Fame & Fortune: The B-52s' Keith Strickland

Bankrate: Given how much people change between their 30s, which most of you were in during the last record, and their 50s, where you all are now, do you find the personal dynamic between the band members has changed?

Strickland: Yeah. We live in different parts of the nation, so we're a bit more rooted in our own personal lives -- certainly more than when we started out. So those dynamics are a bit different. Cindy has two children and a husband; Fred, Kate and I have partners; we're all very strongly connected to our personal lives. But we're like a family, and when we write, we return to this timeless place that's outside of these other things.

Bankrate: Is it hard to sing about partying at this age with so much enthusiasm?

Strickland: I don't think so. Once we start writing, we go back to this place that's timeless, and age is not a factor.

Bankrate: How long have you lived in Key West?

Strickland: Five years. I used to live in Woodstock, N.Y., and my partner and I were like, why are we up here? The weather's horrible. So we moved down here.

Bankrate: How do you enjoy the lifestyle there?

Strickland: I love it. I ride my bike almost every day. It's beautiful and sunny, and the people are very interesting. It's a very eccentric town, but I love it. I fit right in.

Bankrate: Are there still chickens roaming the streets down there?

Strickland: In certain parts of the town, there are roosters and chickens and lots of cats.

Bankrate: The B-52s are one of these bands that virtually everyone knows. Has that translated into all of you having the kind of money where you could coast, or do you face the same pressure to have to work as everyone else?

Strickland: We continue to work. There's a certain impetus to continue working, as with any job. It's a job. We do it. It pays the bills. But we love doing it, too. Personally, I think I would do it regardless. Other than making money at it, I would still be doing it. I did it before the band. It's just something I love doing, and I think the same could be said for each of us.

Bankrate: A lot of people assume that if they know the name of the band and one classic song, like "Rock Lobster," the band is automatically set for life, financially. Do you find that people think that about you?

Strickland: Yeah, people sometimes do have that perception. But no, we have to keep working. It depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have, but I keep working because I would be bored, otherwise. What would I do?


Bankrate: So has your B-52s success bought you an awesome Key West house on the water?

Strickland: I have a house in Old Town, which is an old historical area. It's really nice down here. But I live very simply. I just ride my bike everywhere. My partner has a Prius. Very status-y. We're very green. It's a great lifestyle because it's so relaxing. You have the weather, and it's just wonderful. It's hard to put a price tag on the weather.

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