During an interview last July on the BBC 4 radio program Desert Island Discs, actor Tim Robbins joked at one point that this forthcoming debut album perhaps should be titled “The Midlife Crisis Album,” or maybe even “Songs of Love and Misery.”
Released in September, the import was actually called “Tim Robbins and the Rogues Gallery Band.” But by then, it didn’t matter. The actor’s innocent deadpan joke had been re-purposed around the world, via print and online mediums that lost all nuance of the original delivery. Ahead of some Australian concert dates later this month, Robbins chatted at the Chateau Marmont with Sydney Morning Herald contributor Bernard Zuel about this very strange viral vortex:
“It was pretty surreal,” Robbins says, shaking his head slowly. “If you listen to the original [BBC 4] interview, it is so clear I am making a joke: she’s laughing, I’m laughing… It is so clearly a self-effacing moment.”
“Right next to [one subsequent story], they’ve got a side article written by a psychiatrist and he’s explaining what men go through when they have a midlife crisis and all the flashpoints and signs and comparing me to a British comic who was institutionalized,” Robbins says, beginning to laugh again. “And I was like, ‘Howthe f*ck did that happen?’”
This is of course not the first time the 52-year-old Robbins has been misrepresented in the media. Later in the article, he suggests that circa 2003, a number of U.S. outlets had him pegged as “a crazy f*cking radical” who would get strung up by righteous patriots if he dared walk down their street.