Rolling Stone recently spent two whole days with Bill Withers for an extensive feature to correspond with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The 76-year-old icon rarely does interviews, especially since he decided to leave the industry about three decades ago. Apparently, he still isn’t sure if he’s going to attend the induction ceremony, which will be held at Cleveland’s Public Hall on 4/18. Prior to the big features, the magazine has shared a few choice tidbits that didn’t make it into the larger narrative on Withers. For instance, it turns out Withers is a fan of shows like Lockup, The Big Bang Theory and Mike and Molly:
Lockup is a window into another way of life. In prison, it’s OK if you’ve killed nine people, but if you’re a child molester, they’re gonna get you. I like to watch the show because right now the whole country, and really the whole world, is trying to sort out how you reconcile peace among different value systems. The Big Bang Theory is my favorite show. Well, Mike and Molly is kind of gaining on it. I have them all recorded and I watch the reruns and stuff. I can’t stop listening to the closing theme from Mike and Molly. It’s this blues guitar that Keb’ Mo’ plays.
As for pop stars, Withers has his own opinions too. In another Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift showdown, Swift wins:
I can actually deal with Taylor Swift because she’s clever. Being a songwriter, I can appreciate her wit. She deserves all of her success. But I do like Katy Perry? Look, I don’t think there’s a lot of 76-year-old people hanging on Katy Perry’s every word. I’m not against it, but it doesn’t come and get me. Asking me about today’s pop music would be like asking me who the national marbles champion is. I just don’t care. If music gets me, I’ll come and listen to it.
He also expounds on his friendship with former Eagles’ member Joe Walsh, which came about mostly through their kids:
Joe’s stepson and my daughter were basically best friends in elementary school. I call him my ‘Link to the Stars.’ He’s taken me to dinner with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. We went down to Craig’s on Melrose. They had to go through the back door to avoid the paparazzi, but I just walked through the front door and nobody noticed me. One other time, he brought me into the studio where he was recording. I looked around saw Mick Jagger, Ringo and Keb’ Mo’ all in the room. I was like, ‘Wait a minute, there’s an Eagle, a Beatle and a Rolling Stone in this room.’
What a dinner that must’ve been. Withers also talks about his issues with executives at Columbia records and erasing a whole tape out of anger because he wasn’t getting paid. Read the whole thing here.
[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.]