No Direction: An Interview with Music Icon Billy William Sanskrit

By Bub 

Legendary performer and cultural icon Billy William Sanskrit is one of the most prolific entertainers and song writers of the past fifty years. One Year In Texas has an exclusive conversation with the reclusive and eccentric star:

Billy William agreed to do the interview in the gymnasium of a high school he had built on his estate. The school offers classes to carnival children on subjects as varied as cotton candying and corn balling to a three day seminar featuring Billy himself lecturing on the first two Punic Wars.

For the first fifteen minutes I was asked to sit in silence, focusing my attention on a lithograph of Civil War Major General Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana while Billy William polished his belt and hat buckles.

When he was ready, his manager told me, Billy would sneeze holding one finger to his nose. This was trickier to gauge than I anticipated as Billy sneezed repeatedly while polishing his buckles, always covering his nostrils with two or more fingers to test my fortitude while I tried to make an accurate finger count out of the corner of my gaze, still directed toward the visage of the Major General.

Luckily I had gotten it right on the single finger sneeze as when I looked up from the picture I was not immediately escorted out off of the premises. I began the interview by asking, 'Zen and the art of... buckle polishing?'

Billy William: That was a book I wrote with Robert Pirsig when we were moonlighting as false prophets at a Moorish Science Temple in Dearborn, Michigan. Michael, as I called him, wound up stealing my ideas and changing every word in the book that originally read 'buckle polishing' to 'motorcycle momma'. He stole my motorcycle momma too, some years later, after he decided to change the word 'momma' to 'maintenance'. He was a dictionary publisher at the time, and I was an encyclopedia salesman, and well, you know what happened from there of course, that's why you're here.

Me: You became a star?

Billy William: Well, yes. In the literal sense. But years before I had become an artist.

Me: How did that come about?

Billy William: Well I already told you the Robert Pirsig story, but I guess that's just not enough for you media types. If you had any ideas in your head, instead of printing words you'd fill that magazine with pressed flowers and pictures of vomiting horses and a hologram of Jesus Christ crying from a broken heart in front of a Burger King. That's reality, but you wont see that in any magazine, because it doesn't exist. (Begins humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic, getting louder as I ask my next question)

Me: Tell me more about your reality?

Billy William: HMMM HMMM, HMMM HMMM, HMMMMMMM. (whispers) I don't need to tell you because I just wrote it as your epitaph on your misshapen headstone.

Me: Your conversion to Mormonism, mistake or mishap?

Billy William: I didn't convert to anything. The whole world uncoverted around me, and so I was left there holding the bag. The the fans tried to blame me for it, but it wasn't my fault. Quetzalcoatl set this whole wheel a spinnin' ages ago and it aint gonna stop until the year 2012. I wrote a movie about it, but James Cameron stole the script and changed the title to 'Avatar'.

Me: What wisdom has come with age?

Billy William: I didn't get any wiser, in fact I've regressed. I used to think thoughts like 'tire fire childrens' toys', and now I can only think about buckles and not even in an abstract way. That's not to say I don't appreciate the simple joys in life. I've got a buckle for every season, I eat at Burger King on Tuesdays and Sundays, and I ghost-write successful movie scripts.

Me: What about your music?

Billy William: I thought that's what we were referring to with all this 'buckle' talk.

Me: And the Hanukkah album?

At this point two chains drop down from the rafters and Billy's assistants fasten them to his chair. He is lifted up and is left suspended twenty feet above me where I can hear him whistling 'Disturbia' by Rihanna. I took this as my cue to leave.


Though I didn't take away a lot from our interview I learned a valuable lesson about brilliant enigmas. Don't try to understand them or you just may slip past the surly bounds of Earth, and wind up touching the face of God.


  1. I laughed so much I almost choked! I'm also glad to see Quetzalcoatl getting his due as the prime mover of the universe.

  2. Two Punic War references on OYIT in two days! These things are charging through the interwebs like Hannibal's elephants!

  3. ...and by that I mean I hope they die a cold, snowy death in the French and Italian Alps.