"Writing a book is like opening your legs in public."
--Martha C. Lawrence
"If only it were that easy."
--me, in return
I have to admit something to y'all. Something so shameful that it pains me to even think about, let alone write about in this here page. It's a terrible, dark, ugly secret, one that I've tried to hide but can no longer keep within my soul. Can I trust you with my secret? Of course I can. You'll understand, I hope. OK, let me gather up my mental strength, swallow hard, and tell you about my terrible secret. Here goes...
The Life Of Bryan has been a fucking bore lately. Not the webpage LOB, the real-life LOB. Borrrr-ing. Zzzzzzzz.
Not that it's not by design. After all, I'm cranking out pages and pages of a book that I may actually be done with by Thanksgiving, if I can keep up the pace. Just so you know (and just so I can brag about it), I'm now finishing up Chapter 35, and I'm closing in on 400 manuscript pages. I'm happy to say that the home stretch for this beast is not too far off in the distance. But the only way that I can work at SWR (payin' de bills), do some occasional music stuff and get that amount of writing done is to lead a very boring life. All work and no play, I'm afraid.
The problem here with the boring lifestyle thing is this: I don't have a whole lot to tell you. Well, there's always the funniest e-mail I've received in months, the story of Toss and Ed Lucas (he of The Alternate Reality fame) nearly getting arrested in San Diego for a heinous crime, some stuff about SWR, the new BFD recordings, a sexpot roomie update...alright, alright, maybe I do have something to write about after all.
First of all, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Jason Sheeshley. This was how he introduced himself to me--with an e-mail entitled "Hatred And Bitterness". Read it and weep:
Disclaimer: All of the above said (subject) belongs to myself and is not your fault in any way. Even though it is not your fault, I have decided to direct it to you simply because I am severely drunk at the time of this computing session. I just discovered MK's page recently, and I have decided to read all of your submissions at once. I can't believe you were on tour with Mike at 25 years of age. I am 25. You know what I do? I play with an Army band. If you ever get a chance to hear one, please don't. You will regret it with every shred of your soul. I have given up on the hope of playing decent music just to focus my spare time on praying that my "band" might actually be able to tune to a common pitch. You are an absolute cocksucker for playing in a decent band, one that has a drummer that can define time, let alone play Come To Jesus in double-dotted whole fucking notes. Please pray for my immediate escape so that I may come and suck your cock every hour, on the hour. Even that would be a better gig than this. Fuck you.
This definitely ranks as one of the top five e-mails I've ever received. Tears were streaming down my face for minutes. Anyway, I don't mean to encourage an e-mail onslaught here--as a matter of fact, I want to commend you all for keeping your missives short and to the point, since it's given me more time to write--but e-mails like this one make this LOB business well worth it and then some. By the way, I also got some pretty interesting responses form my "Top 20" list. None, however, were more interesting than the pile of e-mail that I received one day in late May, all with the same subject: "Jeff Buckley".
This is such a terrible, terrible shame. For those of you who don't already know, one night in late May, Jeff Buckley walked into the Mississippi River, fully-clothed, for a late-night swim. Apparently a large boat flew by and he got caught up in the current. He never walked out of that river, instead washing up on its banks a few days later. Why does this always have to happen to the truly talented musicians? I just don't fucking get it. Anyway, "Grace" will always be a record that is close to my heart and soul.
On a lighter note, we've got something new and exciting up at the Mike Keneally Page. In the tradition of "hatcheck" and "Speck Check", CEO Chatfield took it upon himself to create a real-audio file entitled "Slugfest" (named after BFD's upcoming studio release "Sluggo"), which is a smattering of samples from some of the new BFD tunes all edited together in that inimitable Chatfield fashion. He used a tape of rough mixes to do it, a tape which I've been listening to a lot lately. MK went into to Double Time Studios some weeks back and pounded out a bunch of overdubs like only he can, and the results are amazing. Ladies and gents, this record is almost done. Hard to believe, but true. The only thing I have left to do is record this beast called "Egg Zooming" (which, as MK points out in his latest "Mike Types To You" is not another name for "I, Drum-Running, Am Clapboard Bound", and I apologize for misleading y'all in that regard). I'm staring at the chart for it right now. Talk about a Black Page--it looks like someone's amateurish art-school attempt at pointillism. I'll be recording it on July 19th. If you don't hear from me after that, someone e-mail the police.
This bit of info is for LOB old-timers--do you remember way back in the days before I had my own computer? Back in the days when my e-mail address was (heaven forbid!) email@example.com? Back in the days when the only way I could get online was to use my sexpot roomie Joanne's Packard Bell DX66mhz 486 computer? I certainly remember those days, and I owe her a debt of gratitude for allowing me to use her computer for my own purposes for the better part of a year. Well, the sexpot is moving out. Joanne has a friend who's moving out from Boston and they want to move to Santa Monica together. Sad but true. The LOB could not have existed without her, and I'll miss her 'round the apartment, even though I rarely show my face in the living room these days--glued to the monitor in my bedroom, you see.
But this puts me in a bit of a predicament. I know a lot of folks in LA, but none who are looking to move into a two-bedroom apartment in North Hollywood on September 1st. I wish I could afford to live by myself, but I can't. As a result, I'm sitting here looking at an application I've filled out for a service called Roommate Matchers. It works like this: I give them specs about my apartment and who I'd like to live with, and they try and refer me to like-minded individuals. This is pretty scary--first of all, I haven't lived with a complete stranger since college; second of all, I've got some pretty expensive stuff in my apartment that I'd rather not have stolen AGAIN; third of all, I've lived only with women since 1990. But I need a roommate pretty badly, so I may have to strip down my requirements a bit. I certainly don't want to move in the middle of trying to write a book, and since I can't afford to live on my own, why the hell should I go through the hassle of moving anyway? I'm rambling now, so I guess the bottom line is this: If you're in the LA area and would like to move into my place, a 2-bed, 2-bath large apt. with laundry, dishwasher, gated parking, pool, billiards, jacuzzi and security for $400. a month, e-mail me. The Life Of Bryan has come down to this--a classified ad. Yikes.
Life at SWR has been pretty interesting--they promoted me. Fancy that. Now, instead of testing amps and speaker cabinets all day (something that, over time, sounds better than it really is), I'm a customer service boy. Hello this is Bryan from SWR can I help you? Yep. I also deal with SWR's authorized service centers 'round the country, customer repairs, technical advice, the works. Pretty weird, huh? At least they like me.
One thing you should look out for is the SWR E-Mail Newsletter. In the past, SWR CEO Steve W. Rabe (get it? S.W.R.?) has written a little newsletter for folks on SWR's mailing list about what's going on with the company, new products, the standard stuff. Well, of course I had to go and open my big mouth about my supposed "writing ability", and you know what happened next--I was recruited to write the latest edition of the SWR E-mail Newsletter, and if you're on their mailing list, you'll be getting it soon. You may be shocked to see yours truly using his writing skills for such a commercial pursuit, but don't be--there's nothing in there that isn't true, even if it's a little hokey sounding. The simple truth is that they make a hell of a bass amp, and if I've got to be working a day job, this is one I can live with. By the way, do you have any idea how much people get paid for writing real, corporate commercial literature? More than you get for playing bar mitzvahs and weddings, I bet. Just a thought.
And that brings us to the story I know you've all been waiting for... the tale of Toss Panos and Ed Lucas out on the town in San Diego. Boy, is this a good one.
Apparently Toss had plans to visit his family down in San Diego for a weekend in early June. It was the Friday of this particular weekend, and Toss was just about to head out the door when the phone rang. It was our old friend Ed, a San Diego resident. Ed wanted to know when Mr. Panos would next be down San Diego way, and Toss gave him the standard "funny you should ask" response. It's not like Toss and Ed hang out every day (an arrangement that doesn't seem to bother Toss that much--I can't speak for Ed), but Toss was in a rush and basically said "what the fuck" and gave Ed directions to a place that he'd be hanging out with a couple of family members as well as Peter Schlacher, the European tour promoter for Waternoise (Toss' jazz project). Toss figured that Ed wouldn't show. He figured wrong.
By the time Ed showed up, Toss and friends/family had already consumed mass quantities of Uzo, a particularly devastating brand of Greek liquor. Ed doesn't drink, and so he was apparently happy enough simply to be in the company of some very inebriated Greeks, plus one inebriated German (Peter Schlacher's nationality). Party on, dudes.
Toss, Ed and Peter then split from the family Panos and headed over to the Catamaran to take in a performance by The Steely Damned, a local band that covers the music of you-know-who (and a damned good job they do of it). One hour and many more drinks for Peter and Toss later, it became obvious that Ed was the only one in any condition to drive. And if you remember The Alternate Reality (and Ed's driving habits), then you're well aware that saying "Ed was the safest driver available" is saying something indeed.
After leaving the Catamaran, the next agreed upon destination was a strip club. This brought our drunken heroes to a somewhat seedy part of town. Ed suddenly turned right into a dark street and declared, "Hey you guys, I'm gonna go change my shirt." Ed then ran out of the car and up into his (apparent) dwelling, leaving the car parked awkwardly in the middle of the street. Toss, realizing that the car was in a bad spot, was forced to jump into the driver's seat and get the car turned around and parked properly. As Toss performed some kind of illegal maneuver to get the car pointed in the right direction, a cop car came up from behind them, lights flashing and sirens wailing. Toss stopped. The cop got out of the car and asked, "What are you guys doing here?" It was a D.U.I. waiting to happen. But wait--it gets better.
Toss tried to explain to the nice officer (without breathing in his general direction) that they were merely waiting for a friend who went upstairs to "go change his shirt". The cop, understandably, was skeptical. He asked what their "friend" looked like. Peter replied, "Well, he's kind of big, with glasses and a military haircut. "Really?" the cop answered curiously. All of a sudden, down came Ed with his fresh shirt on. "What's going on?" he asked. The cop scowled. "Come here," he said to Ed. The next thing Ed knew, he was in handcuffs and in the back of the cop car. Two other cop cars arrived in a matter of minutes. Toss and Peter were held there for more than 30 minutes before the cops finally explained why Ed was being detained.
It seems that in that section of San Diego, there had been reports of a man matching Ed's description who was running around flashing little kids and masturbating in front of them for their viewing pleasure. Toss and Peter meekly tried to explain that, although Ed was not the brightest bulb in the light store, he certainly wasn't capable of such a heinous act. The cops held them anyway.
Finally, one hour after Ed went to go change his shirt, the cops let Peter and Toss go about their business. When the two of them left, Ed was still in the back of the cop car in handcuffs. Was it possible that Ed could have been The San Diego Stroker? Personally I doubt it, but you never know. None of us have heard from him since.
It's always a family affair in The Life Of Bryan, isn't it? As I said earlier, it's been a bit boring 'round these parts, so I figured I could do worse than tell you that little story.
Believe it or not, that's it, making this the shortest Act since, well, since I can't even remember. Don't all clap at once. I just want to let you know that although everything's not exactly cool and exciting in the LOB, it doesn't mean that I'm not getting done what I want to get done. The new BFD studio album rocks and is almost ready for the masses. The book is real. It does exist. There's a big fucking stack of 400 pages sitting on the corner of my desk. It makes me very happy.
And I will finish it before the end of the year. Maybe even by Thanksgiving. You never know.
Before I go, I have to say one thing...THE KNICKS GOT SCREWED!! There. I feel better now. Death to all basketball dynasties and I'll talk to you in August..................B.B.
(New BryanFaceTreatments® by Douglas O'Neill.)
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