In honor of our annual local-music issue, we quizzed Mayor Jerry Sanders on his own musical tastes, his headphones and why he just started going to concerts again after a long hiatus. Oh, and, by the way, Mr. Mayor, which one's Pink?
Some people consider themselves music fans, and others are more ambivalent. Where do you fall?
Oh, I love music. I listen to it all the time. The most fun I had was buying new stereos through the years. Couldn't wait till I got a Kenmore, top of the line. I mean, I spent, like, a month's salary on that. I absolutely loved it.
How do you listen to your music? Are you a CD guy or an iPod guy?
Well, I'm not an iPod guy-that's a little too sophisticated for me. I do listen to CDs, and my favorite time is out in the yard on the weekends when I get a chance. I always have a CD player, and I've got the Bose headphones.
The noise-reducing ones?
Right. Course [Laughs], I've cut 'em twice with my lawn clippers, and that's very expensive when that happens.
If you had to categorize what kind of music you listen to, what would it be?
Probably classic rock. Some newer stuff, some older stuff. I listen to a lot of the classic ones. The only new thing I bought since I became mayor was that David Gilmour CD.
Speaking of him, we heard during the election that Pink Floyd was your favorite band. Now that you've taken office, is that still the case?
Yeah, I love Pink Floyd. I like the Rolling Stones. We went to that concert. I hadn't been to a concert in 25 years. Maybe 30 years. Mainly because I was a cop from age 22, and you couldn't go to a place where marijuana was smoked, and all concerts in those days, you know, you could barely walk through it. So my wife bought tickets for the U2 concert last year, but she couldn't go, so I took my youngest daughter. And we went to the Rolling Stones. Two great concerts in one year-it was perfect.
Does being mayor get you backstage? Have you met anybody big?
Well, we were at the House of Blues on the night of [my] State of the City [speech], and I met Jada Pinkett. Really nice person.
Do you find yourself talking music with your daughters?
Yeah. At first they thought Pink Floyd was just the worst. But then they started talking to their buddies at college. There seems to be a resurgence in Pink Floyd and some of the older stuff. So they actually like it.
So you've been converting them rather than the other way around?
Right. I'm not into hip-hop. Although my wife has been completely converted. She buys a lot of hip-hop and plays it on Saturdays out in the garage. We have a stereo out there, and she does artwork, and I'll have to tell her to turn it down.
What are your favorite Pink Floyd songs or albums?
At the start of the campaign, my wife brought home Final Cut, and for some reason, I'd never heard that CD, and I've been playing it ever since. It's incredible. I like The Wall. Obviously, everybody likes Dark Side of the Moon. I like a lot of the later albums that are kind of composites of the earlier ones, but are different formats or are live. I think I have just about everything they've done. But I didn't care for the earliest stuff.
So you're a post-Syd Barrett fan?
Yeah. It was just a little bit too freeform for me.
Have you ever tried to sync up The Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon, and if you have, was it awesome?
Somebody just gave it to me on a memory stick. I can't wait to watch. My daughter said she saw it and it was just incredible. The other thing I always wanted to see was at the Ruben Fleet [Imax theater]-the Laser Floyd-they did Dark Side of the Moon. I never got a chance, but I really wanted to.
Did you watch or listen to the Live 8 reunion?
Yeah. We watched a lot of it, and my wife got the whole thing on DVD and we've been watching the whole thing one disc at a time, the whole concert.
You've just completed your first 100 days in office. Please choose which of the following Pink Floyd songs and albums might apply to the experience: "Dark Side of the Moon," "Wish You Were Here," "Money," "Comfortably Numb," "Another Brick in the Wall" or Momentary Lapse of Reason.
Well, in some ways, "Dark Side of the Moon" fits best, because I've found that it really is "us and them." "Money," I just don't care for that song, even though it's their classic. I'd hate to say "Comfortably Numb"-maybe that was for a few days. But, really, "Wish You Were Here" is probably the best one.