Category Archives: Characters

Wake up! It’s time to play!

I guess you already know one of my favorite topics of discussion has to do with the Guns N’ Roses universe. It’s been long time since I don’t write about this band, but events and confirmations need to be commented. At least I need to talk about them.

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Three years ago GN’R were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Many fans thought this would be the right opportunity for the band to leave all the arguments and bad blood behind, and perhaps, to have a fresh start and start considering a reunion. However Mighty Axl, Mr One in a million, decided not to get involved in that circus, thus he didn’t attend the celebration, and rejected it, becoming a weird event with former members of a band they weren’t part of anymore, while the singer and his new line up continued performing as Guns N’ Roses supporting Chinese Democracy. Personally speaking, my feelings were very contradictory, as on one hand I stood by Axl’s decision, cheering up the fact that he was stubborn yet honest to his beliefs, and not yielding to the pressure of this title, but on the other hand assuming that after his rejection, a reunion would never take place. And to be honest, I didn’t feel the need to encourage such reunion anymore, as it would be just a matter of money, a business, but not a true one. You can call me romantic, ‘cause I am.

In 2015 rumors started to spread on social networks, and the gossip was alive again. A reunion seemed to become a reality, with Slash and Duff willing to go ahead, but as usual, you couldn’t take anything for granted until Axl would open his mouth.

What’s been fascinating during these months it’s the fact that established music magazines were taking these rumors as actual news, and lots of information was decontextualized and twisted as to sell this comeback. For instance, some musicians just expressed their excitement on the possibility of this reunion, but their statements were manipulated as to confirm it was going real.

2016 arrived with the scheduled interview to Axl Rose by Jimmy Kimmel on TV. Expectations had risen to the moon, and everybody was super enthusiastic about him confirming this reunion through a camera. But again, 24h before the show, Axl Rose name was removed from the site, getting thousands of fans disappointed.

All of a sudden, Coachella festival confirmed Guns N’ Roses headlining the festival to take place in April, Slash and Duff were posting a terrible Photoshop poster with the band classic logo with the festival background, and eventually, after making jokes confirming his love for Taco Bell, Axl spoke through this tweet.

gnr coachella

Holy shit! It’s showtime!

Being aware of Axl’s tricked mind, how much time did it take him to post that tweet? What can be inferred from it? Tell me it’s not wonderful, like a modern cypher. Any single emoticon can have different readings, and his patronizing tone is absolutely nasty, as if he was doing us all a favor joining the reunion. Wonderful!

Axl tweet

At this point many of you might think I’m as nuts as Axl is, the truth is that I’m still skeptical. Too much time till Coachella becomes a reality, too much tension in the air, I reckon this reunion is on the verge, and it can explode at any time, no matter the strict and multimillionaire contracts signed up. Axl is unpredictable, still keeps part of his current band colleagues on the payroll, Adler, Sorum and Stradlin are not officially part of the team, and Slash’s IG posts are simply brilliant, as if trying to break Axl’s balls a bit in a subtle manner.

Like I said, I don’t need this reunion, and I’m not the only one on this. When I raised the subject on an interview to Michael Monroe, he was clear: “that’s not a real reunion, it’s not honest, the band members are incapable of putting all the shit behind, and most likely it would not have a happy ending”.

Truth is that if there was a chance, I’d move mountains to attend a show. Too attractive to be missed.

Rumors are spread on a daily basis, the craziest fans, me included, are looking for plots and new theories, with every picture, every tweet, every statement pronounced by someone close, or close enough to be a reliable source, is analyzed and commented.

Which band can create this halo of excitement? Who can turn the world upside down and get all the attention from fans and media just clapping their hands? Guns N’ Fuckin’ Roses, the ultimate rock band.

Whatever happens in the next months is worth following. So friends, get the popcorn into the microwave, because the show has just started. Have fun!

Farewell, duke

Hi there! To be hones I’d have preferred to write my first post of the year sending a positive message, or talking about good things or great shows experienced last year, but you know how this goes. Xmas is always the worst timing for writing, habits and routines are interrupted for a while and I’m lazy as fuck lately, I cannot lie. I hate finishing 2015 and starting 201 saying farewell to deceased personalities, but in both cases I think my words might work as a humble tribute to them.

bowie

I woke up this morning and visited Twitter to check on the Golden Globe awards. Not that I’m a huge fan of them, but it’s always interesting to have references to go to the cinema from time to time. Instead, I found a disturbing post from David Bowie’s official account confirming he had passed away after 18 months struggling against cancer. I didn’t have the slightest idea, being aware of his weak physical condition though. Fuck! Last Friday it was his 69 anniversary, and he had released his last studio album that same day. The news was so shocking, and so sudden, people didn’t want to believe, thus the 20 minutes after the statement have been too confusing, with people warning his social networks accounts had been hacked, and this was a hoax. Unfortunately his son, Duncan Jones, wrote a tweet confirming the sad news, together with a beautiful picture of his dad with him when he was a kid.

Bowie was an icon, and he’ll be, no doubt about it. An icon who’s been around all my life. I cannot say I’m a super huge fan, because I didn’t get the chance to dig into his discography, except for 2-3 albums I really like, but always felt fascinated by his personality, style, and of course, his attitude and way of life. I got the chance to attend a couple of his shows in 1996 and 1997, and really, he was magnificent. I was still hoping to see him again on stage, and it’s sad to know that won’t gonna happen.

What comes next? The terrible thought of many heroes on the verge because the passing of time is inevitable. And it’s frightening, for it also means I’m growing old, and eventually I’ll have to pay my ticket as well. Life, friends. When we were kids nobody warned us it was going to be a day a day struggle, as it actually is, thus enjoy as much as possible, because, as Bill Hicks said once, this is just a ride.

Damn you, Scott!

It’s weird to realize I only talked about Stone Temple Pilots once here long time ago referring to their best of album, Thank You. And it’s weird because it’s a band I’ve always loved and often listened to, especially to their masterpiece, Purple.

scott weiland

It was sad to wake up yesterday reading the news that confirmed Scott Weiland was found dead in his tour bus. It was something that many of us knew it was going to happen eventually, but when the time came, it was shocking and sad anyway.

Weiland was an asshole, but he was Scott Weiland. One of the most prominent frontmen rock has gifted us with, with an incredible voice and a way of transmitting feelings through his melodies able to make us have goosebumps. But he was all the time dealing with heavy drug addiction, his personality was not easy, and sometimes he could be a real prick.

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When someone dies everybody focuses on the good points and positive contributions of the deceased, but let’s be honest: Weiland ruined the progression of Stone Temple Pilots, and he has to be blamed for it. When I had to review his last and mediocre album, I was pissed off at him, and I called him son of a bitch. And I still think of him in the same way, because I always hoped he would reunite Stone Temple Pilots for good, and he didn’t. I wanted to relive the same experience I had back in 1994 when I attended one of their shows in Madrid, while they were introducing Purple. One of the most memorable shows I’ve ever seen, enhanced by the fact that it was the first show I was travelling to a different city for with friends, and I was not yet so veteran in live shows as I am nowadays.

On stage I saw him twice, with the Pilots and Velvet Revolver, and damn! He was an animal. He had style and attitude, he could be sexy and nasty at the same time, his voice was powerful, and his performances very theatrical.

It’s sad to see someone, let’s say not so old, as he was 48, passing away. Someone you don’t know and perhaps you don’t even like, but who you’ve been somehow growing up with since you were a teenager.

So damn you, Scott Weiland! For being so selfish and so out of control. You could have given us much more, but now you’re gone.

I will always remember you singing this in the rockin’ chair:

Drivin’ faster in my car

Falling farther from just what we are

Smoke a cigarette and lie some more

These conversations kill

Fallin’ faster in my car

 

Chewie, we’re home!

I never wanted Xmas to arrive so badly, but this time THIS TIME it has to be fast, for fuck’s sake!

I’ve just watched the second official trailer of Star Wars episode VII: The Force Awakens six times in a row and now I have two tears about to roll.

I feel so excited about this movie! Very frightened too, to be honest. I’m scared of what Abrams might do, but at the same time that classic sentence “You’re my only hope” is constantly kicking in my head.

The fact that all the ships, the X-Wings, The Tie-Fighters and the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, The Millennium Falcon, or Chewbacca and R2-D2 appear on the trailer really makes my heart bits fast. And Solo, MY MAN! He’s an old rascal, but it doesn’t matter, damn! I’m near 40 but I feel like a kid again, how can this be possible?

How can this fiction be so essential for many? Whenever I start wondering about it I feel overwhelmed. We were kids, innocent and impressible when we watched this saga for the first time. But it’s been almost 40 years since it started, people have grown up, have their families and responsibilities, and still the world stops when a new trailer is released, and the impact on so many people is so unbelievable it makes me think these are the greatest movies ever made. Not in terms of performing nor even the plot, which I reckon it’s a simple and clear way to understand Jung’s theory of the archetypes (child, father, good, evil, the hero, the journey…), but because what George Lucas achieved to recreate on three films with the passing of timehas become something cultural, I’d dare say, historic, and this makes them simply perfect.

chewie and solo

December, 18th is marked in my calendar. Victory and death are on the table. Am I ready to cope with both options? It can be the greatest disaster or something really big. Who knows?

Hope, friends, hope. We can never surrender to fear, cause fear takes you to the dark side.

The day he quit, the rocket took off.

There are some bands you create such a bond with that, no matter that they almost copy one set to the previous one, every time they come to your city on tour, you’ll attend their performance regardless. For 10 years I’ve never failed to my appointment with Jonny Kaplan since the first time I saw him in Lleida, and last Thursday was not to be an exception. It’s not a problem either that his last albums are not as brilliant as earlier ones, because he never fails, singing and playing with such groove everything is good vibes, and songs such as ‘Damaged’, ‘Seasons’ and ‘Ride Free’, will always be played for us.

There was a remarkable addition to the band, which was quite appealing for many, and that was the presence of Dave Krusen on drums. You might wonder, who the fuck is Krusen? Well, he’s a guy who happened to record all the drum parts of the debut album of Pearl Jam, as he was in the band.

pearl jam early days

The handover of drummers, from Krusen to Abbruzzese (from Dave to David) in the band was something which remained unknown for some time, and it was something weird in the day. Krusen had played the first shows and had recorded the album. He appears on the cover picture, and there were few promo pictures with him as member of the band. In fact the video of their first single, ‘Alive’, features him on the drums. Apparently what happened was that Krusen, right after the Ten recording, checking into rehab, due to personal issues and alcohol abuse.

How could he deal with the success of Pearl Jam as one of the bands able to be on top for more than 25 years knowing he stepped outside right before they rose like a rocket? What would have happened if he hadn’t quit? Perhaps his life would be sorted out by now, not worrying about which band to play with next, financially secure (even though I’m sure he get royalties for Ten, being properly credited). Or he could have been fired after the second album, considering the main problem of Pearl Jam has to do with the drummers all the time.

I try to figure out how is to wake up every day having this constant ‘What if’ in your head. Probably he overcame this issue time ago, but it must be really hard to cope with a past decision which was so meaningful and decisive for the rest of your life.

He’s been playing all the time since then, being involved in several projects as Candlebox or Unified Theory and playing with established artists, but it was really weird to see him in front of 100 people at a tiny club as Rocksound is, with Jonny Kaplan, who’s a terrific artist, but very low profile in the rock scene.

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So right after the show I went to greet him, not to ask him to sign any stuff nor praise him just for being a member of Pearl Jam, but to thank him for his work in one album that really made such a marking point in my life, being a teenager and so, as to be what I am nowadays: a rock freak. Very humble and polite, Krusen received the compliment in the best manner, and thank me back for expressing such feelings to him.

I understand you cannot harass every musician who has made an impact in your life, and we create this respectful and elevated halo around the musicians up to such point we forget they’re also human beings, and have feelings. But I think if approaching the artist in the right way, not bothering nor interrupting or being impatient, and with politeness, is not a bad thing, but the opposite. Musicians appreciate receiving a feedback on their work, not only in terms of charts and record sales, but also in a more personal and emotional field, and probably this side of the recognition is still the most rewarding.  At least I will keep on doing it the same way. Wish I was able to make an emotional impact on people the way that some have made and still are making on me up to day.

krusen toi

 

Ryan Adams is finally here.

The drought and the break have finally come to an end. After 3 years without entering a studio for recording a new album, even though the word says that he actually had a record in hands but it was so sad and devastating Adams didn’t endure the idea of publishing it, the king of the pinballs is releasing his 14th album today.

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With a simple noisy shot of his face with long messy hair on the cover (a selfie, perhaps?) and his name as the title of the album, Ryan Adams hit the street, and after listening to it compulsively in streaming, everybody knows he’s made it again. Can we call him genius and give him the credit he’s been working on all these years? I think it’s time to accept him as one of the most prolific and talented artists in the century, recalling his past, not as a curse anymore, but  as a step necessary for him to find his right path, not only in the artistic sense but also in the personal field.

Adams has always made us aware of his age. ‘1974’, the album 29, and constant references, as something he takes very serious. In 2 months he’ll be 40, the starting point for the middle-age in mankind, being the artist fully aware of that. He’s trying to keep his stability under control, and to manage to balance his personal life with his work and passions.

The creation of Pax-Am goes beyond his own analogical recording studio. It’s the accomplishment of a lifetime dream, and the sheltering space where he can develop everything’s inside his head, keeping things under control, and feeling safe.

Ryan Adams recovers the pain of the heartbroken, but this time leaves the gloomy and emotional sounds we were so used to when he was playing with The Cardinals aside, to feature rough and constricted guitars, and a toughened sound, which constantly makes you think of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in their first years. the greatness here is that he’s truly inspired by this band, together with Bruce Springsteen or even The Replacements, but he manages to go through this successfully without the listener thinking he might be copying.

ryan adams 2014

The more I’m listening to this album the more I’m having a crush on it, no doubt you’ll read about this album by the end of this year because at this moment I can’t get out of my head songs like ‘Gimme Something Good’, ‘Trouble’, ‘Shadows’ or ‘Tired of Giving Up’. Catchy chorus, simple structures, and a straight and harder sound. Adams has finally made a classic rock album without pretending to be something he’s not, nor trying to amuse or impress but his fans and himself. And he’s succeeded.

Is this the beginning of a new era? Will he keep working on this style? At least it seems that he’s very proactive and in the mood for doing stuff and releasing singles. We’ll see…

If you got time and mood for reading about this workaholic nowadays I strongly recommend you to read At home, kinda , with Ryan Adams, an article written by Bob Mehr  for Buzzfeed music I’ve read today. It gets you a good picture of what Adams has gone through in the last 20 years, helps you to get closer to both the person and the artist, and encourages you to forget his messy and rebellious past. I’m positive it’s one of the best pieces I’ve read on this musician.

Aaah! Can’t wait for my vinyl ❤

MAY THE FOURTH…

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Ain’t it great there’s a day we can celebrate the existence of the universe of Star Wars?

Since I started Since My Baby Left Me, I’ve been reminding the world about how much I love this saga, better said, the holy trilogy of episodes IV, V and VI. There are not many things at this stage of life which make me feel in the same way as when I was a little girl. There are very few movies which can make me laugh, cry, feel excited, devastated, in love or upset every time I watch them. And there are very few things I relate to in the real life even though they are impossible: I want a lightsaber, to have the Jedi mind power, send people to die in Sarlacc’s pit, get married with Han Solo, and hire Boba Fett as my bodyguard.

I can’t recall how many times I’ve quoted quoted sentences such as “Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” “it’s a trap”, “Uchini!” “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”, “I find your lack of faith disturbing”, “I love you”, “I know”, or “Jabba! This is your last chance. Free us or Die”. Believe me, they’ve been many. I was told once I laugh in the same way as Jabba the Hutt. It’s not a very nice thing to say, but I bear this burden with some kind og dignity.

This is what George Lucas has made of me. A freak. But I love it.

star wars cast

Forgetting the first episodes, which I consider a waste and an insult, everybody is looking towards the episode VII reluctantly yet curious and excited. Last week this amazing photo shocked and made all fans recover enthusiasm. Full cast in a relaxing meeting. The old and the new generation of actors with the director J.J. Abrams. Good news is that Lawrence Kasdan, responsible for The Empire Strikes Back, will co-write the script, instead of the director by himself, who we don’t trust much. I don’t know what to think of all this. I’d hate getting disappointed again, but at the same time I got faith. Let’s see what happens next year.

In the meantime, May the Force Be With You. Always.

Have a fab fourth!