One of the secrets of staying in the good graces of a rock
band is to not push your luck.
I’ve had the good fortune of being in the inner circle of
this band for nearly 30 years.
This has given me access to and knowledge of the discussions
and game-planning that occur in regards to recording, touring, merchandising, promotion,
social media, and many other aspects of the business side of the band.
And being this close and caring this much makes it only
natural that I have opinions too.
Sometimes I’m even asked for them.
But most of the time I know that it’s probably better to
just keep them to myself.
It can be hard enough to get four band members on the same
page, let alone their managers, business managers, tour managers, lawyers,
booking agents, and label representatives. The last thing they need is one more voice piping up with a
two-cent opinion on what the next album should be called.
(My vote is for Pastor
Of Muppets or Coleslaw Nightmare.
Imagine the artwork!)
Anyway, my point is that I usually only speak up when I’m
asked or when I really feel like it’s my place to do so.
But occasionally I cross the line and try and subtly inject
my opinions or suggestions into the mix.
One of the areas of discussion where I’ve opened my big fat
mouth over the years is the topic of opening acts on tour.
I’m not involved in the conversations that go on between the
band and management when it comes to this, but I’ve definitely inserted myself
in the mix when the subject comes up amongst the band members.
Because eventually my persistence might pay off, and I may
get my way.
All four members of Alice In Chains know who my favorite
In fact, almost everyone who knows me or works with me knows
who my favorite band is.
And over the years I’ve quietly and delicately inserted
their name into any discussion of future opening bands.
And I’ve always been ignored.
I think that in the last 10 years, the band has only actively picked its own opening act a couple of times.
The suggestions usually come from management, and they tend to
always be younger, newer acts, and the band then picks from the options they’re
And any time I throw the name of my favorite band in the
mix, it’s routinely ignored.
But I have a new plan.
If you’re old like me, and you grew up watching Brady Bunch
re-runs, you may recall the episode where Bobby Brady lies to his friends and
says that he knows Joe Namath.
He then paints himself in a corner by saying that Joe comes to
dinner whenever he’s in town, so all of Bobby’s friends expect to meet Joe at
But Joe isn’t coming.
Until Bobby’s sister Cindy writes a letter to Joe explaining
that Bobby is extremely ill and that a visit from Joe would really boost his
And the plan works.
So I’m now contemplating concocting a rare bacterial
infection or possibly some kind of fatal foodborne illness.
This will engender incredible concern and sympathy from the
band, and when things look their bleakest and I’m bedridden and feeble, I’ll
whisper weakly that my dying wish is for Alice In Chains to take out Fates
Warning as their opening act on an 18 month trek around the world.
Then when the ink is drying on the contracts, I’ll miraculously recover, spring
from my deathbed, join the tour, and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
I’ve thought about this plan for quite some time, and I know
that divulging it publicly may ruin its potential effectiveness.
But we just finished a five week run with two shows in New
York’s legendary Beacon Theater, and a singing clown opened both shows.
Oh sure, he had a great voice and he was entertaining, but
A clown just opened the final two shows of the summer tour!
Using a hackneyed plot device from a 40 year-old family
sitcom to get my way can’t be any sillier than that.
So look for it next year: The Fates Warning/Alice In Chains
Coming to a city near you, courtesy of a bald dude from
Seattle with a robust imagination and a searing hot case of Syphilitic Necrotizing