interviews

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Celebrity Insider - Dave Navarro
by Gil Kaan
Dot News Magazine - May 2006

Revealing His Musical Inspirations, Same-Sex Experimentation & AIDS Activism, Discover the Softer Side of this Oh-So Tough Rock Star

What do you associate with the mention of Dave Navarro? Jane's Addiction. Hot! Rock 'n' roller. Wild! Carmen Electra's other half. Tattoos! But AIDS activist? Blogger? Find out and see what this dot Newsmagazine exclusive interview reveals about the talented guitarist.

dot: This is our "queers That Rock" issue. Our feature story focuses on up-and-coming local artists in the queer community. We found out what inspires them, now let's find out what inspired you to first pick up a guitar?

Dave Navarro: I was 11 years old. Jimi Hendrix. I just knew whatever he was doing was what I wanted to do. Whatever that sound was, I wanted to create it.

dot: Who are your musical inspirations?

Navarro: Right now at this stage in my life, my creative influences come from the people I play music with. I have one band called Camp Freddy, which is an all-star cover band, and we have a revolving door of musicians. We play with everyone from Steven Tyler to Macy Gray and everyone in between . And, I also have a band called Panic Channel.

dot: Let's talk about your tattoos. When did you get your first one?

Navarro: I got my first one at the age of 17. It was one of those things where I just walked into a shop and pointed at something and had it done, and I was hooked ever since.

dot: Did you get one for your wife, Carmen Electra?

Navarro: I have a few. I have her initials "CE" on my chest, right over my heart. And across my collarbone, I have our wedding date, which is 11/22. She has our wedding date 11/22 on her wrist.

dot: Carmen says you're more romantic than her? Do you agree?

Navarro: I totally agree.

dot: Do you wish she was more romantic?

Navarro: No, because she is who she is. That's the girl I married. It means more to her for me to climb into bed and watch The Surreal Life with her than if I brought her a dozen roses. She's very independent, and she keeps her high maintenance to herself, which is awesome.

dot: Are you high maintenance?

Navarro: Absolutely, but I keep it to myself.

dot: Amazing! Two high-maintenance people in a relationship.

Navarro: Yeah, but we're maintaining ourselves. We're not looking to the other one to maintain. She's not asking me to go to the market, and she's not asking me to take the trash out. She'll just do those things herself if she wants to. Whereas I'm not asking her for anything either.

dot: So that's your secret to a successful relationship?

Navarro: It's many secrets. One of them is certainly accepting the person that you are married to or are in love with for being exactly who they are. I think there's a certain degree of luck that has to go into it. Carmen does a lot of work and has a lot of friends outside of our relationship. The same can be said for me. As long as you don't allow those things to feel threatening, you're all good.

dot: In an earlier interview with Carmen, she admitted her same-sex crush was on Joan Jett, who I heard she did hook up with at the Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs. Who would your same-sex crush be?

Navarro: I don't know. I'll just go for the obvious: Johnny Depp. You know it's funny, last year I performed with Joan Jett in Las Vegas and told her my wife was a huge fan and had a crush on her. I like to think I was responsible for getting those two together. I have to take credit for that.

dot: What was the idea behind your kissing Flea on the Guitar magazine cover and Anthony Kiedis in a video?

Navarro: There was really no idea behind it. It was just an artistic expression, in part to show no boundaries and no fear and, in part, for shock value. In one sense, taking on something that is considered taboo by a lot of people and just walking through it fear-free. There's something empowering about that for me. And basically saying, "You can suck it, for I am who I am." I will tell you that I've come to realize through my experimentation over the years that I'm not gay, nor am I bisexual. But at least I know that in the sense that I've never been aroused by a man, but I've been in situations where I could potentially be aroused. Since it didn't work, I know I'm not gay. So I was open to it working, let's just say that.

dot: Are you aware of your gay fan base?

Navarro: No.

dot: That's like the same reaction from Carmen when we told her she was a lesbian icon.

Navarro: She loves that. Am I a gay icon?

dot: I'll say you are. You're a rock star. You're a maverick, such a rebel, with the tats and everything.

Navarro: That's great. I have to tell you. Gays that I know, they're really into pretty guys and being in shape, so if they like me, I'm all good with it.

dot: Is being gay in rock 'n' roll as big a deal as in the movie industry?

Navarro: I don't know. For the most part, it's never been a big deal to me. I grew up in Los Angeles, born and raised. To be perfectly frank about it, I've never known it to be a big deal on whether somebody was gay or not. Personally, I don't care what people do in their bedrooms. You hear all these rumors about different actors. Is he gay? Isn't he gay? I could care less. It doesn't mean I'm not going to see Mission Impossible 3.

dot: What public service announcements and charitable organizations do you lend your name and efforts to?

Navarro: ALDO (youthaids-aldo.org), Until There's a Cure (utac.org) and Elizabeth Glaser's Pediatric AIDS Foundation (pedaids.org). I actually appeared on 'Celebrity Poker Showdown' where my prize money went to Elizabeth Glaser's foundation. It's something that's been very important to me for quite some time. To be honest with you, I think of myself as a survivor. There was a time in my life where I was sexually active and I wasn't safe about it. I used intravenous drugs. I was a high-risk candidate and somehow, by the grace of God, I had been spared. And I know a lot of people that haven't been. There are a lot of things I didn't know growing up that I know now. Anything I can do to help raise that awareness to the younger generation, I'm happy to do.

dot: Let's talk about your Web site 6767.com. When did you start your blogging to your fans?

Navarro: Well, I think in 1997, I had a Web site before blogging was a trend. On a pretty regular basis, I would put down my thoughts and respond to readers' e-mails. It's been a great way of communication to share what's going on in between the spotlight stuff. I've always been really into creating an online community of people. I kicked it back into gear almost two years ago. Revamped the site and put it back up. It's a helpful tool. You can rant and dismiss rumors. You can talk about what's going on in your life. You can talk about what's coming up, if there's a show, if there's a project you want to spread the word about. It's a great marketing tool. It's a lot of fun.

dot: What does 6767 mean?

Navarro: That's my birthday, June 7, 1967. Ten years ago it seemed like a good idea to make my birthday the Web site, but now that I'm 38, it doesn't seem like such a good idea. Now I'd like to make it 6776.

dot: What's up next for Dave Navarro?

Navarro: I just launched an online radio station called Spread Radio Live (spreadradiolive.com). Basically I have a couple of DJs and myself, we play whatever we want, talk about whatever we want and promote independent bands. It's not regulated by FCC or anything like that, so it's a wild station. I also have a record coming out this summer from a band I'm in called the Panic Channel, on Capitol Records. That should be coming out sometime during the Rockstar 2 season on CBS that I co-host and am executive producer on.