Even though you're great, don't do it unless you want to."

PM: "Even though you could be the one."

BH: Well, whatever. It's very difficult. If you don't like it, you shouldn't do it.

PM: Absolutely.

BH: And so he's like, "God, I wish I wasn't so good at this." I said, "Well, I don't care if you're the best ever, if you don't like it, don't do it." So enough about my kids, there you go.

PM: But it's very interesting. And I know it's probably a big part of your life, because fourteen is so testy. You're lucky. I mean, most of my friends tell me, "Yeah, well, at thirteen, they turn around and they hate you."

BH: Well, not yet, but give them time.

PM: Yeah, right.   continue

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