I thought I was gonna lose my dream.
Honest to God. A year passed. I’m working myself up.
Another year passes. I’m thinking. I’m working. I’m fighting myself every step of the way.
Crushing self doubt. Insecurity. Wave after wave of anxiety. Fear. Disbelief. and every now and again. Joy. happiness. Excitement.
I’m working myself up and pulling myself down. Over and over again.
Looking at my hack ass songs. Shit recordings. Questioning why I would ever do something this stupid.
and over and over again, people keep taking me seriously. Over. and over. and over.
Not just friends, but industry folk. Other musicians. My heroes climb onboard.
and I’m in disbelief.
It’s like I say in my “Intersections” song; “If the talent’s there, then why haven’t I heard it”.
Money becomes an issue. I can’t get it done. People start asking questions. “Hey, man, how’s the record coming?”
How much longer is it gonna be? You almost done??
Things keep happening.
I send it off to mastering. To the guy who did the records I based my stuff on. should be a slam dunk.
The guy fucks the whole thing. I HATE being put on the spot, but I have to stand up for the record. Did I mention that? I’ve fought for this thing since the very first day. Since I got scammed at the initial tracking studio and had to pull the sessions.
So I say, “Hey man, I’m not feeling those masters”. My producer backs me up. Gives the guy frequencies. Tell him exactly what we want. The guy get an attitude. “I dont have to do this twice. Ive never had to do this before. Everyone LOVES my work.” Problem is, his shit is wrong. So we have him do it again. He sends it back. Even MORE fucked than the first time. and AGAIN he’s completely disregarded what he’s been told.
Tells me I owe him money. Do him a favor, let him hear what i “Settle” for…..
It’s ok. I will fight for it. Producers pushing this way. Friends pushing that.
and I’m fighting tooth and nail for songs I’m not even sure I believe in.
I send it to another mastering guy. and another. and another. Smart enough this time to only have em do singles. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.
So, I give it to my producer’s guy. Who’s busy. Who has a day job. and is a working musician.
But the master comes back right.
But then, All the issues from the fucked tracking sessions start rearing there heads.
Weird shit coming out. The destructive edits. Where the guy I trusted to track it screwed me. Weird noises. vocal issues from gear choices.
But we get it.
4th time through. 5th time through. 6th time through.
The funding is gone. There was never any to begin with.
But they sound right. it’s coming.
I train with Incubus’ manager. Learning the ins and outs of the business. I have a running train of conversation with Paramore’s manager. I train w/ a radio promoter. One on one. Guy takes a shine to me. Lost a son in Iraq to suicide. We share a heart to heart. 3 hours on the phone. 4 hours. He’s gonna help me do this.
The record label pres pulls up to my house. in a 70k Mercedes driven by my buddy Space Ghost. Label guy was in a cool artsy major label band. Takes me out for pizza. We talk business. He likes what he hears. Wants the masters soon as I have em.
The producer offers up a Publishing deal.
Somewhere in here, I start working for a pro wrestler w a show on Spike TV and the guitarist from a multi platinum rock band.
I’m listed at all these rock shows. I’m doing cons and sitting next to heroes from Tv and film.
I build huge contact lists. I get ready for a PR campaign. I’m gonna do this. With these shit songs and my lack of talent. Fuck it. If every one else is stupid enough to believe it, Ill just go along with it.
Then. My wrists cramp. and won’t stop. my hands become unusable after a gig. it’s ok. I only have one more gig coming. it’s 2 months out. I have time.
They dont get better. I cancel the gig. I can’t play. I can’t play anymore. I can’t use my hands at all.
This goes on for a year
It’s over. It’s all over.
My whole career. This thing I’ve fought for for 3 years. Dead. Im all in and it’s over.
I don’t know what to do. I collapse again.
I break down in the shower. Falling in a heap. Sobbing.
Mixes aren’t right. The records fucked. Bass player and engineer railroaded me. Vocals sound weird. What happened to the drums.
I’m a fraud. I’m a fraud and everyone knows it. They can see.
Dirty poor white trash kids don’t do what I’m doing.
I own 2 pairs of shorts and have had to cut all the sleeves off my shirts. they were all worn out w/ holes in the pits.
My hero is an oddball former major label rocker who lives right down the street. I imagine which giant house on the lake is his. huge yard. roman pillars.
He believes in my songs. or, at least is kind enough not to throw me out of his house when I play my songs for him.
I’m scared. My hands are shaking. I have such bad nerves. and I’ve really tried.
Will he help me pick the ones to record? Will he sing on one?
If he says no, the record is dead. The whole concept is gone.
I getting ready for it. I hold my breath. I know it’s coming. I’m some hack ass, with shit songs and no hope.
Sure, he says. picks the one he likes. This’ll be cool. You’ve got good hooks. Nice melodies.
This process happens EVERY TIME. I get ready. to have my face LAUGHED IN. I’m ready. I know it’s coming.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. DUDE, YOU SUCK. THE FUCK IS THIS? HAHAHAHAHA”
I go after the steel player. I’m obsessed with Gram Parsons. I want his pedal steel player.
I hold my breath. Fuck it. Former major label rockers in.
I shoot some loosely tracked bullshit over.
” I like it, let’s give it a shot”
(we’ll talk about the producer telling me to fire the steel player later)
I bring in my buddy, the drummer. My friend the keyboardist. Drummers buddy, the bass player (apparently, you need a bass player. eh, the doors did it without one. Thought I d give it a shot.)
Tracking engineer knows the former major label rocker. and another acquaintance of mine who plays music.
Keyboardist is great, but the wrong guy for the job. Not the right fit. Bass player and engineer railroad me.
Growing up, I wanted to be Scott Weiland. I idolized the rockers. Not the brooders. Not the sensitive songwriters. Fuck all that.
White trash in a leather jacket. I idolized cool.
I wanted to be them. The guys from G n’ R. Slash w the hat. Dave Navarro. Scott Weiland. Nikki Sixx. James Iha from the Pumpkins. Dirty, wild dangerous cool. I just liked the guys who looked cool.
and I idolized supergroups.
Hell. Look what I did with my own record: Some hack ass nobody w/ a few shit songs builds a super group of his own heroes as his band.
Velvet Revolver. Brides of Destruction. AUDIOSLAVE. A Perfect Circle (who I didnt even like, I just liked the idea of) Huge posters in my room. Every wall. every surface. the roof, the doors. even the windows. (I had a LO PRO poster, just on supergroup principal. and never liked them)
NOTHING mattered. Nothing but rock and roll.
I had this red silk shirt. longsleeve. like burgundy red.
I used to wear it at high school with no shirt under it. With only the center button buttoned. So my stomach and chest showed. I looked like a tool, Im sure. but I thought. Man, this is cool. I’m cool. Scott Weiland does it.
I felt like Scott Weiland. I though. I look like Scott Weiland.
The other kids liked rock bands, too.
Nu-metal. Emo core shit. Guys that wore like Vans and baggy skateboard attire. beanies.
I was off with my uncle at the Van Halen concert. Rocking my band T shirts. Listening to 90’s rockers.
Learning the game. Learning the roots of the game.
I got kicked out of my high school class while listening to “Wicked Garden” by STP. I spun the greatest hits “thank you” album non stop. That song always made me feel like a complete bad ass.
I had a Velvet Revolver calendar. and I was SO pumped when Iron Maiden got kicked off Ozzfest and replaced with them. I got to see the guys in person. Some security guy even let me go down like 10 rows closer to catch the set.
Scott Weiland with his megaphone and pilots hat. Who knows where his shirt went.
I bought slashes signature wah pedal the day it came out. I didnt even know how to play electric. Paid like 180 bux for it. It was beautiful. then sold it for like 30 bux years later, having never even played the damn thing. That wasn’t the point. hahahahaha
Idk. I keep getting interrupted.
I’m sad to hear about Scott’s passing. I’m grieving, in my own way. It hurts. It hurts a lot more than it should, probably. maybe it’s the time of year. I’m apt to grief. or I’m already there.
But Scott Weiland was important. He wasn’t my favorite singer. That was Chris Cornell. or maybe Brandon Boyd, at the time. and STP wan’t my favorite band.
But it hit me. There was something about him that was always a part of everything I was doing.
and I’m sad that he’s gone. He was a part of me.
and I thank him for it. For making me cool. or at least feel cool.
for protecting me. and making me untouchable, if only in my mind.
and giving me hope.
Here’s to you, Scott.
May you find peace on the other side.