I went to visit Alcatraz years ago when I was on tour with the Pistols, and I really liked the atmosphere of the place. I genuinely, really, thoroughly enjoyed the whole morning there. I just liked the quietness and stillness of what is basically a cruel prison complex. I still found some kind of joy in that. That's how I am.
What is the story with the airport sinks, that they will not give us a twist-on twist-off human faucet. "Is it that too risky for the human population? We have to do the one-handed pain-in-the-ass Alcatraz-style faucets. "What is it they think we will do? Turn 'em all on full, run out into the parking lot, laughing, pushing each other into the bushes?
Before AIM, Indians were dispirited, defeated, and culturally dissolving. People were ashamed to be Indian. You didn't see the young people wearing braids or chokers or ribbon shirts in those days. Hell, I didn't wear 'em. People didn't Sun Dance, they didn't Sweat, they were losing their languages. Then there was that spark at Alcatraz, and we took off. Man, we took a ride across this country. We put Indians and Indian rights smack dab in the middle of the public consciousness for the first time since the so-called Indian wars.
The first thing I did when I was forty years old, I put handcuffs on and I jumped off Alcatraz prison and swam to San Francisco handcuffed. That made national publicity. Then, there were three or four years where I would do more difficult feats. Another birthday I towed a thousand pound boat across the Golden Gate. On my 65th Birthday I towed 65 boats a mile and a half in Tokyo. On my 70th Birthday I towed 70 boats with 70 people in it with my feet and hands tied a mile and a half in Long Beach.... My next Birthday I will be 93. I'm gonna tow my wife across the bathtub.