waryalbatross asked: Hi John, there's a lot of stuff I want to ask you, but I've just had a terrible week of loss and rejection in my "budding art career" and it really sucks and it seems like something you would have a piece of wisdom for. How do you cope with putting your ego and life's work on the line over and over?
I tried to answer this a bunch of times but I don’t really know! You hold onto Berryman’s line — “It is idle to reply to critics” — and understand that the actual work isn’t the thing you make, but the process that makes it, whose inherent value and dignity is well beyond any debate, because it is an expression of your self and therefore nobody can really judge it.
this is an unsatisfying answer, I know, artists have struggled with varying degrees of success over how to deal with these problems forever. the simple terrible platitudes of kindergarten are actually applicable here — the ones that tell you your work is good no matter what anyone thinks of it — but they seldom help much in the short term. in the long term, they do. people didn’t get very excited about Get Lonely when it was new. we were bummed! we felt it was our best work. we thought we’d gone somewhere special, unique in our work, its own place. over time, the people who relate to our impulse on that record have found it and connected with it, and the people who didn’t care for it have stopped thinking about it, because not many people spend a lot of time dwelling on work they didn’t care for.
but as I say this is a question people struggle with, I don’t think there’s a “here’s what you do” answer (and I reject, with thanks, any allegations that I am wise). you keep your focus on the work, I figure. when your focus wanders, you bring it back.
Wildfire Tommy Rich vs Ole Anderson
Tommy gave Ole a battle!!
(Source: cinefamily, via donnerpartyofone)
“You know that San Francisco band Dragon?” – no such thing – “People say we sound like them.”
“Sure, Dragon, I know them. They’re great. I’ve got the perfect gig for you.”
Just like that. No demo tapes, no references. Just one call, and the gates of rock & roll fantasy swing wide. The price is $525 (we are obligated to sell 75 tickets at $7 each) for an opening spot at Gazzarri’s on a Friday night.
you know what
I loved unicorns when I was eleven/twelve years old and then I learned that it was real soft and nerdy to love unicorns so I checked out of the whole unicorn-liking mindset because I felt a need to be hardening myself and copping a dark-stuff-only stance
then when I was 19 my girlfriend gave me a coffee cup with a unicorn on it and on receiving it I discovered that I had internalized some bullshit anti-unicorn stance and it made me sad
to those unicorns who didn’t get liked by me during my bullshit years: my bad, do you like carrots, I will leave a plate of carrots out by the back door, I also have oats
forcingit asked: Do you do autographs and photos and such after shows? I'm coming tonight and want to correctly place my hopes on the spectrum of artist hang-out-iness.
These days I come out and sign stuff for sure, and I enjoy it more than I can say. It is great to say hello, I get a real boost from being able to really connect. I dislike having my picture taken; I end up consenting to pictures all the time, but I feel like I’m not being too too ornery of a person if I let people know how I actually feel, which is that I don’t like being photographed. I also get that people want pictures and that it’s sometimes important to them, so I want to be accommodating about it, because it’s in my nature to want to make people happy. So I figure a decent balance is to say, I’m up for it, theoretically, if it’s really important to you, but if my comfort’s of interest, the truth is I’ve hated being photographed all my life and wish there were some way of getting people to share my feeling that JD is best when there’s no pictures.
whyyoucatchingfeelings asked: Black Flag or Bad Brains?
Bad Brains every damn day of the week
brendenjones asked: Hi John. I was just wondering if you think you'd ever play a show in Las Vegas. I have never had a chance to see you and you are my favorite musician.
Nevada is one of a very few states we haven’t played yet and the guy who books our shows knows it’s on my list. I would hope/guess it happens in the next year or two.
pharrfromheaven asked: Hi there John. have you ever listened to any Mexican and/or Mexican-American music? If so, do you have any favorite artists or songs?
I got pretty into Spanish-language (mainly Mexican) pop when I worked on a Spanish-language unit at a hospital in the early 90s. proper corridos were the bigger deal. I remember Vicente Fernandez selling out a big multiple-night stand at the Coliseum. My girlfriend back then was into cumbias and Norteño music but she hipped me to Juan Gabriel (we saw him live, he did “Siempre en mi Mente” of course, it was a moment) and so I got curious about Ana Gabriel and Mí Mexico was brand new at the time and that album, as everybody who’s heard it knows I think, is a straight-up all-time masterpiece. Ana Gabriel’s music has gotten me through thick and thin and I saw her live around the same time but she didn’t do “Es Demaciado Tarde” which is probably for the best because I would have collapsed.
I was into Los Tigres del Norte back then like everybody else though it was right around the time when they’d started making their songs more positive and less lawless. After I moved to Chicago in ‘95 I lost touch with Mexican pop but I still listen to Ana Gabriel a lot and go through phases where she’s all I want to listen to. If pressed I could probably still sing the chorus to “Tus Mentiras” by Los Bukis and I remember Los Yonics being a deal back then but that’s about all I really knew of the pop end. I dug Rocio Durcal. I think Chalino Sanchez was a major major talent and it sucks that he died so young. So the short answer is “yes, a long time ago, probably the stuff I’m into is what people’s dads are into.”