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Entry date: 4-29-2022 - Sometimes I get hung up - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


In yet another installment of I am not feeling very creative this week, I give you this:


After writing about Metallica’s Ride The Lightning yesterday, it made me think about this: I like three of their records but could care less about them as people. I’ve never given two shits about the guys in Metallica with possible exception of when Jason Newsted was in the band. It bummed me out when Cliff Burton died, because, well, he was the bass player and seemed like a good guy, but I didn’t really learn about him as a person until after he was already dead.


As far as the other guys go, the only member of Metallica I have any real respect for is also their current bassist, Robert Trujillo. I was even more put off by them after watching their Some Kind Of Monster documentary, barely making it through the whole thing, if I even did. I’ve seen them live a handful of times and they put on a good show, but I think I only paid once.


The whole argument of separating the art from the artist comes into play here a bit, I think, even though there are more compelling arguments against many more artists than the guys in Metallica. I just don’t find them interesting and as much as I like certain songs by them, I never cared enough to learn much about them. Is that weird? I wonder what bands are like that for you, dear reader?


It’s actually getting harder and harder for me to be interested in the life of any artist anymore. As I write this, I realize that even my most beloved bands are not that interesting to me anymore. Some of this is being allowed behind the curtain and talking to a lot of these folks on one level or another over the past twenty years, but some of it is related to being present in my own life and realizing that the people I love are much more interesting.


Having said that, I’d read a book about Wall of Voodoo any time and I would never pick up a book about Metallica. I wouldn’t want to write a book about either of them, though, although I’m sure a good book about Metallica would get an author PAID. I’m not sure any amount of money would make it worthwhile to immerse myself in that world.


I have toyed with the idea of writing a book about the Phoenix punk rock scene for a long time, but I don’t think that will be my first, second, or even third book. Sadly, too many people are dead or unavailable for other sad reasons to do the book I’d like to do about our city and its early underground music scene. Those voices, being stilled forever or altered enough to make them unreachable (or difficult enough due to mental health, a sense of entitlement, or just being an asshole), would make the story incomplete. Once I get this writing thing down a bit and get better at telling a longer form of a story, then I will revisit all the work I have done to document our scene.


As I’ve said to a few people over the last year, even the story of early Phoenix punk is just not that interesting to me anymore, though. I wish I would have been there, sometimes, in the first seven years or so, but I’m also glad that my life went the path it did. I might not have survived it, to be honest, or I might have been turned off to a lot of music I truly love because of the behavior of those who made it at that time.


I’m more interested now in making up stories about music than telling real ones. Maybe that’s why I could care less about a band like Metallica now. There’s nothing interesting there to me and never has been, really. I do like the first two records and the Garage Days EP a lot, though.

I do like the short form, though. I get to write about music a lot and I’m very privileged to be able to do so. I have a piece out this week about Jon Spencer that was a lot of fun to write. He’s a great dude. I look forward to the show tomorrow. There will be a review, I’m sure, on the reviews page.


I have a couple of fun stories coming up, too. I certainly appreciate the opportunities afforded to me by New Times to write about bands I love or am interested in…


(So, having stared at the last sentence now for a few minutes, I realize that my lamenting about not being interested in the life of a lot of artists was not exactly accurate… I’m very interested in the ones I get to write about, but often, I’m probably not as interested in some of the things they expect me to ask about, but that’s another story and too much to unpack in the 150 or so words I have left for today.)


I feel like I need to do another piece on the ten best something or others for New Times again soon. I don’t know if they are still into those things but I’m guessing they are. It’s a lot of fun to compile that sort of information, especially when you are reaching out to the community to talk about how these things are created. When I did the best Thrash Metal albums list, it was a lot of fun to talk to the folks involved. I talked to just about everyone I wrote about except Metallica and Slayer. Later, though, I did get to talk to Dave Lombardo.


I’m done spouting off for today. We’ll get back into the fiction soon. I promise.


*****


I hope everyone is gearing up for an excellent weekend. I look forward to taking my favorite lady to Jon Spencer tomorrow night and having a few laughs (and maybe drinks) at Valley Bar. I also look forward to celebrating a Suns victory, too. The best is yet to come, as they say.


See you tomorrow.



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