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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Julian and Joaquin Castro; Interview with Rob Thomas; Interview with "Pawn Stars"; Interview with Alanis Morissette
Aired September 7, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: And they're off tonight. The race for the White House is officially under way. I've got candid conversations with top Democrats and the up and comers including the Castro brothers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This guy could be president. Now either of you could end up winning that race.
JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: He becomes president, I need Secret Service protection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus, a pop star who talks politics. Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB THOMAS, MUSICIAN: The only thing I think I hate more than hard-core conservatives are hard-core liberals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And America's guilty pleasure, "The Pawn Stars". Their take on the economy and the secrets of the rich and famous.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COREY "BIG HOSS" HARRISON, ACTOR: Most millionaires are actually pretty cheap. We're not going to go to Rolex and buy a watch brand- new, you know, especially when they can come to us and get it for half price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Also, you ought to know the charming and surprising Alanis Morissette.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: You're quite fascinating, aren't you?
ALANIS MORISSETTE, MUSICIAN: Thanks. So are you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is angry young woman as you've never seen her before.
(BEGIN VIDEO LCIP)
MORISSETT: I pray all the time. I'm praying right now.
MORGAN: Really? For what, the interview to end?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. And welcome to the CNN grill here in Charlotte.
As the Democrats pack up around me, the campaign for the White House begins in earnest. What matters is what happens now. The Democrats energized from their week here, are hoping for a bounce that eluded the Republicans. They're banking on their big guns, and front and center was, of course, President Obama with a speech that may make or break his bid for a second term. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Know this, America, our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder but it leads to a better place and I'm asking you to choose that future. I'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country, goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit. Real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That's what we can do in the next four years and that's why I'm running for a second term as president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Mr. Obama said he deserves four more years. And that message was drilled home by the former commander-in-chief, President Clinton, who electrified the base with his memorable words.
Here are some of the highlights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. Listen to me now -- no president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage he found in just four years. (APPLAUSE)
Now -- but he has he has laid the foundations for a new modern successful economy, of shared prosperity. And if you will renew the president's contract, you will feel it. You will feel it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Of course, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are making their case to win in November. They're pressing the point hard that Americans deserve better. When I spoke with Congressman Ryan, he didn't mince words, attacking Mr. Obama and his policies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And I'm telling you, yes, we had an economic crisis in 2008. I was very familiar with it, I was there. The problem I'm saying is President Obama's so-called solutions didn't fix the problem, they've made it worse.
And so president for the last two years has not been offering solutions, he's been attacking the other party. Don't forget, Piers, for the first two years of his presidency, his entire party controlled all of government. He got to pass nearly every single item on his agenda. And we are suffering as a result of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Today's job numbers were no help to the Obama campaign. Here with more, my colleague Wolf Blitzer.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Piers. You are absolutely right. Those new job report numbers are in a word, disappointing. Released today, they show the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August. That's way down from the 141,000 jobs created in July. Expectations were much higher for the White House.
At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent in July. That should be good news, but economists say the unemployment actually drop means hundreds of thousands of people have stopped looking for work. All this coming just a day after the president's speech at the Democratic National Convention -- and they are putting more pressure on President Obama to try to jumpstart the economy which certainly is front and center in this race for the White House.
Both sides were quick to sound off on the news. Let's listen to what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
OBAMA: Today, we learned that after losing around 8,000,000 jobs a month when I took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row, a total of more than 4.6 million jobs.
OBAMA: But that's not good enough. We know it's not good enough. We need to create more jobs faster. We need to fill the hole left by this recession faster. We need to come out of this crisis stronger than when we went in. There's a lot more we can do.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: After the party last night, the hangover today, the jobs numbers were very disappointing. For almost every net new job created, approximately four people dropped out of the workforce. Seeing that kind of report is obviously disheartening to the American people that need work and are having a hard time finding work. Real incomes, real wages are also not rising.
This is a tough time for the middle class in America. There's almost nothing that the president has done in the last 3 1/2, four years that gives American people confidence that he knows what he's doing when it comes to jobs and the economy.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BLITZER: Once again, a disappointing jobs report. We're going to see what the impact on the presidential race will be in the coming days.
Piers, back to you with more highlights from the convention.
MORGAN: I also sat down this week with some of the new generation of Democrats. Beginning with the charismatic Castro twins, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who delivered the keynote and his brother Joaquin who's running for Congress from Texas.
MORGAN: What does the American dream really mean, do you think? How do you reinforce the kind of story that you guys can tell America?
MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO, SAN ANTONIO, TX: Well, it means that there's this -- as Joaquin has said many times. He's campaigning for Congress these days. But this sort of infrastructure of opportunity, of strong public schools, of good universities, of student aid, of those things that it takes to experience opportunity in America and America has been the land of opportunity.
And so, it's our family is I think one example of that. But there's so many other examples and the importance of tonight and of this election is which one of these candidates is going to ensure that America remains unquestionably the land of opportunity in the coming years. And tonight my speech was about why I'm convinced that's President Barack Obama.
MORGAN: I mean you gave Mitt Romney a few good zingers. A lot of one of that, you know. You've just got to ask your parents for the money. Gee, I wish I'd thought of that. We're all having a chuckle of that. But there was a clear line tonight, drawn by almost every speaker.
JULIAN CASTRO: Sure.
MORGAN: The difference between Mitt Romney's relationship with the electorate, particularly in terms of his personal wealth, and you guys. You're obviously a good illustration of that. Perhaps more than the Obamas in many ways.
But how much do you think that is going to come into play as a key factor in the election? Do you think the American people are going to look at Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and say this guy is a wealthy guy, he's out of touch with us. I prefer to go with the devil I know who has admitted he's only done half the job really.
What do you think?
JULIAN CASTRO: Well, what I think is that when folks compare where the nation was when President Obama took office and you heard several speakers say that, losing 750,000 to 800,000 jobs a month and then you compare where we are now, 29 straight months of private sector job growth, 4.5 million new jobs, that I'm confident he's going to lay out the case very convincingly for why even though we haven't made the -- we're not where we want to be, we have made significant progress.
And that means something very real for people's lives. You know more students that are able to go to college, more folks now that are able to get back to work. We see that in Texas. So I don't think anybody would say that we're where we want to be. But we're better positioned as a nation than we were in January of 2009.
MORGAN: A lot of buzz tonight about your speech, as I say. Electrified everybody, prompting some people to say, wow, we haven't heard a speech like that since Barack Obama in 2004. This guy could be president. Now either of you could end up --
JOAQUIN CASTRO: I'll go ahead and leave that to him. If he becomes president, I need Secret Service protection.
MORGAN: I suppose my overriding question is, if Barack Obama thought he had a problem with a name like Barack Obama becoming president, the first President Castro of the United States of America is quite a moment.
JULIAN CASTRO: It's never going to happen.
But I do grant you that Florida would be pretty hard.
MORGAN: Listen, congratulations.
JULIAN CASTRO: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: It was a ground-breaking speech.
JULIAN CASTRO: I really appreciate it.
MORGAN: People very excited.
JULIAN CASTRO: Thank you.
MORGAN: May the best man if it does come off to a race-off.
MORGAN: Castro brothers may just be the future face of the Democratic Party. Coming up, a rock star who's fiercely political. Surprising Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty.
MORGAN: Matchbox Twenty's Grammy-nominated single "Unwell", featuring Rob Thomas. The new album "NORTH" is on the way. But rock star Rob Thomas is also fired up about politics.
He joins us me now exclusively.
How fired up are you about this election?
THOMAS: I am incensed --
THOMAS: -- by everything, by it all. Too much.
MORGAN: What do you make of the election battle? We're now only a few weeks away from decision time. What do you think of the way they've been going at each other and the issues that are likely to be the determining issues?
THOMAS: I think the most exciting -- may be exciting for me because I'm over here on the left. But what's kind of exciting is we had the eight years with George Bush. And part of that was -- happened because they had a clear message. They had a clear directive that they all kind of jumped on.
And now, ever since kind of like -- the difference between figuring out what the Republican Party is, what the GOP party really stands for, what the Tea Partiers are standing for, I've never seen them kind of disjointed in this way.
MORGAN: I mean, I find it baffling as a Brit, from our political system, the idea that the leader of a party would be saying one thing about issues like abortion or whatever it may be, and the platform that the party put forward for its convention was completely different.
THOMAS: It's supposed to be less government in your life and everything --
MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) different. How can that be right? I mean, if you're voting for this guy, are you voting for Romney personally? Are you voting for the party?
THOMAS: I don't think as a party they have a clear directive anymore. I think that it used to be easily wrapped up. I think that -- we've never seen this -- I hear like my grandfather and my great grandfather would talk about the days you couldn't speak to a Republican if you were a Democrat. The two of just couldn't -- you know, and during my time growing up, it was never that way.
And now, we're back to that kind of 50/50. These people are really hard on this line, these people are really hard on this line.
MORGAN: I appreciate that people have opinions and views and religious beliefs. I completely respect them. I was born Catholic.
And what I don't like about all of this, whether it's about religion or politics, is the debate is now so vicious, the rhetoric is so vicious.
THOMAS: But it's not like -- I have friends, I have many friends that are conservative Republicans. They don't speak like that. They don't have that kind of vitriol that just comes spewing out of their mouth when they do.
And I don't -- like I just don't think the people that are actually out there representing the right are the biggest nut jobs I've ever seen. You've got these Ted Nugents. You got people talking about whether or not, you know, what's legitimate rape. You've got just -- not all Republicans are crazy.
But all those hateful crazy people happen to be Republicans. So I think it's not good for them to have those people, the worst of the barrel, the low hanging fruit, kind of representing them.
MORGAN: I mean, my experience, you get crazy Democrats who say stupid thing.
MORGAN: What you get with people like Ted Nugent, I had him on the show a couple of times, is this kind of blind fury, driving his whole rhetoric and debate which can only whip people up. There are lots people out there who aren't the brightest of pennies who just react to that.
THOMAS: That's exactly why it's dangerous I think, because he's an intelligent person. When he says it, like everybody in the world should be able to have a gun, he's assuming everybody out there is as intelligent as him and can make decisions rationally that he can make, because he's a lot less crazy in his head than he likes to put out there. But the world is not that way. There do need to be some limitations on what people can have access to these things that are every day causing rampant death all over the place, and then somehow trying to go.
It has nothing to do with the guns. It has nothing to do with access with the guns. It has nothing to do with automatic weapons versus -- you know, it just does.
MORGAN: What does -- you've been a very successful musician in America.
THOMAS: Very successful.
MORGAN: Very, very successful.
MORGAN: What does being an American mean to you? Do you think that the dream that you grew up with has changed?
THOMAS: Well, yes, probably. I think as you get older in general, you have kids and your life -- your life goals change. You actually see yourself first, oh, I'm going to live past 21, you know, and then once you realize that, you start to figure out what your life as an adult is going to mean.
For me, at the end of the day, the whole truth about being an American and the greatest part about it -- and not to say -- there's a lot of kind of like this nationalistic rhetoric that goes around that we're the only free country. You realize that's not true. But I do like the idea if I want to write a song about my government being in cahoots with the -- you know, with church, I'm not going to go to jail for it. And I think those things are great.
The idea that we can sit here and we can have these kind of debates about the people --
MORGAN: The whole thing about Pussy Riots in Russia was ridiculous, wasn't it?
THOMAS: Of course it is. But it can't happen. It does happen and it can't happen. That is kind of the most shocking thing. We're so far removed from the idea of it being a reality in our world that you see it and it just seems like something that would happen in a film or something that you would see maybe happening in 1920. But the fact it's happening in modern day, you know, that's crazy.
MORGAN: Yes. And also highlights how different Russia remains to someone like America. America remains a very free country.
MORGAN: It's just at the moment has I think a kind of identity crisis. It's -- I hear a lot of people saying now we've got to go back to basics in America. Go back to building things. Go back to doing the things that made America great in the first place.
There's a lot of merit to that I think. THOMAS: Yes, we -- this Obama campaign started off with a lot of talk about, you know, rebuilding the infrastructure and about making that a priority.
MORGAN: It hasn't really happened.
THOMAS: It hasn't happened at all. I think a lot of people are still going to vote for Obama. But I think they're going to vote for Obama just because he's the better of the two choices. And not because they're going into it with the same, you know, feeling of hope and change.
MORGAN: I think the messianic aspect of President Obama is certainly gone.
MORGAN: The idea that this is some kind of religious movement driving this extraordinary character, who will cure of world and America of all known problems. That's over. It's now a reality check.
The reality check is whether he or Mitt Romney, probably in the end, I think the decision will be who's got the better economic view for the country.
THOMAS: It's going to be. As long as people stay on point and don't kind of be distracted by the flashing lights that everybody's going to throw around them. I mean, we inherently have a problem just in the system itself because when you have -- it becomes this weird game. You're the right or you're the left. And you have to assign yourself. And if you don't, then, you know, you don't belong because you belong to, like, some independent party that's never going to get their voice heard anyway.
So, it becomes about winning that game. It becomes about winning that game more than it becomes about this year the guy on the right has more to say about United States and what I think he's going to do better.
The only thing I hate more than hard-core conservatives are hard- core liberals. You know, I hate anybody that walks into a conversation and they already know the answer what they want before they even kind of listen to the facts and maybe be able to have your mind swayed.
One of the things I do appreciate about Romney is he's a smart guy. It's nice to see intelligent people.
MORGAN: No, I've met him a few times now. I like him very much personally. There's nothing wrong with Mitt Romney at all.
But he's a politician and he has views and you've got to elect him on the power of the merit of his opinions.
Let's turn to music. Matchbox Twenty, "NORTH" is the album, very cool cover, I must say.
THOMAS: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: Tell me about this.
THOMAS: Well, "NORTH", you know, we took a hiatus. I did a couple solo records. We did a greatest hits record. This is our first studio record in over 10 years.
MORGAN: You guys are, like, huge. Then the traditional singer goes off and, you know, wants to be the new Michael Jackson, right?
THOMAS: Yes, I had to find a vehicle big enough for my ego. Something that my head could ride around in --
MORGAN: You obviously missed each other. So you get back and you've now produced this album. What was it like the second time around to get back with the group and do your thing again?
THOMAS: Well, you know, we were because I think in the middle of the solo records we did the greatest hits. We always tour. We were out on the road together for a year and a half. While I was -- even while I was touring my solo record the guys would come out to the shows and get out on stage and play.
MORGAN: You never really split-split.
THOMAS: Yes, not at all. I've been with friends with Paul and the band for 20 years. This is always kind of the agenda. They were just nice enough to let me go off and do this thing. And because of that, when came back in with this band now, it was more collaborative than it used to be. It's a lot more of everybody writing together.
It used to be there was no room for that because I had all these songs and that was why I had the band. Now I had the solo outlet. I could write for other people. I kind of have these other places to put that.
MORGAN: And you're also going to be on Cee Lo Green's team on "The Voice."
THOMAS: I am. I'm team Cee Loo.
MORGAN: I'm very excited. I love Cee Lo Green.
THOMAS: He's a great guy. He's really --
MORGAN: He's got one of the great faces in the world.
THOMAS: He's a sweet guy.
MORGAN: He lights up. He came and literally, the whole look, the jewelry, everything, his face, his eyes --
THOMAS: He wears those -- like all he wears is like the jogging suits, right? MORGAN: Yes.
THOMAS: Every time I see him, I think, I just got in the wrong genre of music. This whole tight pants and boots thing, man, in the rock and roll world, this is not working. I really wish I should have gone into hip-hop just for the gear.
MORGAN: Rob, thanks very much.
THOMAS: My pleasure. Thank you.
MORGAN: Good to see you. Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty. The new album is "NORTH." The new single is "She's So Mean." And we'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, how can I help you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I have a guitar here for you to take a look at.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa. Where in the world did you get this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got this from my father. It's a 1956 Gibson, electric.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people say they start sounding better with age. I listen to way too much rock and roll in my youth and my hearing's half gone anyway and I wouldn't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: For five seasons now, "Pawn Stars" have dominated cable television averaging 6 million viewers per episode which I can tell you, it's TV golden. These guys, know a little about gold.
Joining me now, two me who make the show, Rick Harrison and his son, Corey "Big Hoss" Harrison.
Welcome to you both gentlemen.
Tell me the secret of your success. Is it because, in fact, ironically, America is suffering economically and when that happens, a business like yours tends to do well?
RICK HARRISON, ACTOR: That's sort of a misnomer. Just because the economy is bad doesn't mean a pawn shop does well.
Remember all those things I buy, I have to sell. So it's a catch-22. When the economy is really well, I'm not getting enough -- enough merchandise to sell and when the economy's bad, I'm getting too much merchandise and not enough -- enough buyers.
MORGAN: The optimum time for you is probably when the economy's OK.
R. HARRISON: Yes.
MORGAN: People still want to sell, then you can get rid of it.
R. HARRISON: Yes. That's -- that's -- that's probably it.
MORGAN: Corey, who comes in? I mean it's literally anybody. Is there a dynamic of rich, poor, black, white? I mean who comes in your store?
COREY "BIG HOSS" HARRISON, ACTOR: It's everybody, especially our store. I mean the typical pawn shop is a little different than ours. I mean, we're on the Law Vegas strip. So I mean we've had everybody from billionaires come in and shop to -- I mean your average single mom who just isn't getting her child support check and needs some money.
MORGAN: Why -- I get the second one. Why the billionaire come to a pawn shop.
C. HARRISON: People don't realize, most billionaires are actually pretty cheap and, you know they're not going to go, you know, they're not going to Rolex and buy a watch brand new, you know, especially when they can come to us and get it for half price.
MORGAN: What has been the surprised you've been?
I know there must be a lot of surprises, but when you look back, what have been the moments you go, wow, when somebody's brought something in that's really knocked your socks off?
R. HARRISON: That happens actually a lot. I mean like that right there, that's a --
MORGAN: Well this is quite incredible, you brought some stuff here that you -- you've had brought into you. This is actually the battle plan for Iwo Jima, is that right?
R. HARRISON: Yes.
MORGAN: Incredible. I mean I've never seen anything like this. Who brought this in?
R. HARRISON: It was a person, his father had been on Iwo Jima. He was one of the boats that brought the troops in. This was the battle plan he was given and he thought it was really neat, but he had a daughter who was having a very expensive wedding and he figured let grandpa pay for it.
MORGAN: So what -- what did you give him for that? How do you assess a value? R. HARRISON: I -- I -- well this was a few years ago. I -- I don't remember the exact price and that's the big problem with things like this.
It's really hard to -- when you have one of a kind, there's nothing to compare it to. You know, if you have coin, you can look up on the Internet what this coin went for last time. But --
MORGAN: Would you remember even the ballpark?
R. HARRISON: I think is it was right around $3,500, something like that.
MORGAN: And what is it worth? I mean presumably what --
R. HARRISON: I'm assuming, you know, 10 grand, 12 grand? I'm not really selling it. One of the reasons I get so many people in my pawn shop is because I have all this weird stuff on the wall. So -- right that's one of the weird things on the wall.
MORGAN: Well, what -- what would be the offer you couldn't refuse to get it off your wall because everything --
C. HARRISON: I'd sell it in a minute for 8 grand.
R. HARRISON: Yes.
R. HARRISON: The -- these -- these -- this is our difference in --
MORGAN: The younger (INAUDIBLE) kid, obviously.
R. HARRISON: Yes.
MORGAN: So 8 grand, it's coming off the wall right?
C. HARRISON: Eight thousand dollars or an Iwo Jima plan, I'll take the 8 grand.
MORGAN: Do you -- do you have soul or love for these things or is it all money to you?
C. HARRISON: You know what? That's what he taught me since I was a little kid. This is just stuff, man. And you know, thank God these people had stuff that they could sell to get the money they needed to get whatever they needed to do because is just --
MORGAN: Some of -- some of this is quite sad. I mean these for example are Olympic medals. They were from Atlanta in '96 and Barcelona in '92. Joe Green, who won two bronze medals for the long jump, he brought them in to sell, presumably he'd hit hard times. I mean nobody would give up bronze Olympic medals for nothing.
So, do you remember his story?
R. HARRISON: Yes, I -- I think his story was basically that he, you know, he got injured, wasn't able to compete in 2000 and was doing some other things. * MORGAN: So do you remember his story?
R. HARRISON: Yeah. I think his story was basically that he -- you know, he got injured, wasn't able to compete in 2000, and was doing some other things. And the way I look at it is thank God he had these to get him by the hard times. And -- because a lot of people don't have things to get them by the hard times. In the end, I look at it, it's still just stuff.
MORGAN: What were they -- how do you quantify an Olympic medal?
R. HARRISON: That's a very difficult thing, because they rarely if ever get on the market. Being won by an American makes it worth more. We're in the American market. Also, the Atlanta's pretty neat because it was an American game. So I think it would be worth more.
MORGAN: Do you remember what you paid him for it?
R. HARRISON: Actually, I gave him a loan on them. We're not really allowed to tell what I loaned somebody.
MORGAN: Is it a question of he hopes to come back and --
R. HARRISON: He never redeemed them. He defaulted on the loan.
MORGAN: So he'll never get them back?
R. HARRISON: No.
MORGAN: Sad, isn't it?
R. HARRISON: It's sad but --
MORGAN: Do you ever feel sad, or is the lesson you hand down to your son, you can't afford to get emotionally involved?
R. HARRISON: One of the things is a pawn broker with a heart is usually a pawn broker out of business.
MORGAN: So you're heartless bastards, apparently. Let's be honest here.
R. HARRISON: You do have to look at it. I hope it got him by that rough spot.
MORGAN: You're a man with no morals and scruples. Is there anything you would turn down?
C. HARRISON: Yeah -- MORGAN: Have you ever turned anything down?
C. HARRISON: We won't take any German World War II items.
C. HARRISON: I won't do it. It's just -- you know, it's the creepy factor of it, where, you know, people will come in the store and they're instantly offended by seeing it. And it's not really a moral thing. It's a money thing, where if someone's mad the second they see something in the store, they're not going to spend any money.
R. HARRISON: Me, I just think it's got bad mojo and things like that.
MORGAN: So your interest really is more to do with the fact that other people might be annoyed if they see it. Let's be honest. It's not your personal morals kicking in. I was getting worried. I thought you'd gone soft.
Anything else? Is there any other sort of thing you feel strongly you wouldn't want to be party to?
R. HARRISON: I mean, just anything in that area. I wouldn't take anything from Saddam Hussein or anything like that. There are some really disturbed people who collect things like that, murderer- abilia, things like that. I just don't take it.
C. HARRISON: There was a gas mask from World War I for a kid. We passed on that one. It was just way too creepy to have there.
MORGAN: Weird sort of thing to come in. And I suppose the obvious question is what is the most expensive thing that you've ever bought?
C. HARRISON: It's a real easy one. We buy and sell gold a lot. We're one of the few places that you can bring your gold bars down and we'll give you cash for it.
MORGAN: Do people actually walk in with gold bars?
R. HARRISON: Oh, yeah, every day.
MORGAN: Tell us the biggest -- what's the biggest chunk of gold you've ever had to deal with?
C. HARRISON: I can't remember what it was. I just remember we gave him 500 grand for it.
MORGAN: Five hundred thousand dollars, really?
C. HARRISON: Yes.
Yeah. Believe me, I was in my car selling it to the guy I sell it to immediately after.
MORGAN: What is the -- if you're smart, what is the markup if you move quickly on something like that?
R. HARRISON: In our shop, it's weird. When we buy something like art, that's going to maybe sit around for years, we're going to pay you a lot less. If you bring us a gold coin or something like that, we don't mind making one percent.
MORGAN: So on that kind of thing, that huge amount of gold?
R. HARRISON: One percent I'm happy with.
R. HARRISON: I mean, it's a lot of people don't understand we're in business, would say, I would never do that for one percent. Well, one percent of 500 grand is 5,000 bucks; 5,000 bucks is a lot better than no bucks.
MORGAN: Yes. Is that the attitude and strategy, really? Take the cash when you can?
R. HARRISON: Yeah, you have to -- I mean, it's business. Some things you're going to make a lot on. Some you're going to make a little on.
MORGAN: The worst thing for you is a fully stocked still, presumably.
R. HARRISON: It's a tough struggle. Because you're always wanting to buy stuff. You also have to sell the stuff. We try and keep it level. It never works out.
MORGAN: It's a fascinating business. It's an amazingly successful show. I congratulate both of you. It's a really interesting world. I hope it continues to thrive for you. Thank you both very much.
"Pawn Stars" airs on Monday nights on the History Channel. I'll be tuning in.
Next, I'll talk to Alanis Morissette about how she's gone from the angry young woman of rock to a calm and dependable mom. Well, kind of.
MORGAN: Alanis Morissette singing "Ironic" from her 1995 album "Jagged Little Pill." Quite a splash, established her as a bona fide rock star. Since then, she's won seven Grammy awards, sold more than 60 million albums, and become a mother. She's about to release her first album in four years, called unsurprisingly after that lot, "Havoc and Bright Lights."
She joins me now. Alanis, welcome.
ALANIS MORISSETTE, SINGER: Thank you.
MORGAN: How are you?
MORISSETTE: I'm very well. How are you doing?
MORGAN: I'm disappointed actually because --
MORGAN: I've just imagined I would meet the rebellious, explosive, spitfire, the angry young woman. That was your description. "The New York Times" called you the angry young woman. You seem so nice and normal.
MORISSETTE: You have to be married to me to find that part. Married to me or very intimate. So if we get to know each other a little bit, you'll see that.
MORGAN: I just can't when I listen to your music. I suppose I can see a bit of explosion in there.
MORISSETTE: It's feistiness. It's an Ottawa, Canada, right of passage, I think. We're fiery.
MORGAN: You are, aren't you?
MORISSETTE: We have decorum. We have -- We're respectful of people. We're considerate. But we can be really feisty.
MORGAN: You're now Canadian-American. You can vote in the American election?
MORISSETTE: I can indeed.
MORGAN: Have you voted before?
MORISSETTE: I have voted long distance as I traveled.
MORGAN: What is your leaning?
MORISSETTE: My meaning is towards the spiritual activism, less the political one. I'm a microcosmic person. I like the I/thou relationship. And the extrapolation people may want to make into politics or war against nation and nation, that's -- that's the symptomatic stuff that other people can deal with.
I like to do the one on one, sort of private, intimate stuff.
MORGAN: Is it all getting a bit shameless, it seems to me.
(CROSS TALK) MORGAN: You've got two heavily super PAC funded campaigns going on, all prepared to just lie, deceive, do whatever they want to get elected. It's become almost a parody, I think.
MORISSETTE: Well, it is a parody. There's an agenda. In terms of what will actually be putting into effect, that remains the big question. So really it's the presentational self that we're looking at.
For me, the antiquated system is a system that I don't really necessarily buy into. I'd rather deal with how we can take care of our people.
MORGAN: When you travel around the world as you do, usually successfully, what impression do you get about America these days?
MORISSETTE: Well, I can share mine and then others.
MORISSETTE: I think that we're the football playing older brother. And because I'm Canadian, I can say that Canada's the younger, sort of book reading little sister, you know. And the French are the sensual, sort of laissez-faire, who cares about the football playing brother.
MORGAN: What is Britain?
MORISSETTE: The Britain are the thoughtful, intellectual --
MORGAN: I like this.
MORISSETTE: I dare say. Yes. Very charming, the English.
MORGAN: Excellent. But what is the -- do you think global view of modern America? Have you detected it changing in the last few years?
MORISSETTE: I -- upon chatting with a lot of people around the planet, I think a lot of people are -- perceive America to be a little narcissistic and a little traumatized. Even the art and the magazines in general around the planet, there's more comfort with one's body. The whole hot topic of attachment parenting, post "New York Times" -- not "New York Times," but "Time Magazine cover.
MORGAN: You're into this attachment parenting, aren't you?
MORISSETTE: Yeah. But I'd love to do, if I had an aspiration at all in this regard, it would be to render the stages of development just normal education, normal knowledge amongst us, attachment, exploration, identity. That's where you say, yes, you are a girl. You get a sense of self. And then confidence. MORGAN: When you saw that woman breastfeeding her five-year-old child --
MORGAN: I've got to be honest with you, I've got four children. I found that a little weird. I didn't feel comfortable looking at that image.
MORISSETTE: I think she would be the first person to say that the actual experience of it is quite intimate and nurturing. And the breast milk itself changing as women get older, so --
MORGAN: Your son is two now, right?
MORGAN: Almost two. Can you imagine -- did you breast feed him? Do you mind me asking?
MORISSETTE: Yeah, I do.
MORGAN: Are you still breast feeding?
MORGAN: Are you heading into the four or five-year-old breastfeeding possibility?
MORISSETTE: I live in the present moment. I'm in the luxurious position to allow him to self-wean. I know (inaudible) and people's economic situation doesn't always allow for that. So I happen to be in a position where I can make room for it.
MORGAN: Very interesting. Now, how has marriage and parenting calmed you down?
MORISSETTE: I would say I'm less reactive. So anger's still there. This passion really -- a lot of people -- there's this erroneous thought I think that artists can only write when they're really, really depressed. For me, it's passion that writes it. So --
MORGAN: Isn't that slightly true? All my favorite artists have basically done their best stuff when they've been tormented, and then their worst stuff comes when they're really contented.
MORISSETTE: I would say passion drives it for me. If I'm passionately in despair or passionately infatuated or passionately upset about something, it's the passion that drives the whole thing for me.
MORGAN: What's the most passionate when you've written a song ever?
MORISSETTE: I think anger can move worlds.
MORGAN: When were you the most furious? What was the song you wrote?
MORISSETTE: Just this morning. Haven't wrote a song about it yet.
MORGAN: When you look back, can you remember writing a big song that was just driven out sheer, blind fury?
MORISSETTE: Yeah, reflecting on ex-boyfriends can bring that out in any woman I think, or any man, frankly.
MORGAN: Come on then. Give me an example.
MORISSETTE: An example. Writing "You Ought to Know." I think what might have been misperceived around "You Ought to Know" was that it was just anger as an emotion underlying all of that. But it was actually devastation. I was pretty devastated.
But it was too vulnerable for me to deal with that grief and that vulnerability.
MORGAN: You said a very interesting thing actually. You were talking about emotions, how you believe that people who only salute happy emotions are kind of missing the point of life, that life is about all extremities of emotions.
MORISSETTE: Yeah, we're sold the bill of goods that happiness is the goal, but happiness in and of itself is a temporary state. These are all states and they're like waves that move through. Grief, you know, it takes you over. You don't really have control over it.
But the idea on a spiritual level -- this is another void, if I were to speak about what internationally the perception is of America, is that there's this challenge with one's relationship with God or spirit or consciousness, whatever word we want to use. There's a void there. That wreaks a lot of havoc in our day to day lives, and our perception of ourselves and each other.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break. I want to come back. I want to talk to you about your rap star husband.
MORISSETTE: My joy.
MORGAN: Yeah. Just because it's such a cool thing to say, married to a rap star.
MORISSETTE: Who gets to say that?
MORGAN: We're also unfortunately have to get around to talking about music.
MORISSETTE: OK, great.
MORGAN: I know you've been trying to avoid it, dragging, kicking, screaming back into music.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (SINGING)
MORGAN: That's "Guardian" from Alanis Morissette's new album, "Havoc and Bright Lights." You couldn't watch yourself there. What's that all about?
MORISSETTE: It wasn't in real time, so it was super disconcerting. But I love that video.
MORGAN: "As a teen, I was both anorexic and bulimic. I was a young woman in the public eye and I was under a lot of attention. I was trying to protect myself from men, using their power in ways I was too young to know how to handle."
MORISSETTE: Nice. That is accurate.
MORGAN: Which I though was a really interesting observation, I suspect shared by many young female singers as you're entering a world, particularly when you came into it, very misogynist, I would think, pretty sexist, very image driven, and pretty tough for any young woman.
MORISSETTE: Yes, and there's a lot of sex addiction that was prevalent. Now it's a little bit more of a popular term to use. Back in the day it really wasn't. So being on the receiving end of that.
Yeah. I think perfectionism and beauty were coupled for a long time. Whereas beauty now, I perceive it more to be someone being uniquely expressed and kind of milking what they have.
MORGAN: If I said to you when you were a young Alanis in Canada, you're going to end up married to a rapper called Mario Soul Eye Treadway, and have a son called Ever, would you have believed me?
MORISSETTE: I would have said thank Christ; can I skip over all the hard part and wait for him. Although I wouldn't have been able to chronicle everything.
MORGAN: Is this true love for you?
MORISSETTE: Yeah. Love to me is a verb. So love kicks in for real when things are hard. I think relationships go infatuation, power struggle, where most people jump ship -- that's where most people get divorced -- and then this third phase where you can participate in the healing of the partner. We have little glimpses of that. But I think love for me is when I don't feel very loving. It's a verb. It's an action for me.
MORGAN: How many times would you been properly in love in your life.
MORISSETTE: I've been infatuated about a billion times. And I've been loving in almost every case.
MORISSETTE: So in love is a little bit of a tough term for me What does that even mean?
MORGAN: Where your heart either aches or breaks.
MORISSETTE: Then 100 times.
MORGAN: So you're just a incurable romantic?
MORISSETTE: I was a love addict through and through. There's a true recovery pattern with love addicts. It's not so fun to withdraw from that.
MORGAN: Were you drawn to constantly inappropriate men?
MORISSETTE: I was drawn to the back walking away, as the beautiful P.M. Melody (ph) would say in her book. She's the queen of love addiction recovery for me. And I thank my sweet baby Jesus for introducing me to her books.
MORGAN: You really think you're a love addict.
MORISSETTE: No question.
MORGAN: Wow. I've never interviewed one of those before.
MORISSETTE: You probably have a million times.
MORGAN: I've interviewed sex addicts. That's different.
MORISSETTE: Yes, it is different. Sometimes they're bed fellows. Pardon the pun.
MORGAN: How did you know when you found the right one? How did you know this guy was for you?
MORISSETTE: Values being the same. So for me partnership, family, commitment, seeing marriage as a hot bed for growth and healing. Not everyone, I don't think, including myself at times, views marriage as the alchemy that it really can be in affording the wholeness. I'm obsessed with duality. I'm obsessed with wholeness. I'm a Gemini by trade.
MORGAN: Of course you are. Are you still a Catholic.
MORISSETTE: No, I'm not an organized religion kind of person.
MORGAN: Do you believe in God.
MORISSETTE: I love God. I love --
MORGAN: Of course you do. You love everything.
MORISSETTE: Yes, I do actually, even when I hate it.
MORGAN: Do you pray?
MORISSETTE: I pray all the time. I'm praying right now. MORGAN: Really? For what? The interview to end?
MORGAN: To continue.
MORISSETTE: Yes, I pray all the time.
MORGAN: Tell me about this new album, "Havoc and Bright Lights."
MORISSETTE: Yes. It covers a big range of what's going on right now. There's a love sing for my husband called "Til You," a song called "Woman Down" where I talked about the women's movement and us moving away from misogyny and patriarchy. Hard for me not to comment on that.
Consciousness, there's a song called "Edge of Evolution." There's a song called "Win and Win," the new paradigm being that in business or in politics, heaven forbid, or in romance or in family, win and win or no deal is the kind of new mantra.
MORGAN: Whereas the answer is probably compromise I would guess, right?
MORISSETTE: I don't know if compromise is actually the word. It's that the agreement or the deal or whatever it is, it really literally mutually benefits both people. So there is no sense of compromise in that way. I think the old paradigm is win/lose, and that people would actually be OK with that. It's very separatist, which is -- which is the danger in believing that we're separate. It can lead to war and violence internally, externally or otherwise.
MORGAN: Do you like being a celebrity?
MORISSETTE: I love it. I used to hate it because I was a people watcher. I would sit on park benches and just stare and watch and behold. Then, all of a sudden, everyone's eyeballs turned to me. So that was quite devastating for a while.
But in the late '90s, I realized that I could use fame to serve my agenda. And I wrote a song called "Celebrity" on this record, where I do comment on the idea of fame being an end versus a means to an end. You know? Fame as a means to an end is a tool for me to serve, is lovely. But, in and of itself, it proved to be pretty hollow.
MORGAN: It's been a real pleasure to meet you. I'm a big fan anyway.
MORGAN: And the fact that you're interesting makes it doubly exciting. MORISSETTE: Cool. Me too of you.
MORGAN: I shall look forward to listening to the new album, "Havoc and Bright Lights." Alanis Morissette, thank you.
MORISSETTE: Thank you.
MORGAN: We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good boy. Charlie means everything to us. He was diagnosed with cancer about two years ago. We went with amputation and he's been doing great. But a couple of days ago, he had this other growth on his chest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Given the fact that he had an aggressive type of tumor, I think that should really come off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I recently got laid off and we are expecting our first baby. We were faced with this huge vet bill. And we were just at a loss
MARLA MANNING, CNN HERO: I think we definitely will be able to help you out. I know how much you love your dog.
With the economy being what it is, people are faced with the choice of having to give up their dogs because they just couldn't afford them any more. They're doing their best to get back on track, and then a crisis happens with their dog. And it's just one more thing.
I'm Marla Manning and I lost a beloved puppy named Ladybug. Now I provide temporary aid to dog owners, keeping dogs healthy, out of shelters and with loving families.
Dogs live in the moment. They bring you to your place of happiness no matter where you are in your life. If we can help with food, medical visits or even surgery to keep this family together, they're able to take that burden away.
We're going to put our maximum amount on Charlie, which is 800 dollars.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just such a blessing. And we'll be forever grateful that Charlie gets this second chance.
MANNING: What we do is a tribute to Lady Bug. If I had to go through the grief to find this path, then we were meant to lose her so that we could be inspired to help others.