Revisiting the heyday of department stores and five-and-dimes

Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray -- a surprisingly awesome interview

I must admit -- at first, I was a little leery of interviewing Mark McGrath, the lead singer and front man of Sugar Ray.

You remember Sugar Ray, right? With hits like "Fly," "Every Morning" and "Someday," they were huge in the '90s. Even though they just released a new album, these days, people look at them as has-beens and lightweights.

But McGrath is actually a hard core music nerd. He's really unpretentious and modest about the band's success. Here's a link to the centerpiece I did on them, which ran in today's paper.

McGrath talked really, really fast and gave me so many good quotes, I couldn't use them all in the piece. Here are some of the passages I didn't use in the article ...

One time in the '90s, McGrath made an appearance on one of those MTV Spring Break-esque programs. The host of the show brought up a hypnotist, who had hypnotized a girl to say "yes" to anything McGrath asked. But instead of going for the obvious questions about something sexual, McGrath asked the girl the name of the '70s prog rock band fronted by John Anderson.

The answer, of course, was "Yes."

"I ruined the whole thing," McGrath said. "They thought I'd just come in with some ham-fisted sex question. I just remember that [host] went circling the drain when I said that."

McGrath on his music philosophies:

"Music is seven notes. If you waste your time in genres of music or make it lifestyle for yourself, you're going to miss out on a lot of music. When I was in high school all I listened to was the Sex Pistols, Clash and the Damned. You could not speak to me about anything else. I didn't care, I didn't want to hear it. And then life events happened to me. When a girl broke my heart, all the sudden Air Supply songs start sounding good. You're crying along to "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All," and you're like, 'This is good.' The biggest crime for me in music is to limit yourself to certain genres."

(Handout photo)

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