Posthaste with Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman

by Dege Legg

Johnny Hickman of the band Cracker stops by The Independent Weekly for a lightning round of Posthaste shenanigans.

"Take the Skinheads Bowling" is one of the most classic tunes to ever come out of the 80s underground. Written by David Lowery of Camper Van Beethoven, it still rocks.  That celebrated distaste for orthodoxy and purist attitudes in the alt-underground lives on today with his current band, Cracker. Formed in 1991 with guitarist Johnny Hickman, Cracker blazed a hearty trail during the 90s alt-gold rush with genuinely stomping tunes that mixed roots, punk, classic fuzz, and post-mod psych with a working class center of gravity. As they say, only the strong survive, and Cracker has done just that, stoically weathering every industry trend from rap rock to novelty schlock by incessantly touring and keeping the keep of the good flame of rock and roll alive. Cracker plays The Varsity in Baton Rouge on June 8. The inimitable Reverend Horton Heat opens up the show.

Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman drops in for a lightning round of Posthaste kookiness, covering everything from crappers to coeds to 2012 to the most appropriate time and place to wear turquoise**.

(Johnny Hickman of Cracker)

History of Cracker in five words, more of less.
Childhood friend's respectful bands break up. They hang out and write songs together. It works.

(Camper Van Beethoven, back in the 80s)

(Cracker, present day)

Best gig ever?
Bilbao Spain, 2010. Sold out show with a line down the block. Beautiful Spanish girls galore.

Worst gig ever?
First Cracker gig, Los Angeles 1991. Billed in L.A. Weekly as "Crapper" 15 people showed up on a Tuesday night. The club did not pay us or give us any beer so I stole 3 for us from behind the bar and got thrown out of my own gig. We were great, though.

When science fails us and our spiritual leap of faith stumbles, what can one do when attempting to divine the great mysteries of the universe?
Start your day with yoga, tea and meditation. End it with whiskey, a guitar and autographing lovely women's body parts. Repeat.

The coolest land mammal is the _____________.
The northern Colorado State University coed in her winter coat....and nothing underneath.

Besides going to do battle with The Mermen, on what occasion is it most appropriate to wear turquoise?
At a jam session in a remote Mexican beach dive bar with the ghosts of Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash.

Jim Morrison was rumored to have the spirit of an Indian Shaman living in his "fragile, eggshell mind." Who or what lives inside Johnny Hickman?
The spirit of Edward Teach (Blackbeard).

2012. Blind date with disaster or metaphysical upgrade?
Oddly, both simultaneously. The remedy? See my daily ritual above.