Note: if you're reading this, you may have met me at a party and asked me one of these questions. I'm sorry I was rude; I just am completely unable to keep repeating this information without blowing a gasket. Call it a low impatience threshold.
Q: Are you related to Stefan Grossman, the British-based blues guitarist, performer, and producer?
Q: Are you related to Loyd Grossman, the British-based TV presenter?
Q: Are you related to any other Grossmans?
A: Yes. Several dozen, none of them famous (yet). There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of Grossmans in the New York phone book alone.
Q: Why do you live in London?
A: Things happen.
Q: No, seriously, why do you live in London?
A: What this question usually really means is, "Why don't you live in the US, where you belong?" The answer is that I don't really know. Many of the things in my life came to a natural stopping place in 1981, when I was still living in Ithaca, NY, and expecting to live there permanently. I had, however, always been curious what it would be like to live in Britain, and I had also always wondered whether, if I started over someplace with a more or less empty room I would end up with the same life. So in late 1982, I went overseas, and circumstances have never quite been right for me to move back. At the moment (7/00) I have too much work in London to be able to leave, really. As for the experiment in starting over, I can say that parts of my life are different, and parts are the same. More or less as you'd expect. I don't regret the experiment, though I would advise anyone moving overseas "temporarily" to be aware that you only have about five years to decide if you want to go back and pick up the same life. After five years, your friends have moved, divorced, had kids who are now people who don't know you. After ten years, you're starting over more or less completely. However, the Internet does make it possible to have a public and social life with your old friends even if you rarely meet.
Q: Do you go back to the US much?
A: Yes. Several times a year at least.
Q: Do you ever think about moving back there?
A: All the time.
Q: So, why don't you?
A: See above.
Q: Do you like living in London?
A: I like the absence of guns, the ready availability of public transportation, and the breadth of international movies here. I *used* to love the London theater, but in recent years it's been overrun with revivals as star vehicles, movies turned into plays (cf The Graduate and La Cage aux Folles) and the number of new plays has plummeted. I get very cranky here, though, because of the constant feeling of being cramped, the crowding, the garbage everywhere, and the lack of personal space -- wherever you go, people always bump into you.
Q: Do you still sing?
A: Not much. It's always on the list of things I mean to do sometime, but never quite get around to. Information about what kind of music I play/played and on what instruments is here. I bought a lovely old 1906 Bechstein upright (rosewood with ivory keys) a few years ago, and started learning some Scott Joplin rags, but got bogged down in writing books and other stuff. I still think of myself as a musician, though.
Q: Who do you write for / what do you write about?
A: See Articles or Books.
Q: Why do you keep three old tennis balls in your tumble dryer?
A: It's a very small dryer, and I theorize that the balls will keep the clothes from getting too crumpled.