You Need To Do Something Anything

Ohhhh...oh, that's right Mr. Tough Guy. Oh, the motherfuckin' crows are at the door, Sunny Jim. You need to raise that prodigious lumpass of you'rn off that chair and get out a oz. or two of the ol' leaderooni. God damn straight.

You're getting lived, man. Your skin and your organs and your whole flippin' Tract are living off you while you sit there and fret like a horny nun. You see what I'm saying? The tail is wagging the polesmokin' dog, Dingbert.

And while you sit there and contemplate that oh-so-scrumptious rubato G minor 9th with that kooky dancing 11th you better take pause and exercise some of yo' much vaunted honesty and self-diprications. Oh, yes you had.

Time's runnin' down, man. See? Diggit? The little hand and all that shit? Oh, my god when I sit here and think of what I've done with all that time. Oh, my god I may as well have just spent it sitting in a window with my schramm in m'hand watching the traffic move heavy and low across th' Connecticut river Valium and making up offcolor lim'ricks.

Shitweed, people reach out to you every day and you there on your bum feelin' forsaken and artistic. Fuckin' parasite. You make me sick. The sight of you.

You're fuckin' old. You're set in your little patterns and now you're boring and now you're going to be wrong when people ask you things but you won't know it. Because you're a lazy sack of garbage who's lost his raison d'etre or some fucking crap and when you speak th' universe wobbles not in the slightest.

Best you can do now is exhibit some class. At least show some class. And I don't mean be a polesmokin' jackoff with lengthy opinions about everything that everyone rolls their god damn eyes about behind your back. Jesus, how are you going to get by being such a pud? You're like fuckin' Giamatti in Sideways but hotter. Maybe you can do something. Anything. Maybe be the guy with the drugs. That's a fine fallback for the Boring And Aged.

What the fuck? What the everloving fuck? My friend? What's it to be?

Check a fuckin' box, Otis.


Why It's Called "The Orchestra Of Sweet Regret".

I was going through all my boxes of stage cable and kits and organizing the studio and live rigs last spring and I pulled out a little Fender 1/4" cable with elbow ends and threw it in the "test" pile.

Later when I plugged it in it was deader than fuck and the solder looked fine on th' business ends; it was weird. Then I noticed that a staple had been driven into it, shorting it. A staple gun staple, not a li'l paper job.

And I realized what had happened on that July night in 2001 at Irvine Meadows in front of 20,000 people when my boss, Martyne Le Noble, bassist for Jane's Addiction, lost his signal on stage. I always hated every time I had to add cable to his rig because that shit is so gremlin-prone, and he had this little Boss stompbox tuner/mute out front on stage where I couldn't get at it with two 20 foot cables that used to make my skin crawl. You can travel with as much backup as you want, and you do, man. Three of everything that there isn't four of. Dozens and dozens of sets of strings. But you can't reverse a problem, man. You can only correct it.

Martyne used to say, "every time I pick up my bass I want new strings on it". Dude, these guys do not pay for strings. Or amps, or instruments, or anything. Manufacturers beg them to use their rigs. Anything they want. The SWR rep used to follow me around, which was weird because SWR is what I like. These big rock guys are all Ampeg/SVT all the time.

After this experience I didn't have to buy bass strings for two years. I had like a trillion sets of Martyne's once-played GHS Boomers.

Perry Farrell was always pressuring me to get Martyne to be super-deep, super-subbed and I'd be like dude I'm not going to go tell Martyne how to sound. I'd tell Martyne about what he'd said because my loyalty was to him and I wanted him to know th' chatter upstairs but he'd be like they can just crank the lows front-of-house. Which isn't really how you want to do it. You want a watermelon, you know? You don't want a cherry under a magnifying glass. You want to start with a cumquat.

See, we didn't even know that he'd cut out at the time, he or I, because we were running three concurrent SVT Pro heads and three Ampeg 8 10's, and only one of them cut out. But it was the one that was mic'd and there was no DI, not even a safety, because it was a festival gig with a million bands each playing twenty minutes, and there was a huge, HUGE revolving stage and it was a mess. And there were no walkie-talkies like there would have been on a regular three- or four- act shed gig so someone could have just told me to move the mic to another cab and the problem would have been over in 8 seconds.

Later I learned th' rumor was that Courtney Love had come up onstage and unplugged him just to fuck with him. Courtney was known for doing shit like that, apparently. I was like, Martyne, nothing would please me more than to just say yeah, that's what happened, but your cable shorted.

So what happened was there was this union stage guy who'd worked for Martyne on a South American tour he did with The Cult and he was fucking with me from the minute the gear trucks rolled in. I had to literally go looking for my 8X10 speaker cases three fucking times because he'd roll them off somewhere to fuck with me. He wanted my gig. It's like that, man. It's fucking like that. Our tour manager carried a fucking gun, you know?

So, last time I told him off. I told him to stay the fuck away from my gear or I'd fucking work him. And I fucking meant it. I was right up on him, looking down. He looked like a San Diego dude, tats everywhere, backward cap, "evil" facial hair, all that shit. I didn't want him to think I would just attempt to roll him there. I just wanted him to know I meant business enough that I'd do whatever I had to do and that's worse. I had cashed in every polesmoking chit by this time- I really, really wanted this fucking gig. 2,000 a week, man. Hanging out with Flea and Navarro and th' Dileo brothers and Eric Kretz and shit. Sounded fucking good to me. And I knew if I wasn't an asshole I'd eventually get an audition on bass for somebody real. And I would fucking nail it to the floor and my career would fucking begin after an epic, epic motherfucking apprenticeship. And if anybody got in the way of that I'd fucking kill them and cut them into little pieces and mail them home, god damn it.

See, I'm a fucking musician, dig? Whenever the party would split into musicians and crew I looked weird stepping over to the crew side, you know? And not just to me. And in '01 I was a fucking rock star, all bleached and black-clad and still in love with myself. Actually, I'm still the first two, but the other thing takes a toll on your face, man. But the biggest thing is how much I wanted it. Oh, I challenge you, I fucking challenge you to want something as much as I wanted in to that world, man. I challenge you to close your eyes and picture that aching, aching high school unrequited crush going down on her knees in front of you tits-out in slomo and I wanted it 10 times more than that, man. Every minute of every day for twenty, long, boring, aching motherfucking years. Of being a fucking SCHLUMP. A fuckin' waste of area and knowing. Having The Knowing is the biggest, biggest hurt, soldier.

The worst thing though, even worse than having The Knowing, is losing The Knowing, man. You know what I'm talking about. Pick any song of mine. They're all about th' Loss Of The Knowing. The Knowing that Something Polesmokin' Great is coming because you're Special. And the deal then was that I'd hit like four or five crossroads in my life where I had to really step the fuck up and the first couple times I'd sort've bunted and then when I had the taste of fucking dirt in my mouth and I was rounding 30 I fuckin' lunged at those crossroads and marked them like a fucking tree.

Oh, this was the one. This was the Big Red Fucking One. I'd been scared shitless when I managed to get the gig but I had just willed it away and said fuck, yeah, fuck yeah, fuck, yeah.

So, yeah- I told Navarro's tech about the fucking thing with the union guy and he was like dude, you just fucked up hard. You'd better watch your shit and also your back, come to think about it.

See, this is a high-stakes fucking gig. In a high-stakes business. It can open up a fucking world to you. This tech, Jason, worked for STP and Jane's and Cheryl Crow and he was making half a million a fucking YEAR. What, he had to travel year-'round? Dude, half a million a year is put-up-with-it-for-six-years-and-retire-to-fuckin'-MAUI money.

Man, a lot of things went wrong that night- it was a messy gig, but that's how it is. It was messy for everybody. I got a rack tuner stolen and had to borrow Coldplay's. Stealing, stealing, stealing. All of Martyne's picks got lifted right off his amp and I had to fucking think fast. The monitor mix was bad, Perry's vocal, all this shit. Shit that happens all the fuckin' time, but people don't freak and they pull it together and no one knows up front.

I guess a head had to roll on this one, though. I think they thought it was that bad. And I was th' newest member of the crew. I'd already had problems with fucking Stedtler, that fucking weasel tour manager. He bitched at me over nothing and then asked me if I was O.K. and I told him I'd been yelled at worse by scarier people than him. Yeah, I should have kept my mouth shut. I just hate that fake tough shit, though. Fucking walk up to me with a gun in your rig and you better fucking plan on having it in plain sight. God damn it.

But yeah, see- I pulled out this little Fender cable last spring and there was a staple in it. The staple and the stage hand.

The Staple Of Destiny, man.

See what happened? See how it all comes together? Do you see how all the little variables sort of bounce around and then find each other like they're magnetic, dog? There are all these things you don't know and that's what makes the first half of your life interesting. I used to just sit in my apartment and say what the fuck crazy, cool-ass thing is going to happen next? You can live your life like it's a boat going fuck-knows where. Fuck-knows where.

I still don't know what's going to happen one day to the polesmoking next. Like, I had no idea I'd write my best post ever tonight. Or that I'd cry like this and then grow some fucking stones and repair the cable like a big boy. I can't afford to throw fucking cables away like some rock star. Some crazy bleached and black-clad rock star in fuckin' LA. Writing a hit at th' Chateaux Marmont. Sitting on my fucking bed. In my fucking room.


Doctor Devendra's Answers Your Vexing Rock Health Questions #8

Oh, my many friends of the Intersites! We are having modern this technological witchcraftery that employs my many countrymen and yours not so many! It is I, your dear Dr. Devendra, coming at you with much Rock Health wisdom from the shrines and helpdesk corporations dotting the many hillsides of Uttar Pradesh!

Hots of the press, my friends- I'm am in the working on an audio version of my Rock Health Forum which to be posting soon! Featured guests include the much importantly Thom Yorke from Head Radio and the great Yoko Ono! Please to stay tuned!

Let us be beginning!

Dear Dr Devendra Banhart:

Am I even allowed to ask you a question? As a working musician, I have no health care.

Please advise.


My Dear Poor;

Here at Dr. Devendra's we do not disincriminate against the incomely-otherenabled! Please to be posting your rock and rolling health questions to your dear Doctor! I have degree in Rock Medicine!

I am specializing in the non-costing much cures for Rock ailments!

Sincerely, Doctor Anoush Devendra

Dear Dr. Rock,

I'm that annoying inexplicably-popular female singer from 'No Doubt' and even I'm confused by my new single.

I've forgotten if sampling 'The Lonely Goatherd' from 'The Sound Of Music' was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek post-modern irony, deliberately trying to create a disposable novelty-single, or a blind admission that the song had no discernible hook or melody of its own.

Which is it? Help!

Yours untalentedly,

Dear Justa;

Oh heavens this is a terrible, terrible song indeed! I have suggestions to make Goatheard much less lonely amongst his flocks.

I have no words for you or for describing this awfulness! I refer you to Doctor Dishsopp Ananda Crappagesh who specializes in Rock Euthanasia.

I do, however, prescribe for you a sanswich. A Nembutal sanswich to be taken with Wodka.

Sincerely, Doctor Anoush Devendra

Dear Dr. A. Devendra:

In performance in 1998, I fell off a stage and injured my left fulcrum. I have been living with pain ever since and my fans don't seem to care: they just want me to keep rocking on, the selfish bastards.

Is it time to retire to Bali or have you a prescription?

A Big Rock Star

Dear, Dear A. Big;

The Fulcrum is the site of many of the Rock Injuries! For many years we in the Rock medical community have been of prescribing a full replacement although in my dear India now they are in the pioneering phase of a new resurfacing procedure which looks waguely like this.

Also, my Dear A., we have made many breakthrough on replacing left fulcrum with right fulcrum and then replacing the missing right with the left. Problems have arised in testing but are being daily researched.

Actually, yes- Bali sounds like good option for you.

Be avoiding the nightclubs if you please.

Dear Doctor,

Please help me. I'm damaged.

There's a pain where there once was a heart!

It's sleepin', its a-beatin', won't you please tear it out and preserve it right there in that jar?

Glimmer Twins,
Down in Virginny with your Cousin Lou

My Dear Mr. Richard Keithson;

I am not in the understanding of your dilemma for how can there be a pain and no heart and then you speak of tearing out this heart that is not there?

And for how it is a-beatin' while at same time a-sleepin' being?

Thanks for heavens I am not Rock lyric doctor!

Your answer lies in Switzerland my old friend!

However, yes- we can tear it out and preserve. For 24 hours.

Sincerely, Doctor Anoush Devendra, Rock Doctor.


My favorite posts

are th' ones that people just sort of "stay away from".