Interview With Tiffany D’Virgilio by Debbie Miller
Debbie: How long have you known Kevin, and can you tell us the first time you met him and your first impression of him.
Tiffany: Nick and I met Kevin in 1993. It was a bar gig at Mountain High where us poor people played for lift tickets. Nick played drums and Kevin was there with then girlfriend Sheryl Crow, who sang one song, but wasn’t very memorable. We were pretty excited to meet Kevin as we loved Toy Matinee. We all got to talking…and drinking and the boys discovered their mutual love of Genesis. Kev called at a later date to ask about the Progfest performance and then they did the Lamb.
Debbie: Did Kevin ever play practical jokes on people? If so, what and to who?
Tiffany: Not that I can remember.
Debbie: Did Kevin ever play any of his songs for you and ask your opinions of them? What were they?
Tiffany: Yes, lots. We lived at the studio pretty much. Nick and I were newly wed and our free time was spent at the studio. I do remember one conversation where I told him that the TM album was one I would want on a desert island and he was flattered. We would always share input on sounds and song versions. Lots of the rock opera, THUD, and Kaviar.
Debbie: Did Kevin ever exchange Christmas presents with your family?
Tiffany: You know – I don’t remember. He spent Thanksgiving with my family one year and was always there for birthdays and Christmas, but presents? Don’t remember at all.
Debbie: Did you, Nick and Kevin ever go do things just for fun? i.e., Disneyland, etc.
Tiffany: Oh yes! Went to clubs, and hung out at home – a lot. I remember the four of us (Kev, Nick, Lisa, and me) having a sleepover and eating waffles and watching figure skating on our huge bed. We would party till so late it was a good thing we had a futon in the living room. Kev was living at the studio at the time.
Debbie: Did you ever meet any of Kevin’s family?
Tiffany: Sadly, not until after his death, though Nick spent time with them and Kev at his parent’s house during the THUD tour. Kevin’s mom made me a lovely baby quilt when I had my daughter in 98. They are wonderful people.
Debbie: Was Kevin "camera shy?" There’s not many pictures of him around…
Tiffany: Nope – have tons of personal pictures, some of which were posted through the THOUGHTS list.
Debbie: With all of Kevin’s acquaintances and connections, what do you think is the reason he wasn’t "discovered" and promoted by the music industry? Was there someone in particular he "pissed off?"
Tiffany: Sheryl for one. 🙂 I don’t know – SB is amazing too, and undiscovered by the masses. I think the music industry promotes teen idols, not music that you actually have to think and listen to. Sad, isn’t it?
Debbie: If Kevin came over for dinner, what was one of the things you’d fix him that was his favorite?
Tiffany: God! Anything. That boy could EAT!!!! I remember two nights in particular, one with loads of homemade chicken soup (I think he ate like four bowls!) and another with pasta. He just ate and ate, but again, he was living at the studio and eating Taco Bell a lot. He certainly appreciated good cooking.
Debbie: Did Kevin like to read books? If so, did he like fictional or non-fiction books? Any favorite authors?
Tiffany: Yes, and both. He read a lot of psychology stuff and fiction as well.
Debbie: What kinds of music do you think Kevin enjoyed? Everyone speculates, but did he ever talk about his favorite music groups that you might remember who?
Tiffany: I should ask Nick, but I know he liked Zep, and old Genesis, and Steely Dan – Nick would know more. Jason Faulkner, Old Yes, Bjork – can’t remember anything else at the moment. He liked old lounge music like Pete Esquivel – god, we would laugh and cut up to stuff like that!
Debbie: If you look at Kevin’s pictures throughout his career, he seemed to reinvent his look almost as much as Madonna reinvented herself. Did he do that purposely because of fads, or was he trying to get the right look, or was he told to do that by the music industry?
Tiffany: I know during the early TM days it was a crafted look, but later it was his own thing. He just liked to look different, and then there was the Kaviar gas mask thing…
Debbie: How many girlfriends did Kevin have that you knew of? I get emails of people who say "oh, I was Kevin’s girlfriend…" But it’s known that Sheryl and Cintra had relationships with him. Was he a "ladies man" for lack of a better cliche?
Tiffany: I think so, but I know he was badly hurt in the past. He dated my best friend for a while. I know he loved women. He always had a foot fetish. I always had a pedicure and (at) one Progfest wore these platform stilettos that were black patent leather – he wanted a poster of my feet to put over his bed. There were tons of us girls (all the friends who hung out) who always had a crush on him. He was immensely sexy. It was the funny, smart, smartass thing along with a boyish attitude. He was a very magnetic guy. Not really his looks, but the whole package. And yes, I LOVE my hubby – it was a friendly, flirty thing between us all.
Debbie: Did Kevin return things in good condition after he borrowed them? I’ve heard stories….
Tiffany: Again, I don’t know. He could be oblivious to others sometimes. Like he would show up at a big party at the house with his dog, or not bring anything to dinner. His brain wasn’t really on that kind of stuff.
Debbie: Did Kevin have many "alias" names when he’d work at different project? I know in the credits for Angel 4:Undercover he used "Kevin McThespian"… What were some of them?
Tiffany: Yes, lots. One of his formulas was to use your middle name and the street you grew up on. So I would be Michelle Pasadena.
Debbie: I’ve recently watched the video of Kevin in the lead of his high school play "Bye Bye Birdie" and watched him act, sing, and dance. Were there other plays in high school he had performed? (I’m thinking there must be, because one just doesn’t get the lead in a high school musical without first having shown you can handle the part…) Did he ever mention any of them?
Debbie: Do you know of any other television shows that Kevin showed up on? I have the video of NRG playing "Frame by Frame" on a local TV dance show…
Debbie: What do you miss most about Kevin?
Tiffany: Everything. Check some of my posts to THOUGHTS on the subject. I mourn what would have been for my husband. I think that he and Kev had a special relationship about music and writing. I mourn the loss of someone who was like family. Celebrated holidays with my parents for goodness sake. I miss his wit, his smart-ass qualities like mine. He was so special. Confidence with a bit of insecurity way down deep. A perfectionist. A dreamer. He was hilarious. He could be a pain in the ass and not think about others at times. He was not a saint. Oh no! He could be difficult, and easy too. Someone you would sit and drink with. He made me try Scotch. He worried about how lonely I would be when Nick was on tour. He loved us, and we loved him. He believed in Nick and tried to get him connections and get him to the top. That is pretty special in my book. I could sit and cry all night just trying to put it to words. I won’t ever forget getting the news. That moment stands still in my mind. I was watering plants on the porch, and Nick blurted it out – and our lives changed. It is one of the saddest moments in my life. I am 31, and I have buried three good friends. Nick had to leave for tour and didn’t go to the funeral. I went with my mom and dad and don’t even know how I got through it. You know what I miss most? His creativity, and that there was never a dull moment around Mr. Kevin Gilbert. I miss you, my friend. Kevin was a very bright star in the sky…
Copyright 2000 The Estate of Kevin Gilbert and Debbie Miller