Articles: The Ghost of Christmas Past

Melody Maker, December 22/29 1990.
Transcribed by C. Gourraud for Alec Eiffel

The Band


"What I used to worry about Christmas as a kid was the back of the Christmas tree. It faced the wall and never got enough decoration or attention. I thought it must feel neglected, and that concerned me. I used to string popcorn and cranberries with needle and thread and hang 'em on there.
And I still remember how my grandma really scared the shit out of me one Christmas when I was really young. It was a real dark Christmas Eve and she told me Santa was coming and pointed to this red light in the sky. It was an aeroplane circling, but I thought it was Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, I mean I was a shy kid and there he f***in' was, Rudolph, coming down for ME, blink blink blink! So I ran, terrified, to my bed, to dive under the covers, and my grandmother tiptoed out on the balcony outside my window and started shaking sleigh bells! What a prank! But for a long time then I was terrified of Santa.
I remember one Christmas Eve sweating all night, just lying there in bed, waiting for the hooves to land on the roof. In the morning I was exhausted. It was such horrible anticipation. Nowadays, Christmas is a lot more adult, I guess. My parents are divorced, so I have to decide which one I love and which one I hate. If I go to my father, I help him work his bar on Christmas Day, which is pretty cool."


"My parents always gave us loads of presents to open up Christmas morning. It was so special. They'd take loads of photos of me and my brother and sister, and hang little presents on this weird railing we had - socks, earrings and jokes like coal or fruit. I remember thinking, 'What IS this shit? Oranges go in the fruit bowl, right?'.
Big extra-cool presents like bicycles were put out by the tree. I had a saxophone one year. I can't play it, but I can make it squeak. It gave me real bad buck teeth, though. And I had a unicycle once, which I can still ride. Shit - I sound like I work in a f***in' carnival! I can sing, dance, ride a unicycle, I am a one-woman circus! I'll spend Xmas in Ohio with my sister this year, asking her to join The Breeders. What do I want for Christmas? A new bass guitar..."


"When I grew up in the Philippines, Christmas was real big news. All the family would come around. I've got a real big family. After we moved to the States we got dispersed. I've a lot of family in the Philippines I'd love to see. The weird thing at Christmas is because I've got so many close relatives we can't all buy for each other, so we draw lots and everyone gets one brother or sister to buy for, and now everyone wants ME to be their Santa! I guess I've got the most money now I'm in The Pixies, plus travelling abroad I get to buy the coolest presents. I enjoy BEING Santa now, but it was a real sad day I found he didn't exist."


"I've moved to California now, and it's changing me a little. Before, my Chistmases were always in New England. As a kid, I don't remember any real spectacular presents - oh yeah, I got a TR7 once from my parents, as a joint Christmas and birthday present. My birthday is December 6, which is Christmas day in Czechoslovakia. Strange, isn't it? I'm right out of Christmas spirit now. Buying presents is a chore, a real drag. At least my girlfriend now is Jewish, so I can forget HER! Be grateful for small mercies!"


Last Updated 12-19-97