Of Conspirators, Sinners and Rebels
May 31 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
“When did Rush become cool?”
Today i finally watched the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction of Rush. I have always had the utmost respect for the band though was never a religious follower. Being Canadian this is almost heresy. I always leaned towards the punkier side of things. Rush was anything but that. Clearly as a musician I had to give credit where credit was due. I never wanted to play prog rock though I believe Rush to be so much more than just that.
I got to know Alex Lifeson for a brief period when I was managed by Rush’s management, SRO. Alex is the coolest guy ever. At one point he was on the dock to produce the Static In Stereo record. That didn’t happen. He is still the only member I have met though Neil Peart did briefly share our dressing room during the Golden Gods Awards in 2012. It was a madhouse and I didn’t wanna bother the guy. He’s notoriously reclusive and it was anything but quiet back there. He was gone as quick as he came. i coulda foresaw that. We had Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Duff, Chris Jericho and a revolving door of well wishers with us. I think he accepted his award and was outta there.
As a Canadian it brings a lot of pride to see Rush finally get some respect and mad respect at that. From Dave and Taylor from the Foos and from the massive audience clearly there for Rush.
Mad respect for a band that never really played ‘the game’. Did what they do for going on 40 years and have never really compromised. Now THAT is punk rock.
“When did Star Trek become cool?”
Here’s some more heresy for you. When push comes to shove I have always been a Star Trek man over Star Wars. Right now all my nerdy friends are distancing themselves from me. I have thought a great deal about this and this is why. Star Trek was designed to represent the future. Our future. Is it realistic? Plausible? Even the slightest bit possible? I don’t know but I know as a boy I bought it hook, line and sinker. That in the future we would travel the stars and connect with ‘new life and new civilizations’.
I tell you this-if Starfleet were a real thing I would be a Starship Captain right now! I’d have studied better in school in order to achieve such a thing. To travel through space and have adventure after adventure? Oh hell yes. I did the next best thing. I became a rock musician. You’d be surprised how similar that is.
Star Wars was life altering for all of us. It still is. It is the single most extraordinary experience that so many of us share. I was the one bitching along with everyone else about the last trilogy but I am the one now saying the next trilogy is going to be amazing. Trust me on this.
Star Wars, to me, was such a sprawling story of epic fantasy. Farm boy, princess, pirate, wizard, good, evil. Though many of the characters appeared human, Han, Luke, Lei, Obi Wan, they were from crazy planets like Tattooine and Alderan. Were they human? I never really thought about that until much later in life. I mean they look human and may have been some distant relative to the humans of Earth. After all it was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
But this is why I always gravitate towards Star Trek because it was about us. Human beings evolving, hundreds of years from now. No war or disease or racism. All of that sorted and now we are looking outward. I liked that. These were our distant relatives. Starfleet headquarters is in San Francisco. I know where that is. I don’t know where Tattooine is.
So there you have it. Obviously I’m from the school that can enjoy both franchises just as much though there is nothing more humorous than watching people argue over Star Trek vs Star Wars.
Or Rush vs KISS for that matter.
I’m a DC man but I love me some Marvel. Obviously. It’s high quality stuff!
It is amusing to me to see people embrace Star Trek now that JJ Abrams has remolded it. He has done an amazing job and it brings me great pleasure to see people able to enjoy it without the stigma that has hung over it all these years. JJ will turn his magic on Star Wars which in my opinion needs new blood. Those last three films are evidence of this. Mark my words…
In other news…
My first solo album in 9 years is finally in the hands and ears of my beloved fellow pledgers and it has been such an amazing experience being able to share the light and dark of such a painfully personal album. For those of you who pledged I cannot express my gratitude enough. To be honest this was a project I was going to do come Hell or high water anyway but you’re involvement has made it something else entirely. This is one of those projects that feels like if I never say another thing musically again I’d be perfectly ok with Borrowing Trouble being the last of it. This has been a shared journey with a community of people who’s passion for music has really lit a fire under me.
Yesterday I went to my favorite music shop, Zia Records, and bought new cds by Iggy And The Stooges, HIM, Rob Zombie and Alice In Chains. Next week I’m getting the new Queens Of The Stone Age. It feels good to buy new music. To fill your ears and soul with the passion of the people you love and respect.
My most recent personal decision is to continue buying cds until this is no longer an option. Though I have completely amalgamated to the new way I know that I still love having the tangible piece in my hand. It is a distant memory buying KISS Alive II on vinyl and finding within it that giant gatefold of fire plus a booklet and tattoos. These things are lost today. I wish you all could have been there for it. It was a wondrous time.
It was important to me for Borrowing Trouble to be as personal an experience as possible. Handwritten title on the front of the album, photos in my house, super intimate recordings of songs that I almost cringe at how much I opened up. Almost!
I made this record under the banner of life. To live. If I die tomorrow I’m not going to regret not buying that property to invest in or not getting that 80″ screen TV. What I will regret is not making music that speaks to someone. Maybe not everyone but maybe just someone.
“The highest purpose of art is to inspire”-Bob Dylan If I can urge you to do anything it is to stop talking about it and thinking about it and just do it. Out of nowhere people write books and change lives. They finish that script idea and it becomes so much more than they ever could have imagined.
Do it. Be it. If it doesn’t end up making you a million dollars so what? The experience is worth so much more than money.
So the pledge remains active til June 4th. Then it goes live to iTunes and multiple other facets including this very website. It is a fascinating thing to think that the record store is almost a thing of the past. They tell you that it’s dead and then you walk into Amoeba in Hollywood and the place is hopping. Music is alive and well. It changes it morphs but it lives on.
You can pledge for only a few more days then that part of the journey is over and it become a whole other chapter of one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
The cd release show happens this coming Sunday June 2nd at Vamp’d. It will be the first live performances of songs from Borrowing Trouble as well as it’s accompanying EP, Near Life Experience. All of the existing Sinners will appear on stage with me for the first time in almost 6 months. Doc Ellis and I will perform on stage together for the first time in 2 years. I was not really aware of that as Doc and I have remained close regardless of playing together. That is exciting. Miss Cian Coey will be stealing the limelight and chewing up scenery leaving the rest of us to do our best to remain relevant in her presence.
The Conspirators will join me for a few songs which will be amazing. The three of us always threaten to do more together but this will be the first of these forays. We have decided to do some very challenging pieces but if you know me you know I love a challenge. Can’t wait.
My good friends, The Underground Rebels, will be opening the show which for me brings everything full circle. I found myself in Vegas working on the Rebels cd which led to Brent Muscat and I forming the Sin City Sinners which changed my life. Life is so bizarre that way. I recommend you do yourself a favor and try saying yes more than no. That often leads to the most fascinating results.
As announced all of the proceeds from the admittance fee will be going to the Greg Verdusco Memorial Fund put in place to help soften the blow of the financial crush brought on in trying to, sadly unsuccessfully, save Greg’s life. There is a big part of me that knows Greg would be very happy with how everything has come together though it breaks my heart that he can’t be here to share in this night. His life will be celebrated at many more events life this down the line.
It’s funny at the dawn of the birth of Borrowing Trouble (and Near Life Experience) I find myself already conceptualizing the next chapter. A big, noisy rock record. The biggest and the noisiest of my career. Seems fitting to follow the most intimate release of my life. You know I’ve always wanted to try making a concept record… Hmmmmm…
Hope you enjoy Borrowing Trouble, Near Life Experience and can make an appearance at the all ages show at Vamp’d on Sunday, June 2nd. It’s going to be a huge night.
Never stop trying. Never stop fighting. Ever.
Your loyal and humble servant,