Saturday, December 28, 2002

Woke up this morning at the Artisan’s House because we stayed up so late. She walked by as I was waking. "You’re the girl with the blond ponytail that the psychic told me about a few months ago." "What?" "Yea. Really. She said it would be out west. And there you are with a blond ponytail. And here I am out west. Fucked up."

Mom had a Christmas party. Lots of people. Mostly new-agers. Today, we heard it all. But it was so refreshing being around people that are on the cutting edge of brain, mind, and spiritual research and practices, all coming together to hang out and explore and share, all different ages. Very different from a music party, where the talk is always music and pop culture, success and money, looks and your next gig. Real sincere, genuine people talking about things like, the messages from Michael books, the Abraham Hicks tapes, remote viewing, est, ESP, landmark forum, Avatar, scientology, reiki, channeling the other side, psychic healing, etc. Brother Beav walks in and stays for about a half hour, says, "dude there's a bunch of freaks in there man..." "I know bro, but just appreciate it. Not everyone can eat white bread you know." Not your typical parents Christmas party though, that's for sure.

Thinking. Must we possess everything that we find beautiful? Do we have to take a picture of everything we find captivating? Do we have to tape every show we like on TV or buy every movie we like on DVD? Or make love to every woman we find attractive? What is that?

What if one day you just decided to stop censoring yourself from that moment on? Decided to just accept that everything is O.K. just the way it is. To not be impatient or fed up, or wanting more or always telling yourself that you shouldn’t think that, or be this way or that way. What if you just decided to be cool with the way that you are, like this feeling just started to overtake you that everything is alright, that you are alright just the way you are. And what if you caught yourself now and then when you second guessed yourself or got frustrated with a thought you had, and just there in the moment in a matter of milliseconds thought, "you know on second thought, that's perfectly alright that you're that way or that you thought that. Don't even worry about it." For the last three days I have been feeling more and more of that. It feels like this really loving warm self acceptance. Like a moving away from resistance and wanting and moving towards acceptance and happiness. It feels like bliss. I don't know where it came from, I mean, aside from the fact that I have been diligently and consciously working on achieving that state for years. So yes. There it is. Lets hope it sticks around.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Splendid day with a good friend in Scottsdale. Lunch at a French restaurant: pinot noir, parmesan crusted goat cheese and arugala salad, potato onion soup, and hanger steak with shallots and red wine sauce. 

New movie, Gangs of New York. Daniel Day Lewis was fantastic. Movie was a bit too long. And unnecessarily violent as is all of Scorsese’s films. Italians are not known for their subtlety. The U2 "Close" song was rather superfluous, their ubiquity becoming an annoyance. Coffee, good conversation. Acorn squash and baked apple soup and organic kale and homemade pasta with Italian sausage for dinner. 

More smiles from Arizonians than I received all year from Miamians. The people here are really something special. I can feel my heart opening up like it hasn’t in a long time. Problems are starting to feel lighter. Light is starting to show at the end of the tunnel. Attention is becoming less stuck. Talked a lot about the new album and the Rise and Shine as well. Decided to not feel so down about Rise and Shine not getting picked up by about 60% of the stations who received it, but instead feel good about the fact that it got picked up by about 40% of them. It's all in the way you look at it. Decided to stop with the diaries for a while and get back to editing fishy. What's it going to take to get that thing finished...  hot chamomile tea and a little smoke while I write tonight.   

Current Spin: Moby, "Play." System of The Down, Steal This album. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

"Are you there God?"
"Yes. I am here."
"Who are you?"
"I am you. And much more. I am all that is. I am I."
"How do I know it's you and not me?"

If we were born on a desert island with no one else but our self around. Worked and lived and played, all alone, all our life on this desert island, with no one else to be seen, would our mind conceive of the notion of God if no one ever told us of such a thing? How would we create it? If there were no books around, no bible, no religions, no voluminous tomes about heaven and hell and God this and God that, would we one day look up at the sky and just think the thought, “God is up there.” What would he/she/it be like? Would God talk to us? Reveal himself to us? Knowing that we have no way of knowing that he exists on our own? Would we still pray? Would we even consider it? Would we recreate the God concept all on our own? If so, what would we call him/it?  

"Are you there God?"
"What do I call you?"
"What do you want to call me?"
"I don't care. I just want to know that you exist."
"Well who are you talking to then?"
"What if it's just me?"
"What if it is?"

Current Spin: Phoenix, United. I love this CD so much. Hip fresh old school summer pop.
Last Good Movies: 13 Conversations About Nothing. Life or Something Like It.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Came home to a beautifully decorated house with the smell of homemade cookies baking and the sights and sounds of Christmas and family everywhere. Really cold in AZ right now for some reason. People here are so friendly you think you’ve walked onto a movie set from the fifties. 

I have heard so many of: "excuse me, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, pardon me, hello, how are you," since I have been here. It’s been great. People actually smile and look you in the eye. Like so many other places all over America, but Miami. I think maybe it's just Miami. Here I have to keep reminding myself that it is O.K. 

To look people in the eye and smile. In Miami you have to keep reminding yourself not to. Really in all of South Florida, not just Miami. There seems to be such a strong cloud of rudeness and indifference there. Some people claim it's because of the seasons and how they never change. Other people say it's because there are so few Americans left there now, it's mostly South Americans and Caribbean’s and maybe it's a language barrier. Maybe it's the lack of natural beauty, like mountains, valleys, wide open spaces, streams, rivers, or trees that change color. I don't know what it is. It is like some kind of a ‘too cool’ mentality that sucks people in after they live there for a while. And you totally forget that you live in it until you travel to other parts of America and everyone starts acting so friendly. 

At first you are just taken aback, like why the hell is everyone so damn friendly around here. Till you hit the next city and they act the same way and you start realizing it's just Miami itself. Bas asked me the other day right before I left, "hey Fishy do you think that Miami is ruining us? With its unfriendliness and rudeness do you think it's like maybe going to ruin us and we won't be able to go back to the way we used to be when we leave?” I answered him, “I don't know bro. I really don't know.” That question broke my heart, knowing that he came from Vermont, one of the friendliest places in America. 

Woke up this morning firmly committed to finding and deciding on and starting to plan to move to the new place I will call home. I didn't feel LA as much as I wanted to so I don't think it will be there yet, so it looks like it’ll be New York. People always say a lot about New York but I have always found it be a very friendly place. Tough, but friendly. There is such an excitement in the air that people cannot help but be friendly. 

Monday, December 23, 2002

A Must or Want?

At the airport to fly home for the holidays. Long lines to check your baggage. Another long line to obtain boarding pass. Long lines at security. Empty your pockets. Open your laptop, turn on your handheld, open your phone please sir. Take off your boots please, sir. By the time you are finished just checking in and going through security, it's been over an hour if you're lucky, longer most of the time. No food on the flights any more, so you go hungry the whole time. 

Couple in front of me had a baby in a stroller. Going through security for them was a mess. Empty your pockets please, sir. Mam, we need to see inside your purse. Mam, please take the baby out of the carriage. Sir, you're going to have to pack up the stroller and put it on the cart please. Ten minutes later and we’re still waiting for them to go through security and the man turns around to me and says, “sorry about this.” I had already gone through twice myself due to having a butane lighter and a retractable pen in my briefcase, which I had to check. “No problem,” I said, “we’re all in this together,” I mumbled to him and smiled. 

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Trying to sort things out with the whole love/relationship thing lately. Spent the night with Madelynne and Mohdie and the Ferret and Bas doing the Christmas thing like always. Haven't spoken to Cleo since Friday, which still just feels very weird. Haven't totally come to terms with our present situation yet. God, maybe I never will. But the theme of the month, really for the last year and a half has been love, romance and relationships.

Is there a way to appreciate beauty without feeling like you have to own it and possess it? And is there a way to spend really good quality time with someone without feeling like it has to own you? Without feeling like it has to go on forever? I have always been of the mind and heart where once I love a girl, I don't necessarily stop loving them ever. The love may change a bit, but it doesn’t go away. That doesn’t mean that I want to be with them or marry them or get jealous of their new boyfriends or husbands, but it's like I am just really sentimental. So I do want to stay in touch with them and I notice myself think about them often and want to talk to them and buy them gifts as friends from time to time, and just be there for them. But some girls do not like this. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

It's been very cold here in Miami. Made all the difference in people's attitudes. Noticed more and more this year how much our focus during this particular holiday is on buying things. As contrite as that may sound, I just never thought about it. you always hear people talking about that, but it really is true. There is this mad frenzy all around shopping. 

I have had fun though buying presents for all my friends and family. But notice myself with a certain longing deep inside for something more profound and meaningful from this holiday season. I am spending countless moments meditating at night and in the morning, what it is known as praying with open hands. I told God last night, “look I know I may be one of your problem students, always saying that I don't believe, and that you don't exist, but I'm here anyway, you know, kind of sneaking in here late at night to have a look around, you know. So…” 

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Today Al Gore announced he would not run for president in 2004. Mission control I think we have a problem… it feels like a dark cloud floated over America with that announcement. I'm not a huge Gore fan necessarily, but I don't personally see anyone who could have beaten Bush except for maybe Gore. The only good thing about George W. was the fact that he was so evil and heinous and unintelligent, that he was only going to last for four years. But now… who knows? If Bush gets reelected for another term, God help us all. 

Friday, December 13, 2002

Woke up tossing and turning to this agonizing fear of growing up too fast, being too grown up for my age; a phobia I know intimately. We go way back. Almost as good of a friend as my fear that I am not grown up enough. Couldn’t go back to sleep. Reminds me of that quote from that 21 year old girl who wrote that coming of age book I hung on my wall last year: “when will I feel like I am enough just the way I am?”

Talking about Microsoft Outlook with John. How it revolutionizes the way you think and work. Totally compatible with our pda’s. “Microsoft’s the bomb dude,” he says. “Shit man between grunge rock, Microsoft, and Starbucks they must have something pretty magical in their water there in Seattle.” I say. “Yea either that, or it's all that doobage man,” Beav says. Reminiscing with Beav tonight about the old days when we were teenagers before he was married. We were totally on our own at a very young age. How he used to stay up all night getting high and playing video games and he would always sleep through his first day of a new job and I would wake him up at noon and he would scramble around the room trying to get dressed fast as he could only to be fired that same day. Or how he would register for college every semester and drop out by the fourth week for never going on time. Then he got married at the age of nineteen. I was the best man at his wedding. ‘dude you're not tripping are you?’ ‘dude, I think I still am man.’ ‘oh shit. Well look, just try to keep it cool till it's over, o.k. just look at the giant statues but don't get freaked out. please man... this is my wedding for God sakes....” crazy times. 

He gets married and moves into the guest room of his in-law’s house. He goes to work at a video store during the day and a pizza hut at night while his eighteen year old high school sweetheart wife goes to college. He puts her through college. She graduates, starts working, he starts going to night school, works his way up the corporate ladder of an oil company. Twelve years later he’s an accounting manager of a whole floor of people twice his age, pulling in over a hundred thousand G’s a year, two cars in the garage, and two beautiful babies. It's the goddamn American dream if there ever was one. We’re sitting here tonight looking at each other like, ‘holy shit man you did it.’
Current Read: The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci in Italian and English. A gift. He wrote left-handed, and from right to left. Painter, sculptor, scientist, writer, inventor--invented the first flying machine—in the fifteen hundreds no less. Inspires me to continue to say no when invited out to clubs parties or bars to hang out and stay home even more to work. My friends already call me a hermit. But I am most happiest when I am working. And when I am out I am always just thinking about working. But I don't want to lose my friends. Sometimes when they are all getting ready to go out and don't invite me I get mad and say ‘hey what the fuck?” They're like, “well we didn't think you would want to go anyway.” “yea I know. But still at least invite me so I can say no.”   

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Christmas in Miami feels like… is it really Christmas time yet? Christmas all over the world, but so much harder to notice in the southern states, even though lots of cards are coming in from all over—that is the only reminder that it is Christmas. 

I stood outside today, had to take my shirt off, perspiring like crazy in the high 80’s maybe, low 90’s—so un-Christmas. I think they have put up some carnivals or something in certain parts of town, I swear to God—big flashing lights and rides begging for you to spend money, maybe that's Christmas to them... very weird. No one really decorates. I think I had a nervous breakdown sometime in the last 48 hours. I haven't heard “Happy Holidays” yet, or even a Christmas song. 

It's Christmas Day. The five nieces are opening up their presents like wild animals. Their eyes are glossy and I think I noticed them even drooling. They are all smiles. Jumping up and down and screaming "Oh my God! Oh my God." I'm kicked back with my guitar and my new cannon powershot. I woke up this morning, looked up to God and said good morning, Merry Christmas. He said, "Good morning to you. Go outside and let go of your fears and count your blessings." SO I took some time outside early in the morning and walked around reciting everything I feel blessed with in my life, enjoying the cold air and a very strong cup of java, I walked around the lake.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Over one hundred TV and movie stars sent a letter on live TV to president Bush asking him to stop the war talk. This may be enough to get more people to get off their ass and realize that it's O.K. to speak up. This could be a good thing. 
So it's happening after all.

Just recently read a profile of ex-prez Jimmy Carter. Turns out that after his inaugural address he shunned the bulletproof limo and walked the 1.5 miles from the Capitol to the White House. Normally after they are sworn in they get in their limo for the first time and drive to the white house waving to supporters, and then they get out of the car about four blocks before the white house and walk the rest of the way, waving and shaking hands. Jimmy wanted to show people that he was one of them, so he walked the whole way. Now contrast this with George W. Bush twenty years later, who didn't even get out of the limo, due to over 20,000 protesters lined up along Pennsylvania avenue throwing eggs and tomatoes at his car and screaming “hail to the thief.” They didn't show this on TV that day. We have come a long way in the last twenty years. This was a very close race. Gore only won by half a million votes. I bet a lot more of us will vote in the next election, that's for sure.

Current Spin: Mum. Great sonic ambiance. And Audioslave. And new Pearl Jam. 

Monday, December 09, 2002

Every time we hook up with someone romantically our hearts our minds start racing towards this marriage idea. I notice it in myself all the time. it just starts thinking about it every few seconds whenever I meet someone new or start getting romantic with someone. It's like we’re in this race to get married and then of course once we are married it's like time just drags on forever, I mean you start to realize that now it is forever. 

With la Princesa she was always talking about that she didn't have time. "I don’t have time to waste if you’re not the one or I'm not the one for you. I don't have time." She was in a race. Her childhood was awful according to her own account, mother and father never got along, should have never got married, he was always drunk screaming all the time, money was their love, and I always used to think when she would tell me that she didn't have the time, well what are we in such a race for? She had already been married once and divorced. So what are we trying to do, make me the number two divorce??? I mean why are we rushing to this marriage thing so fast, so we can have kids and be miserable and get divorced and never speak again? I think of the Italian stallion and her telling me how her parents never got along and her family life sucked. 

Good show last night. Band was very loose, out of control at times. A few fans showed up, small crowd though, but enthusiastic. New version of the journey was awesome. Love is you rocked. Oh you pretty things by Bowie is a nice addition to the set.

Sat with fernie from the band Humbert after the show talking about our new album. Listening to the tracks. His band played before ours did that night. They were awe-inspiring. They were the music. They were rock and roll embodied. I told him what we were trying to make and what a challenge it has been. He listened to our rough tracks intently. His eyes closed. Every now and then he would say something. “What this song needs is something out of the measures, just totally fucked up, off of the rhythm of the rest of the instruments.” Or “this song is not sexy. You should scrap it.” He was right every time. It was good to talk shop with someone who was so aligned musically and philosophically.

A lot of reconciliation this week. With little Lisa, with Cleo, Jennifer, (God Jennifer, what a hottie) others. It really reconfirmed for me the importance of communication and persistence. You are either committed to cleaning up disagreements with others or not. Usually where there is a will there is way. And if you are willing to take a look at what responsibility you had in the conflict and forgive, then you can usually clean it up and get along again. That was the major win, and lesson, of the week.

Bas says to me tonight, “I wish there was a way to show the rest of the world that we weren't all blood thirsty war mongers like Bush, that dumb-ass cock-knocker.” We talk about a website where people can post their picture and a simple message to the rest of the world, that we oppose any more wars or violence, but that we are prisoners of our government. One such site is but I think we may need more. This site does not show the pictures and signatures of the tens of thousands who have signed it. This site would be a simple message to the rest of the world that regardless of what our president says or does, that we aren't out to hurt you. and we trust that you aren't out to hurt us either. That we aren't half as interested in our rather twisted and brutish foreign policy as we are in just keeping the peace around our own borders and getting our economy back up to where we need it to be.
Tonight we watched an episode of The World at War called, The Final Solution, about the Nazi death and concentration camps during World War II. We listened as the survivors talked about the screams of the people being shoved into the gas chambers. About their constant prayers to their God. About the utter brutality and the insane game that went on for almost five years as over five million of them were murdered in mass numbers. We heard the stories of the women being stripped and shot with their screaming children still clinging to them. we watched as the bulldozers pushed hundreds of dead lifeless bodies into big pits in the ground. And as Jewish prisoners dragged their friend’s and relative’s skinny-little chicken-like bodies through the dirt into mass graves that they themselves had to dig, only to be shot and thrown into when they were finished.

As we watched, we talked about this concept of God that we carry so strongly within us. As many of the survivors talked of God and asked the question where was God when these people were screaming for him to help them, day after day and year after year. Many of them who were very devout Orthodox Jews before they got to the camps could not understand why God was ignoring them and so they killed themselves when he did not eventually offer any help or means of salvation for their plight. They realized for the first time that perhaps we really are alone here on earth. Where strength and the will to live, and not justice or God, rule the land.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Went to see new world school of the arts one person shows at a local theatre. Really good. Inspiring. So much talent all over the world. Thinking about a website that acts as a simple server where arts organizations can upload their shows, art exhibits, photo exhibits, film events, plays, concerts on their own so people can be in the know about what's going on. Yesterday two different people told me that Miami was a cultural vacuum, which is really hilarious because it is the opposite of that. Tonight I had to choose between an indie film opening, a photo exhibit opening and this live theatre thing, a songwriter in the round concert at Wallflower, and an anniversary concert at tobacco road which I may still hit later tonight. And of course countless other events. So it's just people don't know what's going on. Art is thriving in Miami. There is always too much to do.

Four minutes to cook your dinner in the microwave can seem like an eternity, while four hours in a dark room with someone you love can seem like four minutes.

Current Spin: phantom planet, the guest. Love it. Sigur Ross, the new one. Love it more. 

Last Movie:  Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill. Amazing, brilliant, funny, amazing, brilliant, fucking amazing. And LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton. Moving study of education and current social and economical situation in rural Mississippi due to cotton industry enforced slavery.  

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Lots of emails from Muslim fans and friends re one of my last diary postings. Interesting. They are not all .... terrorists, obviously. Too bad the whole world cannot convert to Hinduism. We don't see them running around the world killing people like some other religions we know of. Nod-nod, wink-wink, and I don't necessarily mean the Muslims. Even Buddhism would be good. Of course we would have to change that awful first law that “life is suffering.” Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if we changed one word. Perhaps “life was suffering.”

Saw Andréa Boccelli last night. Not quite Domingo or Pavarotti, but I don't think he aims to be. He has such a signature sound to his voice. It is all his own. so he doesn’t have to be anyone else. He is who he is. First half lots of classic opera and Neapolitan songs. Very romantic, beautiful stirring music. Then a moderate dose of his more contemporary pop-opera, a genre he didn't necessarily create but certainly defined in modern times. He even sang his own version of My Way by Paul Anka. He also played the flute and the piano. Wonderful. Amazing day today.

Spoke with Jennifer today for over an hour. Reconciled, resolved, worked through. We both left the conversation feeling more alive and refreshed. Met with friend of a friend who is a PR girl who offered to help the band get more press and publicity in northeast. Really smart person from new York. Talked for hours about everything from business to politics to modern culture. Refreshing.

Later tonight overheard a man talking about the film Koyaanisqatsi and others. We started talking about music and film. Turns out he is Jeffrey Lew, one of the producers of that film and many others. We had a real synergy. Mad fast-paced wide-eyed half-sentences about everything from film to music to religion to Indians. Spoke about a few upcoming film and music projects. Going crazy without an assistant. More interviews tomorrow. Six weeks now. Perhaps I am already crazy. 

A cat will attack anything that it sees in it's space that is smaller than it is, except maybe for another cat. They will attack and play with until death a mouse, a bird, a lizard, all insects, a frog. Objectively it's really strange instinct they have to just kill anything they see. They have no ethics about this. If it crosses their path, they will hunt it down until it is dead or plays dead or is unable to move. They do not seem to have any goal in doing this. They certainly would never eat any of the things they kill.

From a recent email from a friend:   “But the truth is that some work to become a better person actually negates self, casts doubt within. Accepting and loving who I truly am, flaws and all, helps me more than I could ever have imagined.   "Fishy--- Well, this is so timely .... as I am finding many flaws with myself lately ... primary: I am happy to be me : )"
Yes so where do you draw the fucking line between being at peace with yourself just the way you are and deliberately attempting to become a better person? Well, she's got me there… that's the million dollar question. Breath in. Breath out. 

Working on The Transcendent Manifesto.

Last Movie:  Bedazzled, with the amazing Elizabeth Hurley.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Rehearsal tonight with the band. More news from the big time talent show people. They are asking that all bands sell tickets to the event at a price of $65 per ticket to our friends and fans. Of course the bands will not actually get paid. Funny. Doesn’t this sound familiar? We all had a good laugh and decided to not participate.

Last Movie:  Recently declassified war-time educational movies about America’s atomic bomb tests.
Turns out that North Korea now has at least two nuclear bombs. And several different companies have sheepishly confessed, or announced to the world, that they now have cloned humans on the way in January. So things are really looking up for us in the New Year. 2003 promises to be one hell of a good time indeed, what with the new invasion of Iraq and the slumping economy. .

Had a reading today with a lady who claims to read your soul history from the Akashic Records. Cannot comment yet. Need time to integrate.

Current Spin: Tom Petty new one, The Last DJ. This is a really good album. He is at the top of his game as a songwriter. Not much sonic exploration, but just really good songwriting.

Monday, December 02, 2002

So good to be home again. I got off the plane and wanted to hug Miamians. Why? I don't know. When you get off the plane in Miami, the first things you are immediately struck with is one, the hot and humid weather—it doesn’t matter where someone is from—this is one of the first things they comment on, and two, the sound of Spanish being spoken all around you. They say there is a lot of Spanish in Phoenix and in Los Angeles as well. That just means they’ve never spent any time in Miami. I am sitting out on the back porch now smoking a very strong Cuban cigar and writing. I feel so good to be home. I walked in my home and felt such a sense of relief and comfort. They say home is where the heart is, and I just left my family and a big group of some of my best friends. So why do I feel so good coming back here? Went to the Grove for dinner and was immediately taken by the sheer number of beautiful people we encountered along the way.

Thinking more about the art and music scene here and in New York and in LA. And I feel that we have a pretty good scene after all. It’s very centralized which is a good thing. The music scene in LA seemed so cynical, almost kind of washed up. The kids and musicians I talked to on the street and in the clubs in LA had such a ‘it's impossible’ attitude about it. I don't necessarily think it's any better here in Miami or in New York, but that it just depends on where you are. You make your scene where you are. Now if you happen to be in Iowa, yea maybe you should think about moving. But in any big city USA, you can blossom and grow your thing, whatever that happens to be. There is so much great talent in Miami. It just needs to get out to the people more. The people need to start working together more to get the word out. Miami is ready to bust out nationally. People have been saying it for years. I'm beginning to believe it.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

On the beach right now. Sitting in the sand of the Santa Monica beach watching the sunset. A mountain range to my right. The ocean and setting sun in front of me. Endless beach and more mountains to my left. And palm trees as tall as skyscrapers behind me lining a highway that winds on forever up and down the coast. Don't have sunsets on the east coast. Very cold here. Dry and cold. Somehow it feels different. California is very big. Too expansive for words. Just the sprawling beach, the sand between the pacific coast highway and the ocean is longer than a New York City block. In fact, the average California palm tree is a longer than an average Miami block. Everything is big in California. Driving through Santa Monica, sunset strip, west Hollywood, pacific palisades, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, it feels like any minute some guy in a Baseball cap is going to come out from behind a wooden façade with palm trees painted on it and yell “cut!” everything looks like a movie here. We found out tonight that Larry David lives here in this neighborhood a few houses away, and his show curb your enthusiasm is filmed here in this neighborhood where mike and Beth live. You eat at your local Italian restaurant and two days later you see it on TV. That's California.

Also very beautiful. It offers amazing greenery, great beaches, mountain views all around you. And more than that, the people seem real, more real, sincere. A lot less bullshit than on the east coast, which is funny, because everyone I have spoken to here says that you have to watch out for the bullshit or the fake and phony people. Maybe they have just not ever been to Miami or fort Lauderhell. The problem is that there really isn't a city here. there is just little cities all over the place nestled amongst sprawling neighborhoods. Neighborhoods and more neighborhoods that go on forever. But no city really. That is California.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Thanksgiving with the family in Arizona. Am I outgrowing my family? Is that possible? Could there be a worse dream to wake up to? Is that what growing into an adult means? Click your heels. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Watched Paul McCartney on TV last night. What a great band he has assembled. Still carrying the torch. His vocals were awesome. Made me realize how we really need to start making a better living from our own music. Right now the general consensus is that bands don't make good money. One out of a thousand maybe make enough to get by. You’ve got your Eminems and your Madonnas. But most of us don't even make enough to live. And this belief is perpetuated and vehemently defended by everyone in the industry. ‘that's just the way it is,’ is the general feeling. We hear it all the time. every show we play, we’re told that we may have to play for free, or we’ll be lucky if we make five hundred bucks to split between all five of us plus pay the soundman, light person, flyers, transportation, etc. and a lot of times it's the bands that are at fault in the first place because they put up with it and so they set this precedent that all bands have to do it. They get so used to it that they never get out of it. It’s like, ‘I've fallen into this belief and I can’t get up.’ it's funny.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

I'm in the airport. There is this Latin girl with a tight shirt on and no bra. Her breasts are just popping out. She has received more than her fair share of secret looks from other passengers here waiting for the plane. A few minutes later I looked up and she was standing up talking on her phone. Her nipples were really sticking out. And there is this guy sitting down about four feet away from her. He had a book in his hand but he was staring at her standing there talking on the phone and his mouth was hanging open, and then about five feet away from him there was this other girl who was staring at the guy and at the girl observing how this guy was so absorbed by the girl on the phone with the tight shirt and no bra, and she was completely absorbed in watching the two of them. She had this look on her face like, ‘I can’t believe that guy. Why does he care about that slut with the big boobs." And then I'm sitting there watching all three of them doing their thing. And I'm thinking, ‘I wonder if there is anyone watching me?’ Look how we watch each other. Each of us making our own little judgments about each other based on our own different sets of beliefs.

O.k. I'm on the plane now—America West—and they are playing all these country music videos. Man what is this? I think I have been in Miami too long. I feel like culture shocked. I'm sitting here looking at the TV and hearing this strange music and these goofy looking people and my mouth is hanging open. I forget that America is filled with people like this. I keep looking at the other passengers on the plane with me, like, “do you see this on the tv? Can you believe it?” Maybe they are from out west or something, flying home for the holiday. And they are used to it. The longer I live in Miami, the more I start to realize that it is not really part of the rest of the country. It's like we live in an alternate reality compared to the rest of America. I'm sitting next to his couple who packed their own lunch since airlines don't serve food anymore. They are eating bologna sandwiches on white bread with yellow mustard and yellow American cheese. I haven't seen something like that in ten years. I knew they sold that stuff in the supermarkets. I just could never figure out who actually bought it. o.k. so yea, Miami is not really part of America.

We’re in the air now. I'm watching the in-flight movie sporadically while reading and writing. Bourne identity baby!!! I love this movie. Great soundtrack. Reading time magazine—twelve letters from readers from all over the country saying they do not support Bush’s planned invasion of Iraq. I will scan these in. They receive thousands of letters per week one would assume with the printed ones being a small representation of the bulk of them. The media continues to report about the coming Iraq war (not a war at all, but really an invasion, since they haven’t attacked us and aren't really even a worthy opponent of ours) and all of Bush’s activities to prepare for this war on a daily Bas is. The media continues to ignore the fact that most Americans do not support Mr. Bush in this. and so when you turn on the television, you get bombarded by corporate bullshit and propaganda about an America that is not ours, but belongs to a hostile government who stole the presidency and will do whatever it wants to whenever it wants to regardless of the American people—as one reader wrote in to time magazine, ‘I will support Bush’s military action in Iraq as soon as he enlists his two daughters in the military.’ Funny.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Tonight we went to see and hear Caetano Veloso sing at the Jackie Gleason theatre. After the concert we got to meet him. this was a huge event for me personally. I was awestruck. I gave him an autographed copy of Rise and Shine and showed him his name in the liner notes. Showed him how we covered a famous Brasilian song on the album. We spoke very briefly. Laughed some. It was a good feeling. He is much smaller in person than on stage. Older, greyer. Very soft and soft spoken. This was a dream of mine. This year I have had the opportunity to go see Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Boccelli, U2, and Caetano in concert. This has been a very good year.

Listen to the man sing.

The following is from an email by a man named John MaCenulty. It is good. Very good.

There are times when societal actions are extremely clearly wrong, outrages
that reach into us deeply. We feel a sense of hopelessness and despair that
things may be falling apart. A sense of wrong and dread pervades.
And there are times when things come to a focus and really are threatening.
It is not an illusion that will pass in the blink of a magical eye. Some
things are deep and structural, inherent in the way of things. They have been
going on for a long time.

Negative energies flare and wane. We are watching a flaring.
The history of humanity is the story of these risings and fallings. Ever has
it been so.
Yet within the structure of pain and suffering has been an awesome spiritual
beauty that has never been defeated by the awful things that have passed
through us. Hope seems to, indeed, spring eternal.
Beethoven and Mozart wrote in times of war. Enduring beauty was created.
Now I pray again, deeply, for peace, fairness, justice, love in my world,
this beautiful, betrayed, discouraging world.
It is through the very act of prayer that I am fulfilled, not in the
answering of my prayer, in the very act.
When I seek the divine I create the divine. I activate that energy in my
consciousness and it comes into me.
The sadness without prayer is overwhelming.
I focus on the stillness and it comes over me, into me. There is always my
very nature, beautiful beyond all failings, a light within me that will not
I rise and fall too.

New web site address:
Copyright © 2002  by John MacEnulty
11/22/2002, St. Louis, MO

Monday, November 25, 2002

Such a sense of peace in the home tonight. I looked into the house through the windows tonight from outside and felt so lucky and so blessed. It looked so warm and dimly lit and cozy inside. Still thinking a lot about the marriage/relationship issue today. Too much to get into now. 

Watched the movie Bombay tonight. Controversial film from the early nineties about the Muslim/Hindu riots in India. Need to study the Muslims more. Violence seems to follow them around from one end of the earth to the other. What is happening there? And it is such a recent invention, this Muslim God and religion, not more than fourteen hundred years or something. So what were they before they were Muslims? And did they fight and rebel and go crazy like this before they became Muslims? Before there was such a thing? Who are these people and why are they so angry and intolerant of others? I have spent a lot of time protesting violence against these people, marched on Washington to try to help bring peace to their lands, and spent many hours arguing with my Jewish and American friends about how we need to allow them their right be themselves and not bully them. but I am starting to see the other side lately. I am tired of hearing about their terrorist acts on innocent people. Need to research more. Tomorrow night we get to see and listen to Caetano Veloso.

Last great movie: Bombay. Good movie, slight cheese, but still good. 
Current read: Life of Trotsky. And a photo book called Erotique, collection of historic erotic photography. 

Sunday, November 24, 2002

In the line at the movies and feeling so heavy from this relationship thing. My mind was spinning from the confusion of not exactly knowing what I was feeling. Recognized the signs; unable to focus, more attention on myself rather than on the outside, feelings of discomfort and resistance. I stood there and forced myself to feel whatever I was feeling, let it all slowly unravel and untangle inside of me so I could take a look at what was there. I could discreate the beliefs later. Lets just take a look at them and free up some attention. So what I started noticing as I looked around inside was this feeling that I just wasn't ready to settle down and get married. Even though a big part of me longs for it. I have no problem with the idea of marriage. I can’t wait. I just don't know about the forever part of it. that's the part that sticks me. I told la Princesa about this. I told her that maybe I could see marriage if instead of promising forever two people promised five years with an option to renew type of thing. Of course she was upset. I think she walked out actually. But I had to be honest. Forever? The rest of your life. Later she admitted that she sort of felt the same way but it was just too much to think about, and too out of the ordinary and crazy to entertain the idea. But I think that is a much more logical and practical way to go about it.

All I do know is that a lot of my friends are already divorced. And some of them are already in their second marriages. And most of us have parents who are divorced. Not all of them, but the majority of them. I notice a lot of my friends also getting married and admitting that they aren't totally madly in love like they thought they would be but just still really wanted to get married and really love their spouse. For me I just couldn’t imagine doing that. still others are in relationships or marriages that are strained and not so deliberate. A lot of fighting. A lot of wondering what it would be like to be on their own. but maybe they have children now and can’t get out. A lot of marriages seem more Bas Fishy on avoiding pain and loneliness than experiencing love and passion. Not all of them. A few of my married friends seem really really happy. So the possibility is there. I just haven't gotten to the point yet where I am willing to subject myself or anyone else to that.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Tonight was the last night of the play Decay. Several members of the cast and crew passed out cards to everyone. It was a packed house. Some people were standing. So we did it. We pulled it off. No money, no major production company. No big name producers or directors. No advertising budget. Just a bunch of artists dedicated to making it happen against all odds. A hot, no-air-conditioned warehouse filled to the rim with people watching live theatre by a group of poor actors and musicians making no money for performing every night for two weeks straight for no other reason than to turn people on to live theatre. This was the vision of the writer, Sasha, and the director, Nicole, and the producer, Enzu. We went along for the ride. And every night that place was near filled to capacity.  

Last great movie: Brother Can You Spare a Dime, documentary about the Great Depression in America. Clark gable, James cagney, Greta garbo, FDR, Herbert Hoover, bread lines, stock market crash, wind storms, dust bowls, prohibition, what a depressing time. my great grandfather killed himself during the great depression because he lost all his money and couldn’t support his family.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Someone asked me what the three best things about the Internet were. I replied: email, access to unlimited information,, and eBay. O.k. so that's four things, I know. You could also add online stock trading,, streamable and downloadable music, alternative news sources, Internet radio, and ecommerce in general… but I digress. And I still know people who don't have the Internet. Crazy. Tonight I found this: Check it out. it is an alleged picture of an alien waving goodbye. Read the text. Intriguing. Got me thinking a bit about aliens and that whole subject. Still waiting for the moment when the mainstream media announces that “aliens now exist.” Funny how we wait for confirmation of things we already know until it hits the mainstream. I think we all kind of know that chances are there are other intelligent life forms here. Just waiting for it to be mainstream. I am as frightened by it as I am excited, I will admit. The implications are mind boggling. Quite probable, inevitable, that it will alter the entire construct of universal truth as we are currently creating it. Wink wink. And what about God? Does he know these “aliens” exist? Raised eyebrows.

Kick butt in the studio today. Vancouver laid down another great guitar track on the song beautiful one. Great performance in the play tonight. Packed house. Tomorrow is our last run. I will miss it when it is over. More dates being added to our tour starting in January—Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta, South Carolina. Very excited to get out there and meet fans in other parts of the country personally. 

Thursday, November 21, 2002

In the studio today working more on Vancouver’s guitar parts. Challenging. The vibe of Fred is ‘lets just get it done. It shouldn’t have to take forever.’ Normally the producer is on fire and inspired as much as the artists are. He keeps the flames burning when they wane which can often be the case when an album drags on and on; the musicians tend to lose interest after a while, lose their inspiration. I never do. 

But more and more lately I have been starting to think that I am not really a musician, maybe a painter who just never learned how to paint, or a film maker who makes albums instead. I am often just as ‘musically inspired’ by great films or great paintings than I am by great albums. In fact a lot of times I notice that great films or paintings seem to more closely resemble what I am trying to create in the studio than most albums that get released. I absolutely hate normal run of the mill guitar Bas  drum and vocal bands and albums. I just find them very boring and can’t get through them. 

But I will put on Nabukazu Takemura, which is really just electronic noise and be totally blown away. My musician friends comment that ‘anyone can do that. It’s just noise.’ But I like it, and find it refreshing and remarkably inspiring. For the most part I don’t even like “musician’s music.” Never have. Never really developed a liking for it. This is something that I have always butted heads with other musicians about. If you're listening to music for the perfection of the craft of it, then that is one thing, which a lot of musicians are into. how well someone can play an instrument or sing. But that has never been my thing. Always preferred music that set a tone, created a mood, no matter the actual musicianship. Loved my bloody valentine. Play it for a lot of musicians who just don't even understand why someone would make that. “where's the songs?” they ask. Or “that guy is just making noise on his guitar. He can’t even play.” But I never cared about that too much. So I don't care how long an album takes to make. I just know when we’re done. It could be a year. It could be three years. I tell Vancouver ‘less “trying to play a part” and more “trying to cop a vibe.” And the great thing is that he is totally capable of pulling it off. He is some kind of boy-genius on the guitar.

If we can just get Fred to get on board and realize that we aren't trying to just make some standard rock album, but something deeper, richer. He will pull out songs by Cracker, or queens of the stone age, and that stuff is great. But I am thinking more along the lines of Citizen Kane, or Oliver Stone. He just laughs at me a lot. Thinks I am crazy. I told him today that we may have to add another layer of drums. And he just thought I was out of my mind. “Two totally separate drum tracks?! What are you? On crack?” I know he didn't sign on for that and in a way it isn't fair to now demand it of him, after all, he has to make a living, and we can’t just keep him working on this album for the next ten years, but somewhere there is a middle ground we will have to find if we’re all going to be happy.

Current Spin: A Taste of Asia. Ancient Chinese instrumental music.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Sitting with Bas, going through live shows on video trying to find cool moments to post on the website. We were talking about the Middle East, about why can’t humans just get along, and experience peace. He sighs, mumbles “it's just fucking Bush. What's wrong with him? He doesn’t give people an accurate idea of what the people are like. Every one just thinks that we are like these crazy war mongers. But we’re not.

Al Gore, Shroud of Turin,
Picasso Retrospective

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Performed another night of the play tonight to a packed house. Everyone was over the top. In those brief moments I was my character. Audience was clapping and laughing and really liked it. Afterwards the playwright Sasha gave this speech about how we needed to raise more money for the artists’ co op  C-Roc and it was hilarious. People were rolling from laughter. He said things like, “look, here's the deal. We just want to be able to do this for our living and have people like you pay for it. so give us money. We need money. We need your money….we’re artists. We don't have to be rich. We just don't want to have to work, that's all.” Things like that. It was great.

Burning the candle at both ends right now. Spend most of my days with a severe headache, like a vice squeezing my head. Feel like I have no time. can’t even think straight. Craziness. La Princesa is mad. Says that she can’t see me anymore because I don't have the time for anyone in my life. I say we just saw each other yesterday. She reminds me, “that was two days ago you jerk.” And then she hits me. Two or three days feels like one day to me. crazy.

Was in the studio today recording Vancouver’s guitar parts. Spent the first hour arguing with him and Fred the producer. Trying to get them to see that if we don't create something truly remarkable, truly innovative and fresh and magical that there isn't any sense in us doing it, I don't care how many people buy it. he says, “don't you just want to sell records? People don't buy CDs because they are innovative Fishy. Listen to the radio.” I said I didn't care. I explained to them another perspective… “look how fucking lucky we are, you are. Here you have this opportunity to come in here for free and Fred, we’re paying you to help us do it, and here we have this opportunity to come in here and show the world who you are, whatever you got. You have this opportunity to lay it down on tape, all of us together and create whatever we want. So what are we going to create? Radio music? Are you a guitar God? Or are you just some guy in Miami who plays the guitar? What do you want people to think when they put this CD on? Well I know what I want them to think. so lets fucking make it happen.” Well it worked. He played some amazing parts. Truly brilliant guitar playing, textural, exotic, wild, surreal stuff. it may kill us but we are making something very special with this one. 

Monday, November 18, 2002

Just got the newest CD of the latest mixes of our new album with Vancouver’s newly added guitar work. The need to band together.

Last Great Movie: Magnolia, as always.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Today was a beautiful day. One of the best Sundays I have had in years. This morning we went to a Jewish baby naming ceremony for a friend of mine. Seven God fathers and three young pure godmothers bless the new born baby girl. One hundred and twenty-five people all gathered together to celebrate the birth of this baby. Very beautiful. It really confirmed for me my goal of having a big family one day. 

Later came home and spent the day writing, drawing, painting, sleeping, and making love, while listening to Indian trance dervish music from the fourteen hundreds. Living and breathing art. I so needed a day like today to reaffirm what is important to me. Freedom beauty truth love and art and all those other ideals that sometimes we get so busy to remember their importance in our lives. Later tonight we saw the movie Frida about the Mexican painter Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera. So inspired that I couldn’t stop my leg from shaking during the whole movie. My heart was filled with passion and my head was filled with ideas. I spent half the movie taking notes. It cemented for me the ideal that art is not so much about public opinion or accessibility as much as it is about originality. Creating something new. Something that has been hard to remember during the recording of this new album of ours. Because it feels like we are being so pressured to create something that is commercially accessible at the expense of creating something wholly original. Well not anymore. I can promise you that.

Current Spin: Echoes of the Forest: music of the central African pygmies.
Last great movie: Frida. Amazing. Beautiful. inspiring.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Just got done with the Saturday night performance of the play. The final one for this week. Really intense tonight. We were all on fire. The crowd really felt it. Still feeling sick. So didn't hang around too long meeting and greeting. Fighting a depression of some kind. A general malaise. Feelings of resistance. It's that feeling of waiting for something to happen and you're thinking, "now when that happens then I can be happy." And I am not exactly sure what that is. Just waiting. Bored. Sad. I know I'm not the only one. I see it in everyone. They go out and drink. Get drunk. Smoke pot, take pills, eat, watch TV till they fall asleep, whatever. Something, anything to fight the feelings, the pain. 

I have felt those desires crawling up in me lately. “O.K. well you know tonight, the play is over, I'm just sitting here. maybe I'll just do this….” but I am beyond that. It doesn’t even seem like an option now. Now there is a strong desire for purity more than ever. So when the feelings do come up I would rather just feel them and explore them—if you have to cry, you cry, or if you have to scream, you scream, let it out—get to the core of them, find out where they are coming from. I have been here before. I know it is a short road between agony and relief; between grief and happiness. Although it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. But the key is in feeling the feelings, owning them, owning what's underneath them, and then letting them go, and then refocusing on your true self and your true desires. 

I remember when me and Cleo broke up. We had moved down to Miami together and by the time we actually moved here, we were already broken up. So here we were in this brand new city that we worked so hard to make this big move to, but we were separated. Lived in separate houses. We told ourselves that it was only temporary. That we were doing it to get some space so we could work it out and get back together, but both of us knew I think inside that it was over, that we were going to be moving on. We both started dating other people. Sharing our experiences over the phone or over dinner sometimes. And little by little it became more and more apparent that it was permanent. That it was really over. We never talked about getting back together. We talked about everything else. Her new house, my new house. The new city we lived in. Work. Money. Friends. But we never discussed getting back together. I would lie in my bed at night some times and feel so overwhelmed with sadness and with longing and maybe cry a little. I would call her sometimes and she wouldn’t answer. Then she would call and I wouldn’t answer. This went on for about a year. Back and forth, each of us staking claim to our boundaries. A little more each day.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Tonight was the opening night of the play Decay. Good crowd. Relatively good performances from all of us. Very exciting backstage. Totally dark except for a red light or two. For an hour before we go backstage to start the performance everyone kind of jumps around the room, paces, mumbles incoherently, makes funny sounds to themselves, practices their lines over and over again, puts on their makeup, stares at themselves in the mirror reciting their lines or talking themselves up. fun. Backstage everyone just paces till it's their turn to go on stage. Back and forth we pace throughout the first half of the play, trying not to bum into each other. Funny. Everyone goes from smiles to this intense look. Very different than putting on a rock concert, where everyone just kind of drinks and smokes and stands around and then maybe you let out a few screams and yells and then on you go up. actors are very intense. I have started to look at it like the difference between art and craft.

When you go up on stage to play a rock concert, at least for original music, it is like this spiritual artistic experience. Are you focused? I don't think so. It's more like you are lost at sea. In space. You are at one with the music and the audience and you are just part of the whole thing. Just flowing in the art of it. you have no lines to remember. Yea you have all these lyrics to remember but this isn't conscious. You already know them subconsciously. They are just a part of you. so you're not thinking about them. you're not thinking at all. you're just trying to play as well as you can and get into the art of it as much as you can, to capture some kind of impalpable, intangible, ecstasy for you and the crowd through your interpretation of the songs. And every night that interpretation can be totally different. The four of you may play each song totally different than you did the night before. you may stick within the same general guidelines or play roughly the same chords, but that's about it. the way you play, and the notes you play and the notes you sing and your phrasing and everything really is totally different. That's the fun of it. that's the rush. That's why we do it. that's why people go to live shows. To see and hear that experimentation.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

I have been thinking more about the whole thing about lying and humans the last few days. It is said that everyone lies. That if you say you don't lie, then you’re a liar. Funny. Because chances are it's probably true. But I think there is a big difference between certain kinds of lies. Maybe. maybe not. That's another story. But for many a lie is not that big of a deal. But for certain there are some people who attempt at least never to lie. They are loyal to the truth as a cause. As the most holy cause we know of. And indeed I would say that the truth would be the most holy virtue we can attempt to uphold as human beings at least right now in our present state of evolution.

Religion is considered holy, which is ironic at best, because it is a system founded on lies, or at least half truths, and wannabe truths. People fight and kill for their religious beliefs. we have all heard the phrase ‘holy war.’ Again, ironic at best. if a person is being honest with themselves chances are they probably aren't fighting a holy war. They are probably fighting for land or for their country or for the protection of their home. But they are tricked into believing they are fighting for their religion or for their God, usually by their government. Governments are notorious liars. That's their job. Military men are trained liars. That's part of their job. You learn to become an expert liar, in case you get caught, in case you are overheard by the enemy, or the people you serve. You have to lie. Think Oliver north, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr. think Lyndon Johnson and the Tonkin scandal during Vietnam. Think anything that has to do with government or war or military. All through the eighties the American government secretly supported Sadaam Hussein, gave him money and weapons, yes even chemical and biological ones, because they were in a war with Iran, and we wanted them to win because we were so against Iran at the time. but they did this in secret. They consistently lied about it to the American people. ask your average American on the street if they know about this and they will look at you like you are crazy. Were they wrong for lying to the people? I don't know. I'm too new to all of this to pretend I know the answer. I don't know if I will ever know the answer to that one. should governments be allowed to lie to their people? I don't know yet. That's all I can say.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

You get to a point where you can sense when someone is lying. You can hear it in their voice. If you're not listening for it or conscious of this ability you may never notice this. You may just be aware of something weird in the space when you are talking to them, and may not know what it is. But once you start to realize this phenomenon then you get really good at picking up on when someone just lied to you. It's really amazing. They walk away or you walk away or maybe they are still talking and you are totally aware that they are lying. Or making stuff up. it's like their line doesn’t get delivered fully. That's what it feels like. You hear it but you don't feel it. You feel something else instead of what they just said. Even if they are looking at you right in your eye—especially if they are looking at you right in your eyes, lol, if it feels a little weird then there is something there other than what is being said. Some kind of incongruence.

I am thinking of this because it has presented a big lesson for me over the last few weeks. My assistant recently quit. This isn't the first time this has happened. From what I hear I am not the easiest person to work for. I have heard eccentric. I have heard just downright crazy. Some last for a week. Some last for a year or two. But normally when they leave, it is very clean. They sit down. We have a talk. They explain that they have to move on, or whatever, maybe shed a few tears and they give their two weeks notice and then over the next couple of weeks we sew everything up and find someone else and then usually the old one teaches the new one the ropes for a while and then moves on. Maybe they’ll call a few times a week to make sure everything is going smooth and be available for the new one to ask questions etc. That's the way it normally goes in the world. But this wasn't like that. She didn't quit as much as just disappeared one day. One day she just left and didn't come back. No call. No letter. No resignation. Just gone.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Being in the play, learning acting has done something to me/for me. Has opened me up in a way I had always wanted. On Saturday we played Churchill's hideaway in Miami. This place is a total dive but one of the few places left to play in the entire city for a rock band performing live music. Churchill's was the first club I ever played in my whole life many years ago with broken spectacles. We were 18 years old. Green little kids so eager to just be on stage. We would play three sets a night! for hours and hours. For little crowds of all of our friends. And we would drink on stage and be so drunk by the time we got off that we couldn’t even see straight. Back then I couldn’t even tune my guitars. Dave or Matt would do it for me. I didn't know how to get good tone from my amp and didn't know what good tone was. I couldn’t play the guitar to save my life. but we had fun. So it was great to be back there, where it all started. So many years ago.

Saturday night we—the transcendence—played the best show of our careers at Churchill's as a band. at least I did. I cannot help but feel that it has something to do with this acting thing and the subtle influence these crazy people have had on me. I felt so open and free and inspired and happy to be there on stage with my boys singing and playing. Throughout our concert people would walk out of the room, others would come in. It was late, past 1am. Normally I would obsess on that during our shows. Oh my God, why are they leaving? Don't they like us? are we too loud? Are we not loud enough? Are we not hard enough? Are we too hard? Do my vocals suck that bad? Do we not look cool enough? Something clicked on in me over the last few weeks. I decided to stop worrying. I don't know why. I just made a conscious decision to stop. Instead of focusing on the people who were leaving, I focused instead on the smiling faces who were singing along to every word and clapping and looking like they were having so much fun. I focused on the people dancing and jumping up and down. I focused on the great songs we were singing and how much I loved them and how much I loved being in this band with these guys who are so good and so talented and who give up so much of their lives to be up there with me playing. I would look over at the Piano Man or Vancouver and they would just be rocking it out so hard and sincere and I felt inspired and happy to be me. at one point after the show was over we got our money for the night. a total of fifty four dollars to split between 5 guys. Do the math. I was exhausted and still had to get my equipment off of the stage. i spoke to the God I keep in my head like many of us do, ‘God this sucks. I can’t believe I am still doing this. I have to load my own equipment. I am here in this grungy old bar in the worst part of town and I just spent hundreds of dollars to do this by the time I get done paying the guys and transportation etc. God I am just going to quit if you don't help me out here right now! I am tired and frustrated by this.’ and God said, ‘you can quit if you want to. It's totally up to you. You’ve quit before. Do you remember what it was like? You weren't very happy when you quit making music last time. do you remember? It's up to you. you'll come back though.’ So in that moment, I realized that he/she/it was right. I just enjoyed the hell out of that experience. So was it worth it? yes it was. We sang love is you and the people in the audience sang along with us. We sang oh you pretty things by David Bowie and it felt so great. This was a good show. I cannot wait till our next one.

Current Spin: Franco Batiato, Café Paix. Great contemporary Italian singer/visionary.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Another rehearsal tonight for the play. We are having so much fun in this. There are only seven of us in the play. Every night before we start to rehearse we do all these really fun exercises to warm up. this builds a certain camaraderie between us so we feel like one. and then we get into it. I am so impressed by all of them. they are so warm and open and friendly and willing to be vulnerable. Totally different vibe than the musicians set. No chip on their shoulder and very little attitude. Sure they are a little moody but it's pretty stressful to suck yourself into some character that isn't you and really try to be that. You're totally putting yourself on the line. I have just been in awe of them since we started working together.

The director is named Nikki. She is a total pro. Only 27 years old. So impressive. They really take it seriously. If bands took their work as seriously as actors and theatre people do, instead of sitting around smoking pot and talking all the time, they would be a lot more successful. I have learned a lot from these theatre people. they are very serious about their craft.

Current Spin: Midnight Oil, 20,000 watt RSL. 

Friday, November 08, 2002

An email from a friend: this topic is everywhere these days, for good reason,
“Is it legal (as far as copyright laws go) to burn CDs at home and distribute to your friends as gifts? An item on Haley's Christmas list is a CD burner; she wants to make CDs for her favorite music and give it to her friends as gifts ... I am not sure but think gifting is OK but
selling these type of CDs may be illegal - thought you could shed some light ..... “

O.k. literally it is not legal unless they are for yourself only because then those other people will not have to buy the cds for themselves, so the artists lose money and concert tickets go up even higher because it is the only way that we can make our money now. But some people argue that if people like the CD they will go buy it anyway to get the artwork etc, so I don't know the answer for you. I personally don't even like burned cds for myself because you don't get the real thing—you don't get the true artist’s vision---and half the time they don't even work, but a lot of people her age do like them cause they don't have much money, so I kind of think it is the wave of the future unfortunately. So we will see. I think it is inevitable that, A, people will keep doing it, and that B, we will start adding royalties to CD burners and blank CDs to pay the artists that are creating the content that warrants their existence in the marketplace in the first place, and  la princessa , that if it does continue, that concert tickets will continue to go up because musical artists will have no other way to support themselves or their families except from live appearances as more and more unique ways of obtaining recorded music for free become available to the consumer.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Absolutely beautiful day today. it finally got below 80 degrees in Miami, a miracle perhaps… today I went to pick up an Italian suit I had had custom made at Zegna, one of the top three Italian suit makers in the world today (Brioni, Armani, Cannalli, Zegna). That's what they tell me anyway.  This was my first time doing this. They take your measurements and help you choose the fabric and the style of the suit and they send it off to Italy where they make this handmade suit for you. And then it comes back a month later. Very nice. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in a way. What a joy. I like it so much I have decided to wear this suit for our concert at of all places Churchill's Hideaway on Saturday night. That will be very funny and stupid, but I will do it anyway. In fact I just may wear this suit everyday for the next few months no matter where I go.

In the studio again all day today to finish up my guitars. We finished. Now it's time for Vancouver to do his guitars, then piano man’s keyboards, lead vocals, background vocals, handclaps, percussion and various other little things here and there, and then were done. The tracks sound great. I hope we can finish it fast enough so by the time it comes out we still like what we made. maybe by January, we can be done.