The standard football stadium is comprised of a field
(obviously), surrounded by seats (obviously), with locker rooms and offices and
all sorts of other rooms filling the area underneath the seats.
For a big fat giant rock concert, the field is covered and a
stage is erected over the end zone at one end of the field.
In Seattle’s Century Link Field, the stage was located in
the north end zone.
And the Alice In Chains dressing room was located behind the
south end zone.
This explains the 11 miles I walked today.
But don’t worry. I’m not going to gripe about all the
running around I did.
I actually want to talk about something even more bland and
boring than walking. Niceness and normality.
Part of the 11 miles I walked was the short stretch off of
the stage and down the ramp after Alice’s set, which is where I ran into Pearl
Jam’s Mike McCready.
We chatted and caught up for a while, and I was reminded
that Mike is one of the nicest and most down to earth guys you could know.
At one point he was talking about how he and Duff went to
the same school way back when, and how he saw some early Guns N’ Roses shows
when he lived in L.A. back in 1986.
That got me thinking, “Duff is also one of the nicest and
most down to earth guys you could know”.
Then that started me thinking about the amount of famous
musicians that I know and am friends with, and how normal most of them are.
I’m not writing this to sound like a name-dropping coattail
rider (even though I just dropped two names and I make a living riding the
collective coattails of the members of Alice In Chains).
The point I’m trying to make is that being a world renowned
musician can pretty much take away the ability to live a normal life, particularly
if you hit the level of one-name-fame, i.e. Axl, Bono, Madonna, etc…
When you’re that famous, there are literally some things you
can’t do for yourself anymore, and that can lead to living a life in a reality
that’s pretty far removed from us normal people. (Michael Jackson is the
The members of Alice In Chains have attained a level of fame
where they tend to get recognized and approached when they’re out in public,
but it’s nothing that gets out of control or dangerous.
The point that I’m still unsuccessfully attempting to make
is that becoming famous hasn’t turned these guys into jerks.
Believe me, I’ve been in this business long enough to have
seen and heard plenty of examples of millionaire rock stars being dicks.
Oftentimes this dickish behavior is reinforced by the people
who work for the band members.
That’s because rich and famous people don’t like to hear the
word “No”, therefore they surround themselves with yes men.
Now apply this mentality to child rearing.
Do you know what you’d get if you raised a kid and said yes
to every little thing they asked for?
You’d get a spoiled brat.
And there are a ton of rich, famous, adult spoiled brats.
And I bet that most of them weren’t raised that way.
This is where I come in.
And this is where my value to the members of Alice In Chains
For lack of a better word, I’m a no man.
We all know or have heard of people who don’t take no for an
I love hearing no.
And I’m not afraid to say it to the band.
This is what people deal with in the real world.
Sometimes as much as you don’t want to hear it, the answer
to some of life’s questions and requests is no.
Just because you’ve
sold millions of albums and have your songs played on the radio every day and
wear snazzier pants and use higher quality hair care products doesn’t mean that
the pharmacy will stay open an extra hour so you can send me there to pick up
your anti-fungal cream.*
That’s an important life lesson right there. Sometimes the
pharmacy is closed.
And sometimes the answer is no.
(*No one in Alice In Chains has a fungus. I just needed a
good pharmaceutical example)
I’m not implying that I’m responsible for keeping the
members of Alice In Chains grounded and normal.
They do a pretty good job of that on their own.
But I might help a little bit.
Anyway, this has turned into a long-winded and meandering
way of me pointing out that a lot of the rock stars that I know are nice and (fairly) normal.
But I know there are plenty out there that aren’t.
So if Mariah Carey or Justin Bieber or some other A-lister
with an over-inflated ego needs someone to come around and poke a pin in it, I
have the next month off and I’d love to come and tell you no…