Just outside of Chicago.
Its a rainy, shitty day which matches my mood to a T. This is one of those
days where I would be way better off at home. Instead I am stuck on this fucking
bus for the five or so hours it will take us to get to Detroit. That being said,
I still can't wait to play tonight. Therein lies the payoff, at least for me, at
the end of each day's hurry-up-and-wait. I love what I do for a living, when I
actually get to do it.
Yesterday was a great example of just how lucky I am to be in my position. We
played Q101's big summer radio festival which held forth an amazing bill. We got
to play with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blondie, Hole, Silverchair, Blink 182,
as well as a bunch of up-and-comers. Blondie are a huge band for me. Not as "hardcore"
as a lot of punk bands, but they are still true pioneers of the genre. And they
were great yesterday! Deborah voice is better than ever, and watching Clem Burke
pound the drums was a thrill. The Chili Peppers are a band I've been into since
the "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes" days. I remember one late night jam at
Fender's in Long Beach between the Peppers and some of the Meat Puppets. It is
an incredible honor to be able to play with these bands.
That's one of the best things about our level of celebrity, that we've been
able to share stages with so many people that I admire. We've done so with such
bands as the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, and now the Peppers and Blondie. We
have also been joined on stage by Jack and Ron, of TSOL, and Biafra, of The Dead
Kennedys. These have all been awe inspiring moments for me, especially when I
think back to when I was just a fan of these groups, listening to their LPs with
my headphones on and poring over the liner notes, alone in my room, just hoping
that one day I might get to see them play live. When I think of how far the band
has come, or how far I've come, I cannot fucking believe it.
Last Monday we played just outside of Denver very close to the site of last
months shooting there. When the shootings occurred I had a number of strong
reactions to what I was seeing on the news. As a parent myself, I could not seem
to wrap my mind around any of it. It was just so horrible! I can't begin to
imagine what those directly involved must be feeling. When it came time to play
the show we decided not to make any references to the shootings, believing that
the audience had probably heard enough about it and would rather just be
entertained. That is all our job is, after all, to entertain. To do this we use
a great deal of humor, often to the point of irreverence and just plain bad
taste. But not always. That night I had a very strong reaction to "Gone Away,"
which made it difficult to play. Then almost immediately after that song we went
into "Cool To Hate" and "Bad Habit," which seemed to me to be very tasteless
given where we were playing and what had happened there recently. But when I
looked out at the audience they were simply having a great time. They understood
the irony and the fact that the tastelessness adds to their humor. They were
being entertained which is what they were there for. I guess my point is that
music can touch on the pain in our hearts and make us feel in a way that is
beautiful, but it can also, with irony, wit, and humor, make us think. In any
case I just want to say that I was moved that night, by what had recently taken
place there and by a song written by a friend of mine.
Thanks for tuning in. See ya,