Bruce Banter is the author of 'If You Can Put Ketchup On It, Don't Eat It' / A Self Advice Book by Bruce Banter.
Q1. What was the first record you bought and how did it change your life?
The 1st album I remember owning in a really, this is mine stay away way, was Andraé Crouch and the Disciples’ / Take Me Back. Gospel. I played it as an LP in my room, as an 8 track or cassette in my car. I would road trip a lot to hear them play. Andre’ started in High School with Billy Preston, I saw him first on John Carson and last at Michael Jackson’s Staples Center Service. In the middle of that, it was his choir on Michael’s Man In the Mirror and Madonna’s Like A Prayer. He is the best – 8 Grammy’s, 6 Dove’s a Coke Bust and an Oscar Nom later, and I love Gospel.
Madonna - Like A Prayer
Q2. When did you begin work on your book and how did you formulate the initial idea?
It was an epiphanic accident. That moment where all of the fragments formed. Given an interest in God, and a damn about people I wanted to do something good. I wanted to write a dirty chicken soup for the soul that said fuck a few times and made you love a few folks more. “If You Can Put Ketchup On It Don’t Eat It” was my idea of a diet and an overriding strategy to solve big things simply. Inside the book you sidestep simple and find a smattering of morality based stories from the street.
Q3. Where did the pseudonym ‘Bruce Banter’ come from?
I’m a Retailer. My name is Weldyn and in a bookstore arranged by authors last names, mine would most likely end up on a low shelf in a dark corner. Banter on the other hand will slide in center stage on shelf 2. I play alliterations really hard when I write, nearly toward embarrassing, so the B.B. of Bruce Banter was a quick choice. Of course I would have preferred Bruce LaBruce but it was already in use.
Q4. You’ve had a long and varied career in the fashion industry. Where did it start and how did you get into the business?
By accident. I am working on a book about Salesmanship called “Wiggle Your Big Toe”. Chapter 1 is titled: ‘We’re All Here Because We Failed at Something’ - That’s how I started. I studied Theology then played Gospel music and failed.
A boutique owner from Paris accosted me with a “What do you do” when I browsed his shop in the 80’s and responded to my retort of “Nothing” with an offer of employment. He took me in, I learned from him and use his stuff still. He was a Retailer - like Tommy Perse or Joan Weinstein or a handful of a few others that they don’t make any more.
Q5. Which piece of life advice means the most to you?
“I believe that if I do my best every time, for a time,
that in time, someone will notice” Is advice I give everyone in the workplace that asks to advance. Of course you should ask, but after. People always seek out quality, be it great clothes or fine food or a really good recording. Do good work and them finding you is a much bigger deal than you asking.