By Ginger | November 19, 2001
What a fucking tour! It came and it went and, boy, did it go!
* Setting fire to Nottingham Rock City was pretty ROCK, not to mention very ROLL.
* Random Jon Poole reinventing himself as a cross between Keith Flint from the Prodigy and the bloke that your parents told you would pay you a visit if you didn’t behave yourself.
* Setting fire to guitars and then smashing all flaming Hell out of them. And the look on the security guards’ faces as they tried to be ‘cool’ about it happening behind them!
* Seeing familiar faces appearing at most (if not all – Trace) of the shows.
* New fans taking the chance to check it out and coming away excited, happy, and willing to part with cash for the album (OK, OK, apart from one miserable wretch at Manchester, but there’ll always be at least one pooper per party).
* Getting to use the entire pyro show at the Bristol Fleece & Firkin, which is made out of wood and is no bigger than our tour bus.
* Selling so many T-shirts that we all made a good few quid to take home, as well as being able to pay for the fireworks (thanks again, you lot).
* And writing the whole thing in diary form (that was an honest read, huh?), another thing that I always wanted to do.
But for me, the biggest highlight was seeing the whole tour through without a drink. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I did it. And now I can say that it can be done. The biggest hurdle is surmountable, and now the future is all a matter of choice. And here I am sitting at my computer at home, thinking all about choice. Choice.
Mind if I think aloud? Of course you don’t, you’ve heard all this shit before, anyway.
See, choices are there to test our intuition as well as our nerve. What’s the right thing to do? The right direction to go in? What the fuck is happiness anyway, and how do I get me some? Happiness is a tricky little puzzle, but in the end, it’s far easier than it looks. Happiness is usually measured on the successes of others – like levels of excellence, sums of money, amount of peer respect… none of which you’ve actually obtained to the degree where you’re satisfied with your lot.
So what’s our problem?
Well, apart from jealousy (based largely on guess work), we all have the same problem, whatever rung of the success steps we stand on. We are inconsistent. We make choices and then we re-think them; reinvent our game plan, modifying the choices. The only way to success is not changing the plan. The way to success and happiness is consistency, sticking with that instinctive decision that made sense to you back when you made it, even thought you’ve now forgotten why. Make the choice and see it through until it either succeeds or fails. Regret hurts a lot more than failure. And if you’re going to regret anything, you may as well regret something you did rather than something you didn’t do.
I’m coming to terms with the idea that the big money music industry won’t touch people like me, people with a bad reputation. It’s not because people with a bad reputation don’t get over it, and come out the other end good. It’s that people famous for having a bad reputation spend their life working to get rid of it until they become a paragon – someone like Iggy Pop. It doesn’t matter what you did, or what you don’t do now, you will carry that weight for a long time. Why? Because most ‘famous’ people in this business don’t make you want to do anything but make money. If it wasn’t for Iggy, then who would someone like me (or maybe you?) look to for inspiration, especially when the whole thing seems fruitless and unfair?
I would like to get famous, rich and massively influential for two reasons – to feed my family for the rest of their lives, and to let young musicians know that there are two ways to skin a very expensive cat. What’s the point of leading by example if that example isn’t, ‘take your message to the most people that you possibly can’? Anything else is failure. Success is measured in money, and money doesn’t mean anything but, ‘boy, you are doing really well’. It’s the business telling you that you shouldn’t be involved in their safe profit-making organisation, but you are. You must be smart.
There are plenty of anti-rockstars to teach you how not to make it big. I would like to teach young musicians how to make it big; how to affect things on a large scale and one day influence people themselves. And should it fail, they will escape with their life and their pride. And regret nothing. Again, failure doesn’t hurt as much as regret.
I would like to kill the legacy as unchanged since Kurt Cobain died.
I could do The Wildhearts for money (and nostalgia), and in between trips to the bank book solo shows to make some extra money. Nothing wrong in that. I worked hard to write those songs, and fuck you if you think I should be busking for pennies. But if I invest everything in SG5 and I win, I prove many things. I prove that people can move on. I prove that the hard life is the good life, and the good life is the long life. I prove that drinking is nothing more than an environmental virus, infinitely more contagious to those of a small imagination. I prove that if you can see it, you can change it. Even within yourself.
And if I don’t? Ah, what the fuck. I ain’t got nothing better to do.
It all involves starting small and doing the growth work. Every level is essential in the learning process. And that’s where I find myself, and you the listener / reader. And if I start to weaken and forget, please remind me that I wrote this shit, will you?
It’s important for a lot of reasons.