Classic cult-movie director of such hits as Cry-Baby and Hairspray, John Waters called up the CBS-FM Star Phone this morning to talk with Scott Shannon and the Big Show crew about his latest project, a book chronicling his cross-country trek across the U.S. via hitchhiking—yes, hitchhiking!
You may be asking, “who the heck hitchhikes anymore,” for fear of the myriad of serial killers one would surely encounter along the way – but it turns out that, not surprisingly, John Waters does. In his new book, Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, he details his nine day journey across the country while also coming up with two fictional accounts, hypothesizing what could go horribly wrong and how the journey could be absolutely amazing.
The idea came to him after he would hitchhike to a private beach 10 miles from his summer home in Provincetown, MA, which recalled fond memories of hitchhiking in his youth. “That gave me a taste of it again,“ said Waters. “And I thought, ‘God my life is so controlled, so organized. What would happen if I just walked out front of my house in Baltimore and hitchhiked to my other apartment in San Francisco? What would happen? Could I give up that planning and control? How far would this fame take me?’”
And he wasn’t afraid that he would encounter any unsavory Manson-like killers. “I always have believed in the basic goodness of people and the real life part of it really clarified that.”
On the fictional parts he says, “I wrote two parts of the book where I imagined the 15 very best rides I could get, which are filled with sex and adventure and drama. And then the very worst that could happen that ends in my murder by a cult killer that only kills directors of weird movies.”
Waters also spoke about getting recognized and if that affected his journey at all. “Well people recognized me and drove past me and debated if it was me and then said ‘Well why would [he] be standing on an entrance ramp in Kansas?’ . . . Other people, like a farmer when I told them I was a film director, they just looked at me like I was a homeless man who had delusions of grandeur.”
And to those women who can’t seem to find Mr. Right, Waters implores them to try Middle America. “Go hitchhike across route 70. There’s plenty of [men].”
The NY Times bestseller is called Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America and can be found at all major book retailers.
–Zach Cole & Joe Cingrana/WCBS-FM
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