This week I am down in L.A. My wife and kids are away for the first part of spring break while I had to stay back and put in some work. But this is all OK. Sometimes it is cool to be a lone wolf and a solo-riding bad-ass. The "hunter/gatherer" in us men at times needs to range free and howl at the moon. In my case, this is true--as long as I am home by 11:30 so I can call my wife before she goes to bed. And yes, uh . . . well, my dogs get lonely when I am gone too long . . .
Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. He writes about what music is circulating through his space every Monday.
I am not a guy who goes out a whole lot these days. When I am out on tour, I am basically at a gig every night. The last thing I want to do for the first couple of months after getting home is go out to another gig or show. Does that make sense?
By chance, though, two of my good friends were playing shows down here this week AND another friend was having a big birthday sort of bash. That meant I was going to go out three whole nights in a row. I didn't have to get up at 7 a.m. with my daughters, so what the hell?! I was IN!I love to see good live music, and do what I can to support local and new bands. There were and are those who did and still do the same for me in my career, and I will never forget that. Some of you even read this column on a regular basis.
Some of you may know of Ryan "Go Time" Moore, Loaded's all-of-the-time drum tech and shot-caller (check out Go Time TV on YouTube to get a better sense of the genius that is Go Time). Ryan is a Portland dude, and has most recently been playing with the psychedelic, New Orleans-influenced MarchFourth Marching Band. They are on tour right now and played this past Sunday at a club, so I headed down. Sometimes when you go to see a friend's band, it can get a little uncomfortable if it maybe sucks or is otherwise not to your particular taste. I was, however (thankfully), completely blown away by this show. If anyone has a chance, definitely go see them in Seattle April 9 at Honk Fest West in Georgetown.
The following night, Monday, I went to see former Loudermilk and current Loaded drummer Isaac Carpenter's new band Sea Spin at the Silver Lake Lounge. For those of you who don't know, the Silver Lake section of L.A. is home to only the hippest and coolest of the cool. It seems that there is a conscious effort in that part of town to perhaps even shun a "rock" guy like myself. No worries--I had Go Time in tow, and we polished the tops of our shoes to get a better view of our eventual focus for later that night (get it? shoe-gaze?). Again, I was really quite pleasantly surprised. Sea Spin reminds me of early My Bloody Valentine with a somewhat current twist. Really good! As I left that night, I really felt like a cool and relevant hipster with his finger on the pulse of all that was Silver Lake. I even got a "dude nod" from some of the guys hanging out on the sidewalk as I walked out. I am fucking cool!!
Tuesday night I was invited to a friend's birthday party at the ultra-chic Les Deux in Hollywood. I was too afraid of blowing my cover to ask for the address, though. You're just sort of supposed to know where this place is. If you don't? Then don't even bother. But there I was, the guy calling 411 and asking for an address. I had to try about four different spellings before I got it right.
As I walked up to the doorman, my phone rang. It was my wife asking if I'd fed the dogs and if I was wearing a coat and if I was taking my vitamins and drinking enough water. She loves me. I had to, however, tell her that I had to get off the phone because I didn't want to look like THAT guy--you know the one, the douchebag on his phone going to the door of the cool club. I told her I loved her--in a hushed tone, of course. Yes, you ARE my monkey! Yes, dear, the girls ARE our monkey babies. Yes, babe, the dogs are our monkey grandchildren. "Yes, OK . . . I love you too!" It was time to go be a bad-ass in the mean streets of Hollywood. A master of all he surveys. A man among men. Actually, a dork among the hipsters. But that is indeed OK. My dogs are none the wiser.