Originally Posted by Old Joe
I've been reading these threads since they started. I've been holding on replying here since I have a feeling I am not "one of the boys" on the site and don't want your thread to die off because of my reply. But I can't really hold back anymore. I just want to thank you for all that you have shared here. There are a few instances in my life where I can say I became a better person by observing someone else and learning from their experiences, this is one of those moments.
I read In Cold Sweat last summer and gained a lot of respect for the musicians that you interviewed. Especially for Mr. Simmons. I really identified with him. I also really like your writing style. It's like having a conversation with the writer. And it is my preferred style when I am reading. These threads led me to In Cold Sweat but, I am pre-ordering Ghosts just based on how much I liked your style on In Cold Sweat.
I can relate to how people are attacking you too. I tend to attract strong reactions from people in my life. They either really hate or really like me. Seems like there is not much middle ground. Lucky for me I have a small, close group of friends and family that help me get through life. I've been really blessed so far.
I'll stop rambling here. Again, just wanted to say thank you and wish you all the best.
Thanks, Joe. You're the type of person who makes it all worthwhile. You're the audience for whom I write.
You know, I hadn't thought about it in exactly those terms, but you're right: I tend to provoke the same reactions you do. Either people love or hate my work, and since most people can't separate the creator of the work from the work, they end up either loving or hating me.
I had a guy go from loving me to hating me in about twenty minutes. He contacted me by PM through the forum and put on some bizarre, overly familiar show telling me that I could call him the Magician (or something), a nickname given to him by a close friend because of circumstances he couldn't describe but which I would no doubt find fascinating.
I wrote back, "You're trying too hard," and all hell broke loose. White-hot hatred of me began pouring out. I was a loser, a failure, a snobbish turd, a fraud, and a Nazi. I've had a few of these sorts of interactions since I started this, but the majority of the responses are, well, normal. I like normality.
Friends are definitely indispensable. I've got my small circle, too. I'll tell you what made me a better friend: I learned to accept everyone on their terms, not mine. In the past I tried to change people to make them fit better into the niche I'd carved out for them. Unfair, inhumane, and futile. These days I accept everyone how they are, and it works much better for all of us. It's how I approach all of life. I accept it on its own terms instead of trying to fight it.
In the way that each of my friends has a different relationship with me, each person I interviewed stayed with me for a different reason. You hit the nail on the head again with Gene Simmons. I respect him a lot, too. He was perceptive and intelligent enough to take a calculated risk with me, trusting his instincts (after talking with me) that I wouldn't screw him over. Bass Player
was a big deal back then, and I could've done some damage to his career. He suspended his usual rules for me, which is an amazing compliment. I go into it in some detail in Ghosts.
Thanks for posting your kind words. I appreciate them.