Wednesday, March 31, 2004

In the news, the Iraqi people are attacking us everyday now. Just like they said they would. Lots of bad news in the last few weeks for our troops over there. everyday one American or more dies. Years from now when we are twisting the story to our own advantage as we brainwash our children in our public and private schools we will tell them that this is the price we had to pay in order to “insure stability” in the middle east and in order to “fight terrorism.” As much as I agree with the first argument, I am still unsure as to how we will talk children into understanding how attacking a country that didn't attack us first helped us “fight terrorism” rather than create more retaliation terrorism like 9/11, but I would guess that we will find a way.

We knew this would happen. I mean, they warned us. They told us that they wouldn’t fight us in the regular way because they didn't even have a regular army anymore. The dark forces in the black house told us they had weapons of mass destruction. But we all watched and soon learned that they didn't even have regular normal everyday weapons left anymore. They didn't even fight back. Didn’t anyone notice when el diablo ‘declared victory’ that there wasn't much of a fight? Not much of a victory since its just getting worse instead of better.

So now we are seeing what they meant when they warned that we would die in their streets. and all that other rhetoric they threatened us with before we invaded. Their not going to fight us in the normal fashion. Never planned on it. they let us come in. And now they're just going to pick us off one by one. or ten by ten. as the case may be. and if they can they will drag our charred bodies through their streets and celebrate their own small victories.

I feel so sorry for the families of the soldiers who are over in Iraq. We all do. Its so insane. Not only because they are dying everyday now, but because the majority of the world is so against the invasion in the first place. it would be one thing if our actions were somehow justified and the whole world was rallying behind them. But this thing has slowly turned into a twisted affair that many people just don't even like to think about. You don't see all those “we support our troops” stickers and banners all over the country like we usually do when we are fighting a war. I don't think that people are against the troops. These are our fellow countrymen and our brothers and sisters over there. but I don't think that people are in support of them either. I think everyone is more or less sickened by the whole thing and just wishes it would end. I think that the majority of the people feel very deeply in their hearts that we have fallen into a very dark and dangerous hole here in America, that underneath it all are gross errors in decision and judgment, and perhaps even just out and out malevolence behind it all. we turn our faces away from it as best we can. we tune in to fake reality shows on TV to avoid the reality of it; we try to stay focused on Janet jacksons right breast or her poor brothers slow degeneration into the great abyss.

I think it has the potential to be as bad as Vietnam in a way---the way that people are going to view it in the short term here. especially if we keep at it. it seems to just keep getting worse. I don't think there is anything wrong with us pulling out, going to the UN and the rest of the civilized world and saying, “look, I think we fucked up here. we’re sorry. But we’ve destroyed the shit out of these peoples country and they're pretty fucking pissed off at us now. they're attacking us everyday and dragging our men’s bodies through the streets at this point. if you guys could come help us out a bit we’d really appreciate it. we’re really sorry. We've learned our lesson. We’ll even share the oil with you....” you may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one.  

In lighter news Minnie Driver has a new movie out. and since one day she will be my wife I figured I would give her a quick plug.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: Jazz@xxx.com [mailto:Jazz@xx.com] 
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 4:35 PM
To: fishy@transcendence.com
Subject: Re : RE: another day in paradise

Hey Fishy,

What would you like me to bring back from France? Think about it and let me
know. When's the national tour?

Jazzy

Hey Jazz,
Thanks for the offer. Please bring back a tall skinny but busty Parisian blond who speaks at least four languages, has an excellent education, wit, charm, elegance, class, intelligence, and style who will love me forever and who will bear at least four children. 
Thanks
E

In other news, today amongst the hundreds of worthless emails that arrived, one caught my attention. An obit Ducky sent me this evening. no message, just this news item that an old mate of ours from high school died in his sleep last night. he died of asthma. I didn't even know one could die from asthma. Its crazy how things happen like this. how someone's death can just show up in your inbox. One day I will be a death showing up in someone's inbox. But tonight I am still living. Lucky for me. lucky for us all that are still living. Tom made a real name for himself. So I won't go into the details. I didn't know him well in recent years. Our lives never crossed again once we left high school. Our lives are short. That's for sure. This is going by very quickly now. I have other proof of it as well; the occasional death announcement is not the only thing that appears in the inbox now and then. Lately I receive many pictures of babies. Almost daily now. someone sends over a few candid shots of their newborn. Tonight I received a few photos of Lurch’s new baby girl. As shocking as it sounds, it is true. Lurch is married. And he has a baby. Cannot go into him now. his character is ... well, it should be interesting. But that isn't the point. The point is that people are having children now. it is the nature of our ages now. and people are dying now and then. I guess that's the nature of our age as well. when we were young life seemed so large. So mammoth. So filled with possibilities. I always told myself that ‘this will never happen to me. I will transcend all of this. this pathetic and mundane world of the adults among us. I will travel. I will rock and roll till my grave. I will jet set the night away, going full throttle and I will never experience this boring silly simple life that the adults around me always seem to be struggling with...’ but no matter how much I travel and jet set and rock and roll into that good night, people are still having children, and they are still dying. And somehow, no matter how hard I try, it still has its effect on me. no matter what I do or where I go, I am reminded that I am still a part of it, that we are all at one point forced to recognize that we are growing older. One day we are sixteen, and one day you turn around and you are forced to acknowledge that no matter how wretched the thought of it is, that we are becoming ‘adults.’

We can’t help it. try as hard as we can, we still find ourselves mourning the losses of those around us and our own losses too, and celebrating the once-seemingly-mundane births of other people’s children as well as our own. I cannot help but wonder to myself, “is that all there is to life? Birth and death? Is that it? Weddings, births, and funerals? That's the big deal?

Last screening: Va savoir. A subtle little French film. I figure since I'm not learning a thing in French class, the least I can do is try to learn French from the movies. They have a certain style, the French, in their films.... don't they. Not much action. Just a lot of ironic dry talk, some kissing and men and women cheating on each other in these little love affairs. 

Friday, March 26, 2004

Turn on the TV and you see something that says ‘the NASDAQ 100 open...’ just assume its some special show on new stock IPOs  or something.... turns out its actually tennis. But it doesn’t say it’s tennis. It says NASDAQ. What the fuck happened in this country? we can’t even call tennis tennis anymore? we used to hear the term “the selling of America” a lot some time ago. we don't hear it anymore now because I guess everyone just assumes its already been sold. I have been studying economics for months now like crazy. Zeke actually got me into it. great singer songwriter but also a serious economics savant. He and his wife are selling their home to get their earned equity out now and moving into something much smaller and less money and just going to sit on cash and gold. While the rest of America is going crazy buying homes that they can’t afford or borrowing up to their asses beyond the actual value of their over-inflated homes because interest rates have been unnaturally forced down, some very wise and cautious people across the country are doing the opposite: selling, getting out of debt, stocking up on cash, and purchasing gold.

Now I know what you're thinking. crazy conspiracy theorist types. Totally out of hand. well I would have to agree except that all the people that I know who are doing this are like the smartest most up to date and knowledgeable people I know. zeke explains to me a bunch of things I don't really understand about the government printing phony money and how they are selling our dollars by the billions to China in return for treasury bonds in order to keep us from going into a total catastrophe etc... so for the last two months I have been savagely researching economics. I know. Not fun. Not my cup of tea at all. Never was. But once and for all I felt I needed to know what the fuck was going on. [Fyi: go here: www.investyourself.com and here: http://www.dailyreckoning.com/  and here: http://www.2000wave.com/gateway.htm] don't say I didn't warn you. tough stuff to read. disheartening and frightening. It turns out that its true. "2003 debt of $37 trillion was 437% of national income; the debt ratio in 1957 was 186%. If 2003 debt had been at the 1957 ratio said debt would have been $15.5 trillion, not $37 trillion - indicating excess debt in America today of $21 trillion. Stated differently, in 1957 there was $1.86 in debt for each dollar of national income, but in 2002 there was $4.14 of debt for each dollar of national income." We are currently spending 4 times more than we are earning. The only way we've managed to stay afloat is by selling our dollars to China. China owns almost more of America than America owns of America at this point.

A few years ago I put in this CD of Tony Robbins interviewing this very famous money manager and financial consultant—I don't remember his name, maybe Nesbit, but cannot be sure. This was in 2000. the interview was in 1999. he talked for two full hours about how to make money and about the coming echo generation and the baby boomers retiring and all this other stuff...and how to make money in the next few years. He then told Tony on this CD that 2004/5 would be the beginning of the worst depression in America history. Period. He explained how it would go down and why. this was the year 2000. so I told myself that I didn't have to worry about it then and I would think about it later. It scared the shit out of me. Because as I was listening to the tape about a year after he gave the interview, I listened to how he correctly predicted the stock market crashes of 2000 and then 2001. he was dead on. Now of course after the last few months of studying I am seeing everything he said would happen, happen right before our eyes. 

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Questions To Answer

Rehearsing with the boys for our new new new album. no title or concept yet. just fleshing out the songs. We are columbine, blind eye, messed it up again, Zion, song for jasmine, everything, here it comes, all of my love, and a few more. this new new new album will be the hardest sounding album I have ever made. Fred says to me, “you're starting another album? You have to be the most fucking prolific songwriter ever...” but I don't think so. I think most songwriters are this way. I've been thinking about it a lot. About what I'm going through in order to keep recording so much. I'm peaking right now. I'm in my prime as a writer and a singer and a player, so its not that I'm prolific, its just that I'm doing whatever it takes to record the songs as fast as I can and get my albums made. regardless of the costs or what it may do to me or my life or whatever. I think a lot of artists wait for things to happen before they just DO IT. I understand that concept but its never been my thing. I was thinking of the hundreds of thousands of dollars we've made over the last few years and the hundreds of thousands of dollars more that we've spent. At night sometimes it is hard to sleep. Very hard. You get kind of panicky. Laying there thinking about what the next CD is going to cost. The recording and printing and promotion and radio and pr work etc... what if we don't make it back? what if people don't like this one? oh fuck.... crazy. close your eyes. just try to sleep. Deep breath. OM. OOOOOMMMMM. Deep breath.
God?
Yes Fishy.
I need more money. To make my next album.
So do I. The Bush campaign just raised 182,000,000 dollars. That's going to be tough to beat.
You're funny. So you're a democrat?
Well I am God after all.
Oh yeah. Sorry.
Anything else Fishy? Oprah is on the other line.
O.k. yeah, real quick. How can I get more money?
Its not about the money Fishy. Its about your vision. How many times do you have to relearn that? spend more time on your vision and less time worrying about your imagined lack of money. Do you have to be poor again to realize how much money you actually have now? I can arrange that.
Oh God no. pardon that. I mean, no. definitely not.
The money will always be there. People aren't born with a vision without the means to fulfill it. yes?
O.k. yes. sorry. Just checking. I'm seriously going to try. thanks.
Now it is true that most nights I fall asleep smiling. Just really happy and excited about everything going on around us now. I am not sure really what it is, but something just feels different in me. or outside of me. I can taste something entirely different going on. In the old days I could never talk to major label A&R reps without being really nervous. I would be too scared. Too worried about what they thought or whatever. in fact because of what they did to a lot of the artists I grew up loving I actually had this kind of love hate thing with them, didn't even want to get near them or talk to them. but now things have changed so much. I talk to them now without hesitation. They call, ask about the band, ask to hear the new album or one of the older ones or whatever. and I'm just talking to them. telling it like it is. being myself, laughing. Vida calls me today to tell me that marshal from Columbia “passed.” Which actually translates to one of his interns listened to the first ten seconds of the first song on whatever CD they had and didn't like it. You can tell when that is going on because you don't really get a real response. Just something like “pass.” Or it could mean that they just got done reading about linkin park’s last CD selling 9 million units and since you don't sound like linkin park that morning they don't like it because they need to “SIGN THE NEXT LINKIN PARK NOW!!!!” [it could also mean that we just totally suck and they don't have the heart to tell us, which is actually kind of nice of them.... so you gotta respect that.] [that rep at Atlantic who told me she was desperately looking to sign the next evanescence even though she did not actually like evanescence. Who DO you like then? I ask her. I like James Taylor sooooo sooooo much, she tells me. Well then why don't you look for the next James Taylor then? I ask her.... well evanescence sold 12 million records.... she replies to me. It makes me smile when I think of it because its just such a backwards way of doing business, to follow the dollars and not your heart. it goes against everything that a good business person knows. She lost her job. Go figure.]

It's just so different than the old days when A&R reps used to be real music people. I'm sure most of them are still. the prob is that all the companies they work for now have been bought so many times by these super huge giant foreign companies that they aren't really little record labels anymore. So everyone is just running around like a chicken worrying about whether they are going to keep their job or not. it’s a slaughter lately. And that sucks because we need them. They’re our link to the biz. Without them then great music cannot really get to the people in a mainstream way.

Anyway, the point I was making is that now when I hear that Marshall didn't dig the new album, [o.k. actually that's not true. Marshal did eventually get back to our manager and it turns out that he did like it a lot, and said he was a fan of Fishy and the band but that he just didn't hear it as being commercial enough and that what he enjoys personally is different than what he has to sign for Columbia. He also said that artists shouldn’t pander to major record labels and that Fishy should just keep doing what he does and he is sure that his fanbase and his success will continue to grow. I couldn’t agree more. I respected the shit out of the man after I heard that because he was just telling like it is.] anyway where were we, yes, so rather than it bothering me or taking it personally, I find myself thinking, oh that's too bad... Marshall won't be the one who takes us to the mainstream on this one. too bad because he seems like a cool guy. it would be cool to work with him. maybe next time. o.k. so who’s next on the list? And in the meantime we are recording and playing like madmen regardless. Doing our thing and not worrying about it. You know, its just a totally different mentality.

I remember over Christmas reading this interview with Chris Martin (coldplay) where he said he just lives in a constant state of fear that any minute its all going to end and come crumbling down around him and everyone is going to start hating his music.... I thought that was funny. I was rolling around laughing. Because I have seriously spent almost my entire career as a singer/songwriter where it did seem like everyone hates my music and I just kept making it anyway because I liked it myself. So I don't have that worry at all. I always just assume everyone hates my music... LOL. I think my constant state of fear days are behind me now. Now I just focus on getting the albums recorded. Every day and every night I just think about the current album or the next album we are recording. I feel like I have been given something very precious to protect. Like a little baby or something. and its my job to protect it and take care of it and nurture it. That's how it feels. Weird. Just get the album recorded. Like a painter who just has to paint. Like Coppolla working on apocalypse now. just get it done. Doesn’t matter what anyone says. Doesn’t matter how much it is costing. Doesn’t matter how it is affecting your health or anything. Doesn’t matter that we just released an album three months ago and have another one coming out in two months. Doesn’t matter that “this isn't the way you're supposed to do it” or that “maybe you should wait for a larger label to do this like everyone else...”

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

In New York for the last four days for meetings. Tons of meetings. Spent some time looking at apartments on Sunday. You cannot believe the small quarters that people live in in New York. It is truly unbelievable if you live in any other city what people pay for a 600 square foot box. A lot of people find this very frustrating because they rent and regret every month of it. I just chose instead to process it as exciting, opting instead to purchase rather than rent even for a month. When I see these little shacks that people pay at the very least $2000 a month for I see dollar signs. You just can’t believe what people are paying for a one room apt in New York. It would never happen in any other city. So rent? Fuck no. not a chance. Buy. And if you hate it and have to move, just keep it forever and rent it out.

Being in New York this weekend I was filled with excitement and energy. Although I was plagued by constant vertigo due to the insane driving of the cab drivers. I was popping Dramamine every four hours. The cabbies are crazy. I'm talking to my mom one night about it. she says, “you know your like the tenth person who has told me that lately. It seems that everyone is getting dizzy lately due to the planetary shifts that have been happening.... [my mom is kind of lets say... new agey to say the least...] I'm like, mom I don't know about any planetary shifts but I do know that I am dizzy as hell the last few months and I can’t figure it out. Last week I was so dizzy for two days that I couldn’t get out of bed. We cancelled two shows. I'm not kidding. It's crazy. Seriously. I hope there really were planetary shifts because that would give me a reason for this insanity. There is just nothing as excruciating as being dizzy all the time.

At dinner on Friday with the president of this publishing house, I had to excuse myself right in the middle of the conversation. I seriously just tried to keep myself from throwing up all over my plate, looked the guy straight in the eye and said, “Uh, I'm really sorry, but I have to go outside and get some fresh air. I'm not sure when I'll be back...” excused myself and bolted for the door. Just walked the city streets trying to get my balance back. the cool thing is that we still got the deal. The guy ended up paying the bill, following me out, and walking with me sixty blocks back to my hotel because I refused to get into another cab. So we ended up having a really good meeting walking for two hours. He must have thought I was one crazy fuck. Luckily I'm pretty tame compared to most rock singers. [has anyone been following the antics of Courtney love as of late?]

Take everything that you love about yourself and everything that drives you crazy about other people... there in New York you will find 5 million other people who feel the same way you do... for me at least. I don't know what it is, but it is as if everyone who is friendly intelligent artistic cultured cool and intellectual just migrates there, like they have to... some inner voice tells them 'go to New York now...' and there they find a bunch of people who feel the same way as they do.

There is still a little bit of that old school New York vibe left like back in the eighties and nineties.... but it is disappearing fast unfortunately. But what it is being replaced by is a very fast-paced but somehow relaxing vortex of like-minded people from all over the world who are smart, educated, fast-moving, quick-thinking, motivated, inspired, very friendly, knowledgeable, no-bs kind of folks. Its inspiring.

The older I get the harder it is for me to live anywhere else full-time knowing that New York exists, even though it is a hard place to live: loud, concrete, very small cramped quarters, crowds everywhere... but that is the price you pay for access... access. The ultimate access.

Last screening: the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. I haven't seen a movie this brilliant in a long long time. this is his masterpiece. If there is one movie to see, this was it.

Current Spin: and in more good news, the album of the month, perhaps the year, The Grey Album. A strange underground hybrid of the Beatles white album and Jay Z’s black album. Pure awesomeness.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

On the phone today with the manager of this huge hotel up in New York that wants to play the new CD in their nightclub for a while. Calling for clearance rights etc. if they can clear it through us then they don't have to pay performance rights; and for us if one of the swankiest hotels in NYC is spinning your new CD, its good promotion. So its good business for everyone. The guy on the phone is the manager of the entire hotel. you know, probably the stuffy starched shirt type of guy I figure, who knows. so its just business as usual. But then he finds out that its actually me that he's talking to and not some agency or manager or whatever. So we start talking personally. Turns out he is a big fan. And that's how we got the opp in the first place. “My girlfriend stole my copy of rise and shine so I went to buy another one and then I bought your new one. I have to say, its just awesome...” But what's more than that, is he has every album I've ever made, knows all the lyrics to every song... the whole thing. He has my entire catalogue and goes back to the Shattered days. Has all of our original CDs. Knows every song I've ever put out since I was a kid. For him this was a big moment—he was just blown away being able to talk to me, because he was getting to tell me how he feels about each song and each album etc. and lets face it, I'm not really famous or anything, more un-famous, so this was just as big of an event for me. Probably even bigger a deal for me. It just made me feel so good. he tells me they are on the Internet shopping for a good deal on airfare so they can fly down to Miami to catch a show one weekend. Tells me how many times he saw me play with Shattered back in the day when we would tour. I'm humbled and honored. I stood up and was pacing around the room asking him all these questions about each song on the new CD to get his opinion. I mean, if anyone knows, its your fans who know, you know? “O.k. listen Chris, let me ask you then, what should the next single for radio be for sleep with you?” “Well if there's one thing I do really well, its pick songs.” He says. “I can just tell when a song is a hit. And on that album I like them all but Veronica is my favorite. And then Superhero girl. That song just has the hooks.” “So not girls?” “Well no. that's a good song, but I wouldn’t hear that on the radio...” “Hhhmmmm.” We talked for a while longer and he asked if he and his girlfriend could take me out to dinner tomorrow night. Which couldn’t have come at a better time because I don't have a dime to my name right now. I figured I was going to be living on Ramen noodles for four days... so go figure. All this from just some hotel nightclub wanting to play your music. Crazy.

Deeper than that it just reminded me. Earlier that day I was talking to God. “Fucking a God, can you just give me a sign that I'm even close to the right track here?” I look up. “Am I fucking kidding myself or what? What the hell am I doing with my life here?” and its these little things, these little conversations. Your fans don't know. They go and buy your CDs when you release them. And try to catch your shows when you're in town. They have no idea what you're going through as a person, just know you as an artist. I think that most fans just figure its like MTV or something. I don't think they realize that sometimes, not all the time, but certainly at this level, that we’re just normal people trying to do a great job at our job... that just a simple ‘hey man you're fucking great’ can make your whole day and keep you inspired. A stellar moment in time for sure. 

Obsessed with black people lately. Black women especially.
Last night in New York

Our last night in NYC, Dasher tells me that we have to attend a movie premier of a film he’s in that he shot over last summer. we hop a cab and head to the club. But first he wants to get out and grab some cigars. Then we hit a pizza stand at 55th and seventh I think. I look up and we’re standing right in front of Madison square fucking Garden. i take a bite of my pizza. “God its fucking cold here man.” “this isn't cold man. You should’ve been here in the winter. That was cold.” “Well that's probably true, but I'm still cold now. Dude I want to play Madison square Garden.” “You will my brother. You will. But now we’re so late. We gotta get a cab.” Dasher is trying to flag a cab down with his right hand with a slice of pizza dangling out of it. a cigarette dangling from his left.

We get to the premier and we get these vip wrist bands. The hostess assumes I am part of the cast of the movie. So she ushers me to this red carpet and puts me in front of this back drop along with Dasher and a few of the other actors. And all these people start taking our photos. I played along as if I were in the movie. The whole night all these people are asking me what part I played. I didn't even know what the film was about. So I just made stuff up. “Yes, uh, actually I play the guy in the hotel scene... you know the one...” That's the thing about us right now. Everyone knows they recognize you, but they just can’t place you yet. They’ve seen you, but aren't sure where. So you tell them you're a famous actor and they think you're a famous actor. I could get away with saying whatever I wanted. Which was fun. Not the whole time. There were a few people who knew who I was so I had to be me, shake hands and all, but for the most part I could be whoever I wanted to be. As we drank more and more free vodka, the stories became more and more insane. After about two hours, Dasher is introducing me as the writer of the film. It was hilarious. “But I recognize you... are you sure you're not an actor?” “O.k. you win. I'm an actor. you got me....” Every one was pitching ideas to me, the writer of the movie. And I was drunk, just trying to maintain my coordination at that point while attempting to look as though I was listening intently to them.

The acting world is so different than the musician’s world. They're all so damn friendly and open with one another. I would hate to be an actor. I talked with a lot of them and their whole world is based on getting auditions so they can get parts. It’s a tough biz. They can’t just pick up a guitar and go get a gig at some local venue or cut an album like we can. They wait and they wait for good parts, any part, and in the meantime they are waiters in restaurants or work in shops. Or the hated dinner theatre or soap opera bits. Its not easy. Dasher went with me to one of my meetings so we could hit dinner afterwards. I was meeting with this company from France about French radio promo for sleep with you. I introduce him and the guy asks him if he is in the band. He says, “No. I'm an actor, which loosely translates to ‘I'm a waiter.’”

The girls and hangers on were plentiful that night. girls love actors almost as much as they love rock stars. Especially if you were an out of work actor with a half full bottle of free vodka and a good story about your last stage play....

Its 3:49 AM now. We’re in the back of a limo driving around the city. I'm sitting in the back seat typing on my trusty beat up laptop. Dasher is in the seat across from me balling some chick we picked up at the premier. He is wasted. We are both wasted. He looks up at me. “You sure you don't want some of this dog?” he asks me, pointing to the girl beneath him. “Dude, no thanks. My wife would kill me.” He swigs from his bottle, looks at the girl beneath him who is just as wasted as we are, and then up at me. “You're not even married Fishy! You're a freak!” he says. “Dude please. Respect my wife man. Please.” “Dude you're such a freak. But I love it!” he says. Looks down at the girl. “Fishy here hasn’t had sex in twenty fucking years because he's saving it for this dream woman of his. Isn't that fucking funny?” he asks her. “I think its romantic,” she slurs and bobs her head over to look at me with this coy smile. ‘Chicks love a married man. The only thing they like more than a married man is a man who isn't married but acts like he is,’ I type. “Fishy seriously man, don't fucking write about this in your fucking diaries man. I know what you're doing right now.” he laughs, “Stop it man.” He looks down at the girl, “Fishy is a writer. He writes down everything he does. If he takes a shit he writes about it...” he laughs. “I thought you were an actor.” the girl slurs with this confused look on her face. “I am. I'm studying how to be a writer for the next part I'm playing. It’s a Matt Damon and Ben Affleck movie. Its going to be big. I have to play a writer.... its like good will hunting part two or something...” I look back to my laptop screen. Dasher starts laughing uncontrollably. “Oh my fucking God Fishy. You’re fucking classic man. How did you land that part man?!” he says, playing along. “Come here and kiss Rita dude. Isn't she pretty?” “Its Rena,” the girl laughs. “My name is Reeeeena.” “Rena you are so beautiful. You know how beautiful you are,” he says to her and they start kissing again. I take a swig from one of the bottles of Sky vodka we confiscated from the premier party. I keep writing. The city lights whiz by us.

Dasher sits up all of a sudden. Its about 4 am now. “God I'm fucking hungry. Fishy are you hungry?” he asks me. “I'm never hungry man. But I'm drunk. So I could eat.” “Lets get Greek food then. Dude I know the best fucking Greek restaurant in New York. C'mon lets go there...” he says. So off we go to this Greek restaurant that just happens to be open, like everything in New York, at 4 in the morning. Lamb chops, mint jelly. Grape leaves. Red wine. Too much red wine. From there it gets kind of hazy. Next thing I know we’re in the limo again. The girl is passed out on the seat across from us. I'm on one side puking out my window. Dasher is on the other side of the limo puking out his window. “Oh my God dude I'm so wasted.” “God man. Me too.” “Isn't New York awesome dude?!” he says between hurls out his window. “Yeah dude. New York is awesome... this is the life.” I'm looking at all the beautiful lights whizzing by with blurry eyes in between throwing up, my head dangling out of the window. “Dude this place is so beautiful.” I woke up the next day about one in the afternoon with a killer headache. Just in time to catch my flight back to Miami....

Monday, March 22, 2004

Had a nice long conversation with Julia. I think it was very good for both of us. Bubbling little energetic bursts of connection, understanding, and realization. Synapses firing. Talked about soul mates. Is there a soul mate for everyone? I mean is this something that we really believe in? Are we taking it all down whole, this concept? And what's more, does ‘soul mate’ imply a ‘romantic interest’ like as a husband or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend only? No probably not, but doesn’t your heart ache for that? Don't we all ache for that? God yes. Can you have a husband/wife and not have that person be your soul mate? Grand concepts by a virtual fire just the two of us. alone in the universe for those brief moments. I tell her I always knew it. just took some time for our souls to catch up to one another. what I like and admire about Julia is that she KNOWS. she's there. there is no bullshit in her. and I don't have to hold back with her. she keeps up. she trots ahead. 

There were two moments there, these two statements... “she is an expert at navigating through fame and fortune...” she tells me. And then another, “Fishy it was so good speaking with you! My heart aches with you, and soars with you.” Echoing my sentiments exactly. I was still driving when we hung up. I stepped on the pedal a little more, sped up, and checked in the rearview to see how it looked to feel so good in that moment... I repeated it to myself several times... “My heart aches with you, and soars with you.” God that's brilliant. How does she come up with it?

Reconnecting with many friends in New York this weekend. I cannot believe how many of the people I love and adore live there now. One by one everyone moving there. Some new friends and many life long ones. Doesn’t it feel good when we reconnect with really old friends?

Things crazy at the record company. I had asked Tinkerbelle if she would come by and help us out a bit this week. we’re way behind. So she has been the last few days. Leaving for New York in the morning. I go to write her a check. And she says ‘no way. absolutely not.’ And I'm like “what?” she looks at me, “you're not paying me Fishy. you did so much for us at C-Roc. I just want to show my appreciation for that.” I was so surprised and happy. I had no idea. I just assumed we were paying her for her help. And she just assumed she was doing it for free... my heart felt very warm and happy from this. Just goes to show. Life is good sometimes.

[a quick note for the record. life is good most of the time but not all the time. the big man in black who got Shattered our first record deal back in the day calls up to say that he loves sleep with you and wants to make some calls and shop it to some labels. Gets us all psyched and then a week later has his attorney call to ask for us to pay him this ridiculous retainer of thousands of dollars. As if he didn't remember that the deal we ended up with way back when never really panned out. The album we recorded, aftermath, is still unreleased to this day. And the deal that I ended up with as a solo artist on Sony amounted to almost nothing. Acoustic in New York ended up being released on an indie and not on a major. So here I was thinking how sweet life was that things were coming around full circle and that he was just being cool and going to finally take things to the finish line because he was a good guy and believed in us.... and then I get this call at ten o'clock at night asking for money... lets just say that the conversation ended rather abruptly with all parties doing their best to agree to disagree.]

Sunday, March 21, 2004

You cannot force someone to be with you. And you cannot force yourself into being with someone you do not want to be with. I'm talking about in all relationships. Romantic and otherwise. Now the interesting thing is that we do it all the time anyway, try to force these relationships. But it doesn’t feel right inside. I don't think its fair to either of the parties involved. People do it for a variety of reasons... to avoid resisted experiences. Out of fear mostly. But I've never been good at it. we have to try harder to be more real. To be more honest. With ourselves. And with everyone else. we have to be strong enough to acknowledge to ourselves how we feel and to voice it to others. Its not easy, but it feels good in the end. it unsticks us. loosens us up and frees our attention and creative energy again. I can feel when I have something dishonest in me. Sometimes it is just the ‘not saying anything.’ That's enough to make you feel ‘stuck.’ Not saying something is just as bad sometimes as saying something that isn't true. omission of the truth is not the truth.

I am writing the song here it comes. I am in love with it and haven't stopped singing in my head for a week now. Nonstop it plays and nothing I have listened to has managed to remove it from the center of my brain. Like a broken record playing endlessly. The interesting thing about this baby is that the structure of it is almost the exact same as better luck next time—the chords are almost the same. Very close to the same song. But an entirely different melody. I love this about it—though the guys have been taking the piss out of me a bit for it being so similar. But I don't think there are any rules in songwriting. You go through your blue period and you paint a hundred paintings of blue canvas with cubes or circles. So what? What I love is that the melody and meaning of the song is so different from blnt. Even though the chords are the same. We stumbled upon it from trying to rehearse blnt actually. Which makes it all the more cooler. It is a song of hope. Whereas blnt was a song about giving up in a way. Accepting defeat. This one is different. Hope is all we have right now.

Played our final show in Miami tonight. A subtle no frills affair. In fact I believe I may have been the only one in the band who even knows this fact at the moment. I've told the guys that I'd like to record one more album before the tour and before I move. I have about thirty songs from the last few months and about ten of them I really like. We could get it done in a few weeks and have it ready to go for release early next year since nothing is cohesive isn't even out yet. nothing is cohesive is a great fucking little record. a real throwback. I hope the fans like it as much as we do.
   
Last screening: rock and roll hall of fame awards. Very cool. Prince is back. At least for the time being. Watching the bit on prince really helped me in a lot of ways. Reminded me of things I had forgotten the last few years. This business is not easy. You forget things. Tend to forget who you are. I think that happened to me in the last year or so. So much so that we renamed the band just Transcendence. I mean talk about forgetting who you are! You take your name out of the band entirely. Tough call. Half the people in the camp telling me to name it just a band name. And half the people telling me just keep it my own name. The irony is that as soon as I named it a band name and took my name out of the picture, to really focus on it being a band and not just a solo thing, half the guys bailed on the band. So go figure. I just think I was scared shitless of all the attention being on me. Man I think that's been my problem since I first started. G2 has always told me dude just keep it your name. It is you man. Every album the band changes anyway. Can’t you just accept that and use your own name? Now he's begging me to name the new album my name, not transcendence. So I think were going to compromise. We’ll see.   

Saturday, March 20, 2004

I remember when I was very young and ravenously studying astrology and other things of a more esoteric nature. Astrologers would always claim that there were two other planets besides the nine that were traditionally acknowledged by modern scientists. For thousands of years this has been a secret knowledge that astrologers have accepted as fact even though traditional science would never acknowledge it. This would always make me feel a little weird about astrology and astronomy. I would always think to myself ‘well how come these astrologers know about this but the rest of the world doesn’t? Could they be that far off?’ and at the same time it would also make me think, ‘those silly astrologers... if they don't even know how many planets there are, how the hell are we supposed to take any of this seriously? Certainly we know how many planets there are. There are nine planets and every one knows it...’

O.k. now cut to the news this week. By now everyone knows that this week American astronomers in California discovered a “new planet,” about ¾ the size of Pluto. They are calling the new body Sedna. I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing. If that wasn't enough, what's really weird is that astronomers are totally split on if this new object that circles the sun just like the other planets should be called a planet since it is so small; they are citing Pluto saying that Pluto is also not a an actual planet. As it stands now, they don't have an official definition of the word ‘planet.’ This is true. So depending on how you look at it, according to scientists today, as it stands now, there are either eight or ten planets in our solar system, but not nine... Hhhmmmm.

It does make one wonder about a lot of things. Maybe there was more to these astrologer’s ancient knowledge after all. I would love if it in our lifetime they found this other mysterious planet they say is out there. That would just be fucking wild. You see, scientifically this may not turn out to be such a big discovery. The planet itself might not hold much for us in the way of science... But it may mean a lot more to us in different more subtle ways... the implications of this new information about something that is so old... and was so unknown for so long now... may be much more important than we are currently giving it credit for. Imagine being alive today when we have just discovered a new planet in our solar system? When all our lives we were taught there were only nine? And all that time this other group of us was quietly saying there were two more hidden planets out there... crazy.

Friday, March 19, 2004

O.k. here's the deal. Wine red makes you sad. No I take that back. red wine makes me sad. I was jamming on this new vox ac-30 I bought. You know the one. what a beast. [for clean only] and I'm eating this whole thing of brie while I'm jamming and drinking this bottle of red wine. And now its like an hour later and I swear to God I feel like fucking killing myself. I remember feeling this way before but maybe just never noticing that it was the wine. Francis told me that white wine makes you crazy. her grandmother told her that so who the fuck knows really. But I would rather be crazy than sad. Its just this kind of heavy depression that is following me from room to room. I must try white wine tomorrow and see what happens.

Today I think I actually started to understand a little French in class. The biggest prob is that we are in Miami and not in France. So every one is speaking in Spanish the whole time. so I'm just trying to keep up with the Spanish in the class, rather than focusing on the French so seriously I walk away thinking in perfect Spanish and not in French at all. I guess that's a good thing for the old Spanish but not if I want to really learn French.

Yes so this red wine thing... I have also noticed that it makes you feel dumb. Red wine. Don't like it too much. Its not like drinking hard liquor at all. like whiskey or vodka.... where you feel wild and alive. This red wine feeling is too mellow and dumb for me. its like it numbs you out. but not in a good way. in a sad creepy way. I guess it would be good if you were using it to balance a serious coke buzz or something. [I don't remember his name but I remember that quote from the guy from goo goo dolls who said that he was finally able to quit drinking when he realized that he had to quit doing coke because the only reason he was drinking so much was because he was doing so much blow. I just thought that was hilarious.... I mean, how out of touch can you be??? ‘Man I know I can quit drinking if I could just quit doing so much coke...’ lol. Classic. Hey that's rock and roll the life.]
G2 says:
who will place the order?
talk to me minnie driver says:
i guess i will
talk to me minnie driver says:
just send me good files
G2 says:
i will email the files to you
talk to me minnie driver says:
check for diaries. a few that got left behind I think
G2 says:
ok
talk to me minnie driver says:
tell me if you find them...
G2 says:
let me email the files and I'll upload diaries
talk to me minnie driver says:
you received
talk to me minnie driver says:
diaries
G2 says:
Stand by
talk to me minnie driver says:
did you receive?
G2 says:
dude the best fucking entry ever!
talk to me minnie driver says:
      which?
G2 says:
Nice man
talk to me minnie driver says:
which? What are you talking about>?
G2 says:
the french dude & johnny depp
G2 says:
the gun incident, all of it. good shit. You're a writer now.
talk to me minnie driver says:
cool
G2 says:
the quotes OMG the quotes are great
G2 says:
the quotes are hilarious
talk to me minnie driver says:
did you read the british rock star one? the guy was classic
G2 says:
Who is it?
talk to me minnie driver says:
i can’t say actually, promised I wouldn’t
G2 says:
No. too bad. Prob one of those wankers from Radiohead or one of those other brit bands you like
talk to me minnie driver says:
I’m becoming a writer right before our eyes from practicing everyday at it. its about fucking time. I've only been at it for twenty fucking years. lol
G2 says:
i saw a guy reading a book this morning in the subway
G2 says:
and thought about fishy as a book
G2 says:
i just saw this gringo reading, and had this vision of The Adventures of Fishy as a real book and not just you writing on the net... you gotta do it
talk to me minnie driver says:
yeaah!!!!! That would be cool. But I'm too fucking lazy. Its easier just to scribble and send to you every few days. I'll die in poverty, a complete unknown. Because I'm so lazy
G2 says:
I'm going to publish your book for you. and make all the money from it.
G2 says:
LOL
G2 says:
     Don't worry. I’ll give you some money every now and then as long as you keep writing

The only problem now is that I am totally addicted to new songs. Writing and recording them. So you go back and listen to your last album or two and you're just totally bored with it. And all you can think about is the new stuff you're working on. Its quite crazy. Hard to be organized or committed that way. The only thing I find myself truly committed to is writing the new songs and recording the new albums. Nic isn't even out yet and all I can think about is the new new new CD I want to record now. Its an addiction. A sickness. I know this though. The last three albums, counting nic, have all been very overt and blatant lyrically. Even though the next two are already are written and planned out I would like to take a step back with them, analyze the lyrics a little and try to go deeper lyrically. This just came to me. Starting to see how candid and upfront everything’s been the last few years with my lyrics, which is a cool style too. I kind of bailed on the whole idea of lyrics being poetry a few years ago and never looked back. Always saying something. Rather than letting it be said. Would like to try saying things but at a different level. More poetry I guess. Lyric writing is the hardest part of the craft. For me anyway. Objectively I find my lyrics in general are pretty sophomoric. I take the easy way out too much of the time. I wouldn’t mind working with lyric writers, like Brian Wilson or Elton John do. Let other guys come in and put some words down. Guys that are better at it than I am. God knows I've run out of things to say years ago. I'd like to let go of all this self obsession and move on to more worldly matters in my songs.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Check out this video clip: http://www.moveon.org/censure/caughtonvideo/

Today is Cleopatra's birthday. Tonight we headed over to the Florida Grammy showcase. DC3 played and were unbelievably good. I have to admit I love this band so much. Derek Cintron has the potential to be a huge star. And that's his real name. spent  an hour or so hanging with various scene buds and then headed out into the night. on the way down Washington I see this SUV ram this little car right in front of me. the little car stops but the SUV starts driving fast away. I rolled down my window and told the peeps in the little car to stay there. I floored it and chased the SUV down. I got up next to it, rolled down my window and yelled ‘you have to stop.’ He pulls over and thinks he hit me he is so drunk. I'm like, ‘you didn't hit my car. The car you hit is back on Washington still. I'll follow you.” He's like, “you’ll follow me?!” all snotty like “who do you think you are?” but then he got in and I followed him to the scene. Crazy people in Miami. if I wouldn’t have seen that guy and chased him down he just would have bailed on the scene after smashing that other guys car all up. Luckily for him no one was hurt. another day another good deed.

So far more than 4000 same sex couples have been married this year in San fran. Way to go San fran. More power to you. But on the other side of the coin, some little town in Tennessee passed a law this week making it possible for the state to sue same sex couples as a crime against nature. ??? seriously, I'm not making this up. o.k.... so we can drive SUVS and pollute the air, we can make animals extinct by killing them, and we can poison our water and earth by pouring toxic chemicals into it, and that's not a “crime against nature” but rather it is “just something that some people wish that other people wouldn’t do.” But if two people of the same sex want to hook up then that is a crime against nature. Wow. Leave it to Tennessee. Remember this is the same town that prosecuted a man in the 20’s for teaching evolution. Seriously. people like this still exist. Be careful. be very careful.

Recently read that over 2.9 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the United States in the last three years. unfathomable. If there is such a thing as the anti-industrial revolution, then we’re in the thick of it. the AFLCIO has filed a law suit against the United States government for the lost jobs saying it is because they are being too lenient on china in their breaking of basic human rights and labor laws... it will be an interesting couple of years.

At the showcase tonight met THE man who produced the first joy division album way back when, which is cool. he says, ‘We have to try to save music, save the artists... I'm trying something new I'd like you to be a part of.... a website for digital distribution of music...’ I felt like saying ‘uh o.k. pal.’ O.k. so maybe he's done one too many hits of ecstasy the last few years, and to respond is kind of silly and superfluous, so instead I took off into night to let the wind blow through my hair while I attempted to drive 130 down the Macarthur causeway with no hands on the wheel while enjoying the beautiful 76 degree weather and the awe inspiring views of the Atlantic ocean on both sides. On the drive home I thought about this poor old man with his good intentions, and how if people would just get together and get serious about it, and if first they knew what the problems were in the industry, then maybe they could fix it. everyone’s freaking out now in the music biz. Granted. And for good reason. 1600 retail record stores closed last year. that's unbelievable. Tower records went bankrupt and word is that virgin is about to go under from no CD sales. O.k. fine. So what's the answer? How to save the artists and the music at the same time? these were my thoughts as I whizzed down the great highway.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Met with Sony France today. The rep was very flattering to us. Said he was a huge fan of the band. Had this big smile on his face the whole time. “wow. You sing like bono and look like Michael Hutchence! You're fabulous!” with this thick French accent----I was thinking ‘that would be great if this were 1989...’ but now how does that help us. Lol. ‘Michael was one of my best friends. What a shame....” Hadn't heard that name in a while. Said the band could blow up faster in Europe than America. it was a strange meeting. Business-wise it was a good meeting. but it was deeper... one of the reps and I just connected like crazy. can’t explain. We just sat there talking so directly and candidly, staring into each others eyes. felt like a reconnection with a soulmate. It was profound in a way. He told us this story where when he first met Johnny depp he looked him in the eye the same way and said one day Johnny you are going to be a big star. And Johnny just had this yeah I'll see it when I believe it attitude... then about ten years later Johnny walked in to this party and saw this guy there. by then Johnny was a big star. And he ran up to the guy and gave him this big hug and said ‘you were right man’.... etc... then he looks me in the eye and says ‘you are becoming a big star now. but you are going to be bigger. Believe me. I know. I will make it happen.’ He says with this strong French accent and wide open eyes.... I was like, ‘I'm glad you think so. I'll believe when I see it bro.’ ‘We need to get you to Europe,’ he says. You’ll do great there. You're very spiritual and we love the spiritual in France.’ [this is where I was really taken by the whole thing. I mean, he's holding the sleep with you CD, and he’s talking about how spiritual it is...  leave it to the French. I couldn’t believe that I was sitting face to face with someone who GOT IT, who actually got the spiritual nature of the work, rather than just the surface context of it. In America no one has gotten spiritual out of it. They just think its about sex... which it is, but only on the surface.]

Deeper still, there seems to be no end to this sadness. it is a deep and profound sadness. something to be in awe of. Something that is thick and murky... dark and pensive. If I were not an artist I would have just jumped in front of a bus or something, or jumped off of a tall building months ago. but I can appreciate it. there is a subtle appeal to profound sadness that if appreciated correctly can be endured and almost admired... beloved... whatever the fuck that means. I find myself fantasizing about taking my .357 and blowing my brains all over the place. I don't know why. I just do. like I said, if I wasn't an artist I think I'd be freaked out by this, but I just try to appreciate it, watch it come, watch it go... prob too much caffeine, too much stress, not enough sleep.

This state can come in handy. It has its benefits. More than the obvious artistic benefits. Sunday night after our rehearsal Vancouver and I left the studio at about one in the morning. We were both exhausted. we went through downtown. And I had to stop at a  light. This is something you don't want to do at one in the morning in downtown Miami. especially with a back seat full of guitars. But we had to. just go Vancouver says to me casually. About the light. No dude. Its cool. we were both half asleep. We hear this tap on the window and we both jump. Fuck Vancouver says. Fuck dude! Go through the light! I look over next to me and there's this guy standing outside my window with a gun pointed at me through the window. A skinny black dude with red eyes. Obviously a little cracked out and loaded. Fishy fucking go man! Vancouver yells. I reached down and grabbed onto this bottle of mace I keep next to my seat. I opened the window. ‘fishy what the fuck are you doing?’ Vancouver whispers to me nervously. ‘how can we help you bro?’ I say to the guy. ‘gimme the guitars.’ ‘dude we can’t give you the guitars. We’re musicians. These are the tools of our trade. Like that gun is to you. sorry man. Can’t do it.” I turned away from him and started to roll up the window. “I said gimme the motherfucking guitars!” he says back to me. “Fishy we have to give him the guitars man! He has a fucking gun man! Vancouver is saying. he is panicking in the passengers seat rocking back and forth in his seat. “Bro. Look. I know what you're going through. You need money. you want the guitars so you can sell them. Whatever. I feel for you. but were not giving you the guitars and that's that. you want some money? let me see if I have any money...” I started to reach into my pocket... “Don't fucking move man. Stay right there. don't move. Gimme those guitars goddamnit. I'm not fuckign around now.” his eyes were wild. He kept looking back and forth to his left and right to see if anyone was coming. I looked back up at him. I could have sprayed his face a hundred times already with the mace. This guy was out of it. “O.k. listen man. Don't piss me off. I'm trying to be respectful of your situation here. I was going to give you money. But don't piss me off. You want money or not?” “I want those mother fucking guitars in yalls backseat is what I want!” he waves the gun at my face and then at Vancouver. Vancouver jumps in his seat. “oh fuck! Oh fuck! Fishy give him the guitars. God man lets just go man!” he is yelling. I look at the guy, “Bro. I know you have a gun. And I know that's supposed to scare us and normally I suppose it would. But for the last six months all I have thought about is blowing my own brains out with a gun that looks very much like the one you are holding in your hand right now. as much as it may upset my friend here to have my brains splattered all over his face, all I can think of is how cool it would be. like a movie or something,” I say,  “so with all due respect, you're not scaring with me that gun.” “his face tightened up. “you're fucking crazy man!” “You're calling me crazy? And you're the one standing there pointing a gun at us. that's crazier. You know how much trouble you could get in? What if we were cops? Now bro, am I going to give you some money or are you going to blow my brains out? because those are your options. I'm not giving you our guitars.” I turned away from him and started to roll up the window. I didn't look back at him and I looked dead straight in front of me. I could see Vancouver in his seat rocking back and forth nervous as hell. He peers out of his eye and whispers to me, “Fishy he's walking away...” I look over to my left and sure enough this guy is slumping away off into the shadows of the night. “Oh my God he's fucking walking away! Holy fucking shit! You saved our guitars man! You saved our guitars! You are fucking crazy! But you saved our guitars man! I can’t believe this. Holy shit!”

Finished mixing nothing is cohesive last night. now we choose the song order for it. French classes suck. Very hard language. Not getting it yet. frustrated with it.
Super into this Country music channel 100 greatest country songs special. I have it on tape and try to watch it whenever I can. so many of the songs are sooooo good. it is forcing me to take a look at my own songwriting.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
 -  Charles H. Duell, Director of US Patent Office, 1899

 "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
 -  Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros Pictures, 1927

 "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."
 -  Robert Miliham, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

 "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible."
 -  Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895

 "The horse is here today, but the automobile is only a novelty - a fad."
 -  President of Michigan Savings Bank advising against investing in the
 Ford Motor Company

 "Video won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six
 months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every
 night."
 - Daryl F. Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, commenting on television in 1946

 "Guitar music is on the way out."
 - Decca Records turning down the Beatles, 1962.
    
 "If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment.  The
 literature was full of examples that said you can't do this."
 - Spencer Silver, originator of Post-It Notepads.
    
 "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."
 - Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology, 1872.

 "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as
 a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." 
 - Western Union internal memo, 1876.

 "Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote."
 -  Grover Cleveland, 1905

 "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction
 and the need to have something better than a vacuum against  which to
 react. He  seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high
 schools."
 - 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary
 rocket work.

 "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
 - Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

 "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
 - Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de
 Guerre.

 "The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the
 intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon".
 - Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon- Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873.

 "640K ought to be enough for anybody."
 - Bill Gates, 1981

 "Such startling announcements as these should be deprecated as being
 unworthy of science and mischievous to its true progress."
 - Sir William Siemens, electrical engineer, upon hearing Edison's
 Announcement of a successful light bulb.

 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
  - Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Nightline Daily E-Mail
 March 15, 2004
 TONIGHT'S FOCUS: Just days after the worst terrorist attack in Europe, the bombings of the trains in Madrid, Spanish voters threw out the ruling Conservatives and voted the Socialist Party into power. So how much did the terrorist attacks influence the outcome? And what are the implications?

Terrorism works. It's hard to deny that in the world we live in today. Not always in the way that the terrorists intend, but it is effective. Normally, we probably wouldn't pay that much attention to the election results in Spain, but I guess these aren't normal times. Spain's outgoing Prime Minister was one of the first, and one of the few, European leaders to support President Bush on the invasion of Iraq. An invasion that was hugely unpopular with the Spanish people. Spain has contributed about 1300 troops to the occupation of Iraq. The ruling Conservatives, at least according to pre-election polling, were expected to win. They didn't. To what extent did the bombings sway the results?
Now conventional wisdom is that acts of terrorism will swing the electorate behind those in power, the idea being that it's important to stand together. There is a lot of talk about how an attack on the U.S. might impact the upcoming election. I guess no one really knows how people will react. Will they feel that it's important to stand behind whoever's in office? Or will those people be blamed for failing to stop any new attacks? That appears to be part of what happened in Spain. Another factor, the Spanish government came out almost immediately and said that it thought the Basque group ETA was responsible, even though there now appears to be a fair amount of evidence to suggest that al Qaeda was involved in some way. There was a lot of anger in Spain over the appearance that the government might have pointed to ETA for political reasons. But we're not going to focus on Spain's internal politics tonight. There are greater issues involved. What lesson have the terrorists, whoever they are, taken away from the events of the past few days? Do they now feel that they can influence elections, and policies? Will they be emboldened to strike elsewhere as elections approach? In most European countries, public opinion was decidedly opposed to the war. Spain's incoming government says it will remove its troops from Iraq. Will other countries follow that lead if they too are attacked? Regardless, there is a lot of nervousness in Europe, and this country, these days. There is extra security around transit systems. And somewhere, there is a group of people who must be watching the pictures of the havoc they are responsible for. The terrorists responsible for the bombings in Madrid are probably pretty pleased with themselves right now. And that makes our world a more dangerous place. Much more dangerous. ABC News correspondent Richard Gizbert will report on the latest from Spain, and the mood in Europe. Ted will anchor tonight. I hope you'll join us.
Leroy Sievers and the Nightline Staff
ABCNEWS Washington D.C. bureau

[Excerpt only. From September 18th, 2003 interview, after ELF terrorist group burned a 206-unit condominium tower to the ground in San Diego on August 1st, causing over $50 million in damage.]
CL: (Creative Loafing): you seem to be saying in your most recent blogs that you are a supporter of stepping up direct action these days?
F (Fishy): well what else are we going to do when corporations rule the world and the democratic procedures that we attempt to use year after year in order to instill change for the better stop working for us? Our country was founded on a revolution. Sometimes people forget that. Remember that quote from Rosebraugh from the ELF [editors note: Earth Liberation Front] who had said, “How long are you willing to wait for your idea of justice to come about before you take steps to implement the next higher level of activism?”
CL: You are a supporter of the ELF then?
F: well from what I understand there is no real ELF. I mean, as an organized political body, no one is even sure if it even exists. It is more of an idea. Actions are taken in the name of ELF, on behalf of this idea of doing whatever it takes to liberate the Earth from the corporations’ greedy clutches. It’s a fascinating idea isn't it?
CL: But you’ve also spoken out against the destruction of personal and private property in the name of political direct action in the past.
F: I know. it’s a tricky issue. I am starting to lean the other way now. The more you study it, the more you see the tight grip that large corporations—corporate governmental states—have on our freedom, on our laws, on our freedoms as people to direct our own lives... I don't know. it seems like a more direct form of action might be necessary at this point.
CL: But do you really think that these kind of terrorist acts do anything? What about those who say that it just aggravates the issues? That it turns people off to the real issues of the environment or human rights?
F: I don't think that's true now. Look at the ELF for example since we’re already speaking about them. Because of these particular acts that they have committed over the last few years, time magazine dedicated 6 pages about the organization, a cover story, detailing not only the acts, but outlining the exact issues that the organization is trying to raise awareness on. How many people does that magazine go out to? I'm not sure. But lets say one or two million people per week. received this magazine, showed it to their friends and family members. People learned, some of them for the first time, what is happening to the environment with oil spill offs or how many animals around the world are endangered because of these fuckers in control. When I read the article myself, these were things that I didn't even know. Its like over twelve thousand different species of animals that are threatened to become extinct?! That's fucking insane! And this is something we can actually stop. But not if we’re just going to sit around and try to lobby congress about it.
CL:  So you don't believe that traditional means of environmental activist groups are helping?
F: look at this way. Right now as we’re speaking, we've all heard these statistics, but for the record, we are destroying the rain forests of the world—less than 2% of the entire planet—at a rate of 214,000 acres per day! That’s an area larger than the entire city of New York. And that's PER DAY. And this is happening right now! Its fucking crazy. So the answer is no. traditional forms of environmental activism are not working.
CL: It is a figure that is hard to conceive of for most people.
F: Yeah it is. And we can stop this, but we don't. I talk to the people in our generation every day you know, the people that are into more forms of direct action and the feeling now in our generation and in the younger generations is that those traditional forms where people send in their twenty dollars in an envelope to Greenpeace or the world wildlife fund or the sierra club or whatever—and I'm not trying to single them out—but people think that this is helping. These organizations have been raising hundreds of millions of dollars a year for decades now and they can afford all these very expensive attorneys in Washington to have lunch with senators and all this lobbying in the traditional sense and its just not doing anything. If it were doing something, then we wouldn’t be destroying over two hundred thousand acres of rainforests a day. Right? I mean what is it doing? So now I think the consensus is changing about what is necessary in order for us to show that we mean business. and if that means blowing up a whole fucking lot of hummers or destroying oil rigs or someone chaining themselves to a tree, then that's what its going to take. And I'm there with them now.
CL: But what about when that means the potential for human loss or suffering, when it involves the injuring whether intentional or otherwise, of others? As is the case with some of the more extreme terrorist acts that we have seen in the last few years?
F: I don't think that there's anyone who cares about human rights or the environment who wants to see other people get hurt. That's not on the agenda. But the point is that the world is moving to extremes now. the left is running to the left because it sees that its losing. And the right is running to the right because it too sees that its losing. Perhaps on different issues. But the battle has now begun. And I think that if we have to, then people are going to take to the streets and it could get ugly.
CL: You have referred to it as the last great battle between the enlightened and the barbarians. Who’s who? [laughs]
F: I know it is a ridiculously pompous thing to say. But I think its true to a certain extent now. sometimes you have to become a barbarian to defeat a barbarian, and that's what we’re seeing now. There's going to be more and more destructive direct action taken in the name of the environment and human rights issues. I think it has the potential to get ugly but hopefully not. I can’t speak for other people, but for myself I'll say that if you sit here right now and you tell me that we have to accept the total degradation of the planet and we have to accept that in the next few years over twelve thousand different animals are going to die even though we can stop it, then I'm going to tell you that I'm going to do everything in my power to stop it. And if that means very blatant overt direct acts of protest that cause every one in the world to sit up and take notice, then that's what I'm going to do. And I know a lot of other people all over the world who feel the same way. I mean, you don't have to say anymore than that. That says what it says.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I received a message from the Oracle during the week. I wrote him something back. I know you can’t really write the oracle. One doesn’t receive replies back. But sometimes I have to anyway.
Dear Oracle,
You seriously freak me out sometimes.
Not all the time.
Sometimes I'm just like...
O.k. whatever.
But every once in a while...
Such as this week.
Not that I know what the hell you are going on about.
Even though I do.
And that's the part that freaks me out.

One thing though.... I wish sometimes your recorded messages, which I partake in every now and again when I feel like I need more clarification, had more to do with your written messages. Such was not the case this week. unless it was. In which case I didn't get it. not yet anyway...

Fishy

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Met with a guitarist today to sit and have a few pints and talk about the band. Good night. we drank and drank and shared stories till the wee small hours of the morning. things weird with me moving to NYC. Not sure what the fuck is supposed to happen. if there is such a thing as “something supposed to happen.” [o.k. so that's just me trying to be cool... you know I like to play the cynical card every now and then, but don't believe it for a second. The ambassador is alive and well. and by all means its all supposed to happen. unless of course it isn't... and that's where it gets a bit tricky. But it wouldn’t be much fun if it weren't a bit tricky...]

But it is strange to have so little of a band left and yet so many options for a band. Sometimes it seems like the band has ten members. Other times it seems like its just me and Father Bloopy. So what the hell am I thinking moving to New York? Well some things I do know. We know we are touring the east coast in April. Sony France called today. asked if we would be interested in releasing the sleep with you album in Europe and if it does well then heading over there to do some shows. said it would really go over well in their market, more than here. they’ve been seeing breasts over there for centuries so sleep won't be considered controversial like it is here. Here its ... well... say no more... same sex marriage is still considered controversial over here for some weird reason...  I liked what bill Maher said last week. “Please.... its happening and there's nothing you can do to stop it. so get bored with it already.” i mean obviously there's something happening to us. as a species of people. we weren't always so gay. Everyone and their brother is coming out of the closet. Literally. People are just flying out of the woodwork announcing “guess what? I'm gay and I'm going to marry my best friend Chad!” its crazy. everyone has a brother or a sister, or at least a cousin who is gay now. it used to be so taboo. You called someone gay and they were insulted. Now you call someone gay and they're like, “You really think so?!”

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I found this massage chair cover thing. You wouldn’t believe it. You throw it anywhere. In a car or over a chair or flat on the bed or floor. I have it outside right now on a bench. It has all these various different massages that it does to you and it also heats up. And then there's these speakers on it so you can listen to nature sounds or to this new age music coming right out of it. and the whole time its massaging you and heating you up. Its wild.  

Has anyone noticed this thing with Dish network? Fucking a its crazy. half the channels on dish networks don't work now because Viacom turned them all off all over the country as a way to blackmail them into paying higher premiums for the channels and to force them into taking buying channels they don't want to. Its like the fucking apocalypse or something. and when you go to watch MTV or VH1 or cbs instead of those channels you got these two guys form dish networks sitting at a desk talking to America telling everyone “we are refusing to pay these high prices and we refuse to be extorted like this so were really sorry but that's why you can’t watch your favorite shows right now. and they just sit on there for hours talking and reading people letters and emails and answering them. parents aren't even get any of the kids channels for their children. I swear to God you couldn’t dream this up. its reality TV but for real.

Bloopy is off to France for a week, I feel like a proud father. He's never crossed the Atlantic before. While today was my first day of French class. Although I don't remember a thing from it. they start at 10:00 AM. That's in the fucking morning. I don't even know if I was there. maybe my body was but my mind, no way. I have always heard that French is hard. Well guess what? French is hard. Really hard. They don't pronounce any of their fucking letters. I don't know why they use them if they aren't going to pronounce them.

The most amazing thing happened today. about two weeks ago I purchased a Vox-AC 30 amp off of eBay. I got a decent deal. Like all musicians these days I'm an eBay freak and haven't even been in a music store in years. buy everything online now. and used. The older the better. The cool thing about eBay is that you almost never even talk to the people you buy or sell stuff to. and another cool thing about eBay is that sometimes you do. that's cool too.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

This thing with Martha Stewart. Crazy. Martha Stewart going to prison? I don't see it happening. Nope. Not going to happen. but if it does... wow. And you know she got duped by the people around her a bit.... just thinking that once you get to that level that there's no way something bad could ever happen. just goes to show. You just never know. so its better to ride it clean. Now if that ken lay CEO from Enron doesn’t go to prison... what a strange world indeed dear Julia....
I read Julia's letter again today. somehow and I don't know why exactly but it had a tremendous impact on me, receiving this letter. And starting to correspond with her again after so many years. Reconnecting with, as she puts it, “the keepers of our history...” Julia was my first crush. Back in junior high school. I met her when I was 11. I even took out an ad in the school newspaper to profess my love to her. I know, leave it to me. 11 year old junior high school kid to take out an ad in a newspaper to tell a girl who wouldn’t even speak to me that I love her.... crazy even as a young lad. but I soon moved and never saw her again. until college. But by then we both had boyfriends and girlfriends and things had changed a lot. She said to me, “Fishy you’ve always been in love with love more than any one person...” and I thought to myself in that moment, ‘how the hell can you tell that from a seventh grader?’ I thought that was such an astute observation. But things have changed again. now we converse like old souls who have touched each other for lifetimes. Sharing what we've learned over the years...

We have more in common than we do with a lot of other people in our own backyards. our souls have caught up now in this lifetime.

I am set on moving back to New York. Its not a question anymore. Now I am frantically running around making plans and taking action to get out of here and get back to America. I have eight weeks to get it all done and move out of here. I am in school for beginning French and the class is eight weeks long. I figure that will keep my brain occupied while I'm here and give me a good deadline. Going from 3500 square feet to less than a thousand isn't going to be easy. But as long as I get a bed and a few guitars and an amp squeezed into my new place I'll be happy. Anything is better than this right now... isn't that funny? That slow boil... one minute you're driving around with the music pumping, and the next thing you know you can’t wait to leave a place.... I'm walking around here like an alien from another planet. I'll tell you the funniest thing about Miami. from an American’s perspective. If you're white/American, and you meet someone new here at a restaurant or a club or a bookstore or where ever, you know the first thing they ask you? “You're not from around here are you? Where are you from?” cause the truth is that whites, or gringos as they call us, which is a word that means foreigners or strangers (ironically we’re called strangers here.... ) don't come from here, and they don't usually live here either. Usually just visit. But that's not why I'm moving. I have liked living and working amongst the South Americans these three years. I've perfected my Spanish and Portuguese here and I've learned so much about the world. But I feel this undying desperate need now to be in a world more aligned with my own interests, with people I can relate to more and who can relate to me more. Miami will always be home away from home to me. But I gotta make a new home. Starting over from scratch. Crazy.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I have gotten my Inbox down to 125 unreads, down from 405 at its peak the last few months. What a good feeling it is to clear your inbox. I'm kicking ass right now. of course I'm working round the clock right now. no down time. no movies. No socials. Just work. And I feel like I'm ageing a year a month right now, but I'm compelled like I haven't been in months so I'm taking advantage of that.

Good week. Band secured national booking agency this week. finally. So it looks like we will be playing bigger venues for more money and getting to more people. [the president of the company is a Christian and a republican. I keep my mouth shut during the negotiations. Perhaps he has never read the diaries. Has no idea who he is signing. The irony....]

Called Nextel tonight because I lost my phone. The guy couldn’t even understand what I was saying. finally I ask him, “where are you now?” “I'm sorry sir. we are not allowed to divulge our location.” He replies in his best attempt to cover up his Indian or Indonesian accent. “Oh o.k. so you're not in America then, are you?” “I'm sorry sir. we aren't at liberty to tell customers that information...” “you know man, that sucks. I'm an American. I'm in America. you have all this information about me and my company and I think I'm calling an American company and you can’t tell me where you are right now? Doesn’t that seem a little weird to you?” “I'm sorry sir. that is the policy here.... why do you ask?” “well... uh... because of our economy and everyone is losing their jobs here now to overseas countries... just thought I'd ask. I know you're not in America. you don't have to tell me.” “well sir, Americans don't want to pay high prices for things so it is better for American companies to go overseas to hire cheaper labor.....” “yeah I know man. I've heard it all before. thanks anyway.” “Is there anything else I can help you with?” “No. thanks. Have a good night. or a good day. where ever the hell you are...”

So now Nextel. Another one bites the dust. When will it end? the truth is I don't think its going to end anytime soon. as I told the man trying desperately hard not to sound like an Indian on the phone, “its going to get really really crazy here in the states over the next few years as all these millions of people lose more and more of their jobs. Reading Forbes annual billionaires list today at lunch. 64 new billionaires joined the list. And the actual gross revenue of all of them increased by (I forget how much) % from last year. so now it really is coming down to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. [I'm not saying this is a necessarily bad thing; for all I know this is the way its supposed to be---perhaps this is the evolutionary process in its most pure and pristine form. Who knows? But we’re watching it happen right before our eyes. [in the same Forbes issue, the wife of a very famous CEO of a very large company who has now outsourced almost 80% of their jobs—good jobs, college educated, professional jobs---out to another country in order to save money, asked her husband during the interview, “My God, what is going to happen to all these American kids when they get out of college and realize that there aren't any jobs out there for them?” America needs to create more industries where the labor stays here. I'm not against sending labor overseas that we can get cheaply. I think in general this is going to be good for us. because it keeps the cost of goods low for us and it forces us to invent new industries with new jobs that only we can do. [of course this begs the question, what CAN we do that no other peoples in the world can do?] I'm not an economist. I'm just a singer. so lets hope there's even a little bit of truth to what I'm saying. 

Can’t listen to music right now. Nothing turns me on. Only opera and barely... I am thoroughly bored with rock and pop music. give me something new and fresh and exciting please! cant drink caffeine all of a sudden. Drives me crazy. 
Last screening: jet lag, a little French romantic comedy.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Received a letter from Julia. Reconnecting with old friends from times forgotten seems to be the call of the times we are in.

Last night I killed a man in a dream. We were sleeping. Perhaps it was Cleopatra with me or an amalgam of several women from past and future. She whispered, do you hear that noise? I reached for my gun. I was too tired to open my eyes. I did hear the noise. Someone was in the house. I laid there with my eyes half open and my gun pointed out in front of me. in front of me I saw a figure. Fuck. Someone is here. I must protect her. I shot at the figure. He stopped for a moment but it didn't seem to affect him. so I shot again. my gun was misfiring. He stopped again as if I hit him but there was no blood. He smiled. Fuck I thought. We were fucked. I opened the gun and looked at the bullets. They were all messed up. oh my God. Cleo run. she ran. He ran after her. I ran after him. we all ended up in the kitchen. I shot at him a few more times. my gun was not working properly. What was happening to my gun? I have to save her I thought. I grabbed at the knives and got one out and stabbed at him. he did not bleed. There was no blood. But he fell to the ground. We have to call someone she said. We called someone I don't remember who it was. Told them that I just killed a man in the house. she consoled me. told me it was o.k. he deserved it. just then he opened his eyes. he looked very evil. I was very scared. he spoke to me. Everyone will know that you killed me, he said. And so I stabbed at him again in the chest and again and again. it was terrifying. He seemed dead. I stared at him lying there on the floor cut up. He was pale as a ghost. I awoke. What are dreams?

Met with a rep from universal music today. Good meeting. Learned a lot. Loves the band’s new CD, but slapped a bunch of reports on the desk in front of me and our attorney. Great CD guys, but you're not selling like we want you to be... [I'm thinking o.k. well then sign us and give us some money and we will...but it doesn’t work that way anymore...] they want you to already be selling hundreds of thousands of units before you ever get signed. I know our attorney was bummed. He thought that was going to be it. But instead of getting down I walked out of there inspired. I just felt like, ‘o.k. fine give me a few more months and I'll show them sales if that's what they want....’ I mean, if music isn't art anymore. If its not just art for the sake of art anymore and you can’t be signed on the basis of a rep loving your CD and not wanting to take it out of his stereo, then fine. We got that part down already. We know that. so if its all about numbers then we’ll give them numbers. How? Honestly, I don't know yet. but I know we’ll do it.