Margaret Cho and Bob Mould in email conversation

As part of California Sunday's "The Thread" series, I asked comedian/actress Margaret Cho and punk pioneer Bob Mould, who are old pals, to have an email conversation about whatever's on their mind. They talked about the changing face of San Francisco, marriage equality, and THC sex lube! From California Sunday:

From: Margaret Cho
To: Bob Mould

Hi Bob! Spending every major holiday together at the end of last year made me think that we'd continue into 2015 — but I realize I haven't seen you at all! Let's see, we did Thanksgiving and Christmas at your beautiful home in San Francisco — both occasions where I ate far more than I ever intended — then a fabulous New Year's Eve show together in Chicago. It's said that whatever you do on New Year's Eve is what you'll do for the entire year, and so I just assumed my year would include you, but it hasn't!

I must say, I spent much more time with you in 2014, when our friend Jim Short made an animated film of Fred Armisen and me doing our best Bob Mould impressions and you giving your impressions of our impressions — and when we played "See a Little Light" in front of the Larkin Street Youth Center as part of my homeless outreach project #berobin, which celebrated Robin Williams, his philanthropy, and his love of street performance.

I didn't see you in 2015, but I did see your band, Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster, whom I brazenly stole to back me for my new Showtime special, psyCHO. I had such an electric time performing with them at your tribute show at the Disney Concert Hall. Wasn't that a crazy night?!!! All of us doing your songbook — Dave Grohl, Ryan Adams, The Hold Steady, No Age, and Britt Daniel — and I don't know if you knew, but Neil Hamburger was also there to offer me emotional counsel because I was far too excited to sing "Your Favorite Thing" with Jason, Jon, and Grant-Lee Phillips.
It's the right song because you are my favorite rock star!

I hope everything is amazing, and I'd love to do Thanksgiving and Christmas again, but I'll be on tour myself, all over the place — Honolulu to Warsaw! Perhaps New Year's Eve?????

From: Bob Mould
To: Margaret Cho

Margaret! It's been a while since we've been able to hang out! Yes, we certainly spent much more time together in 2014. I have the fondest memories of our holiday get-togethers. Christmas was a riot — many of my friends who were there still regale me with the stories you told. The most popular one was about a sensual lubricant that might have contained THC? I don't think I was in the room when the story started, but I walked in for the end of it, which had something to do with analgesic qualities. I was also happy when you were reunited with an old friend (a new acquaintance of mine via my next-door neighbor). I guess that's the way San Francisco used to be (and apparently still can be) — those random reunions that can't be planned.

You and I have waxed nostalgic about "old" San Francisco, especially the punk rock days of the '80s. I remember my first trip there in July/August 1981. I was a wild punk rock kid from Minnesota, touring around North America in a pimped-out van my late father drove out to me from my childhood home in northern New York State. My bandmates in Hüsker Dü and I spent two weeks camped out at Jello Biafra's spacious apartment near Dolores Park. We lived on Biafra's generosity and on food stamps that bought us lots of generic items at the Safeway on Market.

Fast-forward 34 years and things are so different in San Francisco. That van would look so out of place next to the gigantic, gleaming tech buses that pick up hordes of newly arrived tech workers in front of the Whole Foods that's now across the street from that Safeway (which has actually been remodeled and feels a little suburban). All the clubs of that era (Mabuhay, Valencia Tool & Die, The Vats!!!) are long gone. You were there — what do you remember about those days? And what do you think of the incredible changes that are happening across the city?

The Thread: Bob Mould and Margaret Cho