Category Archives: GUEST EDITOR

From The Desk Of The Black Watch: On Losing Friends

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

I have lost five or so close friends the past few years—to spats unresolved, envy and animosity (it’s impossible to be friends, sometimes, to people—let’s not mince words: dilettantes, really, many of them—who do the same art form you do—especially when you enjoy, after years and years and years, mind you, a bit of success/get some more recognition for all your hard work and dedication), outgrowing them and their predictable interests, misunderstandings, puerile behavior and the nature of the thing, as it were, running its course, running out of gas/steam/momentum/what-have-you. So to the great friends who remain (Brad, Liz, Liz G., Nicky, Chris, Ricky, Tyson, John, Darryl, Nora, Michael, Amy, Julia, Chip, Mark, Jim M., Jack, Laura, Nita Lu, Rob, Scott C., Craig and everyone I’ve forgotten momentarily)—thanks for hanging in there with me. As St. Thomas Aquinas said, “There is nothing more on earth to be prized than true friendship.” That’s in part why it’s one of my main themes in my book on Wes Anderson. I think it’s such a sorely neglected theme in all art, not just film. Bless Wes Anderson and his first three and best films for exploring it. And as W.H. Auden noted, works of art beget works of art. And thusly inspired I simply had to write something about that, to me, all-important theme (in my life especially) of Friendship. Fucking Innocent: The Early Films Of Wes Anderson comes out this summer. Sorry to shill, shill, shill for my stuff, you know, but I gotta keep myself in tennis balls and get my rackets re-strung once in a while and buy a book or two or a record by Idaho when it comes out.

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: Idaho (The Band, Not The State)

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

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Jeff Martin = wow. Talk about a sorely severely under-appreciated American artist—that’s Jeff. And his quondam, late partner-in-indie-rock crime John Berry. I’ve known both of those fine fellows for yonks now and have always loved their music, its plaintive beauty and pathos and twinkling four-string guitar interplay and dissonance and distortion amidst just the prettiest melodies. And the backward guitars, my god! Sucker I am always and ever for those and use them in TBW any chance I can.

I’m terrible with titles (save Beatles songs), and with keeping track of albums but I will stop my own big mouth right-the-now and send you off a-listening, to one of, for me, the greatest bands to come out of our unfair city. Here’s a gorgeous one.

The masterly way this band sounds at once drunk (on music) and stone cold you-know-what. They have so many records now it’s hard to say where to begin. I can relate, in that we have too many LPs to choose from as well. Must be something to do with we melodic-driven L.A. guitar bands: a) have a lot to say, musically; and b) have access to studios for pretty cheap as there are so many of them. Idaho are “bigger” than the black watch, sure, and they’re still just terribly overlooked by too many music fans who are wasting their time on the latest jeffy-come-latelys. Listen to Jeff Martin and Co., kids. They’ll amaze you with beauty and guitar power and seriously gorgeous off-kilter singing and arranging. Shortly before he died, John Berry said to me, “I never thought you liked us all that much, John!” when I rang him to have a chat about tennis and life and the band. I had to say, “Are you kidding me? Idaho’s been one of my very favorite bands for years and years and years now.” Wow. One more: so sad, so pretty—like the unreal girl you got … and wish you hadn’t.

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: On Being A Tennis Bum/Artist/Academic

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

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I get paid to talk about literature and life. It’s kind of a scam. Sometimes, in class, we’re laughing so hard we have to stop. Sometimes I stop the discussion in order to remark about how borderline miraculous it is that I get a salary (a not-big one) for nattering on about poems and stories and plays. I have ample (sometimes more than ample) time to write songs and novels and film criticism. I play—sometimes five times a week—a sport I love. A sport some of the very coolest (and worst!) people play. A very difficult sport, but one you might enjoy as long as you live (there’s always doubles, mixed doubles). A sport that gets more fun the better you get at it. A sport that can and will break your heart. A sport you have to see in person in order, from a spectator’s perspective, to appreciate. Everyone looks better in tennis togs. Get yourself some. Start today. Go for it. Think about it: some of the most pleasurable activities get “bum” affixed to them—ski bum, beach bum, tennis bum … Tennis, anyone?

I hate the politics of academia. One college I taught at for years gathered all of us English profs up and gave us a lecture how no one is colorblind. That’s when I knew I wasn’t long much longer for the profession. Fuck off, I screamed in my head. I have never ever seen a student’s color. I’m with Swift in hating all nations and factions and communities and in loving all individuals. The inference, in that infernal meeting, was this: Go easy on the students of color. They’ve all had it disadvantaged. Fuck that, I screamed in my head. What good will that do. That’s prejudice (I won’t say “reverse racism” on account of there is no such fucking thing!), goddamit. I hate the academy for what it’s become. It’s, as Laura Kipnis said in an interview, “a $67,000 babysitting job.” I blame the dread political correctness movement. Universities are meant not to provide students with safe spaces. But with challenging enviornments and stimulating ones, challenges not lollipops and softballs. I teach at a small university now. I love it there. It’s called California Lutheran University, and yeah, I am flamboyant and too-passionate sometimes, but I never ever see color—just kids who need to be taught how to interpret and appreciate (in both senses of the term) a text. For, as in tennis, the better you get at explication du texte, the more enjoyable reading is! Remember the text? The text? The story with characters and dialog? Not the meta-thing. We’ve gotta get back to the source, you know. To the writer—and what she wants to tell us about ourselves. Otherwise, curtains!

Read this article in the wonderful Los Angeles Review Of Books—if you dare.

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: Ranting

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

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Remember John Lydon (the pre-Trumpfriendly John Lydon) banging on about “ti-rades” and stuff? Why is it that railing against things is so funny and relatable? How likely is it that caveguy, the ur-John McEnroe, must’ve looked round first thing any given sun-up and gone, “You cannot be serious!”? Why do guys—even the sensitive and follically challenged—wear douchebag hats of the fedora and Irish-flat-cap and pork pie ilk? Why do the girls in mom jeans in my horrid and horrifically gentrified neighborhood (Angelino Heights in Los Angeles) look like Coachella’s about to begin every single weekend of the year? Why do the hip dolts down Stories Books And Cafe and the Echoplex think that coffee and/or beer are actual topics of conversation? Jesus/Buddha/Krishna gave us coffee and beer so that we would not have to say anything about them, just drink and enjoy. But nobody told the 20-nothings that. No one. Be quiet about roasting and brewing, OK, Devan, Trevin and Charlie (a girl)? Shut your yap about how the hops in this particular crafts-crafted white beer (who the fuck drinks white beer, anyway—only mouthbreathers, surely?) from Upper Outer Portland (where else?) are “like, so, like, different” from the ones in the pale lager ale stout bock half-pint (yeah, they drink half-pints like candyassed-pappa’s boys!) they had, like, two, like weeks ago, like, before the Neutral Milk Hotel show at Divey’s, The Funk Room, Douche Hall, Stinky’s, The Wally Club or The Rip-Off Arena. Sometimes pure invective, just stringing together abusive terms, is a great motif of satire. Shakespeare knew it. Good old Philip Roth certainly knew it. It’s hard to sound content, as in the Browningesque “God’s in’s heaven, all’s right with the world” way, and make people laugh. Everybody’s so nice and polite these days, dead fearful of offending anybody at all. It’s appalling. The PCness and convenience is killing us. No one knows how to do anything but stare at an app all day. Get the hell off my lawn! I shout that and proudly. I don’t have a lawn, mind you—I live in L.A.—but if I did you had better not get on it or I will in my most stentorian fashion yodel at you to get off it … and come in and have a cuppa tea. Some of the funniest people I know (well, first of all, they’re not professional commedians) are raging right now against the machines, and the ridiculous, and the pretentious, and the young, and the old, and the uneducated, and the self-righteous, and the bureaucracies, and the governments, and the corporations, and the trends, and the technologically snobbish and the know-alls and the ones who’d lead you to enlightenment (while lightening your pocketbook). Give me liberty or give me death-by-caviling against … just about anything I care to bemoan/protest/inveigle against. I’ve been reading Jonathan Swift again. His poems. Brilliant. Everyone cites his late-stage so-called “madness.” The poor old dean. His takedowns are priceless. You’ve read Gulliver’s Travels, surely. Go back to them. Read the startlingly brilliant The Tale Of A Tub, too. Would I kid you? I would. But not about satire and screeds. Now more than ever. Now more than ever.

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: “Your Caius Aquilla”

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

Set in ancient Rome, my latest novel is a satire of U.S. imperialism and militarism, helicopter parenting (cossetted children and their mad, doting governors), modern marriage, war hero stories, schadenfreude, xenophobia, jingoism, egoism and overconsumption. Martin Amis said that good novels must be about at least two things. Well, I’m not sure if my new thing is good, but it sure is about more than two things. The first draft I did was two pages long. It was meant for The New Yorker‘s “Shouts And Murmurs” section. I sent it in in order for The New Yorker to reject it. I like the fact that they’re consistent, The New Yorker: They reject all my stuff. They never let me down. They’re good like that. So, once I got the ineluctable rejection notice from the aforementioned terrific magazine, I thought, “Fuck it, then. I’ll make this quite long, keep the joke going for a preposterously long stint.” And I found myself (as I do whenever I’m in the middle of working on a book) dying to come screaming home and “be with” my characters, Caius Aquilla, bumbling legionary, and his beautiful and fanciful and quite hilarious (plus indulgent) wife Lora. I find I write best when there’s no plot in mind; I write in order to find out what my characters will do next. I write in order to write myself into and out of corners, so to speak. I write to keep myself from being bored with life. I write in order to make myself laugh—and others too, I hope. Anyone comes up and tells me they’ve read my fiction my only question isn’t, “Did you like it?” but, “Did you laugh out loud—and maybe a bunch?” That’s all I’m aiming at. There aren’t enough, I daresay, funny books in this old world. I’ll tell you precisely what influenced (aside from that atrocious and useless, now I come to think of it, magazine from that wonderful city to the east of civilization) me—save you the trouble of thinking/wondering: Rome (the HBO show, Robert Graves’ immortal I, Claudius, the fiction of George Saunders (Hi, George!), Philip Roth’s crude and over-the-top screeds in the early novels, dumb old movies wherein actors speak in British accents for any given historical setting, Proust’s masterpiece, the slapstick stuff that would set my dear old dad, Bill, giggling like mad whenever we watched telly together, and both Kingsley and Martin Amis (who are comedy gods, if you ask me). Along with Nabokov. Always Nabokov.

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: Epiphone Casinos

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

The Beatles made them famous. And when I finally bought one (Craigslist Los Angeles is a treasure trove of guitars you can get off poor chaps who’ve overextended themselves and need to sell gear to make rent—or perhaps because they’ve not “made it” in “The Biz” by some self-allotted/determined time and are sedulously/zealously going back to trying acting or writing screenplays in dingy coffee-eries in the Valley); off a guy who couldn’t pay his rent and needed to offload one of his too-many axes—I kind of retired as it were my notorious 1969 cherry red Gibson ES 335 (notorious as I got it off a guy, way back when in Santa Barbara, who’d been given it by Donny Osmond, no less!). I too have too many guitars. I too have had to sell gear to make rent (usually Fender Jaguars and Fender Jazzmasters). Yet I’m no guitar geek, I don’t think: I can’t stand chat about tuners and pickups and gauges of string. I don’t know why, aside from the look and the feel of them (I would never ever play a guitar that had a single-cutaway shape … erm, guess I am something of a guitar nerd and snob!), I love Epiphone Casinos so much. I do know I would love to have another one! A nice red one, as played by Robert Smith sometime before he orchestrated that atrocious signature guitar; or a shaven blonde one, as played by John Winston Somebody; or a nice sunburst one, just like the one I have, as played by the so-called Modfather (who, no kidding, I ran into in the Rough Trade shop off Portobello Road the other month–he was looking for records by a band called the Jam, I think). Hello, rep for Epiphone? You listening? Hello?! Hello??!!

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: The Poems Of John Tottenham

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

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Los-Angeles-by-way-of-Kent poet John Tottenham has amassed a formidable following doing stand-up poetry round this here metropolis by amusing-to-death his audience with verse that’s all about his life as a self-professed failure. Despite the fact that he’s published two well-received (in alternative circles, of course, for who but superkooks and poety poets themselves and grad students in English reads poetry these dark days?) and at times darkly funny volumes, like this and this—no mean feat. Tottenham considers himself an unmitigated no-hoper, a superloser, a “failed visionary” (courtesy his website) and master of wasters, a laird of lament and bard of supremely beatific disappointment and hopelessness. Sound fun? It is, actually. Try not to smile at lines such as this, from the snidely titled “Rush Hour”: “I thought I was dead, but, after a few seconds, I realized/That I was lying on the floor”; or this, from the assonance-laden and gallopingly dubbed “Anomic Otiosity”: “For many years/I have sat down to do the work/That the world would be no worse off/Without, and I have not done the work.”

Have a gander at Tots in in-action, as it were: See how he fairly hectors the throng with tales of woe, his emotional entrails self-eviscerated for one’s amusement and delectation. You’ll find yourself laughing, on account of that’s easier and less embarrassing than bursting into tears. Artist/martyr, handsome devil, celebrity washout (total loss, sinking ship, lead balloon, stalemate), purveyor of glorious lassitude, ennui, accidie, otiosity, sloth, languishings, self-contempt, “the horror, the horror,” this is a literary lion in the making. Though, when mass admiration descends, John Tottenham will most likely find a way to turn it into a catastrophe. I love that word: It comes from the Greek for “overturning”—something disastrous for a sea-faring people who didn’t necessarily require sailors to take swimming lessons. Come dip into Tottenham’s poems; you might drown your own silly sorrows in your tears of laughter at his inimitable encomiums to himself-as-grave-disappointment (to himself).

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: London Vs. Los Angeles

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

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Wherever you live, you have stuff you love about your city or town, and stuff you put up with and grin and bear the unbearable about it. That’s why, these days, I try to toggle as much as I can between the two places I love most: LDN and LAX. The realities/myths are that you can’t live either place without a ton of dosh, but that’s just not true and I’m living proof of it. On account of I don’t go out in L.A. (save to the tennis courts and to the studio), and going out in London’s easy peasy because just walking round, taking in the joint, doesn’t cost you anything and rewards you in total wonderment withersoever you roam. You do need to buy a pint or in my case just two per, but that’s manageable. Tennis is another matter, but I do get to play when I go over to The Big Smoke. My friends in the Damn Vandals are keen tennis guys. That’s about all I’ll say about those two cities. As much as L.A. gets slagged, I am chuffed to know many great, ambitious real artists here and cool impresarios. Not just people who think they’re artists just ’cause they go round saying weird things. So many of them. Their name’s legion. In London, you don’t have that. People tell you to piss off straight away. No one tells anyone the truth in L.A. As Pauline Kael rightly opined, “It’s where you can die of encouragement.” It’s hard to be an artist anywhere, really. But those are my cities. I love New York, but I’m not tough enough for you, Big Apple. All my NYC friends can smugly stow that one away. My kid lives there and loves it. But he’s a tough guy. I’m a sweetie, me. With a tart bite.

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: Musicals (And Samuel Fucking Johnson)

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

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I abominate musicals, so I wrote one last year. That’s my motivation in a nutshell—I did the same thing with a screenplay a few years ago: wrote one in a week, sold it in a month, just to prove to my screenwriter friends that screenwriting’s not writing, it’s typing (to crib from Capote’s quip about Kerouac). You plug in a formula, rev up some characters, The End. Now musicals, people talking then bursting into sooooongggg!!! Dreadful. Such kitsch. And yet. I’m so in love with a dead guy that I just had to write a play about him and his buddy and biographer James Goddam Boswell. I think playwrights have the hardest job: You have to have a plot. And, for me, plots are for graveyards. I can’t plot. Plots do emerge in my novels from character—but I never ever lay them out; they just come. It’s thrilling to write that way. It’s sort of like songwriting: You pick up your Epiphone Casino and play one strange chord and go to one that answers it, in a way, in a word. Any old road, I wrote this thing called Dr Johnson And Mr Boswell: a kinda/sorta musical, and I had a table reading of it with some actor “friends” (you can’t be friends with actors; there’s no one there to be friends with) and now I have no idea what to do with it on account of I really don’t know anyone in theatre and can’t be bothered to go plumping round the fringey venues to try to find someone to stage it. It’s really pretty funny, though. And there are modern characters who interact with the 18th century ones. It’s about this beautiful recent PhD who doesn’t want to be an academic (I can relate to that!) and her ex-beau who’s having a hard time being a songwriter (uh, yeah), and she wants to make art and she goes to London and she and this former flame sort of rekindle their interest in art and each other by way of writing a play about her hobby horse, Sam Johnson—perhaps the greatest writer/man who ever lived. And the saddest and most tortured and human. Late in my career I became an 18th century guy. In grad school, you’re young and romantic and you get carried away with Keats and Shelley and Shakepeare and love and romance. Then you grow up and come to The Age of Reason. If you’re me. Read Walter Jackson Bate’s biography of Johnson. Read my pal Henry Hitchings’ recent book on The Great Cham. It’ll open up a whole new world of psychology and humanist thinking and gorgeous pathos for you. Then, if you’re a director and a literary one and you’re reading this, get in touch with me and I’ll send you a musical with really fun and funny songs and a lot of things to think about and some lovable characters and bawdy 18th century frilly witting charming cockles-warming stuff as well. Rollicking, eh?

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From The Desk Of The Black Watch: Daydrinking

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

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I had a mini-stroke two years ago now, after a simply disastrous national tour. Two former TBW members rejoined the band on account of bassist Chris Rackard and other guitarist Tyson Cornell were: a) sane and knew what we were up against; b) busy working real jobs and couldn’t go. The ironic thing is that the tour would have been great had they been able to ruin their lives a little by going, but instead these two former members ruined mine, and the tour, by bitching and backbiting and generally behaving like petulant children and talking unreal smack behind my back the entire tour—they even brawled onstage at this one gig in Austin where our poor label head Luann Williams was so looking forward to showing us off to what turned out to be a great crowd that was treated to a real show, as it were. We turned round at the East Coast and drove back across country rather than enduring any more abuse from said former members, who, in all fairness, I asked too much of and never should have expected them to do something they could never in million years do. Another of our former label heads, who knows them both very well, said to me, “John, what did you expect with those two? I know you love those guys, but get through a tour? They’ve never finished anything in their lives. Not even breakfast!” Weird thing is, we were all of us, for 20-years-plus, the best of best friends. Best friends, horrible bandmates. And the price I paid for trying to make it work was, two days after the nightmare had ended, a new one began and I woke up feeling dizzy and hungover after a night of not-drinking and went to hospital and the opthalmalogist said, upon examining me, “Hey, it’s not your eyes, it’s in your brain,” and they sent me to emergency, and as it happened I’d had an occluded nerve in the back of my head that occasioned a stroke and had to go on all manner of medication, wear an eye patch in order to see (what fun that was—driving in L.A. with one eye!), not read for four months (that was killing) and not drink at all. Now, I love beer and scotch and tequila. I mean, I love drinking. Daydrinking. And I still do. But now I only get one or maybe two pints a day or a finger or two of whiskey and I’ll tell you—it tastes so good, feels so good when you only get a rumor as it were of something. It’s sort of hampered me in terms of my fiction writing because I am used to having a fat glass of something in order to unlock the vaults where my characters live. Now I do it with Earl Grey tea. I sort of get a serous tea buzz going and start dreaming up sentences and scenarios. Daydrinking’s sort of like going to matinees: You feel like you’re getting away with something while all the world’s at work. Writing and recording is intensely hard work—ask any artist—but it doesn’t feel like it because you lose yourself in it so often. I can’t imagine life without making songs and stories. Or drinking beer and scotch and tequila … in snippets and slowly, savoring every sip.

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