Shout at the Devil

Shout at the Devil because he’s hard of hearing these days. The guy has been touring with Mötley Crüe for over 31 years.

What would possess me to drive over two hours and through three states to see a band that is not exactly in their prime? It all started on August 7, 1985. My brother and I attended our first rock show at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to see Mötley Crüe at the beginning of the Theater of Pain tour. It was quite a spectacle. Vince, Mick, Tommy and Nikki were hitting their stride as both musicians and performers. And no matter what you think of Mötley Crüe, you cannot deny the commercial success they have had over the years. In addition, Mötley Crüe is ending their legacy the same way they began it in 1981; with all four original members. Sure, Vince was absent for a few years but the majority of the band’s history includes all founding members. Think about that. I challenge you to name another band with the same level of international recognition that will retire with all original members. U2 is the only other band I can think of that will be able to make that claim provided nobody in the band dies before they quit.

When I had the chance to see Mötley Crüe one last time, in Pittsburgh, with my brother, I had to do it. Almost 29 years to the day from my first exposure to the Crüe, it was exactly what you would expect from musicians who have been playing and living hard for over fifty years. If you were to take any performer or athlete and compare their early twenties to their early fifties, you would no doubt see a decrease in performance. The same is true of musicians. Vince gave it his best, but he was not the Vince Neil of 1981 and nobody in the crowd of approximately 23,000 was expecting that. We knew what we were getting and we paid our money anyway. Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx stole the show. Both of those guys played as well, if not better, than they did in the 1980s and 1990s.

I’m not out to convince anyone that Mötley Crüe is the best hard rock band in the world or that you should care. I’m not going to get bogged down in an album sales conversation. The Crüe means more to me than the sum of its parts. We all have a band, artist or performer we feel that way about and it’s pointless to attempt to quantify our emotional connection. Just enjoy it and don’t worry if someone else doesn’t.

And on the podcast this week, the topic is dark music and its connection to fiction. I’m fortunate to have my first guest, author Richard Brown. We had a great time and I hope you will enjoy listening to the conversation.

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“I’m sailing. I’m a sailor. I sail.”


Although not as quoted as Caddyshack or Stripes, Bill Murray’s character in What About Bob? has some great lines. He’s never gone sailing, never been on a boat and he hates the water. So what does he do? He declares himself a sailor and then he sails. Take a minute to watch the scene. Go on. I’ll wait.

It doesn’t matter that Bob is tied to the mast or that he’s not steering the craft or that the other people in the boat probably think he’s an asshole. It doesn’t matter because sailors ride boats on water. Bob is riding a boat on water. He sails. He’s a sailor.

Never before has there been so much opportunity available to so many people. We live in a time when you can make yourself into whatever you want to . . .

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Addiction's Suffocating Embrace: Reflections on Social Media

I’m not conventional. More often than not I find myself going against the grain. The grain right now is social media, using it personally and as a marketing tool. Yeah, I’m going against that. Some authors will tell you such-and-such sold 4 million copies when a link was retweeted by a celebrity or so-and-so used Facebook to make $10,000 a month in royalties. I’m sure those stories are true but it’s not been that way for me. The only thing I have is my experience. Advice is telling someone what they should do while sharing experience is being honest about what worked and what didn’t. I don’t give advice. I share experience. This has been my experience. Use it or ignore it. It’s nothing but the truth. My truth.

I’ve been conditioned my entire life to be a “people pleaser.” . . .

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