tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg November 17, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin this evening with a look at president-elect donald trump's transition team. and the aftermath of the election. it has been a week since he had scored a stunning victory over democratic rival hillary clinton. he has denied reports of chaos in his efforts to fill staff positions in the new administration. rudy giuliani is believed to be a leading contender for secretary of state. earlier today, senator chuck schumer was elected as the next leader of senate democrats. he is now one of the party's most influential counterweights to the trump administration. david leonhardt of the new york
times joins me now. i am pleased to have our guest back. welcome. david: thank you. charlie: many people are looking at what happened here and the surprises of this election. did pollsters, pundits, press fail or simply that things happened that made this impossible to accurately ascertain? david: i think this is an important moment for self-reflection from everyone. i mean, from journalists, pollsters, people who analyze polls, strategists. i think the thing to say here is everyone missed this. if you remember back in 2012, a lot of people close to mitt romney thought he was going to win. charlie: including mitt romney. including -- david: including mitt romney. and had he won, i think it would have been important for democrats and people in the media to really be self-reflective about why the romney campaign was right and they were wrong. this was different. trump himself expected to lose. the republican national committee expected to lose. hillary clinton expected to win. there was no media source out there saying, look, the polls
show he's ahead. charlie: you kept asking, how large is the vote? we asked the question often. how large is the trump vote? is there a hidden vote? we asked those questions. david: right. charlie: we just didn't know the answers. david: and the polls were wrong. on the one hand, the size of the error of the polls was not historically charge. but it was historically important, because what it did, it shifted by several points in precisely the states that trump needed to win. and i think we are going to need time to sort through why that happened. but i do think that we shouldn't abandon polls. but i think after an election like this, we have to look at them with more humility than we did before. because the fact is that poll response rates have gone way down, and there is a chance that they are becoming less accurate. certainly they pointed the wrong way this time. charlie: did donald trump do something, and his team, that we can now look at and say, boy, they were brilliant, in the way they analyzed the possibility? david: they did a lot of things right, right? when no one thought it was
right. i think the key thing is that democrats persuaded themselves that -- and to be clear, many other independent analysts, including many of us in the press, thought this was correct. trump's team thought it was correct by the end. democrats persuaded themselves that the rising demographics had leaned demographic -- democratic gotten large enough to carry the , day. latinos, asian-americans, millennials. i don't know if you've seen one of those maps that shows how millennials across the country voted. i think hillary clinton won 40 states. trends,hose are real but we were misled about how important they had become. and by taking the white working class vote for granted, the democrats essentially alienated that vote. and trump, by running a campaign unlike any a republican has run, a much more nationalist, ethnocentric, populist campaign, was able to bring people out of the woodwork.
and the combination of those two things is what led to this truly, as you said, stunning result. charlie: and do we now understand with hindsight what it was that propelled the people who gave him his victory? david: i think it was a lot of things. i think that establishment candidates fared extremely badly this year, not just hillary clinton, but jeb bush and the other republicans annoyed by the -- anointed by the establishment, like scott walker. charlie: people who had been around politics for a while. david: people who had been around politics for a while. charlie: or were the favorite of people who had been around politics for a while. david: that's right. bernie sanders clearly lost the primary to hillary clinton. i think about 55% to 45% of the democratic vote. however, bernie sanders is a socialist from vermont who wasn't even a member of the democratic party until recently. the fact that he got 45% of the vote, in hindsight -- and for some people at the time, it was a real sign of how weak the establishment is. so one, in hillary clinton, you had a candidate who really had a lot of flaws.
two, you are trump getting out this vote in a way that didn't seem possible but actually happened. charlie: without a kind of organization behind him, using rallies as his emotional push. david: that's right. and really -- look, what i have said is i think the central problem facing the country, in addition to climate change, is the great stagnation. it is the fact that for a very large portion of this country, life isn't getting better or has gotten only majorly better over the last generation. -- marginally better over the last generation. that breeds a lot of cynicism. think about this. as americans, we like to talk about how much our lives have gotten better. and we don't think about ourselves in relation to our grandparents. we think about our whole communities. if you're an italian-american, you think about how your ancestors came over and worked hard and now you enjoy this quality of life. this is a deeply american story. now imagine that you live in
some parts of the country -- it might be a third of a country or close to a half, where progress has been depressingly slow for years, if not decades. all that hard work would feel like it had broken against you. i am not defending at all the bigotry we have seen with the trump campaign. we can talk about that. i find it deeply alarming. but i do understand why it has found a greater audience in this time of stagnation than it has for a long time. charlie: when you say stagnation, is this what larry somers calls secular stagnation, -- david: it is a version of it. charlie: -- which is a restriction on traditional growth rates? david: yes. it is two things. growth has slowed down and inequality has risen. so for most people, the amount of their share that's growing is very slow. you look at net worth. for a typical family, it's lower than it was in the 1980's. that is shocking. look at income. charlie: 36 years ago, it's lower? david: lower.
it was for the mid-1980's, so call it 30 years ago. you look at income. they've grown for the working class, extremely, extremely slowly. you look at family formation. for college graduates, divorce is a lot less common than it used to be. for people who haven't graduated from college, growing up in a family with only one parent it's more. , many more people are in jail than used to be. drug abuse is much worse. i mean, there is this famous study that came out in the last couple of years showing that, for large groups of whites without a college degree, lifespans have not gotten longer. and so when you think about this stagnation and despair, to me, it helps explain some of what happened here. now, i am frightened about where we now go, because trump does not have a platform that it seems to me addresses many of these issues. and i'm deeply worried about the civil liberties issues. charlie: let's talk about civil liberties. what is it that worries you? because a lot of people that look at the all right, which now has a champion if not the most
, important advisor in the white house, in the presence of mr. bannon. what is it that worries you and worries others in terms of civil liberties? what might happen that someone ought to raise a red flag and say, let's be careful here, let's be vigilant in our protection of individual rights? david: there are two issues and they overlap. i think of them somewhat differently. one is a basic respect for rule of law. there were multiple times during the campaign when president-elect trump said things that did not show a respect for the rule of law, right? he suggested that a judge could not be objective simply because of his ethnicity. he said -- charlie: as a matter of fact, he didn't come from mexico. he was born in indiana. david: he was born in indiana. he said his opponents should be jailed. he said he might not respect the results of the election. list goes on and on. we have basic democratic values in this country. and we have certainly not in modern times ever had a presidential candidate who ran essentially opposing many of those democratic values.
now he didn't just run. he won. and he's going to be the president. so i think there's a very big and question about, do those values weaken? does it mean when donald trump gets a ruling from -- when president trump gets a ruling from a federal judge he doesn't like, the same way obama got a lot of them, that he tries to circumvent that ruling somehow , have that judge impeached? i worry a lot about that, because if you take him at his word, you could imagine that. charlie: that is the a lot of point. people say -- you've heard people say -- not sure where it was first used -- that certain people who opposed donald trump took him literally and not seriously. people who voted for him took him seriously and not literally. that they knew they didn't agree , with everything he said, and didn't take it literally. that it was, as they understood it, just to be campaign tactics and rhetoric and strategy. david: i certainly hope that's the case. i would much rather have hypocrisy on his part than some kind of move toward
authoritarianism. but i think it would be a big mistake for us to assume that he didn't mean it. people run for president saying they're going to do something and they win. more often than not, they try to do it. charlie: obamacare being an example. david: obamacare being an charlie: tax cuts by ronald reagan. david: that is exactly right. the list goes on. i get that donald trump is not a normal candidate, but i also don't think we should blithely assume, oh, he didn't mean those things because they seem really bad. so i really would like to see signs from him that he is going to respect civil liberties, the rule of law, basic constitutional rights. and i think it is very important for people in washington, including republicans, to put real pressure on him to do that, people like rand paul, people who have been close to him. that is one issue. the second issue is just all of the surge of hate, the online racism, the real-life racism we've seen in recent days, the online anti-semitism.
it is true that much of that -- charlie: online in terms of websites and things like that? david: yes. whether it is students at college campuses being targeted with racist stuff, whether it is graffiti, not online, whether it is people being targeted with anti-semitism, it is true that for the overwhelming bulk of that has not come from anyone in the campaign. but it has been on the website breitbart run by steve bannon. he has not distanced himself from that. he has not said, hey, i reject what has been on my website. charlie: what he has said, he has said nor should i necessarily be held accountable for all of it, because i didn't write it. david: yes, but it did happen while he was the executive chairman. i am concerned about the wink and the nod about a lot of that stuff. and i think that mayor de blasio of new york went to visit with donald trump today, and said, look, people are friegdened. -- frightened. and you have a responsibility to make them feel more comfortable. and i really do think that is a deep responsibility.
and i think, if the president-elect doesn't live up to that responsibility, it is absolutely vital that the institutions of our civic society, congress, the courts, the media, that we do not, in any way, start to change our standards for what it means to live in a pluralistic society under the rule of law. charlie: so when barack obama says, look, i think he's been sobered by the white house. i believe we have to give him an opportunity, to see what he's going to do and says, i think he's more problematic than not, you say, let's wait and see? david: that's right. i think president obama is doing the right thing here. i think it would be a big mistake for president obama to come out of the election and start criticizing the president-elect. the people have spoken. right? obama does have a job to try to ensure a smooth transition. and as obama said in his press conference this week, gestures matter. and you got the sense, when he was saying that, that while he was talking about the president-elect, he was also
talking about himself, that he was saying gestures matter, and what i want to try to do here is lower the temperature and try to get us back to some of these democratic values that are so important to this country. charlie: thank you for coming. david: thank you, charlie. charlie: david of the new york times. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
observer of china and japan and many other places. his new piece in the magazine is called "china's great leap backward." in it, he argues that the country of almost 1.4 billion people has not been this repressive since the cultural revolution. i am pleased to have him back on this program. welcome. james: thank you, charlie. charlie: it's entirely appropriate that we talk about this, after talking about president-elect trump. this is how the article, the great leap backward, comes. china is less free, less open and more belligerent than it was five years ago, even 10. it has become repressive in a way not since the cultural revolution. a china optimist considers an optimistic future, and he asks, what a more dangerous and adversarial china would mean for the united states. especially when we look at the change in government here. james: indeed. and so i wrote this article before the election, because that's the reality of magazines with their lead times. but its assumption was the united states would be thinking calmly and rationally about the
way it deals with these changes inside china, which make china more difficult to deal with for everybody, including the united states. how the united states will approach this under the leadership of donald trump is a whole different layer of complexity. charlie: what is happening in china with xi jinping and his presidency? james: it is a combination of internal repression and external illiterates. the may be point i try to argue, in the 40 or 45 years since china's opening under richard nixon, there has been a gradual evolution in liberalization and integration with the rest of the world. in any interval, you could look back five years and say, well, certainly it's freer now than it was five years ago. much more than 10 years ago. in the past five years, that's changed. china has much more control than it was five years ago. it is much more anti-foreign. it is hard for international businesses to do business there. so the question is, has the trend really changed? and if so, does the united states need to change its approach? charlie: so when xi jinping came
in power, there were a couple of things he had to deal with immediately. one was corruption. james: right. charlie: two was pollution. james: and to look at the bright side, which we could use at this stage and international history, perhaps the paramount point of u.s.-chinese cooperation is in climate and environmental issues. it was interesting that xi jinping said throughout the election, we don't want you to pull out of the paris climate pact. there is hope on climate issues, it depends on the u.s. and china and working together. but yes, xi jinping came to power knowing there were lots of things that made china seem much less successful inside than it seemed outside, and he was going to deal with those. charlie: so why is he more belligerent? james: i think it's a pattern we've seen in other nations, including ours at the moment, when you try to sort of build up domestic support by flexing our -- external muscles. i think there's a combination of arrogance and insecurity. the arrogance may stem from the remnants from the financial
2008 collapse which made united states which made china feel like our time has come. the insecurity is xi jinping's realizing that how many things threaten china's future from pollution to topping off the economy's growth to the resistance and hostility of many of his neighbors. and so, one way to -- you see it in many countries you stand up , to the japanese, stand up to the american, stand up to the filipinos. all that sort of thing. charlie: because nationalism stirs your own political survival. james: exactly. and you know well the anti-japanese feelings in china are very easy to rev up. i think there is -- i think we've discussed this before. there is a deep feeling by a lot of china's leaders that the united states finally does not wish them well. the united states finally would like to bottle them up and hold them down, despite the american president saying the opposite for many years. so this is a way to prey on that. charlie: they are right about that in many ways other than , that we want to have relationships with countries who
worry about china? james: i think there is a layer at which the chinese fear is completely unfounded but they'll never believe it. which is from the time of nixon onward, american policy has really been it's better for us if china prospers than if they stagnate. because as difficult as they are prospering, they would be worse if they were going down. i think there is we don't see as , much of it right now as we have in the recent past, of people feeling china is overtaking us. the united states is threatened. and so there is certainly that , potential in the american psyche, a theme i make in the articles related to graham ellison, who you well know, trying to avoid this becoming a vicious cycle of each nation becoming so fearful of the others that it brings out their worst traits. charlie: when you look at their military, are they building up? james: but from a very low base relative to the united states. i think a saving grace is the chinese military is fully aware
of how dominant the fleet is in that part of the world, how much stronger the u.s. is in military means, but it does -- relative to vietnam, relative to south korea, relative to the philippines they've become , relatively more prominent. especially in the south china sea. charlie: the question has always been that china has not shown any desire to be an imperialistic power. it has not. but people wonder if, at some point, as it continues to become a larger and larger economy, as it continues to have a greater role in the world, as it continues to see institutions that it wants to be part of and that it can play a role in it , might change. james: yes. and certainly from the chinese point of view, what might be perceived as imperialism looks like the natural extension of their core interests, as they put it. for example, this island building in the south china sea, and also trying to change international institutions. in the absence of the tpp, china
is going to be setting up lots of trade deals with all of its neighbors, which will be kind of a chinese regime replacing an american-centric regime. charlie: i assume that is an argument for tpp in our interest? james: yes. i think that for any complaint one might make about it, the alternative is going to be worse for almost any constituent american group you can think of, consumers, workers, companies, anybody. charlie: the central thing about china, for me i have always believed is the thing that's , most important to the chinese leadership is the control of the chinese communist party. james: yes, it is true. they've now been in office for, what, 67 years? something like that. they're nearing the sort of the longevity of the soviet communist party which eventually -- it's hard to maintain this kind of control in the long run. i think they're aware of that. charlie: the economy. we know there's been a level of overcapacity. james: yes. and they're exporting their steel at a loss, causing job
losses around the world. i think there's both a short-term problem they are managing more or less, and a longer term one, much more troublesome. the short-term one is layoffs. there is going to be a million or 2 million. one million or two million steel workers and coal workers who lose their jobs in china this year. there's no demand. coal is going down every place. steel industry has overcapacity. and so the same problems every country in the world has with laying off manufacturers. even china has. charlie: less steel to use and less demand for their product. james: right. so they can find ways to ramp them up by building new stuff. the longer-term one is that the chinese economy, it's made it from peasantry to a manufacturer and supply chain. the question is can they ever , have their own topline companies, their own apple mitsubishi, mercedes-benz, or , their own general electric? that is what the internal handthat is what the internal repression sort of brings into question. can you have a first-rate internationalized economy if you're all controlled?
charlie: but as soon as you say that, you say -- uber went over there and thought they would have success. they didn't. the chinese uber took them to the cleaners. james: chinese took them. >> exactly. so i guess what i'm talking about is sort of international either technology based or manufacturing based brand names, the kind we associate with germany or with japan or south korea or the united states. china has become increasingly dominant in its own market. the question is, the next level of sophistication can they do , that with a repressive internet control sort of foreigner hostile environment? charlie: can you have an effective competition if you don't have freedom and you don't have all the things that have been part of what allowed america to develop the technology and the lead that it has? james: yes. and all sort of successful small b, bourgeois, liberal democratic societies, they do have all this kind of liberal society.
they have universities, they have free press, they have elections. all these things that china doesn't have in the same form. charlie: whether they can have it or not i don't know, but to , have great universities. two of the top 20 by whatever. james: it's easier to build the buildings than to attract the best scientists, students. so here's a silver lining, that a china that's able to achieve these things would be an easier china for us to coexist where, -- coexist with. because it would be less oppressive, it would be more like the rest to have developed world. charlie: so the question is too, what is their paranoia? james: i think that is an excellent question. i think among the chinese population in general -- as you well know, i think they're at ease with americans and all the rest. i think among the leaders, there's a paranoia towards the united states that we say we wish them well, but really, what are we thinking in our hearts? and there's a real paranoia about their own control. why else would they keep the nobel peace prize winner locked up all these years?
it just gives them bad publicity. why would they crack down so hard, if they were confident? they would not crack down so hard. charlie: what is it they fear that will come from a non-imprisoned nobel prize person? james: i mean there's the , example of the blind dissent who came to the u.s. a couple years ago. if they get them out of the country, they have less traction inside china. so it would be smarter and more kind of savvy just to let all their dissidents go, but there is something about the appearance of strength and control that seems to really matter to them. charlie: are they showing a great interest in being a participant in big global issues? clearly in climate, because they -- it has served them best, goes right to the heart of their own well-being. but do they want to play an important role in the world? james: i think they would -- charlie: or do they want simply to go follow the russians and security council? james: of course it's a giant,
differs country with many different impulses but i think , increasingly they would like to be seen as a global leader. it matters that they are part of the iran deal. it matters that they're part of other sort of international compacts, so i think that is one of the sources of leverage the united states has. china would like to be seen as a more responsible player than they sometimes are. charlie: that was the great question. he was posed a few years ago. do they want to be and act like a stakeholder or not? you're saying they're moving more towards that? james: i am saying there's contradictory movements, and part of the united states' strategy even in this next administration is to make it more attractive for them to do that and less attractive for them not to. charlie: i'm going to go right to the title. the great leap backwards. are they really leaping backwards, or are they showing insecurity? james: probably certainly the , latter of insecurity, but it's been long enough now, that it's longer than any of the past. after tiananmen square, within a year or two, things were back on a liberalizing past. -- half. this is now three-plus years of directional tightening up. charlie: one of the articles
also in addition to yours is, how to avoid war with beijing. the editor talked with henry kissinger. does kissinger believe there may be war with china? james: he says that would be catastrophic and low probability but there's no alternative to continue engaging with them, , because it's the most important relationship we have. charlie: and there's always been a historic sense that declining powers tend to try to do something about rising powers. james: yes. charlie: the principle. james: so avoiding that trap is a very important goal, whoever is our leader. charlie: thank you so much. james: thank you so much, charlie. charlie: back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
charlie: margo price is here, the national singer-songwriter is making a name for herself, beyond music city. her sharp song writing and steely vocals recall country greats like dolly parton and loretta lynch. the debut album was recorded in just three days at the famed sun studios in memphis. it is called midwest former's daughter. rolling stone calls it a diary of striking out and living hard. here is margo price performing "all-american made" in our studio this morning. ♪ i woke up from a movie i forgot ately
got a heart ache on the bottom top headache on the but part of me that hurts the worst is the one i just can't spot and it's all-american made everywhere i go somebody puts me in the dirt and everything i say somebody says they said it first but i don't need $10 million baby, just give me one that works it's all-american made well i
yeah, it's all, it's all american-made ♪ i'm pleased to have margo price at this table for the first time. welcome. margo: thank you so much for having me here. charlie: thank you for performing for us. margo: of course. it was great. charlie: you obviously are flattered of these comparisons to loretta lynn. margo: yes. i admire her so much. and, you know, definitely i see similarities in what we do. charlie: what are the similarities you see? and what people see? margo: you know, i love that she was not afraid to be bold about, you know, women's issues and really she was a unique songwriter. you know, she wrote her own songs. and that really appeals to me, you know in an industry where a , lot of people have other folks
write their songs. that's definitely one of them. but you know i guess the other , similarities just, you know in , life. i read that she's color-blind, which i also am a little color-blind. she had twins. i had twins. and she's aries. and she doesn't like being told what to do, from what i heard. charlie: and you don't like being told what to do. margo: no, i don't. charlie: and the kind of music you play? margo: i try to keep true to tradition, but i'd like to think i'm not just spinning the same wheel. i obviously like classic country music. but i like soul and funk and blues and rock 'n roll. so i try to bring all that in and make it my own. charlie: is it easier to do that today? because so many people have bridged all those gaps as well? margo: yeah. i feel i feel comfortable, you , know, bringing those elements in, because i think its does
-- it does make something original. and that's the main goal for me. charlie: did you begin wanting to just be a songwriter, or did you always say, i want to write songs for myself, and i want to perform them, and i want to perform them on stage? margo: yeah. that was the plan. i think when i first moved to nashville, you know, 13, 14 years ago -- charlie: you were how old? margo: i was 20 years old. i definitely had that ambition. but from what i saw, the direction that country music had went, i didn't feel like there was a place for me to coexist with that kind of music, because it was so glossy and because the image was always a certain prototype that i had come to see. charlie: you couldn't see yourself as that? margo: no. i didn't think i physically fit the mold. and so i, you know went more the , folk direction for a while. and i always wanted to write
songs that had substance. and so i very much love joni mitchell and bob dylan and neil young, and i really gravitated towards that. and the kinks, i got very into the kinks for a while and started playing rock 'n' roll and did that for quite some time. had a soul band that had like three backup singers and a horn section. before i knew it, i was singing over, you know 14 people. ,i kind of wondered if i'd gotten to be too much, this kind of joe cocker thing. charlie: today? margo: today i've got a six-piece band. you know, pedal steel and piano and fiddle when we can have it. but yeah, i am very happy with my band. the same guys who play on my record. i didn't get session's visions. i got people who wanted to be a part of the band. when we go to play live shows, it sounds like the record. charlie: is it harder for a
young woman today than it is for a young man? in that -- margo: i think in more than just the music business, yes. [laughter] charlie: you think? margo: i think it may be. especially at the event this week here. i -- you know, i have found that it is maybe more difficult to be a woman, and people -- even when i, you know go to play festivals , and stuff, you look at the festival lineup, there's maybe, you know, 5% to 10% of the names on their are women. female fronted band. so the ratio -- charlie: it's not exactly the population, is it? margo: no, it is not. charlie: talking about the events this week, you feel strongly -- how do you feel about the results in terms of what you expected and what it would have meant to you to see a woman as president, history being made?
margo: yes. i was very much looking forward to saying madam president. it's been a hard week. charlie: been a hard week for you. margo: yeah. charlie: a lot of conversations about it with your friends and people? margo: yeah. i think, you know, if we can try to find a silver lining in the events that have gone on, maybe people will really begin to be proactive in organizations that they believe in, and, you know, really getting back to getting into the politics of our world. i think people can be so distracted by social media and by, you know, just the day-to-day distractions of the world that, you know, we've gotten away from, you know, growing our own food and taking care of the environment and really being turned on. charlie: those are the kind of issues that appeal to you most? margo: yeah they definitely do. ,charlie: environmental questions, climate? margo: yes.
my father and my grandfather and all his brothers and all their sons they had a family farm. , and, you know, the whole farming crisis in the early to mid-1980's came about they lost , everything. it had a huge impact on me. charlie: where were they farming? margo: they were farming in a little town called buffalo prairie, illinois, off the mississippi. charlie: what did they form? -- farm? margo: they had corn, soybeans and some cattle. charlie: if you can make a living there, it would be a wonderful way to be close to the land. margo: yeah it is. ,it is something that you know, i hope to be able to do a little bit more of when i'm not on the road 250 days a year. charlie: you mean your own farm? ,margo: yeah, or having a little garden at least. i think if everybody does a little bit, it will make a difference. charlie: are you as strong on melodies as you are on lyrics? margo: i definitely think that a strong sense of melody is important. when i set out to write this
album, i had kind of given up trying to write pop or rock 'n' roll or whatever i had been doing on the last four albums. i wasn't worried about if the hook was good enough or if it was, you know, melodically catchy enough. i just wanted the lyrical content to be there. i think i've achieved some of that. charlie: let me talk about these songs. this is "hands of time." margo: that is a six minute -- [laughter] six minute song. everyone kept trying to make it my single. i said, i don't know if america has six minutes of attention span. [laughter] margo: we only got 140 characters most of the time to get your point across. but i, i'm happy that i went ahead and kept it. and third man was very adamant with me about having it kind of be the kickoff to the album. i feel like if people can get
through that then a, they're going to know who i am and kind of what i've been through and b, able to enjoy the rest of the record because it's not as heavy as that song. charlie: ok. "about to find out." margo: "about to find out." i wrote about an acquaintance who is a bit of a sociopath. it is funny how you know, songs , change meaning over time. it seemed to be fitting for the privilege and the separation in the classes that we're dealing with today. charlie: is this album in part, as some have said, sort of giving a finger to the music establishment? margo: yeah definitely. ,[laughter] margo: especially in the ways i have been treated as a woman. when i was first in nashville, first moving to town, i experienced people who, you know, kind of tried to take advantage of me. and i feel like i -- when i was younger, i didn't think that there were people like that out there. i was just very trusting, very open.
i didn't think that there were people who would try to do that. but i had a very bad experience with an older gentleman who had a studio and, you know, wanted me to write some demos for him, for more of the pop country world. we spoke a little bit. but then at one point, he -- i was doing some writing out there with him and another guy. and he -- i went into the rest room. i came out. i was having a glass of sangria. and i began to not feel well. i asked him if they put anything in my drink. they said, oh, don't worry, we just put vodka in there because we thought you weren't having enough fun. and that immediately, you know, put off a light in my head, you know. my mother's words were -- charlie: get out of there. margo: yeah get out of there. , it was before technology was quite so savvy. i just had a little flip phone. it was dying. luckily, i got out of there
unharmed. but that was just the first of, you know, experiences where i think people -- charlie: trying to take advantage of you. margo: yeah. they want favors and expect, you know -- expect you to do something for them if they're going to help you out. i don't think that that's how the music business should go. charlie: you want it because they believe in who you are? margo: yes. not only just things like that. but people -- you know, publicists taking really large amounts of money and then never doing, never sending me a press report of the work they did or, you know, managers who want to be on retainer when i don't really have an extra $250 a month to give. but you pay for what you get. and i definitely learned the hard way how the music business works. i definitely have a greater understanding of it now. charlie: so it's hardened you too. margo: yeah. [laughter] margo: got a little chip on my shoulder.
charlie: but you do it with a sense of humor. margo: humor takes the sting out of a lot of things. charlie: you did this in three days. margo: three days. charlie: you pond your wedding ring. you did what else? margo: my husband came into the kitchen one day, and he said, that's it. i'm selling the car. there's no way we'll have enough money. we were selling microphones and guitars and music gear that we'd acquired, mixing boards and reel to reel machines. we liked a lot of the old analog. that kind of wave recording. charlie: are those days behind you? margo: yeah. we're doing well. we still only have one car. we never bought another car, because i'm on the road so much. but i think i'm going to buy an old truck here soon. charlie: a pickup truck or -- margo: yeah. gonna buy a ford pickup truck. charlie: tell me about the rest of the songs. one is "tennessee song." margo: kind of just a song about enjoying the outdoors.
also the history of where america used to be and where we are now. charlie: and the next one is "since you put me down." margo: yeah. "since you put me down." that's a song, i cover it with my husband. he started writing it. he maybe had a different direction he was going. but i definitely used that song to kind of write a scorned love letter to an old manager that did me wrong. [laughter] and people might think it is about love -- charlie: did you call him up, tell him, this is for you? margo: no, but the funny thing was, once he started getting success, he sent me an apology and then asked me to sing at his wedding. charlie: what did you say? margo: i said i'm sorry, i don't think i can do that. [laughter] charlie: not the way it works. margo: but i'm not holding a grudge, i just don't want to do you any favors. ♪
four years of chances. margo: four years of chances. i wrote that after a conversation with a girlfriend of mine who was going through a difficult relationship, and we were just having conversations. she said, i gave him four years of chances, and then he wanted to come back. charlie: and then you -- margo: i said, yeah, i'm going to write that song. i wrote that the next day. they came out all in one piece. and i was writing about her relationship and past relationships i had had. but i was also kind of writing a goodbye to my old band. which was called buffalo clover, and i was with them for four years, doing the best i could to keep it together. when i had to break up with them, it very much felt like a relationship was breaking up. charlie: does writing come easier or is it always? margo: i still feel very inspired. i'm dying to get back in the studio. we're gonna go in here in december, and i'm full of songs.
charlie: you're full of songs? margo: yeah. now i have got even more to write about. charlie: as she said those words, "four years of chances," you immediately wanted to go write it down then, or you said, ok, that's nice -- i will get around to writing a song -- margo: i'll scribble it down somewhere, because if you don't, you lose it. [speaking simultaneously] margo: or you're laying in bed at night, drifting off in those last moments before you fall asleep, and you think of this song idea, and you think i'll remember tomorrow -- charlie: >> no, you won't. margo: you have got to write it down right then. charlie: it's a lot confessional too. margo: yeah. i kind of gave myself the humility to become a little self-deprecating. you know, like you said, trying to find the humor in the bad situations. i -- "weekender" is about a weekend i had to spend in jail. charlie: why did they want to put you in jail? margo: i made some bad decisions.
charlie: what did you do? margo: you know i was struggling , a lot with depression after losing my son. charlie: yeah. margo: and i i'd been begging , god really to put me in a mental home. i just wasn't feeling safe, you know, for myself. and i was drinking quite heavily. and i went out one night and had too many drinks, and i called the cab. but the cab never came. and i had a little accident. and that was definitely the kind of turning point where i realized, you know, i don't want to be in an insane asylum. and that's what it felt like in there. charlie: i don't want to lose control? margo: yeah. i realized that i had a son at home. he was the most important thing in my life, and i knew i needed to get it together. and so i went and got therapy. it took a long time, getting clear-headed.
charlie: and how are you today? margo: i'm great. i'm a little exhausted from working so much, but i feel happy. charlie: you were rejected by everybody when you began. margo: yes. charlie: and now you are not. margo: couldn't get a manager, couldn't get a publicist, couldn't get a label, couldn't barely book any gigs. kind of the turning point was a writer from rolling stone came and saw me in a very tiny dive bar in nashville. and that was my first glimmer of hope. they said, where is your album? we want to review it. and i said, well, i don't have one. i'm trying to make one, trying to scrounge up the money. and at that point, i started writing all these producers, all these labels, send them my demos and said i'm going to make , a great country record, please give me an advance. but then i didn't hear any responses. so then we sold the car, did it anyway. charlie: and here it is. margo: and here it is. couldn't be happier. charlie: but there's a lot of hype about it now? margo: yeah.
i never expected it. never in a million years. charlie: so you're ready to get back and record the next one? margo: i am. because that was recorded quite some time ago. and several of the songs were around for years, so i'm -- i've got all sorts of new things to say. now even more to write about. charlie: it's great to have you here. margo: thank you so much. charlie: thank you for coming. i hope you'll come back. margo: i will. charlie: as soon as you get that album, come right here. margo: thank you so much, charlie. charlie: here it is. i would just love that i can get vinyl now. margo: it's an actual thing you can hold in your hand, so it won't disappear when the internet collapses. [laughter] margo: and this was a photo that my friend took. it was on a logo film, so that was all green. it was during the summer. and the film turned it purple. it was so cool. i got poison ivy and all sorts of bug bites when i took that photo. charlie: it was worth it, though. margo: it was.
i really can't tell you what an honor it is to sit in here and talk with you. charlie: thank you. margo: i am such a fan. charlie: honor for me. margo price. broke 7 from being guess my mama and my sisters i said goodbye with my suitcase packed wiping the tears from my eyes times have been tough growing up at home my daddy lost the farm when i was two years old took a job after prison working second shift [indiscernible]
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