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Job Interview

[whitespace] naked sax player
Greg Roden

Saxy, Saxy

Sounds like an update of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a guy who's a physicist by day and a naked sax player by night. SF Metropolitan's Greg Roden recently caught up with urban enigma Chuck Hepburn (distant cousin of Katharine Hepburn) and learned a little bit about this musical man of mystery.

Greg: What is your job?

Chuck: Well, I work as a naked sax player, and I also do nude modeling for art classes.

Greg: How did you start?

Chuck: I had become tired of day jobs--too constricting. I have projects in physics that I actually want to finish, and I found that I could make a basic living doing nude performances for either art classes or as the naked sax player, and I could go home and have total intellectual freedom to finish my physics papers.

Greg: Naked sax playing and physics research sound like total opposites.

Chuck: Their being total opposites somehow makes a proper balance for me. I seem to need both sides of things. With physics, I'm going way deep into trying to understand the most fundamental aspects of how nature works and how they match with measurables that we can come up with, and the crazy naked performance stuff is a way to charge me up.

Greg: What was your best music gig?

Chuck: I did a tour with a band called Sukia, which opened for Beck, and for those performances we would go out in front of two or three thousand people in various cities, and I would go running out totally naked on stage, and people would scream and just roar, and we would keep that roaring going, and it was absolutely exhilarating!

Greg: And your best physics gig?

Chuck: Well, I've done several things. I've taught physics classes at UCLA. I worked at Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena doing trajectories for interplanetary flights; my name is on the two Voyager space crafts--one of them is about 9 billion miles away from Earth now, farther than anything else humans have ever made. My signature is on it, although it's totally illegible, of course [he laughs]. And at one point, I got to jam music with Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

Greg: How do people get a hold of you if they want to hire you for either nude art modeling or the naked sax guy?

Chuck: Well, they can call at 650/347-2468. And for the naked sax playing, it's $50 for the event plus any tips they want to give.

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From the July 13-26, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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