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PODCAST: Rob Sheffield on heroes and Hoodsie cups [MP3]

August means two things:  it's ice cream weather, and Morrissey's just said something stupid.

Okay, the latter isn't really dependent on the time of year, but it's still true.  Equally true is how the Ben & Jerry's truck is spending the month inspiring childlike glee by dispensing free ice cream, so there's no better time to answer the dual burning questions "What can Morrissey's unfiltered utterances teach me?" and "Man, how cool would it be to drive an ice cream truck?"

Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield recently gave his insight into both of those matters at the Brookline Booksmith, where he read from his memoir Talking to Girls About Duran Duran:  One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut.

Sheffield said he idolizes Morrissey for the years The Smiths' frontman spent crafting lyrics that provided his adolescent self with Mrs. Garrett-esque guidance--with the end result of "making me a lamer, dumber, more miserable person."

As a true fan, Sheffield feels there's a lesson to be learned from Morrissey's multiple media controversies.

"Part of what Morrissey's here to teach us is not to trust your heroes because saying stupid stuff is what they do," he said, "and to take it all with a grain of salt, because heroes are, in addition to everything else they do, the people who say really stupid things.  So in a way we have to thank Morrissey for that."

Sheffield also shared recollections of the summer he spent as an ice-cream truck driver in Boston, which he called "a great summer for completely mind-distorting delusions."

"I had visions of brunettes pulling crisply folded twenties out of their bikini tops with the command ‘Cool me off, Sugar Boy,'" he said.  "Instead, these visions gave way to a reality of sitting on the Southeast Expressway all day, munching ice cream sandwiches, slurping Mountain Dew, singing along to the radio, all to bring the Chipwhiches and Chocolate Whirls to the sweaty little children of my town."

Lack of groupies aside, delivering ice cream to enthusiastic children still left Sheffield feeling like a rock star -- and not a minor one. The only comparable celebrity? Prince, circa Purple Rain.

"I felt like Prince could understand what I was going through," Sheffield said.  "We'd have to hang out sometime.  He could play me some tasty new tracks, and I maybe could serve him a Hoodsie."

DOWNLOAD:  Rob Sheffield at the Brookline Booksmith [MP3]

Recorded live at the Brookline Booksmith on May 3, 2011; if you liked this, check out the Booksmith's events calendar. To subscribe to our podcast, paste this RSS feed into your podcatcher or feed-reader of choice, or bookmark http://thephoenix.com/podcast.
 

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