Saturday, September 28, 2002
Fred (producer) just called. Wants Infinito to come in and redo all the rest of the drum tracks now for the new album. Now that we re-did six of them, the other six songs aren't as good, he feels. He is really dedicated to making this a great record. I was in the shower when he called. I was screaming over the water noise, ‘Fred you are kick ass man! Do you know that?!” he laughs and says, “I just like good music.” That's why he got the job and the money. Poor Infinito. Just when he thinks he is done, he gets called back again. But I think he is as dedicated to making it the best thing he has ever done as everyone else is. We all are. Vancouver says ‘why try to polish a turd? Let’s just do them all over.’
Sometimes you have to make a choice between what looks right and what feels right. Sometimes it’s not easy to do. But most of the time I try to go for what feels right. When I don’t I feel sick inside. Even though things might look perfectly fine from the outside. But now I have learned to just follow the way I feel.
Walking around South Beach with a superman cape all day.
Current Spin: Ambient Electronica on Internet radio—spinner.com.
Friday, September 27, 2002
Stuff got stolen from my car today. Must have not locked it. An old leather bag, Cleopatra bought in France fifteen years ago, and gave to me when we first met. It meant so much to me. Inside of it were about sixty of my favorite CDs that I cart to the studio everyday for inspiration. Nabukazu, Radiohead, Fatboy Slim, Sparklehorse, Foo Fighters. Meditated on it. Felt the sadness and let it slip away. A voice said, "You got caught in their karma. Don't let it get to you. Let it go." So I did.
Miami is now ranked as the poorest city of its size in America. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Just drive around. You can’t go anywhere without driving through blocks and blocks of utter hopelessness, abandoned buildings, closed businesses, and projects. Bums and beggars on every corner. I thought maybe it was just me. Maybe cause I just moved here I was just making more out of it than it was. I thought I just had to get used to it. Which I guess I do.
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Fred called us in to the studio again to redo drum tracks from six of the songs from new album. He feels drums could be a lot better, stronger, tighter, more cohesive. He is working hard for the record. Everyone is. I still can’t sing. Voice is completely gone now. somewhere between the old method of belting it out from the chest and the throat, and this new Bel Canto method of letting it come from the third eye and reverberate in the brain, so to speak. Lost as a singer right now. It’s like being castrated but worse even. Never knew I was so dependent emotionally on having a voice till I lost it. Walk around in a frightened daze most of the time, afraid to even speak or even hum for fear of making it worse. If I can’t sing, who am I? It's one of those things you just take for granted.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Intensely studying Italian and Italy now to prepare for this trip. Listening to it 24/7, studying the grammar, pronunciation and rules. Studying the maps and the history and the politics. I've been through this drill before. With Portuguese and then with Spanish. So I have a system that works well I think. You attack the language and the culture and the country and the music and literature voraciously all at the same time. You immerse yourself in it for a year or so, go to school here; take eighty or so hours in the language in your home country first. Buy all the famous albums from the last fifty years or so. And then you go there and live and go to school and just soak it in.
O.k. great. So then I'm doing this. I'm standing on this log out in the middle of Biscayne Bay with this Italian book in my hand screaming Italian out into the deep blue sea trying to memorize all the different words and then I had this thought/realization. As morbid as it seems, I just kind of looked at myself from a far, like at the big picture of it, at how much time I spend and have spent learning and soaking all this stuff in and then you think….. For what?
[Benjamin Franklin learned to speak four foreign languages—I think he was my archetype when I was really little I had had heard about him and just really related to him in that way. If you're going to be a brainiac or a renaissance man, and by all means there is certainly no rule that says that you should be, you need to learn at least five languages, be good in music, invent a few things, be an accomplished writer, or man of letters at the least—these days one can assume just a decent man of emails would suffice, be a successful entrepreneur, and of course be quite the ladies man as long as you can before you settle down. Of course Da Vinci and Michelangelo and Plato and Socrates were homosexual, so perhaps you don't necessarily have to be a ladies man... I think old Ben had one up on the other fellows in this department.]
But I mean in the bigger picture what is it all for? I mean once we’re dead we’re dead. Why go through all this trouble? To always be learning all this stuff? It feels so productive. But then I started thinking about it and it's not like I'm building anything or creating anything really. I'm just shoving stuff into my own head. I think it would be different if I was building homes for the homeless like Jimmy Carter or trying to stop rainforest destruction like sting or something. But really I'm just trying to get more knowledge… man what a twisted sick realization.
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Show at Senor Frogs last night. As always at this venue, sound sucked. Infinito got into a fight with the soundman because he wouldn’t mic his toms or snare drum and then he conveniently found a way to mic the next band’s. Told him next time we take the guy out.
I think I am stuck between two identities. Can’t quite get into one completely. One wants to rock, fuck, scream and spit.
The other wants to be Caetano Veloso or Peter Gabriel and put on a big multi-media show, bossa nova and all. Fans come to the show expecting to hear that type of planet-music style songs from the Rise and Shine album, like we used to do, and we are already on to the new heavier rock tunes from new album we are recording (not even out yet). They don't even know the songs. Getting lots of emails from fans asking why we’re not playing songs they know from our album. Sorry about that guys. Better luck next time is the only one left that still gets played.
Monday, September 23, 2002
Deliberately stayed in bed late today. I just refused to get up. Tossed and turned for hours. Drifting in and out of semi-sleep for hours. Trying to relax for the show tonight. Meditate on everything I wanted for the day and for the week. I haven't done that for a long time. Band sounded amazing yesterday in rehearsal. Everyone walked away all smiles and high fives. One of those sexual dreams this morning where you look at the person for the next few days and you can’t help but look at them funny. I look down at my assistant who is lying on a bed (?) and she says do you want to work or do you want to make love. And I bend over her and say well can you get another job because I've already been there. and she says you know I love my job. So I say, o.k. well lets work. But you know now I won't be looking at her in the eyes for like three days. We’ll be working together and I'll just look down at the ground all day. Funny.
I don't know if as a man you ever let go of this strong sexual attraction you have towards women. It's not like it's any kind of woman in particular. It's just women in general. It could be the waitress or your best friends mom or any girl you see on the street. You just kind of lust after every girl you see. You try to explain it to girls and they think you are joking or exaggerating. They just have no clue how serious we are. It's not like you want to necessarily make it with every girl you see, maybe just every other one. and that doesn’t mean that you don't love your wife or your girlfriend or whatever, because you do. It's two totally separate things. You’ve got that love going there and that loyalty and commitment and all and then at the same time you also have this inner drive to just make it with every girl you can. Wild.
I've been pretty good at taming it over the last few years. Especially when I was in a serious relationship. It's just that sometimes I ask myself well why tame it? you get that strong sexual desire coming up inside of you so strong sometimes that it feels like you are going to go crazy. You almost start to feel violent. Sometimes when I was in a serious relationship I would feel trapped. Almost like a caged animal. So then I started feeling like it was kind of unnatural to try to calm it all the time. I mean why not just go for it. Just go crazy for a while. I mean just go totally crazy with it. give in to the beast and ride it hard into the great night. Going for every last fantasy whim and desire you have ever had. So I tried it for a while. In the last year I think I was with about 27 girls. I didn't make it with all of them. A lot of them I just dated and whatever goes along with that. but I did whatever I wanted to. Fulfilled a lot of fantasies. Took it to the limit. And what I noticed is that you can do it, but it's not the easiest thing to make love with someone if you don't have a relationship with them. You can do it. but it doesn’t necessarily come easy or natural. When that love vibe is not in the air you can have a tough time making it happen if you know what I mean. Don't get me wrong. You can do it. but it's not like fireworks are going off.
Where as if you do have those fireworks going off, and you have that butterfly feeling inside your chest and your stomach then it really makes a difference. It doesn’t necessarily take away from the excitement of some of those fantasies when you don't know the person or whatever, but I think that having that with someone that you have a real bond with, a relationship with, your dream lover, your soulmate… that really makes a difference. It really makes all the difference in the world. I think that if the leaders of the world the kings and queens and bush’s and Hussein’s and Sharon’s made love more often, then the world would be a much more peaceful place. Last year bush and his wife and this is funny but really kind of sad too, had all the sex parts of all the movies they show on air-force one, the presidential jet so he and his wife wouldn’t see any sex scenes in any of the Hollywood movies. Now you wonder why this guy is so gung-ho to go to war. I mean he really just needs to let loose a little. You know, I respect him so much for what he is going through so I'm not going to go off on him but man, that's pretty scary. I'm not saying he should be doing 21 year old interns in the oval office, (but can you imagine? I mean God bless bill, really from all of us, for every man who has ever lived, you look back on that now and wow… ) There’s a fine line obviously. If sex is the whole trip that can get pretty boring, but when you’re just enjoying it as part of the over all big picture, then that's the balanced diet that’ll keep you fit and trim and happy healthy wealthy and wise.
Current Spin: best of Sugarhill Records. A hip hop you don't stop a rockin….. Lou Reed, Metal Machine Music, nothing better to wake up to.
Sunday, September 22, 2002
In the studio cutting guitars. Then the Zach Zischin CD release party at c -roc. C -roc is the place for what's happening in art and music right now. I don't know if there is anything else like it in anywhere. Enzu and the rest of the crew there are visionaries. Art for arts sake… can you imagine? Huge space. Come do what you want. They’ll support it. Help foster it, and promote it. They do it in spite of themselves. Then Pop-life. One of the coolest scenes.
Current Spin: Guns and fucking Roses, Use Your Illusion I.
Friday, September 20, 2002
Band rehearsal today. Getting great tones out of this line 6 vetta amp. Slowly but surely. Infinito says he doesn’t want to redo all his drum tracks. Band agreed. Were moving on. Bas says we should charge admission to our rehearsals because they are so much better there than at our shows lately. Thanks. We have to get it more consistent.
Felt relief for the first time in weeks tonight. Can’t say why yet. Driving down 195 a 110 mph with the top open, smoking a cigar and listening to Lou Reed, Sing Street Hassle. Looking at the beautiful sights of Miami Beach and the skyline of Miami. O.K. so maybe Miami is the poorest city in America. It's still one of the prettiest.
Current Spin: Lou Reed, Street Hassle. The best song ever written? Maybe. That and the entire Born to Run Album.
Thursday, September 19, 2002
Sometimes girls will tell you that you can sleep together and you can just be friends afterwards. That they won't go psycho, it's platonic and nothing more. Think Samantha on sex in the city. That's the dream. Guys can do that. I don't know how or why but we can. Girls seem to have a problem with it even if they say everything is cool. Then they show up at your house at three in the morning. And you start worrying that you're going to find your cat boiling on the stove.
Sitting typing on my laptop, “do you ever enjoy the day?” she's says. So do you ever go outside and just appreciate it or do you always have to be doing something?’ just because I like to work, get things done. You know. That's funny. Yea I enjoy the day. Just because I'm sitting here writing doesn’t mean I am not enjoying the day.
Weird things now. Francis and la Princesa and G2 all saying the same thing after the show last week. In different ways. Don't worry so much. Don't try so hard. Don't be so concerned if your voice cracks or if the band plays well or if you make a huge success or about trying to change the world. I think that from this point on I will do that. I'm tired. Man am I tired. I am tired of working so hard. I am tired of worrying about every little thing with the band and the music and my career. But the fact is that I love making music. I love singing and performing and recording. I really love recording albums. Creating something from nothing. You know, albums, good ones, can be like movies, like big paintings. Little worlds. This last year since the release of rise and shine has been very exciting but very traumatic as well. Rise and shine has been out for about nine months now and we get CD reviews from strangers and emails and letters from all over the world. That's a good thing. It's just taken me some time to adjust to it, to get used to turning off. For the majority of my career I had to get used to being ignored. Since rise and shine I have had to get used to all the attention and all the opinions that come with all the attention. The major record labels, the few we have approached have been so totally idiotic about the album that it is no wonder that current albums are not these magnificent magnum opuses that they used to be in the seventies and sixties (except for a few by Radiohead, u2 and sigur ross).
Monday, September 16, 2002
Queenie always used to make fun of me for being too much of a girl. She opens my drawers and sees a lot of hair care products and makeup and that makes me a girl. Which to her is weird… Which is funny because that is what other girls always say they like about men who are feminine. So I knew she wasn't the one. She would always say that I am a lesbian in a man’s body because I am really a girl but I like girls so I am just trapped. That's funny. She has no problem saying that now as a friend but as a girlfriend she hated that about me. But I always liked it. I like who I am. I feel very balanced as a human. Complete. Whole.
In Brasil whenever you mention Caetano someone will always mention that they “think” that he is gay, even though he has a wife and four kids. They whisper it. That is their big ‘secret’ about Caetano the secret that everyone knows. They think that because he is so feminine that he is gay. Which he isn't. He has just transcended to the point of not being too male or too female. I mean that’s the appeal of a Caetano. Or a Pavarotti. Or a Davinci. And you know even if he was gay, what would be wrong with that? Man I am so sick of this thing people have against being gay. You don't really notice it in New York or Miami. We take gay people for granted in those cities because there are so many of them, San Fran, Atlanta, etc, but in most other towns people always use the idea that someone is gay as a bad thing, like “he's such a good singer, but he is so gay…” like there is a “but” to it.
There is no “but” to it. He’s a good singer. They did the same thing with Ricky Martin two years ago. What does he being gay have to do with it? I remember talking to my dad when I was like 21 for the first time in over ten years. He said he didn't approve of a lot of things about my profession, the drug use, and the people being gay. I asked him why, and he rambled on something about God and the bible and then something about being gay is counter productive to our instinct to pro-create to further our species…’ perhaps he just doesn’t give God enough credit, perhaps he has a bigger picture in mind. Perhaps she/he/it/ we know exactly what we are doing and that is why so many people are turning up gay right now. Anyone ever heard of population worries? Perhaps our species has a collective unconscious knowing of exactly what to do and we are just too near sighted to spot it. Just a hunch. I think Americans need to just give in to it.
The fact that this country elected a president that is not pro gay rights and gay marriage is really really terrifying. Who are these people voting anyway? Where do they live? You think you live in one world and then you read things like George W. Bush doesn’t approve of gay marriage and gay partner rights and it can really rock your world. It's hard to imagine people are still stuck back there in their thinking. As if same sex partner rights has anything to do with politics in the first place. O.k. so where am I? Rambling.
Back when we were in high school and even today a lot of guys suffer from this looksism disease, similar to their sexism and chauvinism and racism. Guys with long hair with earrings with makeup or overly expressive are labeled as queer, as fags, as freaks. I told this guy the other night who was coming off all tough and macho and trying to defend some non existent ‘normalcy code’, the ‘all American thing’ that he should mellow out. That if he enjoys music and movies and art that some of the freakiest people roaming around the planet usually are the ones who came up with it. That is the nature of the artist. “You like music? Well then you could be making fun of your next favorite singer and not even know it. Ozzie wears makeup. So why don't you cool it.” We high-fived, said a couple of ‘dudes’ and he was cool after that.
Current Spin: Coldplay new one. Still digging it.
Last Movie: Seeking Asylum with Roberto Begnini.
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Goddess nightclub on South beach for the fetish factory party. Fetish parties are awesome. People are dressed totally crazy. Leather and latex and naked. People being whipped. We walk upstairs and there is this guy lying on the couch naked stroking himself with his head in some girl’s lap. A few feet away there was this girl sitting on this guys lap with her skirt up just riding him in front of everybody. The music pounding. Techno, gothic, 80’s retro.
Everyone is relaxed and looking good and just going off. Taking it to the extreme. Had a few drinks went to the dance floor to let loose with the freaks. Guys dressed up in diapers and sucking pacifiers. Black leather bikinis. Chicks bent over leather benches getting whipped in front of everyone. Just totally getting off. By 3:30 we were in this upstairs back room, dark, lost, hidden away from the rest of humanity. I sat slouched on a long couch drinking my drink and occasionally taking notes. Next to me a man had his hand up his girls skirt and was getting her off. Her leg was rubbing up against mine as she writhed in ecstasy. A naked man was walking around with a blanket over his shoulder, rubbing up against people. A guy and girl were on the other side of me rubbing on each other. Some faceless ass was bent over a table while a masked man dressed in a beautiful black leather corset poured hot wax over her as she writhed around ecstatically. While the music pumped and the people zombied around us, dancing away the week’s horrors and stresses. I felt my own calm euphoria from being there, observing it all. I soaked it in. Just laid there half awake half drunk, content to spend the rest of the night with these strangers lying on this strange couch.
Friday, September 13, 2002
We played the worst show of our careers last night on one of the biggest stages of our careers. A lot of people said it was good and that they liked it, which is really funny, because all we know is that we really sucked. We went backstage and hid for a while and then I ducked out fast and went and walked around South Beach by myself for a while. I just got home. Sat out in the back porch with my cat and smoked a cigar and just thought for a while. Not really thinking as much as watching my mind race from one thought to another. Bas saying it was the worst he ever heard us. the Ferret saying that it sounded like a big chunk of our music was ripped out.
My voice cracking the whole time. Totally confused on how to sing now. When before lessons I just sang, never thought about it. We didn't put anything into our monitors so we couldn’t really hear ourselves at all on stage. Really bad. Francis saying that I need to loosen up more and don't worry so much about the social and political conscious stuff and just run with the animal in me. la Princesa saying that we just need to learn from the show, know what we did wrong so we know what we have to do right. That we didn't even belong there anyway, that we must rise up to where we belong and take ourselves more seriously. Well that was nice to say and you can always count on friends for that. our fans were great last night as always—a lot of pats on the back and hoots and hollers and calls till all hours saying how great it was, but we knew, I know, that we didn't play even close to what we normally do.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Woke up early today. Tons of planes flying over head. Knowing what day it was, I jumped up and rushed to the television to see if there were any attacks. So far so good. Just a lot of sadness. today is a sad day. Everyone is sad. People are emailing saying they are sad. I am thinking about when I went to ground zero last year. I still cant fathom the loss that I saw and felt. All those lives cut off so suddenly. And then I started reflecting on all the innocent lives that are lost everyday in wars and terrorist attacks like this one all over the world. I mean so many of us die everyday from things like this. I forget about being American for a moment and just look at the human condition.
With all of us still fighting all the time. Humans killing each other all over the world still. Most of it due to people just being greedy, unfair, deceptive. Not wanting to be real with themselves and with others. Well if I can’t have my way I'll just kill you. really immature stuff. and the people of most countries accept it because they feel like they don't have a choice. Their governments have the army. What are we the people really going to do? In America we the people started protesting the war in Vietnam in 1965. Vehemently and passionately they resisted and protested that war. and the government kept us in that war for another seven years after that or more. I know we lost a lot of lives on September 11th. I hope we don't lose any more in any more wars because of it. We can have peace on the earth, but people are really going to have to change their view of what peace means. Peace doesn’t mean bombing Iraq. And it doesn’t mean bombing Palestine. And it doesn’t mean retaliation or revenge or vengeance or an eye for an eye or any of that other old-human type of thinking. That is not peace.
It means being smarter than the rest, creating peaceful solutions. I'm not saying I know what to do. I'm a singer. I don't know shit. But I know that I don't want to spend the rest of my life reading about people dying all the time. My grandfather fought in Korea. My dad fought in Vietnam. He came home fucked up. He is still fucked up. He sleeps with a loaded gun on his nightstand and another one on his reading table in his living room. That's what war does to a twenty-one year old kid who is now a fifty something year old man. I cannot wait to have kids. I think about it all the time. but I worry about having kids here now. it's always been like this. we have always killed each other. and certainly it is getting better and better all around the world every year. I wonder how much better we can create it? I wonder if one day in our near future we will look at war and the death penalty like we now look at silent movies or gas lamp street lights or horse drawn carriages? I bet it can happen!
Current Spin: David Bowie, Heathen—Bowie’s best album since lets dance! It's what Bowie fans have waited for for a long time. Finally!
Sunday, September 08, 2002
Walking around the Gables today. Running errands. I stopped for some lunch and opened up this book on the history of Italy to read while I ate. I read about how many times Italy has been taken over by different countries and tribes in its tumultuous history. How it has been loved and adored by people all over the world for thousands of years. I never thought about that before. When you think of Italy you think of it's accomplishments. Some would argue that Italy is the beginning and the end of civilization, of culture. EM Forster called it “the University of Art itself.” You think of the Roman Empire, of architecture, painting, sculpture, music and opera, romance, and of course fashion. And then you study the history and you see this country being taken over by some new invader or old enemy every fifty years or so. For thousands of years. You just don't think about it like that.
Reading that, seeing it right there on a timeline in front of my eyes really made me realize how precarious of a position we are in as a country ourselves here in America. I mean we have only been a country for two hundred years, a drop in the bucket compared to Rome, and we have only been the world super power for less than a hundred years. Today when I saw this history of Italy, I really was taken aback by our arrogance and ignorance as a country, perhaps not us as much as our elected leaders and their inability to see the potential danger ahead of us if we don't stop meddling in all these other countries business all the time. It happened to Rome and they were it. They were the biggest super power in the entire world. No one could touch them. Same thing with the Ottoman Empire and the French army underneath Napoleon and countless others throughout history. And all these little countries and armies just run around doing whatever they want thinking nothing is ever going to happen to them, and then eventually someone bigger stronger smarter comes along and just knocks them down.
Our generation just takes it all for granted. I mean we did until September 11th. Now who knows what to believe? After September 11th this professor at Evergreen State College, Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D. wrote a paper called Shocked and Horrified. We posted it to the intelligence archives on our site. It detailed how over the last fifty years the United States has been responsible for the deaths of over 8,000,000 people from some thirty different countries in various terrorist attacks of our own. Countries like Panama, Chile, el Salvador, South Africa, and of course Iraq. Now of course our government doesn’t call them terrorist attacks. We always have a ‘valid reason’ for the invasion and the casualties. It is always in the name of democracy or freedom.
Attended a Rosh Hashanah lunch today with Gina’s family. Her father is the famous tenor from Mexico, Isaac Salinas. They are Cuban and Mexican, but their religion is Jewish. We had been wanting to meet for a long time. It was very nice to be in the same room together with him. I have all his CD’s. It was an honor. The ceremony was brief but moving. The food was good. The company was wonderful. Very artistic family. They know everything about art, cooking, opera. It was very enjoyable. Reminded me of my own family when my grandparents were alive, the kind of family I want to have when I have one, loving, artistic, joyful, spiritual. When my sudden loss of voice came up in the conversation, it turned out I was seated next to a prominent vocal teacher by the name of Dr. Miriam Armon. She has taught all over the world, Milan, Kiev, Budapest, Israel, and now here in America. She gives master classes at Lynn University and at the Florida Grand Opera. I told her I quit smoking cigars, quit caffeine, quit vitamins, quit steam rooms, even quit eating and fasted for ten days to get my voice back. And still nothing. I'm fucked. She said it isn't anything I am taking or doing, but the way I have been taught the last six months. She said she can have my voice back up in a month. But I shouldn’t sing at all until she works with me for about two months. I laughed. Told her I had too many shows booked already. She yelled at me. Wanted to hit me. Said I was stupid for not taking it seriously. She speaks of the voice like it is the greatest gift. Very religious this one. Dramatic. Very strong personality. I will meet with her this week to see what she can do.
A few more CD reviews popped up in the press. This time they weren't all good. Bas has always told me to never read them. And if I do, never take them seriously. When we get good reviews we all get so excited every one walks around with a big smile on their face. But when a bad one comes in, sometimes it can sting a bit. Often times you just laugh. But sometimes they write with such venom as if you killed someone in their family or something like that, they just absolutely despise you just for this album you made. And yea in a way that is funny, and of course it’s better than being ignored. After I read this one review I had to get up and jump around a little bit, shake it off. What a thing to wake up to. I thought about it a little, kind of went deep into it in my own mind, and I just felt like man, you know, I really like what we did there on the record. I mean, good or bad reviews, Bas is right. What's really important is how we feel about it, and I still really like that album. regardless of what people say about it, I can measure my life by before and after we made that work, because it did make that kind of an impact on me. I think that for an artist that is what is important, just to keep going regardless of what is popular or if what you are doing is vibing with the current mainstream or anyone for that matter. The important thing is to just keep creating your art. Especially if you are getting off on it as an artist. I mean if it is feeding you, then you just keep doing it. On fire.
Last movie: La Vitta e’ Bella (Life is Beautiful). Watched it again. One of all time favorites. Also, Roxy Music and T. Rex live in the early seventies at Music Laden Club in Germany. Classic Roxy Music!
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
Last night Cleo had her baby. About 11PM. I was driving home, I-95. She hasn’t felt like it is a good idea to introduce me and the white knight yet. We don't even acknowledge our friendship to him yet. So I didn't go to the hospital. I drove fast down i-95. I thought of the fate of this, the irony of it. I thought of me driving down this lonely stretch of highway alone, and her in this hospital room a few minutes away screaming and in pain, having a baby, and we have just spent the majority of our twenties together, thinking that was going to be us in there some day.
When I would see a car stranded on the side of the highway, part of me fantasized about turning the wheel slightly and slamming into it, just smashing things up a bit. Would I die in the crash? Could I? Would it all be over? I put both hands on the wheel. Turned up the music. Drove faster. Smiled. The mind is a big thing. Lots of thoughts. Not all of them we have to take seriously. Cleo is happy. I was happy for Cleo. I wasn't sad, just dealing with a strange feeling, a big life changing event feeling. This was Cleo’s life changing event, not mine. “I'm still waiting…for my super hero girl.”
Tonight we are going into the studio to cut a track for the anniversary of September 11th, which we will release that day to the fans only via email. We are going to try to cut the whole song in a day.
Current Spin: Kid Rock, Cocky. I love this album.
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Our record company has run out of money to produce the new album we are working on. People say the economy is bouncing back. I don't know if many have really experienced that yet. Fred, the engineer and producer, has offered to cut us a deal on the album, help fund it at a flat rate. A "no counting hours" rate, because he believes in it so much. He told us that he feels it could be the best album he has ever produced. So that felt good for us. But we still are coming up short with the money. Today I started selling stocks and other investments to fund the new album. Before this album is finished I will have emptied my retirement accounts. It is a big day, a momentous day, a grand day, a day to remember. I haven't been a struggling artist in a long time. I am one of the lucky ones. But I believe in this new album of ours. So I am willing to take the risk that later in life there’s not going to be any money sitting waiting. I worked hard to save that money. Now were working hard to spend it. Today is the day where I had to lay it on the line and look myself in the eye and ask, you really want to do this? Are you a man? Are you an idiot? Do you know what you are doing?
Current Spin: Trick Daddy, Thugs are Us. Dig it. Take it to da house.
Monday, September 02, 2002
Went to pick up a bunch of books on Italy and Italian for a trip to Florence in September. I want to spend a couple of weeks there at a school learning about Italy and studying the language before the band tours. For a while I couldn’t figure out which one I wanted to do next, French or Italian, but then while I was in Costa Rica I saw the Italian channel Rai on TV. And that pretty much made up my mind. I watched it every night before bed. Hired a company to research my genealogy, tracing back my roots. Go to ellisislandrecords.org and you can see the ship’s manifest with all of your relatives’ names and home towns on their first trip over here. I am going to go to the towns where my family came from in Italy. The language is beautiful, the women are beautiful. The culture, the art, and the music are the beginning and ending of modern civilization.
Spent all day on South Beach today. A juice and smoothie bar inside of the Polo Sport store, a Mexican mariachi band outside of Senor Frogs, big guitars, big hats, horns and all. Beautiful girls and boys everywhere. People on roller blades and scooters. The beach, the sun, the fashion, the cars, Ahhhh, Miami. I love it. If Miami could discover rock and roll, if we could inject some rock and roll into Miami, it would be paradise. No matter where you go on South beach, club, bar, clothing store, every one is playing the same music, the same fucking song almost, it's either hip hop, house or techno. It's as if they get hypnotized there and they think that it's the only music being made right now. as if just by the mere act of playing it they will be cool, as if being cool means being like every one else. I have never really seen a city with people so unwilling to go against the norm. It's almost like there is a dress code there, like a private school. This is the ugly kid sister to the goddess that is South beach. Every girl thinks she has to wear faded low cut hip hugger jeans and last year’s J Lo sun glasses and they’ll be cool. Every guy thinks he has to wear sandals and sleeveless t-shirts and he’ll be cool. And everybody has to listen to that music. Today in a shop a guy asked if I was going to wear these pants I was buying with a sleeveless t-shirt. I just looked at him, gave him the old ‘whachyou talking bout Willis?’ People think Miami is culturally diverse. But still, it's a very exciting place to call home. If I do ever put on one of those fucking sleeveless t-shirts, I hope the boys in the band shoot me before I leave the house.
Sunday, September 01, 2002
On the bright side, we went to see the movie Full Frontal tonight. Great great movie. Different, unique, fresh, Deep. Art created by an artist. Indie films have really upped the ante now in the movie world. Music is going through the same revolution now. It’s just that the music biz doesn’t know it yet—or maybe they do but they just don't want to admit it to anyone.
On the darker side, taped the video music awards a few days ago and had a chance to fast forward through it tonight. Look at what happened to TLC—they tried to honor them at the awards show—the same fucking record company who raped them and robbed from them—they talked about their millions of records they sold and awards they won and two years ago they filed for bankruptcy and sued their record company. Now that Lisa is dead they are trying to pretend like everything is alright. But what happened to those girls is a symptom of how insidious a lot of the biz is right now and has been since it's inception. The brave ones bail out on their own like Prince and Aimee Mann. But most of them stay in, even if they have to file for bankruptcy, or sing insipid crap like Hey Baby like No Doubt did. Poor schmuks. They may have gained some more twelve-year-old fans, but they lost their street cred with every righteous music lover in America overnight. I hope it was worth it.