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Black Francis Gets Personal with MGD

SAN DIEGO: The former Pixies frontman dishes on songwriting and his love for the quiet Beatle.

Beer has been at the forefront of many of rock’n’roll’s mostprolific moments, and Wednesday evening (Oct. 17) it served as thebackdrop to an intimate evening of conversation and music with BlackFrancis, a.k.a . Frank Black, formerly of seminal Boston band thePixies, and also a much-adored solo artist. Taking its “Craft” concertseries on the road, Miller Genuine Draft stopped off at San Diego’sBelly Up Tavern where host Warren Zanes engaged his friend andcolleague in a conversation about all things musical, in front of apacked house.

Charming, good-natured, and oftenself-deprecating, Black Francis shared thoughts on his weirdest momenton the road (“Well, I did see David Bowie push a peanut across thefloor with his nose”), songs about topics other than love (“Sometimesyou want to be in your own little world. But then along comes RoyOrbison…”), and his love for George Harrison’s “Savoy Truffle” (“Ilike the way that [George Harrison] sings with a relaxed cockiness”).Although divulging much about his past, Francis was more reserved onthe future of the Pixies, (“I talked to Joey (Santiago) a couple weeksago… and he said, ‘Why don’t you send me something?'”). The audiencelistened with rapt attention throughout, but when Black broke out theelectric guitar and pulled down his dark shades, they stomped andhooted with unbridled enthusiasm to solo favorites such as “Cactus” and”Los Angeles,” as well as Pixies classics like “Wave of Mutilation,”and “Where is My Mind.” The evening was a once-in-a-lifetimeopportunity to pop open a cold beer and spend some time inside the mindof a rock’n’roll legend, as amply evident in the glowing demeanor andawestruck facial expressions of the crowd .

We asked: Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV is a man of many names — Frank Black and Black Francis. Who’s your favorite and why?