The Prairie Dogg finds the dirt on GoGo, Georgia and Gimpy with guitar goddess Amber Valentine from Jucifer.
PD: How many people and/or animals are in the Jucifer entourage?
AV: Let’s see, we have five thousand, three hundred and … no. There’s Ed [Livengood, Jucifer’s drummer and Valentine’s husband] and I. We have one roadie, Eric, and two dogs. The big one is GoGo, who is our head of security. The little one is Roo. Roo is in charge of basic charm.
You grew up in rural Georgia. Was it moonshine-and-Deliverance rural or just small-city rural?
It was more moonshine and Deliverance, although my family wasn’t like that. I don’t have any fantastic stories where I was a coal-miner’s daughter or anything like that. But … you couldn’t buy a Sex Pistols album in Rome, Georgia, until 1985 or 1986.
Then you moved to Athens, Georgia?
In Rome, people would always ask me if it was Halloween because of the way I looked. When I moved to Athens, it wasn’t as bad. Then, after Nirvana, everybody had piercings and tattoos. Now it doesn’t matter.
First Rome, then Athens. Is that a coincidence or do you just have a thing for the Greeks and Romans?
(Laughs) Yeah, I have planned my whole life around living in places named after ancient cities. No, when I came to Athens, I only knew one person. Then I didn’t have enough money to leave.
Is [R.E.M. singer] Michael Stipe a good fan to have?
We don’t have lots of time to kick it … but when we met, we hit it off immediately. I think we were both the weird kids growing up in the South, where we didn’t really belong.
Next time you see him, will you tell him to eat something?
He looked pretty healthy the last time I saw him. It’s good to see him happy. It’s tough being that famous.
I hear you name your gear.
When you have as much equipment as we do, you basically have to name things.
What are some names?
Let’s see … there’s Big Mac, Gimpy and Baby Mac. We just bought a couple cabinets from a friend, so we call them Andy’s Fifteens. We have a Sporty … and some others.
Is it awkward having groupies when your significant other also happens to be the rest of the band?
Most people who are fans of the band respect our relationship.
Have you thought of upping your mystique by pretending to be siblings?
We have no interest in being anything other than ourselves.