Don't Call 'em Midgets: The Little Kingz Want to Tear This World Apart.
The Little Kingz
So when, on a recent Saturday morning, the offices of New York Press were visited by three of the four Little Kingz (drummer Joseph James was ill, exploded, or whatever it is drummers do), that was the first question on my mind. With me was my editor and pal, John Strausbaugh. The three Little Kingz we interviewed were Scotty F-Word (vocals), Jimmy Gee (bass) and Pauly J (guitar). Clemente and Danny Roselle, the Kingz's tech guy, were there as well. Not only did I find the Kingz charming, witty and very smart, but I gained some insight into the world of "little people." And at times actually found myself jealous.
Nick told me, "Whatever you do, don't call them midgets." Why not?
Scotty F-Word: Because it's like nigger to a black person.
I'm sorry I wore this [t-shirt with the logo of the band Dwarves on it].
SF-W: That's cool. Dwarves is cool. I'm pissed off because there's all the bands?the Dwarves, They Might Be Giants?they're all tall. I'm like, "Dude, they're stealing all the good names from us." So we were going to call ourselves the Tall People.
You guys are into this whole "small" thing, but really you're not much smaller than the Rolling Stones or AC/DC. How tall are you?
SF-W: I'm the tallest in the band. I'm 4-6?
SF-W: ?and a half, and a half. I need all the size I can get.
And you, Pauly?
Pauly J: Four-two.
And you, Jimmy?
Jimmy G: Four-three, 4-4, something like that.
So how did you guys come together?
SF-W: We were all on the street and we were like, "Holy shit, let's form a band." Nah. There's an organization out there for little people. It's about 5000 people nationwide, more worldwide. We just get together and party once a year in a different city. So we've known each other for a real long time. I used to be in a band of little people before, but creative differences?we never took off. But I've always wanted to do this, because it's gonna sell. Everyone's intrigued by it. And these guys [Clemente and Kevin LePore] had the same idea. You wanted a Kiss cover band?
Nick Clemente: Actually, we were forming Sedated [a Ramones cover band] and having trouble, and I said, "I don't care if they're little people, I want a Ramones band."
SF-W: You said "little people"? (laughs) So then these guys put out an all-points bulletin for little people that want to tear this world apart.
Ads in the back of newspapers saying, "Little people wanted for band"?
NC: Online. With the Little People of America, the LPA, the association he was talking about.
Pauly J: Five thousand people.
So you guys all go to one hotel for these annual meetings?
PJ: Yeah, like to a Marriott. This year it was in Minnesota, last year it was in L.A., next year it's in Toronto.
SF-W: It's cool. We actually get laid there.
We'll get to that. Is it true what they say about smoking?
SF-W (sarcastically): Ha! Stunts your growth!
Anybody got a cigarette on them?
Danny Roselle: That was just a ploy to get a cigarette!
So you were probably smoking when you were like 12, right?
SF-W: We came out smoking. My mom started smoking, so I came out with a butt in my mouth. That's why I'm so short.
Little people do all different kinds of jobs, right? From punk rockers to doctors and lawyers?
SF-W: We do it all, man. No limitations.
Pauly, you're the guitarist. Let me see the size of your hands. [They compare hand sizes] Everyone says I have small hands?
PJ: And you know what they say about people with small hands.
I can't reach around a Les Paul. Fucking kills me. I was wondering what you guys do for musical instruments. I use a Mosrite with a pencil-thin neck. What do you guys do about guitar and bass?
PJ: I grew up playing guitar all the time, so I just got used to it.
You play a full-sized guitar?
PJ: I play a mini right now, but I'm used to playing full-sized.
Do barre chords and stuff? Reach your fingers around?
PJ: Yeah. When I joined these guys, we both [he and Jimmy Gee] got minis. He's got a Bronco and I have a Fender mini.
Are they made for kids or for little people?
PJ: They're not made for little people, obviously.
SF-W: Not a big market.
PJ: They're three-quarter-size.
Do you guys carry your own equipment?
SF-W: Fuck no. That's what we got tall people for.
PJ: All different kinds. Metallica, Black Sabbath, Maiden I guess.
SF-W: I like Disturbed, Slipknot. Even though our music isn't as hard as theirs, that's where I get all my aggression, from listening to that. The style of music we play is probably more like Stone Temple Pilots, but a little harder. The music I listen to is really fucking hard, very angry. I'm an angry guy.
You're an angry little person?
SF-W: Yeah. Don't piss me off.
You guys have groupies?
SF-W: I have a stripper groupie, man.
She's a little person?
SF-W: No, she's average size. She sent me pictures of herself naked. Now she wants a picture of me naked... I was like, hell no. We're gonna make it big someday, and then she's gonna use it against me. But yeah, it's really weird. I figured out the reason she's interested. She can't talk. Her voicebox is gone. And she can't hear either. But she's hot, man.
John Strausbaugh: It's weird to have a groupie who can't hear the band.
SF-W: Well, she's more into the little person thing. We're like a fantasy thing to some chicks, I guess. They always want what they can't have. You don't see us very often, and when they do they're fascinated by us.
When you give a woman oral sex, do you go down on her or go up?
SF-W: I can stand up and have oral sex with a woman. They walk by and I go, "Gee, your hair smells terrific."
Are the Little Kingz crowned? Are you circumcised?
PJ: Whoa. That's a new one.
SF-W: Yes, I am proudly circumcised. Yeah, I did it myself. I did it in the cab. I heard you were going to ask the question so I did it on the way over here.
Because you're little, do you get drunk faster?
SF-W: Come out drinking with us tonight, dude. I'll drink you under the table. We get drunk and keep going. We got deep insides, you know? We're not like kids.
You guys are from different places, right? Pauly, you're from...
PJ: New Haven.
And you rehearse...
SF-W: Every weekend. We have a studio in New Jersey.
You guys drive?
SF-W: Yeah, he [Pauly] gets on the floor and pushes the pedals, I get on his [Jimmy's] shoulders and steer. Is that what you mean?
Yeah, I was wondering.
SF-W: I got ya.
Strausbaugh: You have to stay on George's level.
SF-W: I hear ya, man.
I see from the presskit that you guys opened for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
SF-W: That was awesome. Dee Snider had a Strange Jam going [for Halloween]. He had Two Skinnee J's, the Bosstones, Flogging Molly and us. That was a riot. Total of about 6000 people there.
You guys were probably the best band on that bill.
SF-W: That's what we were told. All due respect to the Two Skinny J's. They're friends of ours.
But the Bosstones...
SF-W: We didn't stick around for them, actually. (laughter)
The presskit also says you guys are like the Jackie Robinsons of rock. I don't get it. You don't look black to me.
SF-W: No, dude. It's in the sense that we're the first in the world doing what we're doing, like Jackie Robinson was to baseball. We're the world's first all-little-people band.
NC: But also the Jackie Robinson thing has to do with people thinking, can they do the job...
Do you guys get Wizard of Oz jokes?
PJ: All of them.
Any good ones?
Do you hate Randy Newman?
SF-W: He comes out in my stool... It was hating him for doing the song, though. I do. It was everyone bugging me about it afterwards.
When you were in school were you normal and then you stopped growing up?
SF-W: No one's normal, dude.
PJ: Not "normal," "average."
Okay, I want to say for the record that in 11th grade and 12th grade I was 4-11. I got my ass kicked all the time.
SF-W: Then you have to hang out with tall people, dude. I had all tall people take care of my business. I had people around me that would rip 'em apart.
JG: And you get a rep of, well, he's small but he's tough.
SF-W: But to get back to your question, no, we were like this all our lives. You're born little.
And you guys just did a movie with Ben Stiller?
SF-W: It's a movie called Zoolander. It's going to be out in 2001. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Christine Taylor. She's Marcia Brady in the Brady Bunch movies. She's hot. And married to Ben Stiller. He let us know that. They play two models?Ben Stiller's character is on the way out as a model as Owen Wilson's is on the way in. So there's jealousy issues. Ben Stiller is brainwashed to kill the prime minister of Malaysia. It's really nutty. We're in a scene where Owen Wilson has this big loft apartment in the city, and in this apartment there's all these different walks of life, from tattooed guys to punkers with mohawks, a skateboard half-pipe, and we're the band. We play a little band from Finland... We're in an orgy scene with Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor. The whole week I had a hard-on.
Have you guys done other acting?
SF-W: Yeah, I have. We all have. But nothing discriminatory. We obviously realize that people are going to get a kick out of seeing you just because you're little. That's understandable. But nothing freakshow.
Strausbaugh: You guys have day jobs still?
SF-W: Yeah, but we're slowly getting out of that. That's a tough transition from being just a little house band that plays for a couple bucks every once in a while to now?we're doing a lot more and on the verge of something pretty big, pardon the pun. We have cool jobs, where they let us take the time off we need. We're definitely looking forward to doing this full time.
You guys got a label?
DR: We haven't started shopping yet. We're bringing them into the studio right now and doing an EP.
Who gets the most pussy in the band?
SF-W: I'd have to say it's like a buffet. It's help yourself between all of us.
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