MOST FUCKED UP THING I'VE EVER SEEN
our hero postulates that being in a rock ‘n’ roll band
is pretty fucked up.
I could tell
you the story about the night I slept in a bloody bed from a murder
the night before (the hotel manager had simply flipped the mattress
I could tell
you about the night when our song “Muddy Jesus” (the
closest thing El Paso had seen to an homage since Marty Robbins)
caused us to be mobbed on a seemingly quiet night in Juarez, and
a mob morphed our vaguely exciting identity to a much more thrilling
one – Pearl Jam, over the course of a few hours. We narrowly
escaped before evading the head of the biggest drug cartel in Mexico,
who wanted to pull us into a multi-day, locked-door party where
we would be the “guests of honor,” of course not allowed
to leave until he declared the fiesta over.
I could tell
you some juicy, fucked up stories, but I would rather rest my road-weary
brain and simply wrap it around the 20+ years of touring haze to
tell you about the most brilliant, fucked up thing I have ever done:
sing in a rock ‘n’ roll band.
Being in a rock
band is like permanently being a senior in high school waiting for
college to start. An endless summer of reckless abandon, ambitious
half-formed plans, and the promise of something much more grand
in the coming Fall that never quite materializes. Short-term glory
buttressed by seemingly endless stretches of monotony and indecision.
I watched as
my friends grew up and seemingly went through adult-forming school.
They adopted different, mostly healthier, habits, and faded into
a gentler phase filled with adult conversations that seem formed
and appropriate for our age. Meanwhile I was stuck in endless conversations
about why The Teardrop Explodes matter (or don’t), why ironic
dress and facial coif had its place until a couple of years ago,
and other forays into the minutia of pop culture that truly should
be mainstay thought for an 18-year-old, but are more suspect when
calling 30-year-old friends “kid” and still chasing
down your bartender friends for free drinks.
Being in a band
is a youthful endeavor. It is amazing to look out onto a packed
room filled with attractive people who believe that music can change
the world. Unfortunately I believe the same thing as well? When
do you get the mailer that actually explains what the ‘grown
ups’ are supposed to really think? When do I get the insight
that allows me to stop being so idealistic and cash in on the collective
sins of our species? I’m stuck in this fountain of youth and
it stinks of urine and folly. The kids are splashing around, oblivious
to anything but the importance of their play in the cultural waters,
long fouled and drained of meaning, each waterfall smaller than
the one before until the final drip is sliding out of the concrete
orifice of some suburban kid with X-ray vision specs that say “Google”.
fucked up, what is it with drummers? Am I the only one who finds
it ironic that the very person that we rely on for meter and time
is completely incapable of simply showing up at the same time that
all other adults can? Of all of my drummers, and there have been
many, I can think of only one person who was capable of actually
showing up at the time he said, and he quickly got out of drumming
and started trying to save the world by selling eco building products
to yuppies who needed a slight hedge to hide their rabid consumerism.
If I had any
sense I would have bought a stopwatch years ago so I could keep
a running tally of time wasted to gripe about in the golden years.
I do believe in irrefutable truths. I believe that humans are inherently
good and that we are all capable of change. Consequently I am repeatedly
dumbfounded as our drummer saunters towards the van, elegantly smoking,
and seemingly troubled by nothing, a good 30 minutes after our said
departure time, as we wait outside his house in complete awe.
I keep waiting
for this phase where I am bestowed some flowing robe of knowledge
and my acolytes surround me being filled by my vast musical knowledge
and discourses on integrity. I see that Willie Nelson has released
his book The Tao of Willie and is being considered for Sainthood
by the Catholic Church, who are willing to look past his phenomenal
marijuana consumption. Meanwhile I am stuck in this half-form, not
able to speak of my rock ‘n’ roll exploits lest I sound
like a braggart, but considered smug and distant if I stay tightlipped
when my younger friends educate me on their new cultural bounty
– a bounty that we pawned many years ago to lighten the load.
Excuse me. Didn’t
mean to sound bitter. Now, that’s fucked up. I can’t
think of anything cooler than playing in a rock ‘n’
Did I mention
heavy metal soundmen?
Ian Moore and
the Lossy Coils’ new album El Sonido Nuevo is out now on Spark
& Shine. www.ianmoore.com
IAN MOORE –
“LET ME OUT” and “CLOSER”