During a conversation with ‘Men’s Journal,’ Don Johnson, who stars as Spencer Gordon ‘Big Daddy’ Bennet in Quentin Tarrantino’s highly anticipated ‘Django Unchained‘ (due out Dec. 25), recalled some of the wisdom he’s received over the years as well as a few observations of his own. Among the topics on the Missouri native’s mind were how cell-phone cameras make honest celebs, that to accomplish anything requires ditching the Midwest, and a memorable visit to the set of ‘Miami Vice‘ from a notorious Aspen neighbor.
On the liabilities of shooting pistols with Hunter S. Thompson:
He came to hang out with me when I was doing ‘Miami Vice,’ and we’d go shooting at the police range. Hunter thought that was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He’d say, “We can actually go there and shoot with the cops? Can we shoot at them?” “No, no, no, Doc. That’s probably not a good thing.”
On accidentally jamming at Madison Square Garden:
I ran into Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band, and we became good buddies and started writing songs together. I was fortunate enough to write a couple for the Allmans and for Dickey’s solo albums. I used to sing with them occasionally. In fact, my debut was at Madison Square Garden. Dickey brought me out to sing “Ramblin’ Man” with him. I was 26 or 27 at the time, and you can imagine the thrill of walking out there and doing that. Music and laughter went together a good deal, but then I became famous and it all changed. After I was an actor, it was miserable.