Phone Message Transcript: July 28, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"This is light commentary and a lot of sports talk from Anne Rice and just a little bit of news. To those of you who are sending your address for the Leila Josefowicz concert, we are keeping track of all of that. She is still scheduled to play for us on Sunday, the third of November and we want to make this free. As I think that I have told you, we may wind up having to ask for a donation, simply to prevent people from taking tickets and then not showing.
O.K. Now, the Coven Party by the Fan Club is still November first, the night before Leila plays. Leila plays on the second, the party is November first. The Fan Club will give you information about that if you are a member or tell you how to get it. I will be signing in New Orleans and it's not entirely clear yet when the book is coming out and where I will be signing and what I will be doing, but something will definitely happen. We will let you know as soon as possible.
The book is Violin. Violin is a study in pain. Watch INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE and if I am remembered for anything after I am dead, I think it will be VIOLIN as usually as any other book. I am writing ARMAND, as I told you. Deep into ARMAND. It won't be published until a year starting this fall, but I'm entering an entire world that I never envisioned. I'm interested in...you know, sort of completely different things. I don't want to repeat myself and yet these vampires, these half-human, half blood drinking angels keep giving me this incredible perspective on humanity and history and the passage of time and the cosmic unknown. This book ARMAND, by the way, will be written by Armand himself. It is not going to be like the new tales of the vampires--I think that you have heard about them. We have one coming out in Spring called PANDORA and the new tales of the vampires are tales that are gathered by David Talbot. You may remember David was in the Talamasca until he became a vampire. He is now chronicling the tales of a lot of the lesser characters. But anyway, to get back to ARMAND, ARMAND will be a full- fledged, large size, major book and it will be from Armand's point of view, and it will really represent, in many respects, the sequel to MEMNOCH THE DEVIL.
O.K., enough of that. I thought that I was going to talk about sports, didn't I say that? O.K. let me talk about sports. Now, here comes the part that will probably shock a lot of people, but I am very curious about a lot of things. There are a lot of things out there that I want to know about. If any of you know where there are any legal pit bull fights, please let me know. I am talking legal now--legal pit bull fights because I would like to see one. I just want to see what that experience is like. Last night I went to my first cock fight and it was completely legal in Louisiana. They happen all over Louisiana and the south and they are legal, and it was a marvelous experience. It was really quite amazing. We saw, I guess, maybe fifty, sixty, pairs of roosters fight with each other. Each fight lasted about three, four minutes. There was not a great deal of blood. There was not a great deal of sadism or cruelty. The men bring in these absolutely gorgeous cocks and the cocks go at each other and it's over pretty quick. You watch it all in the central ring that is surrounded by wire and the fascinating thing about it was the crowd. The crowd are really old rank and file Americans. I mean, when this generation dies out, America will have lost something. Some of you may be saying "thank God!", but I don't feel that way about it. I feel privileged to have a glimpse of this. To see what's in America. To see what was going on. To see the kind of people that fight these cocks and what they do. Now, we went there with about nine of us in a big stretch limousine of mine, and I heard later that they thought that a prostitute was working the fights running tricks in the limousine. I thought that was hysterical. Anyway, I found it very, very interesting. I am not recommending it. I am just saying that it taught me a lot, and watching the people shout back and forth, you know, in favor of this rooster or that rooster--all of that was extremely interesting. There were many children there, there were many women. The vast majority were male. The vast majority were white. We had one black person in our company and I wasn't about to let anything happen to him, but there wasn't a chance of it. There wasn't any racial strife there of any kind. Anyway, we stayed, I guess, from two in the afternoon to about six o'clock and we watched quite a lot. It went on till midnight and I believe the pot was fifty thousand dollars.
O.K., enough of that. I just want to say, I thought it was wonderful and I thought it was marvelous and I thought that it was Jacksonian democracy and Jackson and Abe Lincoln both were cock fighters and fans of cock fights.
O.K., I also wanted to mention that I am very interested in something else, and I say this with respect and it has nothing to do with sports, this has to do with religion. I would very much like to witness the snake handlers and the poison drinkers. If there are any churches in Louisiana that you know of that would accept me as an extremely respectful visitor--this is not to ridicule, this is not to photograph, this is not to make fun of their religion--but I would love to hear these people speak in tongues and I would love to hear them hold the snakes that they believe they can hold, or the testimony to their faith in God. I would love to see them drink the strychnine. I would like to witness it, so if anyone knows of anywhere near by where we could do this, you could put a messages on this machine quite safely. And believe me, this is not said lightly. I want to see these people. I want to see the demonstration of their faith. I've seen Tim Burton's film on them and I watched several programs about them and I read several books about them and I know they are in Tennessee and in a lot of places, but I don't know how close they come to Louisiana.
O.K. Onward, let's go back to sports. One or two of you called me and asked me what I thought of what Mike Tyson did in Las Vegas. I think it was absolutely monstrous what Mike Tyson did and I will never, never, never watch another Mike Tyson fight. I don't care who it is, I don't care who he fights. I have never seen anything more dishonorable, deplorable, and disgusting than when he bit off Holyfield's ear. I mean, it was absolutely revolting. It was a violation of what sports is about, the honorable aspects of sports that echoed all the way back to the Olympic games between Sparta and Athens in ancient times. I mean, Tyson should be out. He should be out for what he did! It was disgusting. My hero in boxing remains George Foreman. I thought he was fabulous, as you know, in that last fight with the young Italian kid and I think that it if George stays in form, he can beat anybody. He can make a new record. We're in new health here and George is proof of it. George is my hero and I want to point out one other thing. As you build up to that Tyson fight, you pay T.V. and you call in and there is the main event, but there are a lot of other events before that. Well, the best fight of the other events was the fight of a woman boxer, Christy Martin. Christy is fast becoming my heroine. If she comes down here to box at the Pontchatrain Center or --- and I miss it, I am going to scream. I really love Christy Martin and I think she is terrific. I think first of all, she's a fine, fine athlete. She's a fine boxer. She is a smart boxer and she knows the rules of boxing and she knows the grace and the moves. She abides by the rules and she has also clearly not altered her body with any steroids or testosterone. She looks like a woman just doing just what she wants to do and that is boxing and boxing is very, very well. It is an irony that she put on one of the best shows that night before Tyson went in the ring and disgraced himself utterly. I hope that we will have more women boxers and that maybe we will build up quite a lot of them to where we have our own league, or something--our own Championship--because I do think that it is an honorable sport. Maybe, to me, the most honorable sport because you have consenting adults doing what they want to do according to rules, and a you have a referee stopping it before anybody gets badly hurt, we hope, pray to God. And to me...I'm not saying that other sports aren't honorable, but I have a very negative view of the high schools in America that don't tell kids how they can be hurt in football. A lot of that stuff goes on. But look I am going to check out because I am afraid the machine is going to cut me off. Leave me a one minute message, especially if you can answer any of those questions, because I honestly do want to see a legal pit bull fight and I honestly do, with all respect and reverence, want to approach one of those churches, so if you can help me with that leave a message and we can talk further about this if you want to talk about it. This question of cock fighting and boxing...cause, I know how preposterous this is.
But, in closing, I just want to say there' a difference between a symbolic cause and a real cause. There is a difference between a rich lady stopping on 5th Avenue and demanding to know whether your coat is mink, and a missionary nun going right down into Nicaragua to see if people are fed and clothed and they have medicine. To me, see that is a real cause. So, I don't have much sympathy with anti-cock fighters and the fur people, but I worry a lot about world peace and how we are going to get these problems solved with regard to hunger. I care and I vote for the man in the White House who cares. God Bless you, God love you, and please leave me a one minute message at the beep, thanks."