by Dan Gibson
Jason Patrick Woodbury from the Phoenix New Times had the tough assignment of interviewing Doug Stanhope yesterday, nearly immediately following the news that Derrick Ross had killed himself and the day after Amy Ross died in a Tucson hospital. However, from the brutally frank discussion, we do get a little more detail about the circumstances:
Obviously I wasn't planning on discussing the passing of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl with you. I was planning on talking about your work in advance of your Stand Up Live show.
Yeah, I'm still having to fucking do all this. Just did an interview, gonna do a podcast, and do a show. I can put on the bullshit face. I just don't have anything to say about that other than it's fucked up.
I understand. My deepest condolences. I didn't know Derrick or Amy personally, but I saw them a handful of times living here in Phoenix.
Oh, they're fucking great. My girlfriend [Amy "Bingo" Bingaman] wanted to go see The Wall for her birthday and I didn't want to go . . . but instead I had Whiskey Girl and Nowhere Man [perform it]. They learned the entire fucking thing and did it at our house for a surprise party. They had a full band, even the bullhorn parts. [Laughs] They learned the entire album just for her birthday. Just fucking amazing.
That's remarkable. It's so weird when something like this happens. I had heard reports that Amy wasn't doing well but . . .
She had lupus. She had lupus forever. Three times a week, she'd go for dialysis. Then she just had some infection. They thought they might have to do open-heart surgery. I don't know if you've listened to the podcast yet.
No, I haven't yet.
It's pretty fucking creepy, because Derrick says, "If she does die . . ." We called it the "cliffhanger podcast," because we taped it Friday and said, "We don't know what's gonna happen," just goofing, not really any actual thought that she was gonna die, and he said, "I think I'd just kill myself; I don't think I could do it.
...I didn't expect you to take the call. You make it a point to go dark places, but I imagine there's usually a lot more time passed between the jokes and tragedy. They say comedy is tragedy plus timing. You've got the tragedy here, but the timing isn't lined out at all.
I've got a friend that helps me out and watches my house when I'm on the road, when Bingo goes with me. I had him go over immediately because it was only Bingo [there], who has fragile mental health anyway, and the screaming grieving mother who found him. They live right next to us. So I had him go over while the cops were there taking statements, and I called [him] and said, "Hey, while the cops are there go out and slowly start hammering in a 'For Rent' sign on the front lawn." So, we're trying to crank up the gallows humor early. We didn't actually do that, but it was a funny thought.