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Interviewing Bassists Stories Pt. 3

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Arthritic_Tom, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    {MOD INSERT: Continued from http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f32/interviewing-bassists-stories-part-2-a-877100/}

    I need to apologize to the readers of Talkbass for engaging someone who only wanted to mess with me and disrupt the "Interviewing Bassist Stories Part 2" thread, which he succeeded in doing thanks to my responses.

    The thread is about my book Ghosts and Ballyhoo: Memoirs of a Failed L.A. Music Journalist. If you aren't familiar with how the book came about, I was asked by the forum readers to pitch the idea of a book that chronicled my ridiculous career in music journalism. I didn't want to write the book because I thought it would just be another failure, and I was ready to move forward, not revisit the past in any real detail.

    Writing the book turned out to be the best thing I've done in twenty years, both artistically and on a personal level, as it allowed me to finally cast out all my demons and make peace with my ghosts. I can now proudly say that Scott Thunes is a close, dear friend instead of a ghost, and that wouldn't have happened if the Talkbass readers hadn't persuaded me to write the book.

    In the thread that got closed, I was accused of perpetrating a hoax on everyone here by making up everything in the book. The person making the accusation clearly did so just to cause trouble and inflict discomfort, or hopefully pain. He claims that the outlandish things I've related couldn't possibly have happened, yet he doesn't perceive that his own actions validate my repeated observation that I attract unbalanced people who do extremely strange, irrational things. His very presence proves that what I say happened to me did, in fact, happen.

    Several readers have been perceptive enough to see that what I've described is true. They watched it unfold in real time. For whatever reason, something about me makes people want to act out and subject me to crazy, destructive, inexplicable behavior. You now have the proof. You can see it for yourself in the closed thread.

    Still, at least one reader seemed to express doubt over whether or not what I've written is true. Given our present era of corruption and dishonesty, it's a reasonable question. A writer named James Frey hoaxed Oprah Winfrey with his phony autobiography A Million Little Pieces. We've all just heard that Lance Armstrong has been lying for years.

    There's no way I can convince you that what I've written is true. That's okay. You can accept or reject the veracity of my book; I didn't write it for any reason except to banish my demons and to entertain you. I've banished my demons, and you will be entertained.

    What I will do is show you the references I used to write my book. The photo includes pretty much everything.

    1. Manuscript for my unpublished, gigantic, universally rejected novel The Mermaid Lamp, about the L.A. music industry.

    2. Personal correspondence from my time in Norway and Japan.

    3. Material from my time at Lewis and Clark college.

    4. Memorabilia, ephemera, and correspondence from Japan.

    5. Photos from college, Japan, and San Francisco.

    6. Correspondence from "Carmen."

    7. Miscellaneous personal correspondence from 1944-2004.

    8. Rejection notices from literary agents and publishers.

    9. Memorabilia and ephemera from college and my trips across the country by car.

    10. Notebook from my teaching days in Japan.

    11. Personal correspondence from 1985-2000.

    12. Ephemera and correspondence from my career in music journalism.

    13. Ephemera and correspondence from "Nakamura," the Cat-Faced Ghost in the Rising Sun.

    14. Tapes of my interviews with musicians.

    15. Tapes of my interviews with musicians, photographers, antique dealers, and publicists, for The Mermaid Lamp.

    16. Diary from the period I taught English in Japan.

    17. Correspondence from Bass Player.

    18. Memorabilia and ephemera from Japan.

    19. Letters I wrote to my mother from 1985-1994, which she saved.

    20. Correspondence from "Abby."

    This is what I drew on to write my book.

    So, I'm sorry I caused the other thread to be closed. I shouldn't have engaged the person in question when it became clear that all he wanted to do was assault me. I'm used to it, so it didn't upset me, but my responses made the situation worse by encouraging him to ramp up his obnoxiousness and by planting the seed of doubt in peoples' minds.

    It was poor judgment on my part that resulted in everyone being punished and a fun time coming abruptly to an end.

    I'm sorry.

    Attached Files:

  2. Wow. I caught the first thread early on and lost track of how it was evolving. It entertained me, kept me awake and helped me to get to sleep while I was following it.

    Thanks for taking the time to share. Sorry the odd dudes got to you.
  3. Wow, that is a lot of material to draw from! (At least it looks like it).
  4. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    He tried to get me on his 'side', wherever that is.

    Stay above that crap, you don't need it in your life.
  5. joe vegas

    joe vegas Supporting Member

    Dang!! i missed all this. the book sounds great,, as did the old thread description
    it's usually a handful of.. well, it's usually a handful that pour weedkiller on something so no one else can dig it. "Those that can't do, criticize", usually.
    Best of luck with your book. Henry Rollins has a small imprint and this might be up his alley- google and see if it's a good match.
  6. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles

    As I was putting away the other material, I came across these, which I also used.

    From left:

    Photos from my mother's collection; a wooden and a metal box of my own photos from 1991-2012; in the really thick folder all the correspondence, memorabilia, and ephemera related to In Cold Sweat: Interviews with Really Scary Musicians; and five more miscellaneous files of music correspondence.

    Ghosts also has a bibliography and an index.

    This thread is intended to reassure people that I'm not hoaxing them. I drew on over thirty years' worth of interviews, notes, correspondence, photos, ephemera, and memorabilia when I wrote my book.

    I know most rational people aren't worried that I'm hoaxing them. It's just that I felt I owed it to the readers here to both apologize for causing the other thread to be closed and to try and set doubters' minds at ease.

    Attached Files:

  7. JumboJack


    Dec 31, 2007
    IMHO Tom you have nothing to apologize for....
  8. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Thank you, but I don't know when to shut up.

    This was a good lesson. The attacks are just beginning. I need to adopt a smarter approach to how I deal with them.

    Someone asked in the now-closed thread if there were any bassists I wish I could've interviewed.

    The two biggest names are Jeff Berlin and Roger Waters. I would've loved interviewing both of them. With Berlin it would've been fun to get into a big theatrical fight with him and play his straight man. It would've been a huge challenge to figure out how best to deal with him. That was what I loved about being an interviewer: the moment when I knew the interviewee got it and would now play along.

    In the closed thread, the guy was obsessed with me saying that my book is an art project. Well, all my interviews were art projects, too. They were performance art. The two best performance artists were Gene Simmons and Scott Thunes. We created an effect together, unspoken. Both of them were smart enough to figure out what I was doing, and they ran with it.

    I don't know if Jeff Berlin and Roger Waters would've been able to create performance art with me, but I would've loved to try. It only failed once, when the bassist--a household name--thought I was asking the combative question, instead of me standing in for the sort of jerky, arrogant music journalist who would ask that sort of question.

    He snapped, "*** you!" and glared at me in silence for ten seconds before he answered, and then he brought up my question about fifty times in the rest of the interview. Whenever I mentioned another bassist, this guy would ask me my fake-combative question about that bassist: "Oh, is he a _____-_____, too?"

    It was a disaster. I still blush when I think about it. I completely misread him. My fault entirely.
  9. It says closed for review.
    I suspect there is discussion between mods about someone else's behavior in your thread. From what I read there were posts that were intentionally disrespectful and added nothing to the thread. I've been around for a few years and from what I have seen TalkBass is modded in such a manner as to keep it one of the friendlier boards around. People are free to express opinions but being disrespectful and name calling is not tolerated.

    And for those that have followed these threads..... it was interesting to watch it happen, just like Tom said it would.
  10. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Just in case it doesn't get reopened, I wanted to document the eighty or so pounds of material I sifted through to write the book.

    Much of it was material I thought would be too painful to ever revisit, but in fact re-reading the majority of it was a pleasure. I kept thinking, "Wow. I really had it good for a while, didn't I?"

    I'm glad I kept it all.
  11. I made one of the disrespectful posts. This was a reaction to a certain user repeatedly bagging my friend (of over 10 years) Tom as a scammer who was conning the user bass (heh) here. Ridiculous. I don't agree with Tom on many things, and we've fallen out in the past, but his integrity is absolute and he means exactly what he says.

    Hope this helps.
  12. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Our falling out was really stupid, wasn't it? I don't even remember what it was about. Thanks Christ we're both too old and happy to get into slap fights anymore.

    Check out my sweat stains!


    Was that why we fell out? You found out I'm a sweaty hog?
  13. OK, now I am really offended.

  14. Yorick


    Nov 10, 2006
    Dude, you have nothing to apologise for. The only thing you did "wrong" was take the bait, which could happen to anyone. I didn't follow all of part deux, as the new job got in the way, but caught the tail end of it with all the cr@p... Hopefully his trolling arse got banned?
    Have a hug.... :D

  15. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Thanks. Be patient. It'll be out sooner than the Amazon date.

    I thought I was doing a good job of letting him know he wasn't getting to me, but I guess flaming is flaming, even if it's done humorously. I'm just as guilty as he is.

    My responses are much more entertaining, though. And you don't wanna hug me when I'm sweaty.
  16. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    I'll wait for the movie to come out............
  17. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    LMAO, I was hoping for a "books on CD" thing with a really cool narrator like Charlton Heston or Orson Welles. :hyper:

    Having followed the original thread quietly since early on in part one, let me say that I became too emotionally vested in the project to ever think it could be a hoax.

    So on that note; (pun intended ;)) whether it be fact or fiction, literary art or embellished entertainment, it is of no consequence to me. I will take it for what I expect it to be. "A good read" and hope to be thoroughly entertained.

    What's that old saying? "Truth is stranger than fiction." Now where is that confounded book! :D
  18. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I missed the other thread so I have no idea what this is all about, but I thoroughly enjoyed In Cold Sweat, so I look forward to your new book.
  19. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I only discovered the thread last week and actually spent about 2 1/2 hrs reading through almost 30 pages until I had to let it rest for a while and I haven't been back yet. I'm sorry it was closed, I found it fascinating and quite interesting. You got trolled by an internet a-hole and you took the bait. It happens here from time to time and you learn how to deal with them. If that guy is a bass player he's sure not part of the brotherhood.

    Tom, you have nothing to apologize for, and it looks like you did finally write the book everyone urged you to write. I look forward to buying it.
  20. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Well, if I were Tom I'd maybe want to apologize for the "gun pointed" because, as he certainly knows, the language is inflammatory. Even though it's obviously delivered with humor, it was pretty evident by then the recipient wasn't very humorous and not likely to take it well.

    I thought the continuing exchange was fairly harmless overall but if you are attracting creepy stalkers and you don't like it, I'd say resist the urge to engage them. The "will do" comment was perfect but if by then you had recognized what was happening, that ought to have been the last time you responded to him. He might have lost interest and gone away.

    I think the 'net is full of people who are looking for a certain kind of fight and they trawl around until they find it. What they are doing is trying to exorcise their own ghosts..