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Entry date: 2-11-2024 – Finding the Super – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

Running a tad behind today but it is a Sunday, isn’t it? Hopefully no one was really expecting a 6AM tale. I know I certainly wasn’t.

 

I had a really good day yesterday until it wasn’t a good day anymore. I got a lot of writing done in the morning, visited Granny, and had a really nice dinner with family. Around 8, though, I went dark.

 

There are a number of things that were really wearing on me. I was tired. My lungs are hurting from weeks of coughing. I also felt like I wasn’t being heard due to alcohol.

 

I’d like to say I have no problems with other people drinking, but there have been a few moments where being the sober guy in a room has allowed me to feel like what I had to say was being ignored because I was on a different wave length. Yesterday, at the end of the day, I was having trouble finding the right words, I guess, to be heard.

 

So, I snapped and was a major dick when I should have just said, “Please listen to me. I’m worn out and I don’t feel like sitting in the cold.”

 

During our family gathering, the subject of building communication skills came up at one point. I know I am still learning how to do this. The concept of being assertive as much as possible and avoiding being passive or aggressive or passive/aggressive is not new to me. I get it, but I don’t always do it.

 

I am passive a lot. I don’t like rocking the boat or being critical. I want harmony and, more than anything, I want people around me to be happy. I need to learn how to share my concerns without coming off sound negative, I suppose.

 

I also need to learn how to say, “No, that doesn’t make sense” or “That doesn’t work for me” without sounding like an asshole to people close to me. As I type this, I wonder if that is possible. I also know that this particular thought is just my pride trying to get me in a deeper hole dug by my own sense of righteousness.

 

That voice gets me in all kinds of trouble. It’s the voice that gets going, like a fucking gyroscope in my head, when I give in to being passive or passive/aggressive. It starts shouting at full volume, “But this! But that! Speak up!” and finally, “Lash out!”

 

Pride is a motherfucker.

 

I am not the center of the universe, though. I am just who I am in the moment I am being me. I’m not me from yesterday and I’m not the me of tomorrow. I am now.

 

There is no definitive “Boss” voice inside of me. That little, chirping pride voice is just trying to tie me down to some version of me that doesn’t exist anymore or maybe never really existed. Pride is a storyteller.

 

If I am searching for the “true” voice, I am not spending my time wisely I suppose, and definitely being successful at it by listening to my pride. I cannot forget that we are all part of the same thing. We are all part of a family and that means that we are linked. When I lash out, it solves nothing and damages everything.

 

I can only seek to mend fences today and get back to sharing my day with love for the people I hold dear.

 

(and yes, I’ve been reading about Buddhism)

 

*****

 

1987 was a pivotal year for me. I graduated from high school, joined the US Army, and solidified two of the most important relationships in my life. As chronicled in some of my 2022 blogs, there was a lot that went on that year. There is a lot more to tell, as well, but that’s for another day. Today is about Love and Rockets, and more specifically, their record, Earth, Sun, Moon.

 

I think this is my favorite Love and Rockets offering. Express is great, too, and pivotal, for sure, but Earth, Sun, Moon is special. I had seen them open for Siouxsie & The Banshees in the summer of 1986 at Mesa Centennial Hall. I was not the biggest fan of Siouxsie then, so I was definitely there to see Love and Rockets.

 

Brian and I met in line at that particular show. He and my buddy, Dave, either let us in line or we let them in line. I can’t remember exactly how it went, but I instantly liked him and was very pleased to see him when school started in September.

 

For me, that Siouxsie show was almost a chance to sort of see Bauhaus. I was pretty obsessed with Bauhaus in those days, and I so desperately wanted to see them. I remember telling just about anyone who would listen that Love and Rockets was ¾ of Bauhaus and blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, in those days. I had a little thing for those guys.

 

In November of 1986, when I was really starting to get to know Brian and Michael, my mom took me to San Franciso. I was 17 years old and one of her boyfriends had taken us up there, so they were happy to let me roam the streets. I fell in love with the city on that trip. Fell hard, actually, but one thing happened that haunted me for years.

 

I have no idea where I’m going, just sort of walking and checking things out and I find my way to the Warfield, which is a really fantastic venue on Market Street. Over the years, I saw some great shows there, but on that 1986-night, Love and Rockets were playing there.

 

It was either sold out or I didn’t have the money, or I wasn’t sure my mom would be too keen on me being out late all by myself, so I didn’t go, but I told Michael and Brian I did.

 

Now, we’ve all said things that weren’t true to try and impress people. I had a penchant for doing that in those days to fuck with people. Maybe that’s why I really like telling stories now here at the old E.M. Either way, though, I couldn’t just stop with a little white lie. I had to say that Peter Murphy joined them onstage and that I had seen them all the next day on Haight Street.

 

I felt stupid for years about it and it kind of became a big joke, but when I listen to Earth, Sun, Moon, I am reminded of my teenage need to be and/or feel cool. I can smile about it now, though, and be thankful I grew out of that kind of thing.

 

It’s one of the benefits of actually doing things in your life. It’s one thing to talk a big game, but it’s even better to play in some big games, too. In fact, about eight years ago, I got to interview Daniel Ash and he couldn’t have been cooler. We were scheduled for a 15-minute conversation, and I think I cut it off at 45 minutes because I had to get back to work.

 

 

As for Earth, Sun, Moon, I think my favorite song on the record has always been “Rain Bird.” It’s just a beautiful song for the first two minutes and then it just soars. Ash on the acoustic guitar is a thing of beauty, too. I don’t know if the word “beauty” can be overused here. It kind of tripped me out when I learned that it was a David J song. I had always assumed it was an Ash composition because of how cool the guitar is in it.

 

The record starts off with a bang. “Mirror People” struck a chord with me then and now. It’s a statement about figuring out who you are, I think, and shedding the shackles of comparing yourself to others. I should have listened a little more closely back then.

 

Then you have the big riffage of “The Light” that fans had come to expect from a Love and Rockets record. Let’s not forget that the trio could bring the rock with the best of ‘em. “Welcome Tomorrow” is another good one, of course, and the big hit, “No New Tale to Tell” is still catchy as fuck. How can you not bop your head to it? What a great opening!

 

“You cannot go against nature because if you do/go against nature/is part of nature, too/Our little lives get complicated/It’s a simple thing/Simple as a flower and that’s a complicated thing.”

 

“Here on Earth” and “Lazy” close out the first side. Both are solid and fun to listen to for me, but I am a big fan of how the record transitions from side A to side B. “Lazy” was the perfect song to end side one with and when you flip the record over, it’s time to trip out.

 

The first side of Earth, Sun, Moon is definitely awesome, but side B is even better. It’s kind of trippy and very mellow, true, but it’s one of those time travel tickets for me. If I close my eyes while I’m listening to songs like “Waiting For The Flood” or “Rain Bird” or “The Telephone is Empty,” I’m right back to laying on my waterbed in my room at our place on 22nd Street. Good ol’ Casa Bravo Apartments.

 

Those songs sound so good on headphones.

 

The saxophone on “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven,” just fits so nicely with Kevin Haskins’ synthesizer work. Those guys were in their late 20s and early 30s when they made this record, and it is such a work filled with maturity. It’s funny how the side B songs just reach me in a very different way now that I am much older.

 

When I got this record, the world was spread out in front of me. I didn’t realize how much of what I was listening to was about the things that were about to unfold right in front of me over the next decade or so. I just soaked it in with a 17-year-old brain and loved it for what it was for me then. Now I can see it so much more clearly.

 

This is one of the marks of a great record, I think. Love and Rockets had some real confidence and self-awareness working for them here. I saw them on this tour, as well, and was blown away again. They were really on top of their game.

 

“We are the energy, God bless, God bless, God bless us all.”

 

*****

 

Prediction: Chiefs 31, 49ers 21.

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



I took this picture in 2013 after Rhondi told me that my cat, June, had died. I was in New Hampshire for work in a group of people I didn't know very well. I was feeling all the feelings you would expect after having spent about 16 years with her. What does it tell you about the universe?

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I am sorry about June as well. Hugs.

Curtir

How do things like this happen?? (I am just reading your blog post today, Sunday.)

I had the pleasure of meeting Danny Carey and Adam Jones of TOOL last night. There was a guy standing next to me that had a yellow and black stripped shirt on and Adam commented that he looked like a bee. I told Adam that he was actually a member of The Bubblemen from Love and Rockets. Adam did not know of The Bubblemen but said he knew of Love and Rockets.... I was going to post Earth, Sun and Moon as one of my 10 day album challenge but I'd really need more than 10 to do it any justice. I've seen Lov…


Curtir
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