Bill "Statt Mann" Wood
I'm from Ohio, born in Columbus the morning after a dinner of fried chicken and greens. Quite literally, I was forced out by Sunday Soul Food at Grandma's table.
How long have you been a race fan?
Ever since the primordial ooze hardened.
Ever had a career before motorsports?
I found time to win awards as a television producer, newspaper and magazine writer, a rally car driver, gas station attendant, Dad and, now, apprentice Granddad.
Where'd you go to college?
I graduated from Proletariat Technical College and Drive-Thru in Los Angeles when you could still drive through Los Angeles before many of you were born. Can you say Kent State Shooting? It was a dark time when political rebels were snuffed out instead of voted on. Can you say Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin King and John & Bobby Kennedy? I can…
We've already covered that.
We've already covered that, too.
So how old are you?
How many ways are you going to ask that question?
Until I get an answer...
You won't. Put it this way, I have sweaters older than most of the people listening to SpeedFreaks. And that's all I'm going to say about the issue. To quote a scheming agent: "Next question..."
Who's your favorite sports team?
Any team wearing the Ohio State scarlet and grey. The Cleveland Browns. And any team playing the Denver Broncos. Sorry, Crasher.
Chariots of Fire especially when the hero throws his head back and runs for the gold.
Long big legs.
Pam Grier. See above... are you paying attention!?
My crew. The fellas I went to high school with.
Favorite personal moment?
I'll only admit to holding my granddaughter for the first time. The rest is just that, personal.
Favorite political moment?
When Barack Obama was elected, proving miracles never cease.
Favorite motorsports moment?
Watching Lewis Hamilton win the 2008 F1 championship despite the haters. And I’m probably the only man in history who has: raced his Suzuki motorcycle at 135 MPH outside the Michael Jackson Neverland Ranch; raced his Triumph motorcycle at 110 MPH on the Angeles Crest Highway, covered the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland, The RAC Rally in England, and a CART race in Phoenix for ESPN, raced in a One Lap of America as part of a factory-supported team, interviewed Roger Penske, John Force and Carlos Santana and responded to a studio camera tally light – up to now.
Favorite music group?
Earth, Wind & Fire.
Love Song by Ramsey Lewis backed by Earth Wind & Fire. If I was put to music, that's what I’d sound like.
What's in your iPod?
Stuff with rhythm.
Can you be more specific?
Stuff with rhythm and a hypnotic, mashed up beat.
What, you want me to pick from more than 2500 songs in my iPod?
Yes, and I'm asking the questions...
Your arrogance is becoming a nuisance. You annoy me...
Right now just because it’s you. Normally it’s just because I’m arrogant enough for several people.
What about the music?
I was getting there before I was so rudely interrupted. In no particular order, these are my current favorites:
1. I Like Me (feat. Da' T.R.U.T.H.), Kirk Franklin, The Fight of My Life: This is "da piece!" Check your speakers...
2. Well Done, Andrea Crouch & The Disciples: This might be my favorite contemporary gospel sound ever and it's maybe 30 years old.
3. His Spirit Is Here, Danniebelle Hall: This is something little known by Danniebelle. It's from a live album. It's priceless.
4. Boogie - Street Edit, The Brand New Heavies: Even more of the beat. You can't sit still listening to this. SOME of the lyrics aren't bad either.
5. Lenny, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble: The first time I heard this I played it for nearly an hour. I'm told it's Stevie's tribute to his ex-wife. I must have loved her deeply.
6. My Head's In Mississippi, ZZ Top: Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top once told me this was his tribute to Delta blues done while his head was in Mississippi.
7. Simply Beautiful, Queen Latifah: Al Green did this originally but it was brought to life by Queen Latifah. He almost says so during a guest spot in the music.
8. September, Kirk Franklin: A tribute piece to Earth, Wind & Fire. Franklin did it so well, he didn't wait to put it out in a CD. It's a single and it's worth hearing by itself.
9. African Womaan, Baaba Mal, Senegal: I heard this many times but I got hooked during a trip to a drift event in Northern California. I nearly melted down my car stereo system! Again, it's the beat, stupid!!
10. ¡Fiesta Fatal! (Mega Mix), B-Tribe: I once was listening to this in my car with the windows and convertible top sealed tight. Someone pulled up beside me and demanded that I let them listen too! Even my rap-loving daughter got hooked on a road trip and kept hitting the replay button!!
11. Stardust, Willie Nelson: I love a lot of Willie’s stuff.
12. Angel from Montgomery, Bonnie Raitt: Listen to the lyrics!
13. Back When I Knew It All, Montgomery Gentry: I love the lyrics and I like knowing the name is actually two guys.
14. First Dawn, Me: ‘Nuf said…
Click here to view Statt's Scattings column.