Kevin talks about being very young, poor, and struggling to live in NYC.
Kevin: Yes. I have been broke a number of times. Anything in particular that you would like to hear? I've got quite a bunch.
Todd: So tell me when was the first time you were really broke?
Kevin: The first time I was really broke was, I was 19, and I moved to New York City. I followed a girl that I met in Glacier National Park, I was working out there as a singing waiter.
Went out to New York, followed her, and I ended up living in an apartment with three other people and the share of my rent was $500 a month. Now that was 20 years ago, and $500 a month 20 years ago to a 19 year old kid with no education, no experience... that was a lot.
So I worked three jobs. I worked from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the George Washington Street Bus Terminal and subway station handing out flyers, American Express Moneygram flyers, then I would take the subway to Midtown, to FAO Schwartz, you know the big toy store...
Todd: Oh yeah, right.
Kevin: ...from the movie, "Big"...
Todd: Yeah, it's really famous.
Kevin: ...where he dances on the piano. Yeah, and I was... I would wrap presents there. And then I would work there from 11 to 4, and then I would take the subway back down to The Village where I was living, and I would work from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. as a waiter and bus boy.
Todd: That's brutal. That's pretty harsh.
Kevin: Yeah, it's really brutal. Well, how I ended up being broke was, the restaurant was a New Orleans style restaurant, and I got fired for talking to the customers too much. Truth is, the customers were interested in the fact that I was from New Orleans and it was a New Orleans style restaurant. And for... I lasted two more months. And I only had enough money everyday to buy a slice of cheese pizza and a pack of cigarettes. And...
Todd: That's it?
Kevin: That's it.
Todd: One slice of pizza and a pack of cigarettes.
Kevin: Well, and a Hostess Fruit Pie lunch. But one time, during lunchtime at FAO Schwartz, I went down to the vending machine and I got my Hostess Fruit Pie and I took a bite in it and it was hollow. There was no fruit in it and I really had a small panic attack, and I called the toll free number on it, and I complained, "You just don't understand how much of my daily nutritional intake that pie represented", and all he did was apologize and I was hoping they would send me a case of pies, but they didn't.
Todd: No such luck.
Kevin: That's right. When I went home, I was probably about 30 pounds lighter than before I left. And I was really poor. So that's the first time I was really broke.