Slip Slidin' Away: My Life as a Rock Journalist With the Houston Press
|I took this photo of Bob Dylan in 2009 without permission.|
But I did get to see and review, nearly very ACL, SXSW and Fun Fun Fun Fest since 2007. My body is "down" with sweating. I was there the day that the gates for Free Press Summer Fest 2009 opened, along with the rest of the Rocks Off crew. Look at that thing now, the festival has its own beer, and people come from all over the country to attend it. I remember when the only thing fancy about the Fancy Pants tent was a plate of Ruffles and A/C.
No teary-eyed rehash of the past seven years would be complete without reminding everyone that for the past three years I have been an honorary Juggalo, anointed in late 2010.
I suppose at first it was for shits and grins, but the deeper I got into ICP's "Dark Carnival," the more I realized there is a distinct, almost Dickensian, class-warfare battle going on between the Juggalo family and the rest of society. Plus it is easier to tell people I am part-Juggalo than a concealed handgun license holder.
Big thanks to photographer and friend Marc Brubaker for coming along on that ride with me from that first show in 2009 on.
Photo By Marc Brubaker Ever seen The Deer Hunter?
It's out of my system now, but I still have some empty two-liters of Faygo at my desk that I just packed up. ICP's record label even sends me Christmas cards now.
Speaking of Christmas, someone else around here is going to have to listen to Sunny 99.1's holiday music come December.
I have a detailed list of shows I have covered at the end of this blog, along with links where applicable, if you make it that far. I still don't know how a major publication entrusted some of these reviews to me, especially with how green I was in the beginning. Have you ever seen early Seinfeld episodes, when Kramer wasn't "Kramer" yet? Sort of like that.
There are also countless local acts I witnessed, and I have my favorites, like Venomous Maximus, Robert Ellis, Buxton, grandfather Child, Fat Tony, B L A C K I E, Roky Moon & BOLT (RIP), Basses Loaded, Ryan Scroggins, Chase Hamblin, Hell City Kings, Insect Warfare, American Heist, thelastplaceyoulook, Something Fierce, Cop Warmth, 10th Grade Cutie, Featherface, The Burden, Balaclavas, Benjamin Wesley, Tontons, Bagheera, Life As Lions, Good Job Underground, //TENSE//, Muhammadali, Black Congress, Hamammatsu Tom & Whatever He Calls It That Night, Young Girls, The Homopolice, NO TALK, and many others that I am forgetting now.
-- Getting an angry call from music industry titan Irving Azoff after writing about the Eagles at ACL in 2010. It was honor to be cursed at by him.
-- Geeking out with Henry Rollins about the Stooges during an interview that went 30 minutes over schedule.
-- Spending almost two hours on the phone with Ian Astbury, for an interview that went about an hour and a half over schedule, talking about 21st century shamanism and the current hellish political landscape.
-- Being one of the last journalists to interview the late Jay Reatard before he passed away. I had his number in my phone for a long time; it felt wrong to delete it.
-- Writing about the Stone Temple Pilots imploding in the Woodlands, and having music rags from around the country quote me like I was some sort of authority.
-- The time Method Man and Redman poured water on me and my camera at the House Of Blues. Was this the same night one of them was shooting a pellet gun out of their tour bus, or am I imagining that?
-- Nearly meeting George Strait at Reliant Stadium last month, but being foiled by an overzealous CultureMap photog. Next time George. Next time.
-- Having Eric Burdon nuzzle me like a kitty while high on wine.
-- The time I hired former Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin to review concerts.
-- Talking about guns and social media with Ted Nugent after a concert at Nutty Jerry's in his dressing room while he ate chicken soup.
-- Busting into that same dressing room months previous to meet Chuck Berry
-- Smoking and drinking on Billy Bob Thornton's bus while comparing each other's tattoo work.