Q&A: Tim "Love" Lee on Erotica, Competitive Beard Growing And The Gunterwash
"Lone" Lee, "Carnal" Lee, but never "Sur" Lee, Tim Lee has made a career out of being "Love" Lee. From his storied collection of vintage erotica to composing music for HBO's Real Sex to his curation of a Brooklyn nudie-art show, his mythology is steeped in women and the pursuit of a good time. Or maybe it's a good time and the pursuit of women.
Since starting his career playing keyboards for Katrina & The Waves (yes, that one) to helping start the careers of Groove Armada and Tom Vek, he and his flagship label Tummy Touch have been around the block and back again. Christened for his raucous London parties of the same name, the label's roster of artists virtually defines eclecticism and reflects Lee's anything-goes DJ style. This Wednesday they celebrate their 15th anniversary at Hiro Ballroom, an event that should live up to the debaucherous 15th-anniversary party in London. We sat down with the man, the myth and the legendary grower of facial hair at Manhattan's oldest barbershop, Paul Molé, to discuss his newest compilation Fully Bearded and both get shaves and haircuts. The interview is belowas are instructions on how to win tickets to tomorrow's big birthday bash.
How has your facial hair corresponded to your music through the history of the label?
Well, I haven't had a beard the whole time, but definitely most of it. I really like the idea of 'putting a beard' on something and making it a bit shabby and left of center. But now I'm trying to go for more of the "Successful Businessman" look until I make my first million, and then I'll go back to the "Crazed Woodsman."
What's your favorite style of facial hair?
The Gunterwash is always something that's appealed to me, even though I don't know what it looks like. As in "Make mine a Gunterwash!"
There's totally this whole crazy world of competitive facial hair growing out there.
I'm actually a member of Team USA in the Beard Club! I was gonna compete in the World Championships a few years ago but ended up shaving my beard. They let me on even though technically I'm not American.
Is that like the Olympics? Do you have to go back to the trials or are you still vetted?
I'd have to do a lot of beard growing, but I think I could definitely get back in. It's pretty casual.