April 8, 2012

Every so often, I find myself lying around early in the morning (thanks to some weird insomnia thing I’ve developed in the past few years) and reflecting on certain things. Certainly I wouldn’t wish the inside of my head on my worst enemy… it’s a strange and colorful place full of contradictions, uncertainties and opposing thoughts. Occasionally it spits out a great song, or a good performance but a lot of the time I long for a volume control for my brain! It’s interesting – my creative drive comes from the same dark corners that drive me crazy from time to time. That’s why I have a blog – because guess what…. I can throw my random shit out there in some kind of cathartic haze, and in the process, clear my mind and maybe connect with someone else that feels the same way. Yesterday I was a judge at the SHRED KIDS CANCER event at the House Of Blues, along with Franky Perez, Shavo Odadjian, DJ Lethal and Dave Kushner. It was incredible to see so many parents actually encouraging their kids to play music, to be in a band, to rock out on a stage and to write their own songs. And it got me thinking that when I was that age, I had the same confusions and contradictions running around my brain as I do now, but nowhere to direct it all – no way to figure out that it was normal, that others felt the same, that those thoughts and feelings could be turned into music, film, art, text…. and speak to other people. The event was heartwarming and mind-blowing – those kids are amazing musicians and great songwriters, and Teagan Stedman (the kid who STARTED the charity and ORGANIZED the whole thing!!) is a huge inspiration, not only to his peers and his friends, but to me and the other judges and anyone else that was in the building yesterday. Thank you to everyone involved for making it an amazing day.

I’ll be hitting the European stage again this summer with Billy Idol and the boys, and I’m looking forward to getting started with the rehearsal process. I recently wrote the following to describe how I feel, being a part of Billy’s band… “Playing rhythm guitar for Billy Idol is as satisfying for me as lying on a sandy beach in the Seychelles, getting fed slices of fresh coconut by a naked, suntanned young lady while listening to ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ and watching dolphins frolic in the crystal clear waters”. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up! And we’ll also be doing a few songs at the eighth Annual MusiCares MAP FundĀ® Benefit Concert, honoring Jerry Cantrell and Neil Lasher at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on Thursday May 31st. The event is always a good night out, with loads of faces showing up that I haven’t seen for ages, great bands, raising money for a wonderful organization…. and this year we get to perform and be a part of the whole thing. I did it a few years back with Camp Freddy and we had a blast doing a few songs with Steven Tyler and Slash, so it’s an honor to be heading back this year with Billy.

While I was shooting the movie K-11 last year, I got the opportunity to write a song for the closing credits of the movie. The song is called ‘My Liberty’ and was an interesting and fulfilling departure for me, musically. The movie is a dark and twisted journey through a world behind bars – a world full of sexually ‘left-of-center’ characters doing time in a special unit of the LA County jail. So the song that came out of me (out of that same place I described earlier in this blog entry!) is a more ethereal, acoustic/percussion type piece and I am really happy with the finished thing. We made a video for the song (directed by K-11 director, Jules Stewart) and the song, video and 8 page booklet will be released on I-Tunes Worldwide on June 12th. I also have some tentative plans for another summer release… an EP of six songs with a couple of friends of mine… but lets see if we can finish it before we start talking about it, right? If the plan actually DOES come together, you’ll read about it first right here.

Finally, I can tell you that on May 19th, a special line-up of Camp Freddy will be performing at Linda Perry’s “An Evening With Women” event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As Dave and Chris will be out on the road that night, we will be joined by Linda’s bass player, Paul Ill and my brother in arms on lead guitar, Mr Steve Stevens. And I can tell you that the guest singers that night will all have something in common… I, for one, am very excited to play this one!! To find out what that is, I suggest that you get over to their site, purchase yourself a ticket (and a few for your friends) to support the cause, and enjoy a fine evening of dinner and dance!! That’s all I got for you guys right now – today is the opening day of the MotoGP season in Qatar, and just like a lot of you do on Football or Basketball season opening games day, I intend to crack open the chips and dip, ignore the phone, and cheer on my boy Ben Spies to the podium. If you think you don’t like motorcycle racing but have never ACTUALLY watched it…. try it. You might like it! Have a good weekend, be happy, play nice, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Hahaha!!


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