There was once a dick-weed…I won’t mention his name. I can assure you he was indeed a tumbling dick-weed. Though he lacked creative talent, he had a way of running schemes and making a lot of money…he had an uncanny ability to convince people into funding his mundane endeavors. He once said to me, “If I had even a quarter of your talent, I’d be living in a mansion in Beverly Hills…you’re the biggest waste of talent I’ve ever come across.” What a tumbling dick-weed like this doesn’t understand is that talent takes years to refine and channel…it takes mad discipline and obsessive dedication and learning the textbook frontward and backward before throwing it away—something most people don’t have the patience to do. Most people want to skip refining a craft…thus we have the almighty DJ–who simply plays other people’s music. Talent and monetary gain are on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as I’m concerned. The moment you attempt to steer your creative talent toward the money, the further you get from the amazing work.
I’ve seen this first hand. I once had a couple songs of mine featured in an NBC movie of the week. I hadn’t written the songs for the film, they were used after the fact–it was a simple licensing agreement, I retained all publishing. Still, when I saw the scenes I half cringed and half laughed, mainly because it was a teen heartthrob on stage lip-synching my songs in a pouty way to a girl in the crowd who was fawning over him with love daggers in her eyes. I can say, it wasn’t Nick Cage singing Elvis to Laura Dern–not even close. They did the same with another of my songs in an equally as corny movie…to this day I don’t divulge the names of those films–not even to friends…it’s like I did porno or something and I don’t want anyone to know. Years later I was asked to write some jingles for a clothing company. They sent me a popular cookie cutter hit song and asked me to write something like it—which wasn’t hard to mimic—a textbook chord progression and a textbook vocal melody over an electronic drum beat. Still, I delivered what they asked for, and the client was happy, but I’ll never tell anyone which commercial it was—because of the shame-over I experienced after completing the composition. I felt like I had to shower and go to confession after writing that song. You can’t blame the song though–you must blame the person who ordered it.
A few years back a music licensing company offered an agreement…when I asked them if they could guarantee that my compositions wouldn’t wind up in a hemorrhoid cream commercial or something even worse—they said they couldn’t guarantee it…and that in fact, my songs would likely end up in places I didn’t want them to wind up. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night with that hanging over me and I declined to sign. The company rep offered me a sanctimonious lecture on the virtues of being financially savvy and missed opportunities, but mentioned nothing about the importance of an artist’s body of work. It was clear that they didn’t see the songs as creative works—they saw them as products they could chop up and distribute–possibly to hemorrhoid cream companies. I’m not saying that I view score compositions as lesser works. I scored the soundtracks of both my documentary films and I’m content with the compositions…mainly because those compositions are in no way related to selling tampons, hemorrhoid cream or diapers. Imagine painting a grand portrait…and an ad executive and a team of marketing maggots defame your work for a toilet paper campaign.
Probably there are novelists, songwriters, directors, actors, painters, out there who are sickly brilliant, but you’ll rarely come across their work because they’re probably too fucked up to even leave the house…none do it for the money—it’s innate, like the way a spider knows instinctively how to weave an intricate web. The perfect work is like the quest for the holy grail. They’d create their best works, even if they were the last person on earth and there was nobody left to be moved. If you want a mansion in Beverly Hills, become a Hollywood accountant, or get a job as a ‘performer’ in a Marvel movie or start selling music to tampon commercials…if that’s creatively fulfilling enough for you, good job. Otherwise, stand aside and make way for people who are making an actual contribution to dying art forms, for the right reasons. Not judging, just saying.
Never thought I’d have to wear my rain suit for a jog in Franklin Village. It’s been downpouring for days. I expect to wear it during the months I spend in Vancouver—a place they call Raincity. The farmers in SoCal prayed for rain—I guess God finally gave them what they were asking for—with interest. I’ve never seen rain like this in LA. Good news is that the streets will no longer be grimy. LA gets rain now and then, but it’s never enough to wash away even the top layer of grime. This deluge however is bound to have our lovely town sparkling…probably not since the 1950s will the streets be so clean. I may just sprawl out on Silverlake Blvd and dry hump the sidewalk when this is all over. And by the way, to the people who throw their garbage all over the sidewalks and streets and use alleyways and shop fronts as their toilet—if you don’t have any respect for yourself, which you obviously don’t; at least have some for your city. How does leaving a half eaten rotisserie chicken on a bench that’s only three fucking feet from the garbage can make any sense at all? It’s just laziness and an utter disregard for your city.
Here are a few photos from our soundcheck at the Mint. Evidently, they have a policy at the Mint; if you want photos or video of your performance, the club will do it for a price. We’re not really photo crazed guys though, and it seems that any band who plays should be able to snap photos of their show…and so we declined. Eric’s friend snapped a few during soundcheck though, clever girl.
Next weekend we’re playing an unlicensed, underground, warehouse party in K-Town…DIY baby…obviously I can’t say where or when exactly…if you know or happen to find out, see ya there…that’s what indie rock used to be about.
Had a blast playing the Mint last night with my other band, Penthouse Killers. The Mint is a bit off the beaten path, but they have a giant Bukowski mural on the wall and that intrigues me. I wonder if Bukowski went in there to get smashed back in the day, when he was writing Factotum and getting in alleyway brawls. There is a documentary on YT about Bukowski…he drives around East Hollywood reminiscing about all the bums, hookers and junkies he knew around the neighborhood. Classic Chinaski.
Finally finished Waiters, the second novel I’m going to publish. It’s now available in the ‘Novels’ section of this page. It will be up on Kindle in a couple weeks. While writing Waiters I went all the way up the river, like in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. To the people I was surrounded by who thought I’d gone entirely mad…I guess I sort of did. But it’s the only way I could really tap into the Napalm Narrative.
Mailer was for sure a method writer. I highly recommend reading Tough Guys. If you’re not a reader, at least check out his discussion with Gore Vidal on the Dick Cavett show–it’s on YT. At one point everyone turns on him, even the audience…hilarious shit. I would say Mailer was the sort of guy who believed it’s better to be hated rather than fake liked. I sort of a agree with him. At least you know where you stand.
Factory Luxe…thanks a million for offering us such a warm greeting last night. It was the first show for the JTB since before the lockdown and one of the best we’ve done…some out of body moments. Nice to see that there is a contingency of folks who will show up in droves on Superbowl Sunday and cheer on original indie bands. By the way, the green room at the FL is about the most luxurious green room I ever did see…most places we’ve played don’t even have a green room.
I believe in Method Writing. I don’t just write a novel…I become the character entirely…my usual self ceases to exist…but emerges eventually–when the writing has been conveyed. My social life suffers. If you ask me, I’ll tell you that a method writer must go all the way up the river–like Brando in Last Tango. I don’t believe for a second that Henry Miller or Celine or Bukowski wrote ‘casually’…they went all the way. The second you point your prose in the direction of monetary gain; you’re done as a method writer.
So, just a glimpse of what I’m talking about…here’s me some years ago, heavily immersed in my novel ‘Waiters’. 6ft, 210lbs…pumping iron everyday and doing MMA and sustaining pointless injuries for nothing, training for war, eating rare bloody steak and reading tons of Norman Mailer. Like David Bowie though, I always made it to the church on time, come Sunday morning, no matter what happened the previous night. I took a survival course in case I was ever air dropped in the wilderness and had to make it back to civilization…that or in case of a Romero-esque zombie apocalypse. I became Frank Nero…I became the Napalm Narrative…like Stanislavski for the few novelist left who are willing to go all the way.
It got so the line blurred, and I stepped over it…working the late-night DTLA hotel circuit, drinking copious absinthe, womanizing, fraternizing with desert spirits, and honing the art of storming out…or hanging out of a fourth floor window to prove a pivotal point. I went all the way up the river, like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Reading Waiters over now, years later, before I publish it, I can’t help feeling a swell of pride about the novel. Few men take on such epic and potentially dangerous projects…and even fewer actually end up completing them. I know now that a work is never really truly finished–all the great works we encounter are only magnificent abandonments. However, I can truly say that I did my best writing to date with Waiters.
This page is meant as a beacon of 1990s creativity that shines a light for the wayward and lost, who’ve been seduced by contemporary pop culture and assume they don’t have a choice in the matter. You do have the choice in the matter. The Pogues shall set you free.
My novel Tales from Truman Park is now available on Amazon/Kindle. I’m glad the story has finally been told and is immortalized in print. That’s what this life is all about–creative achievement. How boring the world must have been when there was no art and only spores bubbling up through the muck for millions of years.
Check out the new video for Fallout Shelter. Shot around my hood in East Hollywood–we had a blast…in fact we had many blasts. Complete with a surprise Creepshow ending.
From my album, Middle of Infinity, here is a video for Mary.
Traveling from Los Angeles to Vancouver to Seattle, Jarrod Tyler and crew investigate the endangered state of contemporary arts & culture in the digital age and showcase the many citizens who fight to keep arts & culture alive in their neighborhoods. I made this documentary as a public service announcement that will hopefully raise awareness about the importance of keeping contemporary arts & culture alive.
This is a documentary I made about North Bend Washington, the eccentric town in which the Twin Peaks series was filmed. It’s not a public service announcement as my previous documentary was…but I was so fascinated by this little town that I was intensely drawn to this project. If you’re a TP fan, you won’t want to miss it.
Maybe we’ll run into each other in Central Park.
I played with a children’s orchestra way back when I was a child prodigy. I guess I was 4 or 5 in this photo. I preferred piano to violin but this particular group already had a pianist. What I remember about the kid with the checkered bell-bottoms behind me, beyond the fact that he carried his bow all wrong, is that he suffered from anxiety, especially when it came to performances. I vaguely remember this concert we did at an opera house…he was standing beside me, anxiously nibbling his fingers which tended to bleed. Moments before this photo was taken, I told him to relax…that we’d been chosen because we were the most talented kids at the conservatory…I told him good old Ludwig himself would have been impressed. I was trying to pep-talk him you see. He just turned to me and said, “I hate Beethoven and his stupid hair.” I laughed and it clicked that he probably really hated that his parents made him wear his hair like good old Ludwig.
Best Altman ever: Short Cuts.
Eric, Wally and me tearing it up at the Viper Room in West Hollywood. RIP Viper Room. Many great times there. This was a show I did with a punk rock band I’m in, Penthouse Killers. We killed it for sure that night…but the history of the place really stole the show. Hollywood, to me, exists in VHS format, like an old Robert Altman film. You know, I love this town. No matter what they say about her…I love who she is deep down…under the cracked asphalt and the grime…I think I recognize her from a past life
Hollywood and Vine
With art it’s important to go all the way…even if it means losing friends, jobs, fortunes, lovers, and possibly your reputation. Go all the way…you’ll only be a greater artist for it. If you wear a Madchen Amick shirt while you’re going all the way…all the better, right?
East Hollywood…what a town.
Snapped some photos on the way to my surf spot in Malibu. Everyday is gorgeous in Malibu.
A block south of the Paramount lot…no shit–I’d hoped this was some elaborate performance art–that the old man was actually mirroring the Humpty Dumpty on the wall; that they had a great fall and an even better winter. But life isn’t a Fellini film. Are we really fucked? Well…that’s what I’ve been told.
LA Rehearsal, room E – Penthouse Killers HQ. Props to Wally for rockin’ the Big Drill Car shirt.
I remember when this place was Circus of Books. It’s now a smoke shop–but it should be a live music venue…especially now that Satellite is closed.
Skateboarding is not a crime…the screaming hand longs to sink it’s teeth into parking lot security guards.
Back in 2006 I lived in suite 1, the window just left of the entrance. One weekend when my roommate was in San Diego, I went to Cha Cha’s and invited the entire bar back home for after hours drinks. The dude who lives in there now has no fucking idea of the shenanigans.
Punk Rock surfing…
Let’s be honest…most people wear the same Smiths shirt–Meat it Murder…the one with the soldier on the cover. We’ve all seen that. You wouldn’t believe what I went through to acquire this Louder Than Bombs t-shirt. I’ll tell you more, when I know you a bit better.
The Drez just isn’t the same anymore without Marty.
From time to time I still wonder what William Holden meant when he told Audrey Hepburn he wanted her to drop some fresh raisins in his porridge.
Got hired to play some piano at a private party at Gulls Way Estate in Malibu. I was expecting some Eyes Wide Shut type shit but it was just a bunch of rich people requesting Billy Joel tunes.
Only in Hollywood can you be rolling one up in your van and realize you inadvertently parked outside the Nightmare On Elm Street House on Genesee.
Took a job out in Pomona without thinking of the commute from East Hollywood…I lasted 2 days. Pomona has a certain vintage to it, for instance, this famous chicken joint I stopped at.
Grade ten skater-boy…showing off my Sex Pistols t-shirt after a night at the skate park getting deadly.
This is a photo of me standing outside the Satellite…I guess January of 2020. R.I.P Satellite Silverlake…you were my favorite live music venue in Los Angeles.
This is a documentary I made about North Bend Washington, the eccentric town in which the Twin Peaks series was filmed. Check it out.
Didn’t make it to Austin this year, however…we are doing a “live stream” performance for the SXSW after party, hosted by EMA. Stoked…looking forward to it. Follow the link at the bottom of the poster for free tickets.
Standing outside the Echo in Silverlake one night when we played there with some friend’s bands back in 2016.
Hanging at my fave coffee shop…House of Pies on Vermont and Franklin.
So, my bro got me a bunch of 90’s movies I haven’t seen forever. Short Cuts is first on the list baby.
The special bond between a man and his Schwinn.
Santa Monica BLVD traffic is alright when you got 90’s Oasis on the stereo.
Ah, my favorite place in LA to hang out and play music. We did many shows at the Kibitz…the only mad house in town that serves alcohol. On any given night you’ll find some of the best, most well schooled musicians in Hollywood at the Kibitz–you never know who’s going to walk in. One night I wound up sitting at a booth with some people and there was Tom Waits sipping a drink under his fedora. Only in Hollywood.
A great night with some badass homies playing the Mint in Hollywood.
Not messing around…will be watching this tonight. I have this film on a drive, but there’s something about watching films on a moving reel with the trailers and all.
What he meant to say was: Realizing we’re standing on the Strip next to the tragic spot where River Phoenix died. Grinning about a comment made about the dude with woman hair in the background. Smoking blunts like they’re going out of style…a wondrous madhouse Hollywood is and there’s no place I’d rather be.
Unbelievable…was looking through a box in storage and found this photo of me with my first guitar. I didn’t realize I had a photo of that guitar. I’m 12 in this picture, playing along to a Sex Pistols album in my mom’s basement. I was totally obsessed with the Pistols at that point…learned Never Mind the Bullocks on that guitar and started writing my own songs as well. I remember how nice that guitar felt…intonation was perfect…low action…so easy to play. No idea where that guitar is now. She was the first though, and very special.
Not sure about Spotify…I don’t even bother with a proper Spotify profile…still, here is my best of album…in case you don’t want to pay for it on iTunes. I’m not a used car salesman, or an art dealer or a real estate agent–I’m an artist.
Saw this at the Satellite on a week night…these guys were pretty good…they looked like UCLA frat boys but then they started playing crazy punk rock–sort of reminded me of punk bands I used to go see in college…the singer pulled off his hoodie during the first song…he was wearing a Beyonce t-shirt…he jumped down into the crowd and started a mosh pit. He sang a song about growing up in Virginia and crashing his car and how the crash rattled his brain and made him crazy. I’d hoped they’d kick over their amps at the end, but I guess amps are expensive. They were selling shirts afterward for a buck. I assumed punk was dead…guess I was wrong.
Great show last night in Encino…thanks to everyone at VCF for putting this one together and also my band of badasses who rocked out in the SoCal heat.
Home of Jeff Spicoli and Jack Tripper
Rhys was an engineer at East West Studios in Hollywood and a damn fine producer. I learned so much about production from him after working on several albums with him.
They held his celebration of life last night in Studio One at East West. Such a nice service, he’d have loved it; his friends and family in such a legendary room telling stories and playing music. Though it was sad, I’m glad I was there. He’ll be missed.
Though I’m back and forth between LA and Vancity…this was the JTB’s last show in Vancity. Until they fix their live music scene and actually start supporting their original indie bands, we’re not messing with it–on principal.
If you listen to one song from The Replacements’ Let it Be album, check out Sixteen Blue or Unsatisfied. Pure fucking Genius!
Here’s a video of me and the boys tearing it up at the Silverlake Lounge in Los Angeles. The place has been one of my fave hang outs since I can remember. A great venue that is a true supporter of original live music.
My Ray Liotta jacket from the 1990s is still going strong. Found her in storage yesterday.
It felt real good to rock out for a couple thousand people on Kits Beach last night for the fireworks. The no smoking sign is hilarious. We smoked shit all night backstage.
A friend of ours snapped a few pics of our show at the Kibitz Room. One for the books!
Silver Lake Lounge tomorrow night! Stoked…as…fuck
Walking by Y-Que on Vermont today, I saw these two books on the shelf outside the store–was meant to be.
Yes, this is for realz.
We are looking forward to this Thursday at The State on Sunset.
Sunnydale – Class of 99′
Thanks Substation…last night was a blast! Four bands, no noise regulations…gotta love Ballard.
Had a great time playing at Dante’s last night. Such a great sounding room–ideal for live music. See you again soon Portland
Back wall of club