That's where you hide the bodies, right?" I say this with one of those laughs you let loose at something utterly unfunny.

I had picked this guy up at a bar off Hawthorne. He had great rockabilly hair, high cheekbones, old-fashioned tattoos, and once he got in, he said, "Hey, is this Mark Lanegan you're listening to?" And we were off and running.

This guy had played in one of those great '80s bands that were called cowpunk back then; we joked that they'd be now. Del Fuegos. The Blasters. Jason and the Scorchers. The Meat Puppets. "Oh god, I loved those guys!" I switched out the Lanegan disc: "Here, you'll love this-it's his contribution to a Junior Kimbrough tribute compilation."

We got to his place. I turned the meter off and let him hear the rest of it. He said, "Man, this is good. Hey, come into my shop-I have something to show you. I know you'll like it."

I don't think so. I mean, I'm looking down a long, dark gravel driveway at a film location scout's wet dream of a meth-lab setting. At 3 am. I make my unfunny joke, and he goes oh ha-ha, no seriously, I gotta check it out.

Oh, hell. The Spidey sense isn't tingling, so I follow him through the tall grass. He opens the door and turns on the light, revealing the oldest car I've ever seen outside of photographs. "I've been building it for three years." Oh, wow.

I check it out while we talk about Studebakers and Packards and really old motorcycles. "Somehow I knew you'd be into it."