TVGuide.com: Your new CD, Cost of Living, is hard to define. Is it blues, country, rock...?
Delbert McClinton: I hate categories; my whole career has been about mixing things up. To me there are only two kinds of music: the kind I like and the kind I don’t like.
TVGuide.com: You've been playing your cool brand of mixed-up music a long time. I heard you even met the Beatles before they came to America.
McClinton: I went to England with Bruce Channel because I played harmonica on his  hit, "Hey! Baby." The Beatles were our opening act. I remember one night John Lennon taking me to an after-hours joint in London and it scared me to death. Let’s just say they were way ahead of Texas in the free-love area. It was intense!
TVGuide.com: Some people say that your harmonica playing influenced his on "Love Me Do."
McClinton: It's a good story, but I don't know if I buy it. We did talk about playing harmonica, and I showed him a few things.... I don’t want to make too much out of it.
TVGuide.com: You've met a lot of people along the way. The Blues Brothers covered your song, "B-Movie Boxcar Blues."
McClinton: Yeah, I met John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd when I was playing the Lone Star Café in New York. They'd jump up on stage with my band; John would become such a little kid around musicians. Then John asked me to send all my records to him, and he picked that song to do on the first Blues Brothers album. John was no vocalist, but those guys did more than anyone to revive a lot of [blues music] and careers.
TVGuide.com: What do you think of today's country music?
McClinton: Country radio is so boring. You can't tell where one song ends and another begins — the people all sound the same. Not all of it's bad, but Nashville grooms these artists on how to act and what to wear, teaching them how to show off a belly button.
TVGuide.com: You don't want to show off your belly button?
McClinton: Who the hell would want to see it?! That surely would run everybody off.
TVGuide.com: You’re appearing on Imus' show on Wednesday. How long have you two been friends?
McClinton: Since the late '70s, when we were both running around New York doing a bunch of stuff we shouldn't be doing. We gave it all up around the same time. Now we're both addicted to the same thing: Nicorette gum. Sometimes I'll be watching Don on MSNBC and he'll be popping a piece of gum in his mouth at the same time I am. I'm going to have to start smoking again to get off this damn gum.
TVGuide.com: It's always good to have friends with the same problems.
McClinton: Yeah, Don's been great for me. I remember when his show first got syndicated, he said there were two things he wanted to do: make his brother a millionaire and make me a household name. You can’t buy something like that.