Since PlayLouder edited it, here's the full (and possibly overlong) Hoff interview. Enjoy!
Akira The Don Hassle The Hoff Two great minds. One great interview. LET'S ROLL!
Everybody was all up in my grill like, what the fuck? You're going to hang out with David Hasselhoff? THE HOFF?
I was like, 'yeah'. All smooth like, a little coy. 'Sure. Why not?'
And they were all like, 'how'd you get to hang out with The Hoff?'
And I'm like, 'how'd you think? I'm the fucking Don!'
Which is true. I am. But really, as Bashy would say, in actuality, it went a little something like this. My old friend Leslie hit me up on MySpace one day all like, 'yo, AK, David Hasselhoff's in town in a few weeks, you should totally interview him for PlayLouder. My friend's doing the PR, I can totally hook it up'.
I was like, 'safe!'
Basically. I mean, I know I hung up my journo hat a couple of years ago, when I decided being a pop star was a way easier way to get free tracksuits, and I was fucking sick of transcribing. But this was too good an opportunity to miss. I was being offered a chance to hang with the Hoff! I mean, transcribing is a pain in the ass, if I was lucky, and didn't piss him off, I might even be able to get The Hoff to introduce my next mixtape!
So that's why you catch me at 4pm on a piss lashed London afternoon dragging my drench-ed carcass up the nicely carpeted staircases of some posh ole hotel on London's Shaftsburry avenue with that old blue voice recorder I last used to grill Sage Francis two years ago clenched in my fist. At the bottom of the stairs is a sympathetic blonde lady, who says something about it being nice weather for ducks, and at the top of the stairs is television's David Hasselhoff, who is saying something about needing coke. Coke for whiskey, as opposed to coke for new media types. Get me?
OK. Hoff is like, eighteen foot tall, he's greying pleasingly, silvery, not dirty. His eyes smile, which is rare for LA people, whose eyes usually glaze, and are framed by a happy murder of crows' feet. Aging beautifully he is. He is very handsome indeed. Otherworldly, in fact. There is also something a little vacant about him. I am not sure if he's drunk, or just plain drunk on being the fucking Hoff. I mean, I would be. I get drunk on being the fucking Don, and he's the fucking Hoff. get me? Did I mention that dude is, like, eighteen foot tall? Dude is, like, eighteen foot tall. It isn't even a joke. David is goliath. You wouldn't really wanna piss him off.
Which, typically, is the first thing I do, when I mention I might ask something about that whole Ice T, Hassle The Hoff thing.
"Why?" barks the eighteen foot tall pop culture icon from way up high in the sky, his world famous Hoff tones echoing about the room. "That's old news man, like four years ago. They made that up man!"
"Dude", I sigh, in sympathy. "Don't we got libel laws for that sort of thing?"
"Libel laws?!" screeches the Hoff, in frenzied American wonder. "Libel laws?! In this country? Are you kidding me? If they did I'd be rich with all the, all the David Hasselhoff, um, T shirts I've been seeing."
"Um, yeah. Don't Hassle The Hoff shirts, you know, Hoffmeister, um, Dustin Hoffwires, er... me in bikinis, me with dogs. Me with Che Gu, ur, Che Guevarra, ur, hat."
The Hoff's angry storm of a face soothes a little.
"That one was kind of cool."
Hoff sits himself down in a big ole armchair, and his eyes cloud over as he gazes skyward, and sings something abut a star, smilishly. I breathe a sigh of relief, inwardly.
"You should collect them", I suggest.
"Well actually, I have my own line of clothing coming out," he asserts proudly, sounding like 50 Cent. "Because I've seen so many things, all around the world, so many of them, they kept popping up, and, it really lead, LEAD to this record coming out, because, um, it was so big in Aw-stayl-ur (Hoff does the accent at this point) they asked me to come down and host the Auris, which are their Grammys, so I went down there, and everybody was like, wearing Hoff masks, David Hasselhoff masks, going, "Hoff, Hoff!" And now it's going throughout England, yesterday I was speaking at Trinity college, um, er, they were... um there's a college that's similar to Harvard, uh," Hoff flails his arms about quite madly. "Hoff Freaks! And they wanted to know... everything. They just really respected me. In a really nice way. I'm sure a lot of guys were having me on, but, ur..."
"Well, of course there's some irony in there," I venture. "But I think it's warm."
"Yes it is. See, you have had a number of iconic pop culture phases. A number of generations."
"People are dying for that Knight Rider movie!"
"They are! Damn... I had the rights to it for a while, but now its kind of like, ur, starting, ur, over."
Hoff looks quite crestfallen, and sighs, deeply. Time stands still.
"The original writer is writing a script, the script, so we'll see what comes of that. Eventually it'll come back to me."
Hoff twinkles at me, from deep in his armchair, and smiles, quite wickedly.
"Like Paul McCartney and his Beatles catalogue," I venture. "Let us hope they don't mess it up. Did you SEE Starsky and Hutch?"
Halfway through my sentence Hoff flexes, catlike, and gathers air, in the manner of some weird ole ninja, readying himself for a great big scrap.
"If they mess it up they'll have ME to contend with!"
He ponders, headd cocked sideways, hand on chin.
"Ur, I go out get my..."
He ponders some more.
"Google had FIFTY million hits for me the other day. 50 million Hoff hits. I'll have to get my FIFTY MILLION fans to, ur.. heh."
Hoff relaxes into evil little giggles.
"Well that's the dope thing," say I. "You can get all these people together, and focus them on one thing. It's potentially useful..."
"I hope so," hopes Hoff, endearingly. "I hope so! Cos that's what... I'm working on a concert now, with Google, and they said, 'you're the most downloaded guy on the internet'. I said, 'no!' And they said, 'yes. Well, you see', they said, 'more people are downloading, and trying to get information on you than anybody', and he showed me, on one site, one night there was..."
Hoff leans forward, conspiratorially, and whispers,
"29 million searches."
He sits back, puts his great big Hoffy arms behind his head, and smiles smugly.
"I was like, well! 29 million people wanna know about me! I mean, what's to know? Either that or 1 million people are sitting there hitting it 29 million times."
I contemplate the weird logic of that last statement for a milli-second, before rejecting it, in fear of the craziness it might bring, and instead waffle, "Well, you have done lots of things. Two major TV shows, and a fantabulous music career. And we are the the point now, with this new generation, kids like my little brother, they know no genre boundaries. They sit there on MSN sending each other Russian techno and Japanese reggae, and..."
Hoff takes a slug from his glass, which may or may not contain whiskey, but certainly contains Coke, and rubs his thighs, like Vic Reeves used to do on Shooting Stars
"What's the age range at your shows?" I ask.
"Well. I have just been on..." Hoff lowers and raises his eyebrows, in tandem with his voice. "On a book tour. For my autobiography, out on Google now, it's called Making Waves." (I had a look on Google Books, and couldn't find it. It's on Amazon though)
"I saw that in the train station yesterday."
The Hoff takes a pull from his glass, thinks, furrowedly and mutters something inaudible to himself for a little while, before sitting out staccato:
"I'd... say... 20. Percent. Under. Tens. Um. Like. Um. Fourty percent teenagers. Um. And the rest adults."
Hoff smiles triumphantly.
"So I kind of have everybody, cos of Spongebob, and Dodgeball, and this new movie I have out with Adam Sandler called Click, and the music. Um. Which was really written for the kids, for the kids in the German market its now really come around ten years later, HAW! (Hoff emits a shrill laugh, like the end of a Donkey's hee-haw - HAW!) its a hit! Where I did like this terrible video - I thought it was a fun video, I thought it was a great video actually - called Hooked On A Feeling with my kids, and BMG Polydor records - they hated it! And they, it it didn't do anything. And now it's, you know, it was seen almost a million times, so, I said, wow - even my daughters came back and said, 'Dad! They're playing that video at school!' Like, you know, they were four and six years old when that was done. So now, ten years later they're 14, 16, it's all over the place. So, that kind of led to Jump In My Car, which was an old tune, we've done now, and you know, make a thing that's...that's, you know, campy, fun, poke some fun at some of things that I've done, like, you know, Knightrider. Which was a great show, but you know, it was a talking car. Or Baywatch. It was over the top, you know? So we had fun with it."
Which, watching the thing, is evident. Jump In My Car is the best video I have seen all year. It is proof, were that needed, of Hoff's genius. If you watch one video this year, watch Jump In My Car. Serious.
"And we found the Knightrider car you know, believe it or not," beams Hoff. "A right hand drive Knightrider car, in Melbourne Aw-STRAY-Ya." (He does the accent again).
"Wow," I concur. "Pretty amazing. How'd it get there?"
"Who knows?" booms that Hoff. "Kit never liked the water."
It dawns on me at this that the questions for the Hoff that readers of AkiraTheDon.com had submitted, that I had meant to ask at this juncture, are inaccessible, as they are inside the byzantine mess of my telephone, and it is out of battery.
"Have you enjoyed any of the, er, songs that sampled the theme?" I ask, rubbishly. "There's been a few."
"Oh, I like them ALL!" beams Hoffman, slapping a meaty thigh. "I think they're GREAT! Punjabi to, ur Busta Rhymes. They're ALL great.
"What about So Solid?" I ask. Hoff ignores me.
"I was gonna sample it for this record here. But, ur, we forgot! HAW! We literally forgot, we were so busy trying to get this record out quickly. But I think if we do a remix it'll be in there."
"Rah," I agree "Power of the internet man. Make a video, stick it on YouTube and it'll go everywhere."
"Man," breathes Hoff. "This thing's been downloaded 4 million times."
"How do you feel about music downloading," I ask, genuinely. "Stuff downloading. I mean, a lot of your peers totally hate on it."
"I think it's a great promotional tool," asserts Hoff, brightly. "I mean, you download something like this it leads to something else. You're not gonna.. I mean, i went out and made this record. $20,000 is what the video cost, they paid me a horrible, horrible royalty, but I knew that if I could make a great video... and really... like, put Kit in it, Knightrider, Baywatch, Don't Hassle The Hoff, make it fun. I KNEW that if I got it in the right places I could resurge, I could have a resurgence of my career."
Sparkling Hoff eyeballs glisten in the daylight. I notice at this point he apears to have grown another three feet. He appears to have Hulk-like super powers. I am impressed.
"I used the internet," he thunders, happily. "Right now, I'm redoing my entire website. I got DHTV, I got a private room, like a paying room. Like if you go in that room you'll be able to see old concerts, old footage, anything that I've done, anything like, maybe, live online chats, any kind of, ur..."
He considers, seemingly deciding on the spot..
"And I'm gonna have the Hoff shop, and I'm gonna be selling a lot of clothing, Hit Topics has just the bought the rights to me, gonna be releasing me in America which is like, 700 hundred stores and then I'm gonna have my own station called Burn Lounge, a new, very cool, innovative thing that's just come out, Justin Timberlake has it, Shaquille O Neal, the guys are friends of mine who invented it. You can have your own music store and then you could farm it out to all your fans, so I could go to all my fans around the world and have my own, like MacDonalds franchise of David Hasseloff stores! And any time they sell, like, a Madonna song, I get a nickel, and if I sell my OWN song, I get, a dollar! So we're gonna go back and rerecord all of my old stuff, and then I'll own it! And then put it back out!"
Hoff smiles, triumphantly.
"And make some money!"
Hoff smiles, triumphantly, conspiratorially, and demonically.
"Downloading? I think its great."
He eases back into his chair, sipping at his glass, eyes flickering upwards a smile at the corner of his great Hoffy jaw. I tell him he's smart.
"You're a smart man," I tell him "None of that dumb initial, 'wah, I'm being stolen from thing', like Metallica. Who then lashed out at all their fans."
"Yeah, you know, you just gotta figure a way around it," says Hoffman Jnr, all blase like. "That's all. It's like... It's like Baywatch, when Baywatch was cancelled, I was like, 'they're trying to kill us, this show's, this show's HUGE!' So we got back, and we came back, and we bought Baywatch, and it lasted 11 years.
His eyes light up.
"I could put Baywatch on there!"
"Wow," I murmur. "24 hour streaming Baywatch."
"So," say I, "you say you're gonna rerecord some of your old tunes. Are you planning to work with any contemporary artists?"
Hoff bellows something unintelligible, and stands up.
"Right away man!"
Hoff waves his arm skywards, and sits back down again.
"Either that or I'm just gonna go write some new ones. I mean um, there's, like four or five tracks that all these kids keep coming up to me and telling me they like. I don't think they were making fun of me."
"Which ones?" ask I.
"Hot Shots, Limbo Dance, Crazy For You... like, these songs that were really big in Germany. But they were for kids, you know? For children..."
"Oh, that explains it," I exclaim, happily. "See, I read some quote where you were like, 'rah, German kids love me, they bring me flowers'."
Hoff takes a slug from his glass and shakes his head.
He lets it hang, before reiterating:
"UN-BE-LEIEVABLE! Flowers are expensive, yet, at the end of the show, the stage would be, literally, this high (motions to his Hoffy pelvis, which is about my height) with flowers. And they'd just walk up! They were kids from eight, to (sighs) 16... you know sixteen... and you know, even Dirk Davinksi, who was a huge basketball player, they interviewed him recently, and when he three, free... FREE throws, they say, 'why do you do so well', he says, 'I sing David Hasselhoff songs'"
"Doosh!" I say, wondering how we gt on to this point.
"Yeah! I was like, wow. So now, at all the games they hold up pictures of me to try to psyche him out. It's hysterical!"
Hoff shakes his curls in disbelief. "It is a beautiful thing," I agree.
"Yeah! It's great!"
"So you were saying," say I. "Part of your evil plan to take over the internet was to bring yourself back in some sort of semblance. What is this 'Back'? Where do you wanna be?"
"Oh, I don't really know," says Hoff, brightly. "I'm taking it a day at a time. I wanna do my own musical. My own show. It's already written... it's just a question of.. if this record goes to number one, with all this Hoff stuff... I know I can go out right now and put together a gigantic world tour, I like travelling, I haven't been to..."
He swings his head about a bit, madly. I doubt that he will get to number one, and feel sad (As it goes, it got to number three. Which is awesome).
"I've been everywhere!" exclaims Hoff. "I mean, there's a lot of places I haven't been to, and I wanna go. Um. To take my children, they're 14 and 16 now. They're at that age where they can really... appreciate things, you know what I mean?"
"Yeah, where actually awesome shit isn't like, boring," I say, with guilt.
"When they were younger I'd take to them to France, and Spain, and it's like, 'big deal', you know?"
"Well, when you're little you don't get it," say I, still with the guilt. "It's just stuff."
"It's just stuff, yeah," agrees Hoff. "Now it's cool. And now they're into boys, I told my daughters... I was over in Como, and I said... she's 16, I said, man, get over here. Every kid is gorgeous. Every boy..."
"Where's this?" I ask, thinking Luke Turner will probably know.
"In Como, Lake Como? In Italy."
"Yeah. Cos I said, 'man, you think the guys are hot, you know, where you are, you should see these kids', heh he, you know? They're all buffed up water skiers and stuff like that."
I nod in silent amazement. What a Dad! I wish Hoff was my Dad. My Dad never took me to Italy to shag girls when I was 16. Bastard.
I am about to ask Hoff if he's bothered about his girls being of boy age, being a boy himself, and knowing what boys are like and all. But his publicist shows up at that point and says our time is up.
"That's all good," I say. So I ask Hoff to introduce my mixtape. "Akira The what was it?" he asks. I say, "Akira The Don".
"OK. So what shall I say, yo, this is David Hasselhoff, you're listening to Akira The Don?"
Hoff hunches himsef over my microphone, and switched his lovely Hoffy voice down an octave.
"Hey, its David Hasselhoff, alias The Hoff, you're listening to Akira The Don. Stay tuned!"
He smiles. I smile. "And what should they be buying?" I ask.
"What, should I tell them about my song?" he asks, back in midrange.
"OK," he nods, and swiches back to bottom octave.
"Hey. This is David Hasselhoff! Be sure to jump in my car with Akira The Don. Thanks a lot. See you on TV!"
We nod at each other.
"Rah," I say, swelling with pride. "That's ace."
"You're on the right track with that internet stuff!" Hoff calls to me as I leave. "That's the future right there! Good luck!"
I walk down the stairs, and step outside. The rain has stopped, and the sun has come out. The puddles sparkle, as wander off into Soho with a smile on my face. Ready for anything. A new man. Blessed by The Hoff.