Gavin McInnes, co-founder of the counter-cultural paper of record Vice Magazine, is often credited (or blamed) for the creation of the hipster, largely thanks to his long-running "Dos and Don'ts" fashion critique column, but that's hardly the most interesting thing about him. His new memoir, entitled "How To Piss In Public" (after this successful viral video) is a collection of his craziest stories, from his beginnings as a Canadian punk fighting Nazi Skinheads, to his drug-feuled days as a media mogul with money to burn in New York City. The book is rude, lurid, and awesome, and also recounts maybe the only own known instance of someone transmitting an STD to themselves (don't ask).  Click 'read more' for the interview.  

1) The book is definitely billable as just a collection of amazing stories, but I think that it’s also an argument or encouragement for a risk-taking, entrepreneurial, balls-out kind of life. Would you agree that you are, in a way, defending the viability of a way of life? You said something once about how, for an older generation, getting a tattoo meant a life working the docks, but today things are different and it's basically: “You’re smart! You’ll be fine.”

I didn't realize that at first but the publishers pointed it out to me when the book was done. They said it's a "How To" book on doing whatever you want without going broke. I believe that, despite all the doom and gloom economic projections out there, we are still living in a very affluent time. If you work hard at something, it'll pay the bills, no matter how retarded it is. You don't even have to be that smart. Shit, if graffiti - writing your nickname on other people's property - can lead to a lucrative career, anything can. Shepard Fairey grossed $6 million last year.

2) How much do you credit luck for your survival? Or is the key just to not do heroin?

Oh so I didn't "build that" as Obama would say? You see this guy who's done a bunch of fun shit and you assume it must be luck? Having a great time isn't about luck. It's about trial and error. I didn't put in stories that involved getting rained out or the place being closed. The book is only the winners and like business, for every win, there are a dozen fails. 

Wait, I just reread the question. You aren't asking how I had so much fun. You're asking why I'm alive. Yeah, I would say luck plays a big part. I recently read a story about some drunk assholes who drove over a cliff and died and while I was shaking my head at their stupidity, a friend said, "Yeah, but how many times have we done shit that's WAY stupider?" It was a chilling thought. 

Also, not doing heroin is a biggie. I think I list a dozen friends in the book who O.D.'d. The analogy I always use is: If there was a 10 with AIDS in the room and an 8.5 with no STDs, which one would you fuck? You can synthesize the heroin buzz with pot, booze, and Xanax. That's the 8.5. Heroin is a bit better but the odds are very high you're going to die. You'd think saying, "Don't fuck women with AIDS" is redundant but apparently it's not.  

3) I share your hatred for flip-flops. Will the scourge of strangers’ toes ever be lifted from New York City? At least summer’s almost over.

Yeah but then another summer comes along and they're back. I once asked a guy in my office building why the fuck he wears them to work and he goes, "I didn't want to be some douche." Pardon? Where do these guys get the idea that showing the world their hairy toes is chill? Have they ever seen their own genitalia? Go look at your bag in the mirror. God did not give men nice looking parts. Stop parading them around town. 

4) Is it true that in fourth grade you made fun of Clinton Bedecki and stole his gym shorts? [Context]

I don't think I ever stole his gym shorts. Clinton was a wild motherfucker who is probably in jail now. He'd always take shit too far. In fifth grade, a bunch of us broke into the school gym during lunch. We were throwing gym mats around and doing other harmless stuff and then we look up and Clinton is throwing the school's stereo off the stage. It soared through the air in slow motion and then smashed into a million pieces on the floor. We all yelled, "HOLY SHIT!" and ran for our lives. I think he was the one who took a shit in the equipment room, too. I often wonder what the janitor thought when he saw that. He probably said, "Animals" out loud. 

5) At this point, I’ll bet you’ll agree that the idea of talking about what is or is not a hipster is totally boring and almost incoherent. Even using the word makes me feel lame. Does that mean that the hipsters won?

When you first approached me about this interview, you asked if you could ask five questions. That was one. This is six. 

janice stannard
9/14/2012 11:20:16 am

i have to admit i had never of u before red eye you r so entertaining and passionate. i love your 'dad', your brother, not so much...a little too droll. i'm a grammy of 5 teenage girls so i'm not real fond of your language. however, i have 5 brothers, a dad, 2 sons, a husband and grew up in the 60's so it's not like i haven't heard it all. i look forward to seeing you on red eye and in reading this interview i now have a little insight to your back ground. u must have been a handful for your parents! you have a new fan!

Laura Gebhart
11/16/2016 08:15:20 pm

ha! Thats awesome Janice! I have only Just heard of him as well. Cheers, L

7/31/2013 10:28:46 pm

It's about tribulation plus boner. I didn't put in stories that absorbed getting rained absent or the arrange existence closed.

8/13/2013 08:05:04 pm

Ha, the Godfather of hipsterdom! I still remember watching the movie The Vice Guide to Travel for the first time. Oh man! By the way, my recommendation is not to buy the printed book. Buy the audio book. I assure you that you won't regret it!

10/27/2013 03:54:42 pm

believe that, despite all the doom and gloom economic projections out there, we are still living in a very affluent time.

2/21/2014 11:08:07 pm

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post


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