3 Of The Strangest Musicians I Have Ever Met…Part #3, Person #3 Of 3…[Remixed, Re-Edited, and Remastered]…

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

3 Of The Strangest Musicians I Have Ever Met…Part #3, Person #3 Of 3…Rob Zombie.

 

There are three artists that stand out in my mind as being quite interesting people and very strange at the same time. The years have allowed me to meet some extremely eccentric 180315f-illcharacters. As I said there are three that instantly come to mind, and here’s the story on the third.

I reiterate, over the years of working in the nightclubs, I would have some very memorable encounters with musicians often well or just before they became famous. You know already that I worked for a string of clubs in a major city, and depending on the night I could be doing Fashion shows, DJ’s, Boxing matches, Spoken Word, Gay nights, Local and International acts, and all things outside and in between.

My coming to this conclusion about the strangest musicians I have ever met, all have different characteristics as to how they were chosen. This person was part of a band that I was onto very early on. I had a feeling they would be big because they were playing some earth shattering music, and it sounded different from everyone else. It was heavy and loud but they still had there own sound signature, so if you heard them you instantly knew who it was. What it was, slowed up and sexy grind core, with a dark foreboding melodic edge.

Beyond this strange character I am writing about here is a bigger story, that is all about the phenomenon of one band member having a vision, and it would be fair to say that these people may not have become famous without their original band that got them there. That is to say that once one member that was the voice of a band was able to turn the original 363381-1-1254775920877members into “hired guns” over time they could leave and restart a band based around them with new members and continue on, leaving all loyalties behind.

There are a lot of bands that have done this, some of the more notable ones are Billy Corgan of The Smashing pumpkins removing D’arcy and James Iha and creating a whole new band and acting as if the band was the same. Now we can see Billy was always the  leader and creator for the band, he had reached stardom, by losing the original members could he now reap more of the profits and full control? (The way the finances are split between the members). Who knows he may have had this setup from the beginning. I know that Billy has said he played most if not all of the music on their first and best albums. Ever since losing James and D’arcy they have not been anywhere near as good IMO.

Next is The Black Crowes, I must preface this part with the idea that was not all their fault…but then again some of it was. I also would like to say that both Chris and Rich Robinson have never received the respect that they deserved as songwriters when Marc Ford, Johnny Colt, and Uncle Ed were in the band. Marc Ford was fired for drug problems and Johnny Colt probably left because he had enough. I personally know that being around 363381-7-1280682138731the dark cloud of the fighting Robinson Brothers, was hard to endure and I remember the anger between the two could be cut with a knife backstage before and after shows.

Another is Megadeth…again another situation where it was not all Dave Mustaine’s fault. There is however in all of the examples I present here enough fault to go around for everyone. Chris and Gar from the original lineup was inevitable because of drugs and death. Mustaine along with Junior were so amazingly good with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza. Bassist David Ellefson recently stated in part of a Blabbermouth article were he said that people don’t like band lineup changes but it is inevitable. I can see his point, sometimes you just can’t be around “unprepared” band members. I do see that Nick and Marty are everywhere as good as they were then and the current Megadeth lineup is not tight, with Drover on drums, he is always fighting to keep up and drumming style is boring IMO. Chris Broderick is technically amazing on guitar but the sound is to the point of being clinical and lacking any feeling or soul. So as much as Ellefson may be right about lineup changes being inevitable, I can also come to the conclusion that it does not mean a real progression for a band, symbolically yes…creatively, no.

Next the situation is a little bit different but comparable in every way to the aforementioned bands without getting rid of any members. That was Nirvana, and you know how I feel about them. The one thing in the Nirvana story which got me hissing was when Kurt Cobain through lawyers decided to change the three way split that had been in place, to where Krist and Dave received a percent of the original split because they were not the main songwriters. Maybe it’s just me but if I was in the same situation there is no way I would reconfigure the three way split out of principle. As it was, everyone would be filthy 18024-hottest_worldrich for life with the three way split. I understand Kurt was the force, but the band was Nirvana because of all three members.

Then there is Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy under the cover of Sharon has continually screwed original and former members out of publishing and writing credits since the beginning. A lot of what made Ozzy famous was his voice as bad as it could be live…it still was a force and often hauntingly amazing. Ozzy would never have been able to pick up the pieces after his firing from Black Sabbath without Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, and Lee Kerslake. Sharon was behind all the underhandedness and Ozzy just went along. Before “Blizzard of Oz” was released, the band had agreed to call and label themselves “The Blizzard Of Oz Band”, and that their first album would state this. When the album came out it was Ozzy who received top billing and the rest of the band just became the name of the album. Sharon chalked this up to a “Printing Error”, ahh yeah…ok! Ozzy is known to be able to come up with good random melodies but he barely wrote any of the music on his first two albums. Ozzy and Sharon did not want to give writing credits to anyone but Ozzy and maybe Randy (Also Rudy and Tommy who were the touring band later on but did not perform on the first two albums), and later would call the real authors of the albums session musicians. They did the same to Jake E. Lee. Very sad, and there is so much more to this story but I can’t get into it here now, it will have to come in a future article. To hear this about one of my favorite artists really left a bad taste in my mouth.

The last group I would like to touch on is Guns N’ Roses. They fit this list in the sense that Axl wanted ownership of the name and he’s been the force for many years now. Where they are different is that original members come back and leave  the band (for the most part) on their own volition. Some members don’t want to come back at least for now. Oddly enough the fact that the new Gun’s N’ Roses is very good musically and sounding excellent, and Duff is back…is a great sign that Rose with all his eccentricities has assembled a tight musical entity with Bumblefoot and Ashba.

So all of these stories have something in common and it took me some years for it to pan out. There are many other bands that I did not touch on here in the same or similar situations but you get the point. There is something to be said for a major creative force in a band taking control and continuing the money machine however it can be done. Where there is no loyalty to the other members from the past that made the band the success it is today. The lineups that I mentioned were amazing to watch and it was when all these bands were at there best. The members kicked to the curb were forces to watch onstage, now I go to see any of these bands live today and it is all about one or two members and they do not have the mojo that they once had (with the exception of Guns N’ Roses). With that said, I am still a fan at heart and Bild-105-600x685still listen and follow these bands…and I can’t help loving them even if they are just a shell of their former selves.

So with all that said, there was a band that I personally witnessed this phenomenon, and it has been largely written out of the record books, but as I was there I saw it happen right before my eyes. The band was White Zombie and it’s co-founder Rob Zombie. Now if you go to see Rob with his band name being all him, and you did not follow him early on you may not know the details on the split. It was not a direct result of the end of Rob and Sean’s intimate relationship, as that had ended years before. This may have been part of a continuing tension, but I got to see Rob in action in the early days, and now I know that Rob never had the desire to stay in White Zombie and that it was all about him. When guitarist Jay and bassist Sean we’re kicked to the curb it was not a surprise to me, again as it was all about Rob.

I remember seeing White Zombie live many times and at the beginning it was a small audience that grew quickly from show to show. I also remember seeing them play a club and it was sold out, and the next night I went to see them play at a different venue, the Campus Club in Providence Rhode Island and there were seven people there (Yes, seven including me). They played to an empty club and did a full set. I also remember that Rob did not interact with many of the fans at any of the gigs I was at, he would push them off on to Jay or Sean, and they would stop and talk for as long as you wanted they were really nice. This happened so many times to me and I saw it happen to others all the time. In fact Rob Zombie was one of the musicians that I found myself in a situation to talk to him dozens of times and he never spoke more than a few words to me…he always had a look of I don’t care, I’m all business.

So I had many conversations about music and other things with Jay and Sean Individually, so at the time I did not care about the lay of the land to come. Then there was the time I realized all was not good in White Zombie land. Jay and Sean were at NAMM in Anaheim and they were signing autographs on a photo of just him and Sean from “White Zombie” and there was no Rob in the picture. I remember thinking that’s weird that Rob is not in a White Zombie press photo. Sean and Jay also did not look happy to be there as well. It’s safe to say they looked miserable and a few years later would come to find out that Zombie had split IMG_3229_editedup and that Rob was going solo. Everything clicked at that moment to me. Rob, in my mind was the epitome of an opportunist and if you ask Rob Zombie fans, many would only know of Rob being the star.

Don’t take this to be sour grapes, because that could not be further from reality. I have nothing against Rob Zombie, he never did any thing negative to me. Just talking to Jay and Sean at the time I was happy because I just thought Rob was just impersonal.

If you had a chance to see White Zombie in the early days in a club, you would have been mesmerized. They were a force to be reckoned with. They were different than all the other bands out at the time and they rocked hard. All members of the band were amazing to watch and they were so damn tight. I have never bought a solo Rob Zombie album even though I heard songs that were very good. So I get it, Rob was the Alpha force driving the original band. When they broke up It was rare to hear anyone talking about it. I guess one had to be there to know what I’m talking about.

It’s interesting to see Rob in interviews now, because he comes off as very likeable and objective. It’s like he has settled into his fame and he is happy. He’s not as focused and intense as he was when I was around him. He knew he was going to be famous early on, I can see that now. I’m happy for him although I don’t follow him anymore. It was as if Rob was giving Jay and Sean that time to be around him for this journey, out of the kindness of his heart.

I write all my articles off the top of my head, this is why there is a free form feel to it and why I go off on tangents. Sometimes after writing about something that interests me I look around online to see if there is anything I should add to tighten up the writing. When I read the “White Zombie” Wikipedia Page, I got to the very last paragraph, and to put things in perspective, compare and contrast all that I just wrote with this quote ~

In June 2011, in an interview with Metal Hammer magazine, Rob Zombie was asked why White Zombie split up, in which he replied: “It had run its course. Success is a big thing that you can never plan for, because it affects everybody differently. I don’t want to blame myself or anyone else in the band – it’s just that the band didn’t work any more. Rather than continuing on and making shitty records and having it all fall apart , I thought ‘Let’s just end it on a high point'”.

 

It would be nice, one day to see a white Zombie reunion, but I will not hold my breath as the way it will probably go will be with John 5 on guitar instead of Jay. Again, nothing against John 5, I dig him he’s a Randy Rhoads fan and a sick guitarist to boot. Who knows, that is history now, and now you’ve heard it. My Process my review. Oh yeah, and don’t get me started on my favorite band Pink Floyd and Roger Waters.

 

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

3 Of The Strangest Musicians I Have Ever Met…Part #2, Person #2 Of 3…[Remixed, Re-Edited, and Remastered]…

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

There are three artists that stand out in my mind as being quite interesting people and very strange at the same time (In A Good Way). Over the years my work with musicians has 900x900px-LL-4e691qkmj66CrpFlpallowed me to meet some extremely eccentric characters. As I said there are three that instantly come to mind, and here’s the story on the second.

Over the years of working in the nightclubs, I would have some very memorable encounters with musicians often well or just before they became famous. You know already that I worked for a string of clubs in a major city, and depending on the night I could be doing Fashion shows, DJ’s, Boxing matches, Spoken Word, Gay nights, Local and International acts, and all things outside and in between.

Often there were nights when I did not need to work but would hang around at the different clubs and check out the bands that were in town that evening. This one night in particular I had off because, to my best recollection, it was a slow night for the clubs and a band happened to be in town that I was really excited about. So I went into one of the sister clubs to watch the band and it was sold out. I watched from the back which was still a 900x900px-LL-177f55fb_412243373_94bc8ad09a_zgood view and saw an amazing show. These guys were tight and would go on to be one of the best bands of the 90’s and still to this day they have a massive following.

So the show ends and I go outside and walk down the street to another club, which that night was just catering to a local crowd with loud music and flowing alcohol. I was pretty happy to be outdoors as the weather was nice and the club was very hot, so I just hung out with some fellow security guys working the door. A short time later I notice a young guy walking down the street alone toward the club. We were standing outside, and this kid/guy gets in line behind three people or so who were showing ID’s to get in.  At that point I took notice of him because he was real rough looking, not that it mattered, the people I hung out with looked like that. There was something different about him, one side of his head was completely shaved and the other half was quite long, He had safety pins through his lip and ears, a face full of blemishes and military boots laced up high. But it was not the way he looked that was different, it was his radiating attitude. It was at this point it clicked I realized who this awkward looking punk guy was.

The reason I did not notice who it was, was because the band he was in was known to not take kindly to any kind of media promotion. There was no widespread internet then and I had only seen one picture of the band in a famous alternative music paper called “The Rocket” when I had spent some time in Seattle the year before. It was a promo for a show, I believe at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Washington State featuring Tool. So that was 900x900px-LL-52a0863e_Dkaythe only photo in memory I had ever seen of the band. The guy did not even look like the person I had seen onstage as the vocalist just a half hour before. I knew his name from reading it in one of their cassette tapes which was not easy to forget, it was Maynard James Keenan.

So when I realized who it was I was not going to interrupt him to have a conversation. I decided to stay quiet as he got to the bouncers to see what would happen. The three guys guarding the doors where muscle head adonises (No offense I lift weights as well) but I instantly got a gut feeling that they would give him a hard time because he looked “different”. Silly I know, but these guys could jerks to people for no reason…and as I had thought, they began to look at each other as if there was no way this guy was going to get in. As if they were going to give him a hard time no matter what he did, Maynard did not seem to notice there would be a problem. Next, as they are supposed to, they ask him for his ID. Maynard then says he does not have one. The doormen then tell him he cannot come in without an ID. So here is where I step in and tell them he’s good to go in and it would be my responsibility. Maynard looked confused but I walked him in.

So what is so strange about all this…well the the short time I talked to him in the club. I asked him if I could get him something to drink. Don’t start thinking I was treating him different. Most of the people that night were let in without having there ID’s checked. Also if the owners of the club saw how they treated him as a guest of the club they would be pissed. So Keenan said he did not want a drink. So I just told him how great the show was, and although he was not mean he seemed ornery and very short with me. He asked me what this lounge was about and I told him. I said I’d leave him alone and he didn’t respond. VaUoyi5k3_09f7Xv7I3ztjl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9I showed him the way in and he walked in off as if he was literally lurking and casing (like a cat) the place for  human stupidity. So about 10 minutes later he returned and stood a few feet from where I was sitting on a stool and fumbled through his pockets for about 5 minutes. Next he looks up at me and stared for about thirty seconds, and walks out of the club not saying another word.

After he left I went out to the Bouncers and one said something that I cant recall but it was something to the effect of him being a mess. It was then I told them that it was his band that ran and powered the street that night and they had sold the place months ago in minutes. All I got was stunned silence.

I thought he would be more friendly with me because I did not look like I belonged with the goon squad because I had long hair, a beard and a load of piercings.I know this piece may come off to people that it was the bouncers fault that made the encounter strange. True, that is part of it but what I’m trying to get at was the way Maynard seemed to be walking around with the attitude as if everyone was on his personal planet called earth, and everyone else was intrusively visiting from Mars

So now whenever I see rare interview with him, as he is a vintner and has two other bands, ‘A Perfect Circle’ and ‘Puscifer’,  he usually has that curmudgeonly attitude. On top of that he has a tendency to speak to other people in a way as if to point out their flaws. There is one interview I saw that I think is great with Maynard on the Joe Rogan Show and it seems as if MJK has mellowed out somewhat with age. Some of his followers talk to me as if he’s the second coming of Christ, I don’t know if that irks him. Or maybe it’s me, who writes about things that serve an invasion of privacy. I don’t take any offense as to how he treated me that’s just the way he is. I will always be a big fan of Tool and have seen them several times since.

I would not trade moments like that for anything because it reminds me of a time when there was so much artistic integrity and a free flowing stream of creative consciousness, with the full understanding that it may never happen again. I sure do hope I am wrong.

 

Thanks for reading. Lookout for the posts on the weekend.

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

3 Of The Strangest Musicians I Have Ever Met…Part #1, Person #1 Of 3…

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

There are three artists that stand out in my mind as being quite interesting people and very strange at the same time (In A Good Way). Over the years my work with musicians has allowed me to meet some extremely eccentric characters. As I said there are three that instantly come to mind, and here’s the lowdown.

Over the years of working in the nightclubs, I kept running into a peculiar musician. You know already that I worked for a string of clubs in a major city, and depending on the night I could be doing Fashion shows, DJ’s, Boxing matches, Spoken Word, Gay nights, Local and International acts900x900px-LL-f4107bfa_15, and all things outside and in between. One of the smaller clubs, which if they did not have a live act, it served as a popular Bar and Lounge with a jukebox that would play tracks from CD’s as it was the early 1990’s there was a whole lot of Seattle Sounds. Anyway the guy that I heard from other workers that owned and serviced the jukeboxes for the clubs was Peter Wolf from the J. Geils Band.

So over time I would see Peter a short thin guy…not as I’d expected he would look…not that it matters, but he kind of looked like a young kid with curly hair falling around his eyes with an interesting cap, like one the peasants would wear in China. His drawers stood out as dark striped tight spandex, but he had a look that fit for him. I don’t know why I explain his wardrobe but it stands out in my mind, I can picture it from memory. Peter would come LL,jin and it looked like he would make sure the jukebox was working correctly and empty the money box. He would just walk past the security all the time with a nod, do his check and gather and then leave the club…nothing odd.

Because the city I worked in was a one with a small metropolitan feel, it was common to run into the same people here and there over the course of a week. I have always been a voracious reader especially for 18th and 19th century literature, so I would frequent used book stores and dig for gems as would for vinyl, in both the city proper and the adjacent city of Cambridge. So as I would be digging crates, oftentimes I would spend hours looking into crevices that had not been seen since they were originally piled there years before. At some point I ran into Peter in one of the bookshops and although I did not know him, I could tell he knew me from the clubs, but he would always avoid eye contact or if I was in one area of the store he would not go near me. I would oftLLseppen catch him with his head looking around the corner at me and when I looked up at him he would pull back as if to not let me see that he was looking around the corner.

Well this became common, and I found out that he was obviously a collector as well because I began to ran into him all the used book stores and the same strange dance would play out the same way every time. I’m not sure if I’m right on this but I think one time after he left the store I said to the owner. ‘Hey that’s Peter Wolf…does he come here a lot?” Again this may be wrong but I seem to remember the store owner saying to me that Peter was into old maps.

The J. Geils band had long disbanded and I do not think they had reformed for a reunion at that point. So there came a time when Peter would play solo shows at our clubs with his band the House Party Five, where he played solo material as well as J. Geils classics to a proxysold out club crowd. During this time I got to know his manager David Vargas and he was a really nice guy, but I never had one word with Peter although we had crossed paths hundreds of times.

I get the feeling that Peter was not pompous but just that he was shy. I think back to the old days before my time when he was married to Faye Dunaway and that angle truly perplexed me because I had seen her in all elegance in LA and I could not imagine how these two got together. I may be wrong on this but I think I read in Bill Graham’s Biography that they had met when J. Geils was a big drawing act, that the two had met and got together while the Geils were Headlining the Fillmore East in the 1970’s.

So I guess I’ll never know what he was all about, not that it’s any of my business. He seemed to be a laid back and gentle soul when I saw him up close…there’s no dirt here just me writing about this strange come and go with a guy who was a big deal at one point. There are a lot of other strange encounters but only three make the cut for publishing.

imagesSo with all that said I will just like to let you know that I am proofing Person #2 / Part #2 right after I post this. So Part #2 will be posted later, in a few hours and I will do Person #3 / Part #3 over the weekend. I also do some video posts tomorrow as well as a playlist on the weekend…and who knows what else. So stay tuned.

 

Thanks for reading. Lookout for more in a few hours, and for the posts on the weekend.

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine