Musician Johnny Diesel and his Audi A3.The Low-down: Born in Massachusetts, US, Diesel (aka Mark Lizotte) emigrated to Australia in 1971, ultimately achieving national fame in the late ’80s as frontman for Johnny Diesel and the Injectors.
Career Highlights: hit songs including Love Junk, Tip of My Tongue, Never Miss Your Water, 15 Feet of Snow, Dig and Crazytown; winning six ARIA awards, including best male artist in 1992, 1993 and 1995, and best album (Hepfidelity) in 1992.
Upcoming project: The Velvet Curtain Tour, commencing in February. Visit www.dieselmusic杭州夜网m.au for dates.
Your first set of wheels: what was it?
It was an HT Holden Premier that I bought for $200. It was a real death-trap. It’s amazing I survived. At the time I didn’t think I could afford a car, and I couldn’t.
What’s been your biggest car-related regret?
Selling the first project car I’d ever owned before we moved to New York. It was a ’65 Valiant, very rare actually, and I’d only just got it sorted, really humming along. It had a small body, little bucket seats, really cool trim inside, two-tone steering wheel, and a 308 V8. If I’d had any foresight I would have just put it on blocks and warehoused it.
So it’s fair to say you’re a serious car enthusiast?
Definitely. A few times I’ve even fixed a few things on cars, where I’ve gone onto the internet and lo and behold there’s been instructions for everything. Once I had a Honda Prelude that just blew up, the radiator and gasket. It looked like a mess, but I thought, ‘you know what? I’m going to see if I can’t sort this out’. So I went and got the part, read all these blogs, and actually fixed it.
What was your transport situation like in New York?
We ended up in SoHo, right near the subway, Prince Street Station, and realised very early that we weren’t going to need a car. I became a pedestrian. I had my bike. I had my skates, my scooter – all these different modes. It depended on how far I was going and what the weather was like. And then when we needed a car I’d just walk up to 14th Street and rent some ridiculous Lincoln Navigator that could fit like 20 people in it. Then we’d give it back – no responsibilities, no mechanics to deal with, no on-road costs, no NRMA. Not owning a car was really liberating.
What have you got now?
An Audi A3 hatch. It’s a turbo diesel and it surprises me sometimes. It’s good to have when you need to get out of the way in a hurry. I like the low centre of gravity. It’s wide, and it really hugs the road. I can also get all my gear in if I need to get to a rehearsal or something.
So Diesel drives a diesel?
Yeah I know, it’s pretty funny. The diesel thing’s become quite common now, but a few years ago people would ask me at traffic lights, ‘what’s that diesel like?’ And then they’d recognise me and have a bit of a chuckle.
The number of kilometres I get from a tank of diesel – 900
The age I got my licence – 25
Car lover gauge – 5
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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.