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 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 good 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 the 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. I 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!
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