Monday, July 1, 2013

MY NEW LEAF (Turn It With Me)

93 of these things. Jesus. That means Cry Now will celebrate its 100th installment in issue 107, unless Albert pulls the plug on me before then.  I’ll have to plan something special for the occasion, turn it into a real extravaganza. Maybe kick off a nine-part investigative series on whatever it is that seems to be happening to Dave Mustaine’s brain. Written in haiku form, with a phonetic Irish accent.

I’m guessing some of you aren’t laughing at that one. Mostly because it probably seems like something I might actually attempt in this column. Which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all of you—and Albert, and Bonzo, and of course my solid-as-a-fucking-rock Cry Now partner Brunofsky—for sticking with me through this pseudo-psychotic safari, this ongoing odyssey, this monthly marathon of occasionally half-baked ideas from a fully-cooked psyche.

I can say with 1000% certainty that I am a completely different human being today than I was on that day in 2006 when Albert called me and proceeded to make the biggest mistake of his entire life by asking, What would you write about if I gave you your own column?  I think it’s safe to say the poor bastard had no idea what he was in for. And neither did I, for that matter. Looking back on the past 92 issues, I see some ridiculous things in this column—shit I barely remember writing, and plenty of shit I probably should have kept to myself. But I also see occasional flashes of coherence.

As for the differences between then and now?  I’ve got less hair, fewer teeth, and the ability to write a cover story without staying up for three days straight on methamphetamines. In addition to writing about bands, I actually play in one of my own now. I’m older, obviously, and I like to think wiser. I’ve met an incredible amount of awesome people through this magazine, made friends with folks in bands that I admire, and have had many once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I will take to my grave. I’ve also realized that I’m not invincible, which is a bigger hurdle to overcome than one might think.

I’ve moved five times, including across the country, during the course of our first 100 issues—which is even more frequently than it seems when you consider that I’ve been living in the same house for the last four years. In fact, one of the only constants in my life since Decibel started has been Decibel itself. Albert has sent (and occasionally accompanied/babysat) me around the world to pursue stories about Scandinavian black metal, the Mexican underground, and French mega-festivals. Thanks to Decibel, I’ve shot hoops with Kerry King, shot skeet with Iron Maiden, and bum-rushed Disneyland with the Melvins. I even had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Ronnie James Dio and Peter Steele before they passed into the great beyond. I’ve also crashed cars on the job, been threatened physically for things I’ve written in these pages, and been the subject of legal threats leveled at the publisher. I’ve been so late with stories that Albert has lost a few hairs of his own. But it was all in the pursuit of journalistic excellence. Most of it, anyway.

In honor of these memories and in light of all the aforementioned ch-ch-ch-CHAIN-ges, I’ve made a decision: The next seven installments of Cry Now will contain absolutely none of the phantasmagoric fantasy-headaches that the first 92 specialized in. No more fake letters to the editor, no more fake band correspondence, no more semiotic cartwheels through time and/or space or whatever. Definitely no more making fun of people, especially Satan, who is absolutely to be taken seriously at all times. For the next seven issues, I’m gonna be Wolf-Blitzer earnest. Grave, somber, businesslike. Stoic, even. A straight shooter.

I’m not just joshing you. I swear it.

This bullshit originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Decibel magazine. 

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