by Brian Costello
A Humble Apology to the Five People Who Like What I (We) Do
Hi everybody! In this month's column, I wanted to make some things perfectly clear, so there are no false expectations on anybody's part should you be fortunate enough to meet me in person. I guess what follows is a comment on identity, "public" image, and, in part, it's a reaction to Lastname's last couple of columns...friendly disagreements on expectations and perceptions, and ultimately, the dichotomy of rocknroll being something completely dumb and hardly worth writing about, and yet it's one of the most important facets of our otherwise blah existences.
But first, I feel I should apologize to the literally dozens of people who know what I do with my time when I'm not teaching children the fine art of writing. Okay...(sigh)...this is gonna be tough, but here goes. As you may or may not know, I play drums in a "wild and koo-koo krazy" raw rawk group. I get my ya-ya's out by jumping up and down behind the drums and sometimes (when the other guys let me, ha ha ) I jump into the audience and act like a goof. I've mooned the audience, I've shown the audience my Hanging Brain (ask your Mom if you don't know what that is...), I've serenaded them with Cat Stevens. Not that I think any of this is particularly interesting or subversive, but to me, for whatever reason, it makes me laugh and I enjoy it.
Now, the band I'm in sings songs about...oh, let's see here...sex, death, dying, phone sex, bombs, doggie sex, and your stupid faces. I don't write the lyrics, and I still don't know what's being sung, but based on all this, and our half-deserved reputation for destructive behavior, I suppose I should act like a total barbarian 24/7, cuz, that's rocknroll, right? When I see a band, they should be (read my lips) SCARY, both onstage and off. Maniacs! In the immortal words of Ronnie James Dio: "Look out!"
Well, guess what? That ain't me, babe. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry I don't drink a fifth of whiskey everyday, chased with speedballs and PCP. I'm sorry I don't break bottles over my head onstage. I'm sorry I don't jump into the audience and tackle you little guys standing there all drunk and stroking your chins. I'm sorry I don't throw my diahrea at you. I'm sorry I don't cut myself up onstage and have to go to the hospital. I'm sorry I don't gouge my eyes out with my drumsticks. I'm sorry I don't rape old ladies in the produce section of my supermarket. I'm sorry the veins in my cock aren't covered in track marks. Hell, I'm sorry I haven't chopped off my cock onstage and offered it to you, my half-dozen fans, because that's what you deserve, and that's, like, really Hardcore and being really True to Your "Art."
I'm sorry if I've disappointed you, but, frankly, you're not worth it. I guess sometimes you have to remember that, first and foremost, this shit's supposed to be fun, unless you're trying to Make it Big, and then it's just another shitty job. But you know: Entertainment? Like, I'm amazed at how much thought some of you guys have put into a band like The Winks, who are entertaining and fun in their own right, and I seriously doubt they themselves have put in 1/10th of the Very Serious Thought you guys have put into them, as if they really give a fuck about Compartive Gender Studies. Calm down, y'all. It's just music. It's just your free time. Lighten up. Do you watch "Sanford and Son" reruns and discuss how believable Red Foxx is when he pretends to have heartattacks?" You know: "This is the big one, Elizabeth! I'm comin' up to meet ya! Oh my heart!" Is your reaction: "Pshaw, as if, likely story!" Sheesh!
I'm really not impressed when bands onstage hurt themselves, and when it's friends of mine, all I feel is worry for both their physical and financial well-being, cuz Christ knows these jaded fans aren't gonna be paying their hospital bills.
So it's not enough to simply see good bands play good music? Should every show from every band be an amazingly transcendent moment, rife with DANGER. Danger? Danger for who? The audience? Naw. Even if, it pales in comparison to what the performers get themselves into. And what's the inevitable result of all this "danger?" Where does this "they're really really crazy man, like, all the time" hoo-haw naturally lead?
Hmm...if history's any indication...Johnny Thunders, Brian Jones, Keith Moon, Sid Vicious, Jim Morrison (c'mon kids, you know where I'm going with this, right?), and on and on and on....that kind've 24-7 behavior leads to death. Death, or, at best, you reduce yourself to such a cartoonish self-parody that nobody's gonna give a shit after awhile because why?
Your music now sucks.
So I'm sorry if I didn't punch you in the face after we played a show and you approached me. I'm sorry if, after meeting me, I actually had a somewhat intelligent conversation with you about books or politics or something equally unrawk. I'm sorry if my expectations and rationale for doing this don't match yours. I'm sorry I was nice. I'm sorry I was drunk and having fun. I'm sorry if I was drunk and not particularly talkative, or "funny."
Yeah...I dunno...I'm sorry I'm maybe just kinda crazy, but also kinda sane too. I sincerely apologize for not thinking up the genius idea of wearing a maxipad sportcoat, or cutting my asscheeks with a broken bottle. Silly me, I'm just trying to help make music that gets out of my system all the nasty cancer-causing buildup of living in this shitty world while having as good of a time as possible in the process.
But, if you want the proverbial Something More from your bands, that feeling that somebody's gonna die tonite, please, by all means, start your own band (it's not that tough), learn a few three chord songs, buy yourself a switchblade, and at your first concert, commit hari-kari. It's the honorable, legendary thing to do. And talk about SCARY! I-yi-yi!
PREVIOUS PAGE HOME NEXT PAGE