• Words

    March 22 2016
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Some animals bombed the airport in Brussels today. I’ve been to Brussels may times. It is a beautiful, peaceful place. It’s all so senseless. A mere couple of years ago I was elated at a world that had taken giant leaps forward. Color, sexuality, religion no longer seemed to define any of us. Now all of those things seem to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. I still don’t give a damn what color you are, who you love, or what you believe. If you are good to me I will do my best to be good to you. One of the things I’m most thankful for is music. Music has this amazing ability to bring people together. A Republican and a Democrat can both love The Beatles. A Christian and a Jew can both love The Stones. I know this because I see it every day.

    There is nothing I like more than diversity. Can you imagine if there was only one kind of restaurant in your town. Those of us that are adventurous love traveling the world if only in the culinary sense in our own back yards. Italian, Japanese, Greek, Indian, Thai, French, Chinese I mean it goes on and on. Just outside your front door you can travel the world on the tip of your tongue. Wouldn’t it be weird if every restaurant were just burgers and fries. It’d be weird if it was just Sushi, too. Such is the beautiful tapestry and intermingling of cultures that feed and entertain us day in and day out.

    I’m not religious but I have always held a deep fascination for many religions. I have had a long fascination with Catholicism. The history, the devotion, imagery. Irish and Italian especially. My Grandmother was Catholic and the imagery permeated much of my youth. My family fell a little further from the tree but good people come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and belief systems. I’m well read on Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism etc. By well read I mostly mean I’ve read some stuff. They all have the good things I agree with and some stuff I don’t get. I mostly carry from them be a good person. Or don’t be a dick as I’ve discussed here before. Being a good person can’t be selective. It has to be all inclusive. It doesn’t mean you let people step on you or invade your personal space but it does mean you watch out for your fellow man.
    These men who did this terrible thing in Brussels today think they’ve done the right thing but they’re wrong. Whoever told them they were doing the right thing was wrong too. It’s a sad perversion of a bigger truth.

    You may say I’m a dreamer but…you know the rest. I’m not going to let this kind of stuff change anything for me. We all deserve love and we are all capable of giving it. Love. It’s so much easier than the other thing. The other thing is a waste of your time. If you are that consumed with hating something or someone you need to get a hobby. Pick up a guitar, dude. Redirect that energy somewhere that can be better used by the universe.
    My heart breaks for the people of Belgium. It will take time but peace will return as it always does. I only pray it could be forever this time.

    Ok.
    That’s enough of that. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

    Much has happened in the time I’ve put pen to paper (so to speak) last. I mean the world continues to revolve. The sun rises and sets. Friday comes much to slowly and Monday returns much to quickly for the rest of the world. For those of us off the grid I hardly notice what day it is from one to the next. I have been steeped in the busiest and most active chapter in recent memory. One would think that coming off the road from an almost 2 year world tour would mean feet up in front of the television but that is so not the case.

    Since I’ve been back I have managed to record a bunch of fun Canadian songs with Cory Churko (from Shania Twain and Kelly Clarkson) and Brent Fitz (…you know…) for an intended Canadian tribute album someday. We all grew up in the heartland of the Canadian Prairies listening to the same music. I’m talking deeeeeeep cuts by bands like the Queen City Kids, Harlequin, Streetheart, Chilliwack…Exactly…you’ve never heard of ‘em. How could you have? These are songs we consider classics but only if you grew up in the right area. So with tender love and care we have decided to capture our own versions with no real ultimate goal in mind just trusting that they will find their place in the universe when the time is right. It’s nice taking something on that isn’t time sensitive. We can do it at our leisure and there isn’t a deadline to work towards. It isn’t about money or glory. It’s about the love and respect of the music that made us who we are. I can’t wait for y’all to hear what we’ve been cooking up. It’s a lot of fun.

    I sang a song on Bob Kulick’s upcoming solo album and it rocks. Hard! For those who don’t know Bob has long been associated with KISS. Bob played a lot of guitar on records when Ace was not around. Bob was almost the guitar player in KISS until Ace came along. Bob played in the early, glory days of Meat Loaf with his younger brother, Bruce. Bruce Kulick went on to be the guitar player in KISS during the ‘non-makeup’ years. If you haven’t been playing along with your old pal Todd Dammit all these years you’ll know that Brent Fitz and I both played with Bruce over the years. Fitzy was in Union with both Bruce and John Corabi of Motley Crue. I’m not sure when Bob’s solo album is coming out but it’s really strong what I heard so far. Robin McAuly is singing a song, Dee Snider another. Gonna be great. I’m stoked.

    Some time ago it was announced that Yngwie was going to release an album called World On Fire so I posted a tweet saying ‘Uh seriously?’ or something as silly as that and it went EVERYWHERE. Even Yngwie commented on it. I certainly never meant any disrespect. I just thought it was funny as I had just come off a nearly 2 year tour in support of an album with exactly the same name. Of course, in his defense, he had a song with that title years ago. If Yngwie gives me a hard kick to the nuts next time I see you know why. Just kidding. I’m sure he has much bigger fish to fry. The man is a monster talent.

    While in LA recording the Canadian tribute project I went to see the film, The Witch, with Slash. He was presenting it. I recommend this film. I really enjoyed it. Found it very provocative and found myself thinking of it a lot in the days that followed. I’m actually looking forward to seeing it again.

    I had a friend once ask how I could watch a movie again and again like, say, the Godfather. I actually find it weird not to watch a movie you love again and again. It’s not like you listened to Jumping Jack Flash by the Rolling Stones and thought, ‘Wow! What a great song’ and never listen to it again. If you’re like me you can’t get enough of that song (or whichever song you care to insert into this analogy). You listen to it constantly. In the car, on headphone, loud at home. Movies are the same way for me. Certain TV programs for that matter. I’m currently rewatching the Sopranos and loving it all over again.

    Speaking of things to watch check out Daredevil if you’re a nerd like me. Love it. Great.
    Anyway, it was great to get to hang with Slash. He’s doing great and was in the middle of history making rehearsals with his new band comprised of members from LA Guns and Hollywood Rose. Speaking of which I’m lucky enough to go see this new band called Guns N Roses in Vegas. I’ve been invited and intend to get to finally see the band after all these years. I’ve never seen GNR. Not the original lineup. Not with Matt. Not with Gilby. Not with Buckethead or the rest. I’m excited to get to see them with Duff and Slash. Gonna be a blast.
    Also while in LA I caught Michael Monroe at the Whisky. As always the boys delivered. Got to catch up with the lads. Ya never know. Maybe ol’ T-Bone might fill in for Steve again one day. That was one of the best times of my life playing guitar with Michael back in December. I feel very fortunate to have been able to do anything with Michael and the guys.

    It has been 18 years since The Age Of Electric played in Vancouver but we will be doing so in just over a month. The band was formed 27 years ago! That blows my mind. We collectively decided it was imperative that we play in our adopted hometown of Vancouver and the best place to play is the Commodore Ballroom right down there on Granville Street. While we were working to put that show together out of nowhere Collective Soul asked us to open for them at their arena show in Victoria, BC two weeks before our Vancouver date. Sounded like a blast so now one date turned into two. April 16th in Victoria at the Save On Foods Memorial Centre with Collective Soul and April 30th in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom. I have friends traveling from all over for those shows. I’m super excited about it. You should know that there are more AOE dates brewing throughout the rest of the year so expect AOE to come to a town near you soon.

    Of course the unexpected arrival of AOE dates threw a bit of a wrench into my plans with the TKO project we’ve been beating you guys up with since December. It was decided that dropping the TKO cd in the middle of a bunch of AOE activity seemed a little counterproductive so why not wait til a better moment. It breaks my heart to ever have to move a release of any kind as the people who support me are so important to me. Anyone who knows me knows that. I hate having put out there expectations that can’t be met. I voice this to friends in the music business and they seem very unaffected by such things. I take it personally and beat myself up about it. I suppose it is the nature of business to shoot for the stars and if you only reach the moon then you’ve achieved something. At this point the TKO project will go live in May with the downloadable album being mad available to pledgers. Shipping will commence at the same time so your cd and exclusives will be coming soon.

    As always the cool thing about Pledge is the community it creates. Everyone’s artwork submissions were so inspiring that it was decided to make a poster out of everyone’s artwork. Nothing makes me happier than to inspire and in turn be inspired so I am thrilled to have my friends contribute to the project in any way they can. This creates the community we have here which is a thrill for me.

    People seem to think that reaching over 300% means I am rich! That is a ridiculous premise. The whole purpose of the pledge experience is to contribute to moving a project forward. No one has any idea how expensive it is to make a record. The recording, the mixing, the mastering, the production, the packaging, the artwork, the shipping is astronomical. Shipping is particularly steep. We ship all over the world. I have literally given the shirt off my back to pay for this project. Every dime of it goes into the album and all that it entails. People think I was selling stage worn clothing for fun. I’m a sentimental guy and would probably have enjoyed pulling out ratty old clothes to show my Grandkids the nonsense I would wear on stage but this is how I have to make a record in 2016. I literally sell all my belongings to make the money to pay for everything it entails to make a record. A lot of business minded people would ask ‘what’s the point? Why do it then?’ My answer is the same as it always is. ‘It’s what I do.’ It’s all I wanna do. Make music and share it with my friends.

    I enjoy the community SMKC created all around the planet. I consider myself pretty approachable and generally congenial. I’ve had to witness people like Myles completely divorce himself from the internet finding it too much to carry the weight of every single thing said about himself. Slash avoids it altogether. I know most ‘Rock Stars’ keep a very distant arm’s length. I have always enjoyed the interaction between anyone who gives a damn about the music I make and myself. I never want to quietly fade away.

    That said I am very aware of the life meant to be lived around me every day. I have a world of very real and tangible life beside me and surrounding me on a day to day basis and that is beyond important. Life is meant to be lived. Family first.

    I often go lengths of time without writing these blogs because sometimes I don’t feel I have much to say. Writing these is very therapeutic for me. Currently I am writing in the middle of the night. I never want these writings to be anything but genuine and heartfelt. I’m not getting paid to do them. I do them because it is part of the above mentioned process of maintaining interaction. We as a society spend too much time on these machines. We sit at meals not really talking to those we actually sitting with. While watching a TV show do you constantly look at your phone? I’m guilty of it, too. If you are one of those people that has to look at their phone during a movie in a darkened theater you have a severe problem That is a borderline unforgivable act of narcissism of the lowest regard. Every once in a while we need to divorce ourselves from machines. They have connected many of us but separated us at the same time. I understand the irony of writing this in the very medium I am speaking of but I’m not suggesting we all walk away from technology. It’s far too late for that. I am suggesting we take stock of what is around us and always make that our number one focus. You know what happens to a flower you don’t water? It dies. The people around you, your pets, your responsibilities are your flowers. Water them. Put them in the sunlight. You will see your life grow.

    You should always maintain your connection to the world around you and that world around you includes all the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know all around the planet. It means the world to me to see them at shows like my most recent acoustic show with Zach Throne, Frank Sidoris, Anthony Stasi, Stratton Wilson and Shaine Sim. That was yet another magical night. I truly had the time of my life. As always these shows are meant to raise funds to put towards the big picture of releasing the TKO project. Our meet and greet soundcheck was more like a matinee show. We had something like 70 people there. Incredible.

    There WILL be a couple of shows in support of the TKO project coming up in June in Calgary. Looking like June 3rd and 4th at a place called the Blind Beggar on McLeod Trail. Reed, Ian, Jamie and myself will be playing the TKO album in it’s entirety plus some more fun stuff for two nights in a row. If you can make it we’d love to see you.

    As I’ve mentioned before TKO started 15 years ago as a writing exercise that Reed Shimozawa and I implemented eventually dragging in our friend Ian on drums. Some of the songs we wrote ended up being included on my 2001 solo album Go Time! I couldn’t be more excited to get it out in it’s entirety to anyone who gives a damn. There are songs on this project that never saw the light of day that I hope you get a chance to hear.
    1. Ladies And Gentlemen, Presenting TKO
    2. Red, White, Black And Blue
    3. Wide Awake In The American Dream
    4. True Romance
    5. Now Hear This
    6.Turn It Up
    7. You Know What You Did
    8. Message #3
    9. A Drug Like You
    10. All Systems Go
    11. 21st Century Bonnie And Clyde
    12. Probable Cause
    13. All Talk No Action
    14. Globally Delayed
    15. Hard Knock Love
    Plus a couple of extra surprises. I really can’t wait for you to dig into all this. All remixed. All remastered. All good!

    So here we are heading into the 4th month of 2016 already. Time keeps rolling along. It feels like it’s been the busiest time ever for me. No rest. Too wicked.

    My dance card is full. GNR, AOE, TKO then maybe another Vegas acoustic show. Who knows? There are a bunch of exciting things in the works coming that I wish I could talk about but simply cannot. Stay tuned.

    Be good to one another. Be good to yourselves. Life is beautiful and so are all of you.

    Pray for Brussels. Pray for peace.
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • The Worst Kept Secret In Rock N Roll

    January 5th 2015
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    By now you will have been privy to news that is hardly unexpected yet wholly exciting nonetheless. God knows it never seemed to be that carefully kept a secret.

    For a long time now we Conspirators have been personally made aware that the regrouping of one of the most important brotherhoods in music history was underway. That thing that everyone had wished for but never thought possible was quietly (and not so quietly) cooking under our very noses. To be in this close of proximity to a history of Rock N Roll moment occurring has been nothing short of incredible.

    With Myles returning to a new chapter of Alter Bridge the door has opened for any number of circumstances and the semi-reunion of Guns N Roses is one of the most exciting byproducts thereof.

    I, for one, never got to see Guns N Roses in any form. Not with Steven, not with Izzy, not with Matt, not with Gilby and not with all the others that followed into the 21st century. I have always been a working musician. I have been constantly touring since my teens. I missed almost every great concert that came my way because I was on stage myself. Couple that with the fact that I grew up in a small town of 1500 people and you’ll understand how I never got to see much as a kid either.

    I missed Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, The Ramones and, of course, GNR. How could this be? All of my favorite bands, the ones that shape who I am today, I never got to experience in a live setting until much later. GNR I missed out on completely. I have remedied Aerosmith and Alice a billion times over since.

    Now I know a guy and I hope to see this reformed unit in person. The effect of Appetite is in my very DNA. It changed so much for me. It changed so much for most of us who love Rock N Roll.

    As Slash’s bro I think this is a very exciting and important chapter for him to embark on. I support him wholeheartedly to dive into this experience but as his friend I would support him if he decided to walk away from music and live amongst Buddhist monks in Nepal. That’s what bros do. How it affects me really isn’t the point. This thing is bigger than all of us. I think it is a healthy thing for the individuals involved as well as the great gift they are giving to the world. I accept that gift thankfully.

    And how exactly does this affect me? Well, to be honest we have all known for a long time that 2016 was going to be a year with not much public activity in the SMKC camp. We still have every intention of entering the studio to record SMKCIII in May and some form of release following in 2017. In music, as in life, things change all the time. For me I have taken on a number of projects that as usual I wish there were at least two of me to see through.

    As it stands I can only look back at the great things we have accomplished since March/April of 2010 and feel nothing but joy. As I’ve said many times I never had any expectations that we would carry on beyond the support of Slash’s 2010 solo cd. The fact that it begat a live album, two further albums, two DVDs, an actual band name and about a gazillion trips around the world I would never have bet on but here we are less that a week into 2016 and we have done all of that and more. What the future holds is patently inconsequential when compared with all that we have accomplished. I am proud of what we have achieved and look to the future with nothing but exuberance and wonder.
    But for now Welcome BACK To The Jungle, brothers and sisters!

    When last I checked in we were in Moscow, Russia and for all intents and purposes THAT was the end of the tour. There was always a private party to play in Aspen, Colorado on December 28th but beyond that we had finished yet another chapter in the great epic that is SMKC. GNR and AB were on the docket. My TKO Pledge Music campaign was about to go live.

    It had also always been planned to get together in LA for a week to go over new music that will go on to become SMKCIII. It was the first week of December and so many things occurred during or around it that it made my head spin.
    Shootings in Colorado and San Bernardino embarrassingly raised the number of mass shootings in the US to more than there are days in the year. Something must be done. I don’t know that much will be.

    We had only just celebrated American Thanksgiving (I say American because we celebrate about a month earlier in Canada) when another Black Friday was underway. Celebrating on Thursday and Surviving Friday. I don’t get humans. Help your brother don’t run him over on your way to your new big screen tv. I suppose I’m not meant understand. That’s why I will never participate in one of their Hunger Games Black Fridays. There is much I will never understand about Earthlings.
    My co-Conspirators and I worked through all the new material we have that week and so much occurred it was hard to keep track of it all.

    Slash and I, with our better halves, took in a screening of Quentin Tarantino’s newest film Hateful Eight. Slash is always very thoughtful when it comes to these kinds of things. He knows what a fan I am and included me. The movie wasn’t to be released for some time so this was a real treat.

    The film was great. I hope you’ve seen it. I plan to see it again before it is out of theaters.
    After leaving rehearsal one night we started to receive confusing reports about Scott Weiland. We sat down to eat and it slowly started to unfold that Scott had indeed passed away. I was always pulling for Scott. Always hoping he would take charge of those demons that had hold of him. Like he was on a chariot pulled by Hell hounds he couldn’t tame.

    He was one of the most talented frontmen in the history of Rock and I feel blessed to have managed to see him perform a number of times over the years. He had a true knack for melody and really had a colorful thing or two to say in those songs. God knows we have performed a number of songs he co-created over the almost six years we have played with Slash. Not a night has passed that we didn’t play Slither. Fall To Pieces weaves it’s way in and out of the set and no song could be more poignant in light of his passing. That song is nothing short of a cry for help.

    Goodbye, Scott. I imagine him finally free of all that cursed him.

    One night after rehearsal Fitz and I jumped on stage with some friends at Lucky Strike in Hollywood. Lucky Strike is a bowling alley that now hosts a Hollywood jam night. The week before we played there David Lee Roth had unsuccessfully reunited his Eat ‘Em And Smile solo band lineup. Apparently the fire marshall shut them down due to the number of people who showed up. Good to know Rock N Roll can still cause quite a stir. Woulda been amazing to see Dave, Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan and Greg Bissonette burn through tunes like Yankee Rose and Shy Boy.

    On this night Fitz and I jumped up with Dug Pinnick from the amazing King’s X. Always been a fan of that guy. Most music lovers of that time frame are. I played Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy. What a blast.

    Sure enough it was my Birthday out of nowhere. Rehearsals were going great and the songs were really coming together. Slash rented us the November Rain booth at the Rainbow for my birthday in the very spot I had sat back in 1991 when I first met Slash. Surreal as that is. He has no recollection of that. He liked a drink or two back then. He was the friendliest musician we’d ever met. Keep in mind he was in the biggest band on the planet at the time.

    We had a great time. Elvis, our producer, even showed up. With all the hype going round even my birthday party was Star Wars themed. Have you noticed how Disney really dug deep on the advertising for The Force Awakens. It might be harder to find products NOT sponsored by Star Wars:The Force Awakens. I’m perfectly ok with all of this.
    We had a blast and I was spoiled rotten. I am very fortunate to have such an amazing group of friends and family. That is never lost on me.

    Only one last day of rehearsal in Los Angeles before I was to embark on a wondrous adventure to my own personal Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp. I was heading to Finland. I was going to play with yet another childhood idol, Michael Monroe. To be fair TWO childhood idols Michael Monroe AND Sami Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks.

    Since this has come up I am continuously asked how this turn of events presented itself. I’m as curious as anyone else. One day I was sitting in my childhood basement staring at the cover of Two Steps From The Move by an amazing new band we had discovered from…somewhere in Europe. On that cover from left to right you will see Sami, Michael and since dearly departed drummer, Razzle.
    To imagine that all these years later the guys on that album cover are friends of mine is bizarre to say the least. They had as much to do with my formative years as KISS or the Ramones. This is pre GNR.

    People always refer to Hanoi as a hair metal band. This is just an example of people missing a much bigger point. If you really listen to Hanoi you can hear more elements of punk rock than anything even close to what would be considered ‘metal’. There are healthy doses of the Dolls and Ramones in there. There is also lots of themes of the earliest days of ‘Rock N Roll’ in there. Michael’s sax playing immediately took it somewhere else.

    I really believe that someone, somewhere must make a documentary about Hanoi someday. I have seriously discussed this with a number of people. I would make one myself if I had more time. If you talk to anyone from the 80s scene they all glow when Hanoi is brought up. They were so far ahead of the curve and in such a smart yet fun way how couldn’t we love them?
    I received just as many congratulatory messages regarding my position with Michael as I did when I joined Team Slash. That says a lot.

    In 2007 Sami Yaffa came to jam with my band in Vegas. When his name was brought up as a possible guest I was beside myself. I never considered that a possibility at all. To me Hanoi had become an urban legend. Something too good to have actually existed but sure enough Sami showed up and he was an amazing guy. To this day Sami has always been my biggest influence as a bass player. When I see the Gibson Thunderbird I think of Sami during his Hanoi days.
    Our paths have crossed a number of times over the years. He went on to join a reformed New York Dolls which must have been as surreal for him as me playing with Sami.

    A few years later Fitz and I went to see Michael’s new band at a club called Wasted Space in the Hard Rock Casino in Vegas. Don’t look for it it’s not there anymore. It was essentially a super group. Sami Yaffa was playing bass, which one would think makes it super enough but sure enough Sami’s New York Doll’s bandmate, Steve Conte was on guitar. And a more perfect guitar player there could not be. On top of all that one of my favorite artists and songwriters, Ginger Wildheart, was playing guitar and writing songs. I have since become friends with Ginger but will never lose that fan boy glow about his work.
    Add to that Karl Rockfist, drummer for the beloved LA band, Chelsea Smiles and you have yourself a bonafide supergroup in my opinion.

    That was a hell of a night.
    Soon after I started playing with Slash we had made our way to Europe and that’s when Michael Monroe entered my life for real. I remember Michael getting up on stage with us in Turku, Finland at a festival we were playing and it was nuts. Michael had grown to mythical levels in my mind. Like the Lock Ness Monster or Bigfoot. But there he was and he was incredible. No one in the history of Rock puts more into a performance than Michael other than maybe Iggy Pop. There is a sense of all bets are off as soon as he steps on stage. You’ve been there all along giving your all and then Michael steps up and makes it look like you’ve been standing still all this time. A true pro.

    In July of 2010 I was sent home from Slash’s We’re All Gonna Die Tour to have my retina reattached. Micheal actually wrote me a personal ‘get well soon’ email. I’ve never forgotten that. Who the hell was I? Just Slash’s bass player but he heard about it and reached out. That’s a class act.

    So now over the years Michael and his band of merry men have played with SMKC in one fashion or another. By this time Ginger was out and another superstar, Dregen from Backyard Babies and Hellacopters, was in. I’m a massive fan of Dregen’s too. His solo album was stuck in my car stereo for a whole year.

    Next thing you know my old friend, Rich Jones, is filing in for Dregen who is embarking on said solo career. I remember telling Rich that I had a feeling he was the new guitar player. ‘Play your cards right and that gig is yours!’ Here we are a few years later and Rich is in that stage right position and in my opinion the band is as solid a unit as ever. Rich is a strong writer, great guitar player and has a heart made of solid punk rock fire.

    The last time Michael and the boys played with us on the World On Fire Tour stop in Helsinki I mentioned to Rich ‘if you ever need anyone to fill in let me know’. Who woulda thunk that little seed I planted would have produced such a mighty oak.
    So anyway fast forward to a few months back and Rich reaches out and says Steve Conte isn’t going to be available for the last shows of 2015 and would I be up for it. I literally looked at Slash (as I had my iPhone in my hand reading Rich’s message) and said, ‘So we’re taking December off, huh?’ Slash said maybe a little songwriting but definitely off the road for the holidays. I told him what up and he said go for it. There and then I said ‘Hell yes!’ and the rest is history.
    It was surreal getting on a plane to Helsinki alone again. I had made that trip earlier that year when I stayed back in North America to attend my Grandmother’s funeral. That was a heart-breaker. It was important to me to attend her funeral to be able to say goodbye come Hell or high water.

    So once again into Frankfurt then on to Helsinki. The bizarre thing is how familiar Frankfurt airport is to me now. It is a common hub for us. A common hub in Europe in general. I’m not usually alone on these flights. I’m usually in a traveling gypsy show called SMKC. I arrived without incident and got in the car with the guy who had a sign with my name on it and I went to my new home in Helsinki, Finland. Well, for the next two weeks anyway.

    I managed to catch a nasty cold on the flight over. That giant metal tube of swarming germs finally got me though I must admit that it is quite common for us traveling wanderers to wind down the existing tour into bed for a couple of days. It’s as if your body stays strong and fights off everything as best it can when you are needed to be tough but then when the tour is over your body just gives up. We often head home with colds, flus and jet lag. It can be rough but well worth it in my opinion.
    I have a feeling my body was like, ‘Tour is done. everyone take the day off’ and I caught a grandaddy cold. Of course, I wasn’t actually ‘off tour’ yet. The rest of the guys went home to their cozy couches and TVs while I traveled off to existing dark winter in Scandinavia. Even with all that I was in heaven. We had a bonding time and a couple days of rehearsal before the shows. In the rehearsal space HIM was upstairs and 69 Eyes were next door. That seemed almost a cliche that most of the bands I know from Helsinki would all rehearse in the same building.

    Hagstrom guitars from Sweden hooked me up with some guitars to play and they were great. Can’t thank them enough.
    I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to play songs you love next to guys you truly respect and admire. Well, I guess I can because I’ve been lucky enough to be doing that for a long time in SMKC too. It was surreal to look over and see Michael and Sami together on stage. It could be 1983. Those two guys have been playing together since 81 or something. Absolute madness. They are family.

    Sometimes Nasty Suicide plays guitar and then you have 3/5s of Hanoi on stage. I don’t know if Andy McCoy ever gets up there. That would be a trip. Andy is a God over there, too. Reality shows, painting. The whole 21st century celebrity package.
    Michael is a judge on the Voice of Finland which is essentially the Finnish version of the American singing program the Voice. Michael refers to himself as a ‘coach’ not a judge. In true Michael fashion he would never discourage anyone by judging them.
    Sami hosts his own traveling program called Sound Tracker which is fascinating. Sami is a true Gypsy. Living on the island of Majorca. He travels with ease and they simply brought a camera and film him hanging and jamming with locals all over the world. The show itself has won the Finnish equivalent of an Emmy. A few, if I’m not mistaken.

    In short, over there these guys are legends. Michael’s face is on the side of buses and in train stations as a local hero.
    It was an interesting turn of fate that I should end up in the company of Michael and Sami on the 31st anniversary of the passing of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle. As most people know Razzle died in a car crash while Vince Neil was at the helm. Sadly the band was never able to really get it’s momentum back and split shortly thereafter. Such a shame. They were primed to take over the world.

    I played two shows the first weekend. The first in Tampere and the second in Seinajoki. After that I had a few days off in one of my fave cities, Helsinki. Rich Jones was off to Berlin, Karl to Stockholm, Sami to Majorca and Michael to Turku. They are all spread across Europe. Steve Conte lives in New York City so they are truly an international/global band. Essentially I was left alone in Helsinki for my days off.

    During my days off I managed to do and see a lot. I went to one of my favorite Rock shops in the world, Hellsinki. I managed to get to know the streets of downtown Helsinki pretty well. It’s always fun to explore.
    I did an interview at Radio Rock and hung out with Jussi 69 from 69 Eyes. I had a great time at the station.

    During the break I managed to see the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens a full two days earlier than I would have in the US. My friends were congratulating me on getting into the premiere but in reality the film simply opened earlier in Europe. I wasn’t on any red carpet with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. I was just standing in line like everyone else.
    I loved it. I’ve seen it twice and plan to see it a few times more before it is out of the theaters. I have always said that JJ Abrams would get it right and I am pleased that the reviews have been very strong. It has heart. That’s the most important thing. Well done, Mr Abrams.

    Since I was a stranger in a not so strange land Outi and TK Finland showed me a lot of awesome sites in the great city of Helsinki. I have to say a big thank you for that!

    Finally the next show with Michael Monroe and his Merry Men was in Lahti which was a blast.
    The final show I did with the guys was on a boat. A ship, really. A giant cruise ship. The ship is called the Viking Grace and it departed from Turku and rode threw the night to Stockholm and back again. The show on the ship was an absolute blast.
    Oddly enough my cousin, Sheldon Brookbank, is playing hockey in Finland and joined the cruise to Stockholm as well. Always great to catch up with him. Some of you might remember he won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks a few years back. He’s done so great for himself. Great to connect.

    So just like that my adventure in Finland was over. I cannot thank Michael, Sami, Rich and Karl enough for having me. Not to mention Virpi, Heikki, Bobby, Tomi and all the rest of the MM team for such an amazing time. I had such a good time and really loved being part of the family. I hope something like that can happen again.
    On another note, Steve Conte’s wife had a baby boy. I’m happy to have filled in for him so he could be present for such a wondrous occasion.

    In the interim I had to acknowledge the third anniversary of the passing of my dear friend, Greg Verdusco, who was the inspiration of my album Borrowing Trouble. It is mind-blowing to think that three years have passed. He is still such a big part of my life in the most interesting of ways. He would have been the most supportive regarding my time with Michael Monroe. It’s funny how in life you can find people who just get you. Those people are meant to be held on to. Past, present or future. I watched Star Wars with Greg in mind. No one would have enjoyed it more than he.

    I returned from Helsinki to a houseful of Canadians. My whole clan was in Vegas which is the best for Canadians having to suffer through the winters we usually endure. Ironically the weather in Canada was beautiful but they won’t quite have that luxury in a few months. The holidays were a blast and then all of a sudden it was time to go back to work!

    All along we had one last show to play. A private party in Aspen December 28th.
    Sadly the day before our gig in Aspen our dear friend, Lemmy, passed away. It was really a shock regardless of his recent struggles. An unexpected shock considering he had only just had his 70th birthday. Lemmy had been struggling with his health for a while but if anyone could have beaten his ailments it was Lemmy. Sadly his afflictions were much more serious than any of us could have realized.

    There is no person in the history of man that got more out of life than Lem did. He was an absolute gentleman and always treated me with great respect. He always remembered me and that meant the world to me. I was lucky enough to perform with the man many, many times.

    One of my favorite memories was standing in our rehearsal space back in 2010. My first real meeting with the man. He was going to be singing Dr Alibi with us at the Golden Gods Awards the next day. I remember Bobby Schneck, myself and Lemmy all standing in a circle singing the bridge section acappella to nail the three part harmonies Lemmy had created on the track. Surreal for me. I’d only just met the man. He was very particular and serious about those harmonies. That made me respect him even more as a musician.

    There are so many stories I could relate about Lemmy. He was an absolute gent. While others were falling down drunk around him Lem was rock solid. Those who think they party could have learned a lesson from him. He never, ever appeared out of control. He was the picture of cool. A devastating loss but his contribution to Rock N Roll and the lives of many, including my own, is incalculable. He will be dearly missed. Singing Dr Alibi that night was extremely moving and ever shall be.

    A while back during our trip to see Hateful Eight Slash mentioned that he wanted to add some shows around the Aspen private show. I was certain that they’d never be able to add a New Year’s show. How can a New Year’s Eve show be booked less than a month before New Year’s Eve? On top of that I had already committed myself to a New Year’s appearance with the confirmed green light from all within the SMKC organization.

    About a month before my good friend, Brent Muscat, asked me if I’d like to come play a few songs with him New Year’s Eve in Vegas. At the time I was told that I would be free to do whatever I like that night so I agreed. This kind of thing happens a lot. I book something and then Slash manages to find something on the very same day even after I looked to management and the powers that be for clearance to do so.

    So, long story short, I agree to sit in with my old friend, Brent, on New Year’s Eve and then out of nowhere there is a House Of Blues gig being pitched for SMKC on the very same night.
    To be fair I was courteously contacted regarding availability as they knew I had agreed to a show they had cleared me for. It took some wrangling but it was decided that I would do both. There was the interesting challenge of getting from House Of Blues to the Hard Rock Cafe on New Year’s Eve. For those that don’t know the Las Vegas Strip is shut down on New Year’s Eve due to all the foot traffic. Luckily the lockdown ends just before Mandalay Bay Casino which contains the House Of Blues. This would ultimately work very much in our favor.

    The New Year’s show at House Of Blues was a very magical night. We had ended the Apocalyptic Love tour at the very same venue back in the summer of 2013. Ending the World On Fire tour on the same stage had a strange sense of simpatico. Serendipity, if you will. There was much more to it in that we all knew that this would be the last live performance with this group of people for the foreseeable future.

    The show was especially important for me knowing that this band is the best we have ever been and could stand toe to toe with any band on the planet and fair very well.

    We added the Velvet Revolver heavy hitter, Suckertrain Blues, to the set as a tribute to our fallen Scott. Suckertrain was always one of my favorite songs to play. We played it a lot back on the We’re All Gonna Die Tour. We followed that with the epic and sweeping Fall To Pieces which to me really pays the deepest respect to Scott’s talent.

    It was decided at the last minute, as these things happen, to play Ace Of Spades as a tribute to Lemmy. I have to admit we really dug into that song and felt it. I have always commented on what a perfect song that is. Succinct, direct and unyielding. As strong a song as any ever written. Lemmy has always been an underrated talent in many respects. I know his legend will loom large and long and deservedly so. Getting to sing his signature song is one of the most greatest honors ever bestowed on me.
    It was a bittersweet moment as it all wrapped up too fast and I never really got to say many proper goodbyes to the traveling circus I have had the great honor to be a part of but anyone who knows me knows that I am the shark and I had to swim on to my next adventure.

    Let me say here the great thanks and the biggest love to all aboard the great ship USS Conspirator-
    Quake, Cheryl, Johnny, Sam, Pasi, Mark, Doug and Ian.
    And of course my brothers in arms-
    Slash, Myles, Brent and Frank.
    I could not be prouder of all the the have seen, done and accomplished. Not to mention what has yet to be seen, done or accomplished…

    So then BOOM I’m in a car racing across the city to the next destination. I’d heard every horror story that day and had no idea what to expect. It could take three hours to get there one guy told me.
    I looked at my phone when I walked off stage with SMKC and it read 11:38pm. We had hoped to be in the car somewhere between 11:30 and 11:40 so this seemed within the ball park. I had no idea how long the SMKC set would be with the addition of songs for Scott and Lemmy. I wasn’t concerned. Those were songs simply had to be done.

    Chris Kael from Five Finger Death Punch and his lovely wife hopped in the vehicle with us and we were on our way to ring in the New Year part 2. I wasn’t sure if we’d be stuck in traffic singing Auld Lang Zyne at a red light or what but lo and behold we arrived at the Hard Rock much quicker than expected.

    By the time I was inside and side stage my phone read 11:55pm. That seemed like we made amazing time considering. We rang in the New Year and I eventually jumped on stage with my old band mates Brent Muscat and Rob ‘Boom Boom’ Cournoyer. Also in tow were Eric Stacy and Greg Steele, Brent’s ex Faster Pussycat cohorts.

    For the uninitiated it might interest you to know that Brent and I went to Europe back in 2006 in a version of Faster Pussycat with Eric Stacy so it was cool for me to get to make some racket with Eric again. Playing those Faster Pussycat songs was a blast.

    Chris Kael jumped up and stole the show with my second tribute to Lemmy of the night doing Ace Of Spades again. Chris has such great energy. One of my favorite humans.
    During the course of my New Year’s Eve I played Ace Of Spades, Welcome To The Jungle and Sweet Child O’ Mine twice each. It was great fun.

    My good friend Zachary Throne showed up and tore the roof down doing With A Little Help From My Friends as only he can do it.
    I had a chance to say some quick hellos to people who have followed SMKC’s travels around the world a thousand times. People far more adventurous than even I. Our Co-Conspirators joined me for not one but two New Year’s Eves. I hope they know what that means to me.

    I eventually left that night to my own house with so much joy in my rear view mirror that it reflected in the windshield and far beyond.

    As most of you must know by now we have launched our new Pledge Music campaign TKO and it has been our most successful to date. During our Borrowing Trouble campaign back in 2013 we reached 100% of our goal within 24 hours which was astounding. On the TKO campaign we reached 250% of our goal within 24 hours. That is mind blowing. We currently sit at almost 300% which says a lot about the amazing friends I have made traveling around this planet the thousands of times that I have.
    Just tonight we started filming me play some crazy songs on acoustic guitar that will be showing up once a week at the TKO Pledge Page, so if you are a pledger you will get a whole wack of what I call ‘Campfire Songs’ over the course of the campaign. If you are not a pledger you are missing out on all our fun.

    The first one to go up is one of my favorite songs by a band called the Arc Angels from Austin, Texas. That band was made up of Chris and Tommy from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Double Trouble plus the immensely talented Doyle Bramhall III and Charlie Sexton. If you don’t know about them you should.

    I hope you enjoy our crazy little community over at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/tko because I sure do.
    Now that the holidays and especially the tour are over I plan to be as interactive as possible in all things pertaining to our campaign.

    A big part of that has been the announcement of my first acoustic show in about a year. I may be wrong but it seems that long. Maybe more. I’m the wrong guy to ask. Life is a blur to me. One day Slash asked me to join him and nearly six years flew by.
    The important thing is that the show is, once again, at Count’s Vamp’d 6750 W. Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, Nevada on February 19th. My first show of the year. One of my favorite places in the world to play. I’ll be bringing a few friends with me so I hope you can come, too.

    POSTERvd2016Pledge

    Since the announcement of Slash’s family reunion with brothers Duff and Axl people ask me ‘What are you gonna do?’ They clearly don’t know me very well. Slash knows that the second I’m cut loose from SMKC I fill my schedule with. Hence New Year’s Eve or TKO. As I said above, I am the shark. I am constantly moving. Right now I am brokering a ton of activity that will take me well into 2017.

    At the moment SMKC is still slated to be in the studio in May which I don’t foresee changing as the new material is insane. Obviously things can change at any moment due to scheduling but I’m quite confident that we’ll get around to recording SMKC III one way or another.
    SMKC is more than a band. It is family. The cool thing about family is that it remains so whether you see one another regularly or not.

    If SMKC ceased to be I would be nothing but infinitely thankful for every adventure I experienced in the company of those other four men. I have nothing but gratitude to the other four for allowing me be a part of one of the greatest adventures of my life. I will be forever grateful til the day I die.

    That said SMKC was taking 2016 off no matter what. I am excited about the opportunities already presenting themselves so many of which I will be sharing with you in the coming months.
    In the meantime I support brother Slash in whatever he does be it GNR, VR or if he decides to shave his head, stay home and paint. He’s my bro and, like I said earlier, that’s what bros do.

    Myles will have an Alter Bridge record out this year and that’s very exciting for all. The cool thing about music is being able to come together, spread apart then come together again with new ideas and experiences. It’s a beautiful thing.
    Fitz already has new things he’ll be talking about soon as does Frank. Those guys are my brothers and the most talented people I know. You know they are going to produce great things.

    In the meantime TKO is my focus at the moment and will take me into the spring at which time we will be breaking initial ground on SMKC III.
    By then I will have finally gotten to see Guns N Roses in almost the OG lineup. That is going to be a trip.

    Life is a crazy thing, brothers and sisters. Never take it for granted. Make sure that the best days are the ones you are living right now. Just MAKE them the best. I’m sure Scott and Lemmy would agree with me were they able to say so.

    2015 was an amazing year. There were too many ups to count with some gigantic downs like my Grandmother’s passing but she had lived such an amazing, full life that in the light of day all I can do is celebrate the great joy she brought to me and countless others. Life has been very good to me to grant someone like her to be such a big part of it.

    May 2016 be your favorite year thus far. So far, in many ways, for me it is shaping up to be already. I am writing this from MY HOUSE which is such a rarity these days. I plan to make the most of my time at home. The road will be calling soon enough…stay tuned on that, brothers and sisters.

    Hope to see you February 19th at Count’s Vamp’d In Las Vegas. It will be my first time on stage since the wee hours of January 1st. It is going to be a celebration. I am going to be SO ready to get on stage by then and you all will be dearly missed in the meantime. Can’t wait!

    PeaceLoveMetal
    TrueStrongFree
    Big Love
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • TKO : Fifteen Years In The Making

    Dear Anti-Stars, Dammed and Co-Conspirators!

    Over the years my friends, Reed Shimozawa (some of you will know him as the mastermind behind one of my favorite bands, Zuckerbaby), Ian Grant (also of Zuckerbaby) and I have locked ourselves in studios with one goal-to make music. We would walk in with nothing-No riff. No lyrics. No title. No arrangement-then by the end of the day we would have a complete song recorded. It was an intense challenge but it proved most fruitful.

    There is no better exercise than to force creativity. There is always SOMETHING on TV and I’m one of those guilty of partaking a little too much in such distractions. We all need a little push once in a while. In my case being locked in a fully functioning studio was that push.

    During the course of the day a riff would start to materialize. It would connect to another. A pattern would form. An arrangement would either present itself or be hammered out and then I’d be forced to scrape the inside of my head and paint the page with whatever came out. It was always surprising to us that we came up with anything at all let alone music we still feel excited and passionate about.

    Over the years we have continued to refine and adjust and add to and subtract from and that process is still going on as I write this very sentence. But now is the time that we feel all the tinkering is coming into completion and we are ready to involve and include you in the process that sees this going from some bizarre therapeutic practice put to music we’ve been obsessing over to being a final product.

    In 2004 I released a solo album called Go Time! which included some of the songs from the TKO sessions. In 2014 I had started to think about a 10 year anniversary edition of Go Time! which opened up the discussion of the completion of the TKO project. Once that ball got rolling it wouldn’t stop. It still won’t.

    We’ve been waiting to release TKO for just the right time. No time like the (soon to be) present. We have decided to include the TKO songs that were added to Go Time! remixed, remastered as a complete anthology. These remixed and remastered versions are far superior to the versions previously released.

    Upon pre-ordering the TKO cd you will receive a free download of lead off single ‘All Systems Go’. ‘All Systems Go’ will be included in the final TKO album.

    Further into the campaign you will receive the ‘only available to pledgers’ track ‘Gotta Go’. ‘Gotta Go’ will NOT be included in the final version of the TKO album. The only way to get this song is by pre-ordering TKO!

    We have had such an amazing time being a part of pledge music in the past with the Borrowing Trouble full cd along with the Near Life Experience EP as well as Bootleg Confessional:Live In Vegas that we are excited to add yet another project to that anthology.

    As part of this pledge exclusive there will be 100 numbered TKO shirts from Agent Royale/Dammitwear as well as a multitude of one of a kind items from my personal collection and more. Also available will be exclusive opportunities to connect plus tons of exclusive content only available on our pledge music page which will be up and running soon.

    I really want for this campaign to be our most interactive yet. I will be filming myself playing some fave songs acoustically and making them available to anyone following the campaign. These and other exclusives will be coming hard and fast throughout the TKO pledge campaign.

    As always the best thing about Pledge Music is the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger and that is charity. This time we have chose the charity Baby 2 Baby which provides low income children 0-12 with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. We are thrilled and proud to be afforded the opportunity to part of such causes. That’s what I love about the Pledge Music experience.

    I hope you will join us on yet another amazing journey into this wacky world of music taking us into 2016 and beyond.

     

    \nV_  PeaceLoveMetal _Vn/

    ***TrueStrongFree***

    Your loyal and humble servant,

    Todd Dammit

    Pledgemusic Pledge Page



  • Don’t Be A Dick

    Moscow, Russia

    November 24 2015

    We have seen more extremes here on this final run of the World On Fire Tour than any other I can remember. The sweltering heat of India to the winter wonderland of Moscow. I don’t remember a tour being more rife with highs and lows. Seems fitting for it to be essentially ‘the end’. At the same time 2015 comes to a close not long after the tour stops. For me nothing really stops. I am the Great White Shark from the Great White North. Never, ever stop. Always moving. Always have another project to move your focus to. To stop means death. Death of the creative mind, heart and soul. Never stop living, brothers and sisters. Living is not just breathing in and out. Living is finding your passion. It is fulfilling that passion to it’s fullest and as often as possible. Live. So many people have lost that option. Do not waste your opportunity to make the most of your short time here.

    Which brings us to Paris. Not long ago I remember writing that just once I wish I could sit down to write one of these that didn’t have to include mention of some horrible tragedy. Yet it seems now so close to the end of the World On Fire World Tour 2014/2015 and to the end of the year Two Thousand and Fifteen we face one of our most affecting tragedies in recent memory.

    We are constantly reminded that there are those on this planet that face tragedies of this proportion on a day to day basis. That those of us in the cushy western world have no concept of what true tragedy is. I completely agree with this and it breaks my heart to live in a world where a spoiled socialite scolds a high school student for the inaccurate temperature of the Cafe Latte she ordered while people suffer true injustice not so far away.

    It breaks my heart daily. I find myself avoiding the news. Avoiding the vitriol of my own FaceBook news feed. But I never want to be uninformed. I only want to be informed by the truth. Of course the truth is always colored by the person telling their version of it. So there is no such thing as truth. All you can do is take in information and let your mind and then your heart calculate as best they can.

    Let me start by saying I am not a religious man. Not in the least. I have always, since my youth questioned everything. I have studied and read as much as I can about most of the major faiths out of my own fascination and respect for the people I care about who practice them. I only believe in unification. I reject the theme of separation. Of ‘us’ and ‘them’. There is only ‘WE’. Naive as it may seem I believe we all come from the same race and inherent faith. Kindness and compassion should be number one but I rarely see it practiced.

    I had the pleasure of spending time with the son of Hindu priests in India and we spoke at length about faith in that religion and all others. Mostly regarding Hindu, Sikh, Christianity and Muslim as the prevailing religions in India. I was uninformed. I was under the impression that it was mostly Hindu but it is as colorful a tapestry as any other culture on the planet. After speaking at great length he derived at the poetic big picture theme- ‘Don’t be a dick’. He used the C-word so I’ve editorialized for the faint of heart. That C word gets thrown around a lot everywhere except in North America. That word is reserved for the fringes of the extreme back home.

    At any rate it speaks volumes in it’s simplicity. ‘Don’t Be A Dick’. We all know what that means. Don’t steal your neighbors bike cuz that would be a ‘Dick’ move. Don’t cheat, lie, steal, murder or sleep with anyone else’s somebody because then you are a ‘Dick’. Now most of us have broken some or a lot of those rules. Everyone has the ability to be a ‘Dick’ or a ‘Sinner’ in the more common tongue. You are supposed to learn from your ‘Dickness’ (mistakes) and not be a ‘Dick’ anymore. Or, at least, really try not to be a ‘Dick’ anymore.

    Children can be ‘Dicks’. You ever watch a kid walk up and snatch something from another kid? It causes all kinds of havoc. The other kid screams and then they often lash out in primal rage. Some would say this is human nature. That we are all animals and I would 100% agree if I didn’t have this brain in my head which isn’t that different from the brain in yours or hers or his. We are unique creatures in that we are supposed to be able to process what is right or what is wrong. Of course if we have never really been taught what is right or wrong or were raised by ‘Dicks’ then we have a problem.

    That child snatching a toy from another kid is the same as those guys fighting in the parking lot over a parking space. It is downright embarrassing. That ‘I’m not letting this guy get away with this’ mentality is a losing proposition. How about ‘That guy is a Dick’? Just find another parking spot and let the ‘Dick’ be a ‘Dick’. A ‘Dick’ will be a ‘Dick’. Most of them are irretrievable. It’s not even their fault. They were probably raised by ‘Dicks’. They probably come from a long line of ‘Dicks’. Born a ‘Dick’. Die a ‘Dick’. Some people can’t be saved.

    The trick is to not let ‘Dicks’ make you a ‘Dick’. Do your best to not raise future ‘Dicks’.

    I mean ultimately who cares what people do? If Bruce wants to be called Caitlyn now, who cares? Reginald Dwight wanted to be called Elton John so that’s what we called him. Gordon Sumner became Sting. We call John Lydon-Johnny Rotten. Bruce Wayne-Batman. Peter Parker-Spider-Man. Saul Hudson-Slash and sometimes Todd Kerns is Todd Dammit.

    Who cares? How is it affecting you personally? Everyone relax. On both sides of the conversation.

    There are a lot of things about my own personality that could use a ‘Dick’ intervention. A ‘Dick’ exorcism, perhaps. And that’s something I work on on a daily basis. Sometimes my initial reaction is to lash out at the guy who flips me off but there is great comfort in knowing that that guy is a ‘Dick’. ‘Dick’s’ do ‘Dick’ things. They can’t help themselves. Gotta think back to your Mother telling you ‘You’re better than that’. If you’re Mother never told you that then feel free to use the words of my mother. Good parents are full of wisdom you don’t often understand until you are older. Always listen. Hit that ‘save’ button and refresh that info at a later date. It’s priceless.

    I certainly have no intention of minimizing what occurred in Paris on Friday the 13th. I just refuse to kowtow to the perpetrators of the attack. It was an unforgivable act by an extreme wing misrepresenting a much larger group of people. I refuse to let that behavior alter my faith in the human spirit. I truly believe that people can be good but I also believe that we all have the propensity to do terrible things. It’s that brain up there at the top of our heads that is supposed to separate us from the behavior of animals and I plan to use mine to keep me on point. My brain is hard wired to my heart. I feel as much as I think. I think we all do. Sometimes we act out in emotion. That can be good. That can be bad. Our basest instincts are sometime not the correct ones. You gotta run it through the mother computer a few times before reacting. I have been as guilty as anyone else of reacting without thinking. It’s what we do sometimes. That usually plagues me with an ongoing guilt. It’s one of the main reasons I live as a sober dude now. I tend to act on pure instinct and emotion if removed of my reason. It never led to many good decisions and so that program was deleted completely. Now I am in a constant struggle between instinct and reason but at least there is a struggle. It was a pretty one sided war before.

    That said, I don’t care what anyone else does. Drink, enjoy. Have fun. Don’t hurt other people. I recommend you don’t hurt yourself. Life is meant to be lived. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Destroy, rebuild, destroy (to borrow a phrase) until you’ve built the best you you could imagine. We are all a work in progress. I am heading into my 48th year and I still consider myself ‘Under Construction’. It’s part of the fun of growing up. Not getting old just growing up.

    Taking responsibilities for your actions. Trying to do more good than bad. Trying to leave behind something better. That’s the only thing I hope I can accomplish. If even in the tiniest way.

    The Bataclan in Paris, France is a holy alter of Rock N Roll. One of the many on the planet. SMKC played back there in 2010 before there was an SMKC. There was just an S. I suppose SMK. Or as they were sometimes humorously referred to S&M. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy. The rest of us didn’t have a name. There was no Frank yet either. Once there was Frank we were Conspirators.

    I have been a long time admirer of the Eagles Of Death Metal. I followed them when Josh Homme from Queens/Kyuss introduced us to them. They were fun. Grohl and Jack Black were part of the club. Seemed like a fun club to be a part of. I can’t imagine what these gentlemen had to experience that night in Paris. I can’t imagine the survivors’ guilt. Knowing that people who spent their hard earned money to come and have  good time with the band ultimately lost their lives. And those who survived will live with horrifying images till the end of their days. Music is supposed to be an escape from anything like this not the setting.

    It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone should have to endure such a thing. Especially at a Rock N Roll concert. It has certainly touched those of us in the touring community more than we could imagine. We were comfortably enjoying India when this atom bomb was dropped on the world. At the time I could do nothing but grieve the unimaginable cost. It wasn’t until later that we had to imagine the effect this would have on those of us that travel the world bringing with us the image of escape and inherent joy that music is supposed to. That effect has yet to present itself. We will see what the future holds. In the meantime it wasn’t going to stop us from finishing what we had set out to do and go where we had set out to go and see those we had set out to see.

    I had to go back and look at the footage of us playing at the Bataclan in Paris and it sent a chill down my spine to think that some of the people at our show may well have been in attendance at that fateful night with Eagles Of Death Metal. I hope someday those that may have attended both could be revealed to us. I can’t imagine surviving such a thing. I can’t imagine not surviving such a thing. I simply cannot imagine any of it.  It is simply unimaginable.

    My heart goes out to the entire city of Paris as it was not only the Bataclan that was attacked. It is absolute madness. All in the name of what? I don’t fall for the intention of a small band of radicals trying to alter this big world to turn on one another. THEY don’t change a thing about the way I think. Call me naive, that’s fine. I still have a great deal of faith in mankind. I still look ahead and see a unified planet. Even moreso in times of strife. These things divide us or bring us together. They kill us or make us stronger. We weather these storms to a better destination. One can only hope. And isn’t hope all we have anyway? Hope and the vision to make it so.

    On to brighter things. Things like India. There is so much I could say about India. Up until the Paris attacks happened I felt surrounded by light and love in the embrace of such an amazing place. The group of people assembled to work with us for our stay in India were the best. Ashish, Rafael and Saneeya became family immediately. Ash so much so that he immediately became an official Conspirator. He is the one I spoke of above, the son of Hindu priests. A bonding session of music and the animated series Rick And Morty immediately fell in to place and we all became fast friends. From then on Ash was 100% on Team Conspirators.

    Mumbai is an incredible place. It is impossible to really put into words what it is like. Anyone who’s experienced it first hand knows what I’m talking about. I’ve never experienced the size and speed of a city like that. The surge of humanity. The traffic. Senses on overload.

    We took in as much as we could see. Temples and markets galore. I’ve never done as much sightseeing as I did in India. I knew it would be like nothing I’d ever seen before.

    Like many foreign countries you are advised not to drink the water. That’s simply traveler’s common sense. Frank and I dove head first into Indian cuisine and I was in heaven. Fitzy was no slouch either. There was a great deal of paranoia in our camp regarding what to eat and what not to. It’s always funny to me to go to a foreign place and order food you would eat at home. The whole reason to go abroad is for new experiences. A Budweiser and a hamburger seems a little unimaginative but I totally get it. The comforts of home and all. I indulged. I’m a big Indian food fan and I’ll never have any as good as I had in the Motherland.

    For the record a lot of the ‘hamburger and American beer’ crowd got sick. I didn’t. Interesting.

    The show in Mumbai was insanity. The audience was breathtakingly animated. Some of you may have seen the footage going around online of them singing Sweet Child O’ Mine with us. That was only one example of how ravenous they were. We had been warned not to expect too extreme of a reception. That they may respond to some of the back catalog more than the rest but I have to say that from the 1st song, 2012’s You’re A Lie, had them singing along to every word. The audience was a wide range of ages but mostly young people. Very reminiscent of our experiences with South American crowds. That high level of intensity. The show was extremely moving and I know I speak for all of us when I say we can’t wait to return. The show was an MTV India Xtreme presentation so there is a chance the concert will appear in MTV/VH1 from somewhere in the future.

    From Mumbai we moved to our second Indian show in the great city of Bangalore. They seemed as different from one another as New York and LA (Toronto and Vancouver for my Canadian friends). Certainly no shortage of similarities but different nonetheless. Bangalore seemed a bit more sprawling and open where Mumbai definitely had that big city vibe.

    The Bangalore concert followed the day after the attacks on Paris and couldn’t have juxtaposed our experience more. I had found the entire Indian experience joyous and celebratory only to have it all reduced to the stark reality of what can happen in the darkest of hearts. Here I was playing a triumphant tour with my best friends, I had announced my upcoming appearances with Michael Monroe in Finland as well as the release of my upcoming project, TKO, but now suddenly everything moved to a distant second to the suffering of the people of Paris. To be honest it left a darkness over us that could only be lifted, if only for the moment, by the celebration of live music. As if to say you can’t stop us from celebrating together in the joy of music. And that’s just what we did with the fine people of Bangalore, India. With people we had never met before. People we had never had the opportunity to play for before. And we came together for those two hours and did our best to heal one another and pay homage to those affected by the events in Paris. Nothing will ever heal that wound but I only hope we can regroup the strength to carry on.

    Just as the audience in Mumbai had before them the people of Bangalore rose to the occasion and raised their voices with us in defiance of terror. Music is the great unifier and it cannot be silenced.

    While in Bangalore I watched them film some kind of Bollywood style music video from the window of the hotel. The Indian film community is a multi billion dollar industry. I asked Ash and Saneeya to take us to a proper Bollywood film. I wanted it to be in Hindi with the big lavish musical parts. The whole experience. They obliged. Somehow I roped my Co-Conspirators into it with me. We ate popcorn and enjoyed the alien experience of watching a film, complete with intermission, in a language we didn’t understand complete with lavish scenery with musical dance scenes. I loved it. It was just one of many experiences I keep with me from my time in India. If our time in India hadn’t been marred by what happened in Paris it would have been a picture perfect experience but I suppose in life we have to accept the dark to appreciate the light. Trust me the light is appreciated. We have all had enough darkness. For the people of Paris. For all of us. Enough.

    We bid adieu to lovely India for the familiar stomping grounds of eastern Europe. To begin with Budapest, Hungary. There had been some trepidation of carrying on through Europe considering what had occurred but to the credit of our brave crew we decided to soldier on in spite of it. So did the fine people of Budapest.

    We found ourselves wandering the streets of Budapest taking in the sights. Ending up at a guitar shop where Frank managed to leave with a free guitar. He has the uncanny ability to enter a facility and leave with a free guitar. It’s quite impressive, really.

    We ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe that night with our friends Brian and Gayle Cairncross all the way from Scotland. They take good care of us there. We don’t always hit HRC’s but we managed to go to one in Bangalore as well where one of Brent Fitz’s old drum heads adorns the wall from his days playing drums for Vince Neil. Pretty cool. I don’t have anything on the walls of any Hard Rock Cafe’s! Maybe one day.

    There were DAMMIT shirts a plenty at the show in Budapest as well as DAMMIT flags to boot. I will always be tickled to look out at members of the ‘Dammily’ wearing the shirts and flashing the PeaceLoveMetal sign. It means the world to me. I hope you always know that.

    Weird story-the morning of the show I was enjoying breakfast, as I always do, with my family, the Conspirators et al. While eating and conversing Frank looked at me and said, ‘I swear I just saw Mr Bean’. ‘Okayyyyy’, I thought. Weird. I carried on telling whatever story I was telling to our security man, Kimo, when just over his shoulder I caught the very familiar face of actor, Rowan Atkinson over by the buffet. I looked at Frank and said, ‘Yup. 100%’. Don’t ask me what Rowan Atkinson, the man who plays the beloved character ‘Mr Bean’ was doing there but it was most assuredly him.

    The show that night was as intense as I expected it to be. Great Rock N Roll people in Budapest. Another middle finger in the face of oppression through the beauty of Rock N Roll.

    From beautiful city to beautiful city. Prague, to be exact. I never get enough time in Prague. We seem to breeze in and out. A ship passing in the night. No fair. One of these days we’ll get more time there.

    While there I got to meet up with new friend, Petr from Esh Basses. I had been in contact for some time regarding my interest in a signature bass Esh had from the late Peter Steele from Type O Negative, one of my great inspirations. I had been drooling and obsessing about this piece for some time and was thrilled to get the opportunity to play it in person. I’m happy to announce that my very own Esh Stinger Peter Steele edition will be in my house in the new year. I’m very excited about that. Thank you so much, Petr and Esh Basses.

    The show in Prague was incredible. We had friends come in from all over Europe. Finland, the UK, Japan as well as France, who we are happy to say are ok. It is always a bit of a Dammily reunion when people come from all over. It was truly a celebratory night.

    Interestingly enough the song Bad Rain from our 2012 album, Apocalyptic Love, found it’s way back into the set. I missed that song. We have an animated video for that song that was really cool. It has managed to stay in the set for a bunch of shows of the run.

    On to Lodz, Poland. I don’t know what it is about Poland but they sure love SMKC. They are entirely too good to us. We had been to Katowice and Krakow before but not Lodz. The people of Poland always plan amazing surprises for us. Most of the people in the audience were wearing top hats when we came on stage. For our second song, the GNR classic Nightrain, they all tossed their hats into the air. It was quite a scene to behold.

    Since the attacks Myles had been introducing Starlight as a tribute to the people of Paris and it has retained an air of heaviness ever since. During Starlight that night almost every person in the place lit up their cell phones and held it high. It was a heavy thing to take in. A sign of support for the people of Paris from their neighbors in Poland. It was a very emotional thing for all of us. You can see it in our faces on any of the video that captured that moment. It really showed a great deal of hope for what had seemed so very hopeless. Thank you to all that attended and partook in that simple act. It meant a great deal to those of us that had found difficulty crawling out from under the heaviness of those attacks. I will admit that I was one of those people and my brothers and sisters in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belarus, Russia, India, France and beyond have helped to get me back on the hopeful path. Strength and big love to all of you.

    Yet another place we’d never played before-Minsk, Belarus. The second last show of the 2014/2015 World On Fire World Tour. Crazy to imagine but there it was coming to a close. The 156th show of the tour. Madness. If it were up to Slash we would never come home. If it were up to Slash you would never get rid of us. The man is relentless. He loves the road. He lives for the road. He loves all of you so much. He never wants to leave you. I am with him on all of that.

    Minsk was a blast. A beautiful venue that looked like we were playing in Vegas or maybe a concert hall owned by Prince. Either way it was a good time. Again I was shocked how many people knew our music. You never know in these new places. Obviously they’ve heard the GNR stuff but they knew the newer material, too. I was blown away. What an amazing time.

    When we left the venue the crowd outside the bus was singing super loud. Clearly great Rock N Roll people in Minsk. Looking forward to returning to there.

    And now here we are in Moscow, Russia. Again! As many of you know the first time I came here I was sent home after 24 hours without playing the Moscow or St Petersburg gigs due to my detached retina. Long story short-I survived with both eyes intact. Brent Fitz played bass for those two shows and our drum tech at the time, John Douglas played drums. It’s unimaginable that they could pull that off but I knew they could. Talented people in our family. Ironically we are staying in the very hotel where my unfortunate eye dilemma came to a head. Slash kept asking how I was feeling with a smirk on his face. I’m fine! I’m fine! Nice to know he’s worried about me but I’m a soldier of rock. I ain’t going anywhere. This tour may end but I’m still swingin’!

    Kimo and the Conspirators wandered Red Square as we do every time we are here and enjoyed it immensely. It’s Russia cold out there tonight and we were completely underdressed for it but it had to be done!

    Afterwards we had our farewell dinner with band and crew including openers Raven Eye. I cannot say enough good things about the fine lads in Raven Eye. I think they are an amazing band full of great talent, great songs and great energy. On top of all that they are some of the best people imaginable. I highly recommend you see them if you get the chance. I call them ‘The New Wave Of The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal’ though they are not really ‘Metal’ per se. They are a very aggressive and energetic rock band and they kick serious ass.

    It is now 2am the night before the gig (or the morning of…whichever you like) and I am going to turn in. After the gig (the 154th and final gig of the 2014/2015 World On Fire World Tour) I will finalize this entry. I, for one, never want this party to end but to be honest it never will. We have a great many things planned to come…stay tuned.

    November 25th 2015

    Moscow, Russia

    What can be said about playing for the fine people of Moscow. I always remind myself that there was a time when people like us may not have been welcome at all in this great country. But here we are rocking the hell out of the place with thousands of friends who know every word.

    Moscow is big Dammit country. Lots of Dammit shirts and flags. There was a time I couldn’t have imagined even going to Russia let along having my name printed on a Russian flag. Life is a funny thing.

    We celebrated Myles’ birthday tonight even though it’s a few days early. We won’t be together for his actual birthday so we presented a cake to him on stage.

    We added 30 Years To Life to the set for no reason at all. Why not? It’s the last show.

    As it turns out our production manager and sound guy, Quake, says we have done 157 shows on the World On Fire Tour. Frank Counted 154. I haven’t bothered to but I think Quake may be more qualified to make that claim so let’s call it 157. That’s a lot.

    Just now SMKC were in the hotel elevator post show going to our rooms and Slash mentioned how it just seems like yesterday we were in Elvis’ studio recording World On Fire and now here we are saying goodbye to 17 months of supporting the very album. Life is a funny thing.

    In fact this is what Quake sent me-

    157 shows

    36 countries

    5 continents

    17 months

    Wow. That puts things in perspective.

    Moscow was incredible. I knew that it would be. I think it’s an amazing thing to go so far from home and find a world of wonderful, kind people who care a great deal about you. Truly a wonder. I can’t wait to come back.

    For an early birthday present a bunch of my friends got together from all over the world via the internet and recorded a version of my song This Changes Everything from Borrowing Trouble. It is one of the most moving things anyone has ever done for me. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much Guila, Stratton, Leonardo, Lion and Andrea for this beautiful gift. I cannot thank you enough!

    As always there is so much to announce. SMKC winds down from the stage though nothing really changes. We have a writing session in early December before I wing on over to Finland to play with the amazing Michael Monroe band. SMKC is about halfway through writing the new album and the material is sounding better than ever. That’s a big statement considering how much I love Apocalyptic Love AND World On Fire but I really believe that SMKC III is going to be the best album yet. 2016 will be a a long year of cooking up the new record as a new Alter Bridge record will be released and toured before we get SMKC III into your hot little hands.

    I think that’s very exciting. Myles’ return to AB has opened up many doors that I’ve had to keep checked for a long time. Starting, of course, with Slash and the Conspirators further writing in early December (and into the rest of 2016) followed by my heading to Finland to play with Michael Monroe, as mentioned above. As I’ve said before it has been a life long dream of mine to play with Michael. There are very few people I would have left the comfort of my Vegas life to play with. One of them was Slash. The other is Michael Monroe. You all know what a massive fan of Hanoi Rocks I am and now I will get to stand on stage with Michael and Sami Yaffa from that very band. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Add to that my Canadian brother, Rich Jones and the amazing Karl Rockfist on drums and I’m over the moon. I’m only sad that Steve Conte won’t be there. I’m standing in for him while he and his beautiful wife expect their second baby. I couldn’t be more excited for them.

    If you have any inkling of coming to see any of these shows please come say hi. They are going to be game changers for me. I can’t wait December 11th Pakkahuoune Tampere December 12th Rytmikorjaamo Seinajoki December 18 Finlandia-Klulbi Lahti December 19 M/S Viking Grace

    Throughout all of this my new pledgemusic.com campaign for the 15 years in the making project TKO will go live in early December as well. A sort of birthday present to myself to make music available to all those people I care about out there. As mentioned before this is an album of 13 songs, some of which were originally released on 2004’s Go Time! album. Those songs have been remixed and remastered to a much higher standard than before. There are songs on this album that I cannot believe haven’t been released yet-All Systems Go, True Romance, Now Hear This, You Know What You Did, 21st Century Bonnie And Clyde…the list goes on and on. I’m excited for you to check it out. Please stay tuned for all of this coming very very soon.

    ***For the first time RIGHT HERE I am very excited to announce that I will be appearing with my brother, Brent Muscat at the Hard Rock Cafe for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, Nevada with his Las Vegas All Stars. I don’t want to say too much but there are going to be a lot of very cool guests appearing. I give too much away but let’s just say if you’re a Faster Pussycat fan like I am you really should get your ass there. It’s gonna be a blast!

    Most of you know that Brent and I have been playing together since as early as 2006/2007. I’m extremely excited to stand side by side with brother Brent and do what we do best. Also joining us on the drums will be Rob ‘Boom Boom’ Cournoyer who played with us in the original Sinners since 2007. This is a bit of a family reunion for us. A ‘Dammily’ reunion, if you will. It’s going to be a real blast. If you don’t have plans this New Years Eve get your butt to the Hard Rock on Paradise in Las Vegas for a very special once in a lifetime event. I am beyond excited for this!***

    In January I will be making an appearance with Prestige Guitars at the 2016 NAMM show in Anaheim, California. You should come by and say hello there too if you happen to find yourself at this event. It is going to be a blast. We won’t quite have the brand new signature Anti-Star bass we are working on to show off yet but you should come by nonetheless. I always love to say hello!

    Keep in mind that Star Wars : The Force Awakens opens in less than a month. That is mind-blowing. It seems only yesterday it was announced that JJ Abrams was on board to direct. Now it is upon us. I will be in Finland when it comes out but I think I’m going to wait and see it with my family upon returning to the US. I plan to see it many times in the theater. I promise it’s going to be great. If not feel free to curse me out but I’m quite confident it’s going to be wonderful.

    On top of all the other tragedies Philthy Animal Taylor, the original drummer for Motorhead passed away. Very sorry to hear that. The man was a legend.

    So there you have it for now, brothers and sisters. The SMKC door closes (kinda) and yet there are windows wide open all over the place. SMKC III, Michael Monroe, Brent Muscat Las Vegas All Stars New Years Eve, TKO, NAMM…it never ends for the Great White Shark from the Great White North! Gotta keep movin’. Movin’ and groovin’!

    As it has been since the incident occurred my heart and mind are pointed in Paris’ direction. Just the other day someone brought up the chilling prospect that it’s probably more likely to die in a school shooting in the US than a terrorist attack but I am of the mind that we should be bringing all of these tragedies to a close. I have no idea how that is to be done but I’m certainly open to the conversation. I’m tired of being sad for my fellow Earthlings. We are so much better than all of this. There is you and there is me. Let’s just watch out for one another. I got you.

    PeaceLoveMetal

    TrueStrongFree

    Don’t Be A Dick!

    Your loyal and humble servant,

    Todd Dammit



  • Michael Monroe, TKO And the real life Spinal Tap

    November 6th 2015

    Mumbai, India

    I’m the wrong guy to ask but it had to be 24 hours of travel time to get to Mumbai. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Vegas to LA, LA to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Mumbai. Gotta account for time in customs plus rides to and from the airport. Makes for a crazy amount of time in transit but then you end up in an amazing place like Mumbai, India and it makes it all worth it.
    Went around to a couple of temples today. A truly wondrous experience. A lot of people had really tried to freak us out about coming here but I have to say that it has been nothing but amazing. I’ve only been here for one delirious day but it has been amazing so far. Seeing cows and goats in the street is a new experience. The traffic and the influx of humanity is overwhelming but nothing I wasn’t expecting. It’s fascinating to me that anyone would travel disappointed by the absence of their creature comforts. Every day is a new home for us. The lack of routine becomes my creature comfort. You grow accustomed to seeing new and unique realities. It opens one’s eyes. Even your third one.

    I had every intention of wrapping up the last tour before this one started but life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, to quote John Lennon. I have really made a point of trying to live my life as much as possible outside of the black mirrors of my phone and computer. Not for any other reason than I just feel I have fallen into a habit of neglecting life as it is happening around me. I find myself unable to watch a movie or television program in it’s entirety without looking at my phone at the same time. I find myself looking at my phone, as so many of us do, in the middle of a conversation with another person. I’m really trying to be as present as possible rather than looking off into the distance of whatever parallel universe my phone is attached to. It is a difficult task for we, the people of this 21st century. It will be even more interesting for those growing up with this technology as the norm plus what is still coming our way. I, for one, am trying.
    That said, it is foolish for one to remove oneself completely as my whole world is attached to me through the umbilical cord of the internet. My family back home, my friends abroad plus my people around the world and beyond. So during a week off it’s ok to unplug so that once reattached one can still be present in whichever reality one finds oneself in. I hope you follow my meaning. I mean I mostly typed this on my laptop while looking at my phone…
    Though it does seem pointless to ‘wrap up a tour’ when the tour just goes on and on and on. Like this one. It seems that the last leg just wrapped up in California only to suddenly find myself in India with a show tomorrow night. It never really ends. Except that it does. Quicker than I’m ready for you. How bout you?

    Apparently I last checked in from Minneapolis almost a month ago. Man, time flies. I mean it’s November. That’s crazy. It doesn’t seem that long ago that 2015 just started, right? Now it’s almost over. The future is right around the corner. I mean the future is a progressively growing idea isn’t it? I mean what I’m typing right now is already the past by the time you read it. Trippy, huh?
    So I would have left you before we got to ‘Calgary, Alberta, Canada’. I like saying it like that because as kids we used to watch Stampede Wrestling on tv out of Calgary and all the wrestlers would address the audience as-‘Calgary, Alberta, Canada’. Calgary was always rich wrestling territory. The Hart family was from there. Bret Hart and his little brother, the late, Owen Hart. I believe Stampede Wrestling was eventually swallowed up by the WWF (now the WWE). I’m not sure. Discuss…
    Calgary is always amazing for me. I lived there for a couple of years on my exodus west and eventually south. The Age Of Electric played there a lot. It was pretty much home base for a long time before we landed in Vancouver.
    I, of course, have no shortage of family in Calgary so that was in full effect. My TKO partner, Reed Shimozawa, lives there too so there was much business to discuss, most of which is in motion now, as most of you are aware but more on that in a bit.
    I have played Calgary many, many times in my life. Maybe more than any other place though Las Vegas might rival Calgary by now. We played at a casino I’d never been to before in a gigantic open room. It was, in a word, epic. So many familiar faces and such a good time. Keep in mind this whole time we have friends following us from the US, Japan and beyond. I hope my Canadian brethren showed our traveling friends a good time.
    The only difference I see in the setlist is that we apparently added Ghost to the set just to change things up. Ghost has been coming and going from the set since 2010. It opens both the Made In Stoke AND Live At The Roxy DVDs strangely enough though You’re A Lie has opened the majority of the World On Fire Tour.
    Calgary was a great time. It always is. I will be back there sooner than later. Probably sooner…he says with a sly grin…

    Then off to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I spent a lot of time in Edmonton as a kid. My father’s family is all in that neck of the woods. I was sent there as a kid to take art lessons. I was big into drawing as a kid. I had only started to play guitar so my parents decided to enroll me in some guitar lessons as well. By the time I got home I had stopped drawing completely but never stopped playing guitar. You see where that led to. The moral of the story is ‘never let your kids play guitar’. Just kidding. If your kid shows any passion for anything you should encourage that. Life is better with passion.
    We played the amazing Jubilee Auditorium where, I have mentioned many times before, I saw my first concert-A touring Beatles tribute called Beatlemania. They did three sets. The lovable mop tops, Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road. I loved it. It is surreal to stand on that stage, look up at the balcony and imagine my adolescent self there watching with aplomb. Only one of the surreal things about my life as an adult.
    In the above title I have mentioned the mighty Spinal Tap. If you know anything about the film, This Is Spinal Tap, you know that they are a rock band plagued by every cliche known in the circle of touring and recording heavy rock. If you don’t know anything about the film I feel sorry for you. In fact, I’m a little bit worried about you. You must see this immediately. It has been a life long obsession of mine and others of great taste in comedy. I don’t blame you. I blame your friends. You need new friends. No true friend would let anyone go without seeing This Is Spinal Tap. Shame on them.
    Now the reason I’ve mentioned these hard luck minstrels is as follows-
    I have played Edmonton a gazillion times in my life. I’m not sure if gazillion is a real word but I’m taking it to mean ‘I have played there too many times to count’. Probably rivaling the amount of times I’ve played Calgary or Vegas.
    I have played there a gazillion times, I have stayed there a gazillion times, I have been there a gazillion times. There is no excuse for what follows.
    On that stage in front of a crowd filled with family, family, friends and friends I walked up to the microphone as I was about to sing Dr Alibi and referred to the city of Edmonton by the unforgivable name of ‘Calgary, Alberta, Canada.’ This is an unforgivable offense and I still haven’t forgiven myself. I probably never will. Even still I wake up in a cold sweat chastising myself. In my defense there were a number of friends who had traveled up from Calgary for the show so perhaps that made me temporarily insane. Perhaps I had left my brain at the last gig. Perhaps I was caught in a continuous time loop worthy of a Rod Serling script. In reality it’s just what could only be referred to as a Spinal Tap moment though I don’t remember them ever making that error.
    I’ve had a few moments on this tour. I fell (again) on stage in Louisiana, I called one of my favorite cities by the wrong name and at another gig I played the first few songs with my fly down. Yup, the hits just keep comin’. Oh well. When you play as much as we do you are bound to drop the ball once in a while. Or your zipper.
    We trip, we fall, we get back up. We break our zipper, we repair our zipper, we move on. We call a city the wrong name, you punish yourself, you try and move on. Life goes on. The sun sets and rises just the same.
    Apologies to the great city of Edmonton. It was one of the best shows on the tour. It always makes me happy when the guys in the band comment on how amazing the crowds in Canada are. I couldn’t agree more.

    Next up-Vancouver, BC, Canada. There’s no place like home. Vancouver was the last Canadian date of 2015 so it had to be good. And damn was it.
    As most of you know I have no shortage of family in Vancouver. I lived there a long time before moving south to the US. It will always be my home in many ways. I grew up in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. I lived in Alberta and spent a lot of time in Winnipeg. I have roots growing all the way across Canada and consider it’s entirety my home though Vancouver’s roots run the deepest in many ways.
    The Age Of Electric really came into it’s own on the street of Vancouver and my children were born there so it holds so much of the best and some of the most challenging times of my life. It’s streets hold so much of my history.
    My parents retired there from the prairies making those roots even deeper. My brother Ryan and his family live there, too. They recently had their second son, Quinn Patrick Kerns. Between he and his older brother Ronin there are two boys to carry on the Kerns name.
    So Vancouver remains a very important part of my story. The Queen Elizabeth Theater does too. I saw Bauhaus there. I saw the Black Crowes there. I saw a lot of shows there. So to be standing on that stage, yet again, it is never lost on me how significant an experience that is.
    I felt a deep desire to make up for my onstage blunder in Edmonton. Perhaps I should have called Vancouver Edmonton. Just stay one day off for the rest of the tour offending city after city in some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque tragic comedy act.
    The show was amazing. I love that theater. Afterwards I caught up with so many friends. Ryan Dahle from the Age Of Electric came down as did Mike and Adrian from Prestige Guitars. We are hoping to have my signature bass ready for the tour of the next record. That’s exciting.
    Always amazing to catch up with old friends in such a warm environment. I have to admit I wasn’t in a hurry to move on but such is the life of a pirate. A pirate is always moving on.
    And so…

    We move on to Seattle, Washington. Back in the USA. I do love Seattle. So much great music has come out of there. Duff McKagan comes from Seattle as well as a host of other bands most of which you are more than familiar with.
    We played at the legendary Moore Theater famous for being the setting of early Pearl Jam videos. I recognized it right away as the place Eddie Vedder is climbing around in the Evenflow video.
    My good friend, Jeff Rouse, from Duff McKagan’s Loaded came down for a hang. Such a good dude and pretty much family at this point. We are all family in this extended, bastard step children branch of the mighty Guns N Roses tree. Always good to see Jeff. Sad we didn’t get to see Mike from Loaded.
    The Seattle show was amazing. Last time around we were out at the Gorge with Duff. The time before that we were at the legendary Showbox. I like that we are playing bigger venues. It’s a sign of growth.

    Salt Lake Ci-tay! I love Salt Lake. Did I mention our amazing opening act for this run? Raven Eye from the UK made a lot of long lasting friends while in the US with us. They were consistently impressive night after night. People constantly rave about them. I’m so happy for those guys. Hopefully they get bigger and bigger and bigger. They deserve it. If you haven’t heard them you should check them out. They are incredible.
    Salt Lake was a great time. It always is. It always has been and it always will be. Again our friends came from far and wide to hang with us. Hopefully they had as good a time as I did.

    Off to Denver, Colorado. When doing a run like this we are trying to hit as many markets as possible. Some of these drives were craaaaaazy. Tours are normally routed to avoid such long drives but this one had some challenging ones.
    Totally worth it for Denver though. People often mention that the higher altitude affects breathing but I never notice too much difference. I run around like a fool on stage so I’m usually out of breath. I don’t usually notice that until I’m off stage though. On stage is too much fun to notice anything else.
    Denver was great. The Fillmore Auditorium is an awesome venue.

    Driving from Denver to San Francisco was madness though it’s hard to complain when I was hardly the one doing the driving.
    Back at the Warfield after 5 years. What a beautiful venue. Last time we were in San Francisco we were on the Let Rock Rule tour with Aerosmith. Aerosmith cancelled so we booked a last minute SMKC show at the Fillmore which turned out to be an amazing show.
    The Warfield is a beautiful, classic, Rock N Roll venue. I love it.
    My friend Dave Rude from Tesla came down to say hi. Love Dave. Phil Demmel from Machine Head came down, too. Love Phil.
    We always love San Francisco. What a great town.
    The show was incredible as it always is. Can’t wait to come back.

    On to Chandler, Arizona. Another casino in the desert. How very familiar for us desert dwellers.
    Had a great time in Arizona. It was a unique show for us as we only played like 75 minutes. That’s a blink of an eye compared to the 2 plus hours we normally play. It was a really fun show though.
    It’s awesome to me when people bring their kids to the shows. We always give the kids guitar picks and setlists. I like the idea of leaving a lasting impression on what must be a lot of these kids’ first shows ever. I remember a number of young people being at this show in particular. Even though it was in a casino.
    The show, though all too brief, was awesome. I think a lot of the people who were following us from gig to gig were a bit thrown by how succinct our set was but God knows they’d seen plenty of our 2 hour shows before and would see plenty after…

    …Like the gig in Anaheim, California! House Of Blues right in the heart of Disneyland. I’m not kidding. Weird, huh?
    I love these House of Blues gigs. The more intimate the better. This place was jam packed. Friends all the way from Italy and Japan. The show was a good long one to make up for the 75 minute show in Arizona. Slash always plays a long solo after having a day off from playing Rocket Queen. That’s the first song to get cut if we do a shorter set because we have managed to turn that song in to a 20-plus minute behemoth.
    We took a wander through some of the Disney shops before the show. What a blast. I always forget that Disney now owns Marvel and Star Wars. This makes for fun shopping though it can get expensive..
    The show in Anaheim was really great. It was a bit surreal as we were winding down to the end of our US dates. These were to be some of the last shows of the World On Fire tour in the US.

    Our next show was in the heart of Hollywood, California. The legendary Palladium on Sunset Blvd. I had never played the Palladium and was very much looking forward to it. So many legendary acts had played there that it was almost imposing. Almost. The stage is my home. nothing can keep me off of it.
    The show was really intense. So many people had come from all over for it.
    Wolfgang Van Halen came with our producer, Elvis Baskette. Always good to hang with those guys. Fred Coury from Cinderella was hangin’, too.
    The show was really great. We’ve been very fortunate to not be met with the standard big city attitude of impossible to impress. We’ve been lucky enough to host a crowd that is actually into it. It really was an amazing time.
    Getting to play LA is always a treat. Getting to play the Palladium is a very special treat indeed. It is a legendary venue that is absolutely stunning. That is a show I will keep on the mantlepiece in my brain for years to come.

    Our last show of the run was in Temecula, California at a casino called Pechanga. We played there once before. There was some concern from the international traveling entourage that was accompanying us on this tour that the show would be shorter like the Arizona show but not to worry. We played and played and played. To Slash’s credit he loves to play. That’s why the show is always two hours plus unless another designated time has been arrived at. That time would never be by anyone in our camp. Especially Slash.
    Casinos are funny. Their mentality is to get people out to a concert or event mostly in hopes that you will gamble before or after. They are hoping you will make a night of it. You will come early, eat there, gamble before the show, watch the show then drink and gamble into the wee hours. The idea is to make the show as short as possible in order to spit those people back out into the casino where they can make their real money off of you. This is why the Phantom Of The Opera in Las Vegas is something like 30-60 minutes shorter than any other version. Bring the people in, keep them seated for a bit then spit ‘em back out and make some real money off of them. It’s the casino way. I live in Vegas. The house never loses.
    That said our show in Temecula was it’s usual two plus hour set. It was our final US date of the 2015 World On Fire tour. It had to be.
    It was a very special night as those traveling alongside us for much of the North American run all joined us to say goodbye. Except for those that choose to join us on some of these Euro dates we are about to partake on.

    All in all it was a very satisfying North American run. We really managed to play some truly great places and got to see a lot of friendly faces. That’s what this Rock n Roll thing is all about. I cannot thank those who follow us from show to show. Sometimes showing up in the craziest, out of the way, off the beaten path places. You are inspiring. We love what we do and you are why we do it. They call themselves Co-Conspirators. I call them my Anti-Stars. I call them The Dammed. Other than these upcoming Euro dates that chapter is over for a while. If I didn’t have the opportunity to do so in person then let me do so now-Thank you. Without you we are nothing.

    So somewhere along the way I started to get messages saying that a fake Todd Kerns was out there chatting up the ladies on FaceBook. What a bizarre thing that is. I think I have so passionately held on to being the best me I can be (a work in continual progress, I assure you) that I have never understood the need to pretend you are someone else. To be honest I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for that person. Maybe it’s the compassionate Canadian in me. That person was chased away. It is one of the creepier side effects of having a slightly elevated profile. I will never consider myself anything more than on an equal playing field as the person standing in front of me whether I’m on stage or in line at the grocery store. If anything all I’ve ever hoped to do was inspire. To motivate.
    My friends started calling me Todd Dammit when i came to Vegas. It was as if Todd Kerns was left behind in Vancouver and Todd Dammit took over. From that a tee shirt with a very simple logo was created. From that every day I see a new creative application of that logo created by someone somewhere on this beautiful little ball we call home and that means the world to me.
    In 2014 I started using an inverted red star as a very simple logo for myself and called it Anti-Star. I have watched that same image grow and blossom every single day with someone’s simply inspired creation. That stuff means the world to me. It means that if even the smallest way someone has been moved to create something. That’s all that ever mattered to me. I don’t consider myself a ‘rock star’. I consider myself a musician. A blue collar one at that. I am a soldier. I hit the stage mostly to show that anyone can. That everyone should. Maybe not a concert stage but maybe to write that script they’ve always wanted to or that novel that’s been swimming in their brain for years. I know the challenges well. I don’t have the time. What if it’s terrible? What if someone ridicules me for it? If you try to do anything different than being the worker bee you were selected to be people will laugh at you but they are laughing at you because you scare them. It is their instinct to keep you down with them. You should simply be an example that they don’t have to be a worker bee either. Be a butterfly, my friends. Stretch those wings out and soar. That worker bee position will always be there if you fall. You owe it to yourself to fly a little.

    So now that I’ve touched on the ‘Spinal Tap’ reference in the above title of this blog it is time to touch on the rest.
    It hasn’t been formally announced yet but will be very soon that your pal, Todd Dammit, will be playing guitar for the legendary Michael Monroe in Finland for 5 shows this December. That’s right. It was bound to happen at some point. Michael and the men from his band have become some of my favorite humans on the planet. I have known guitarist, Rich Jones, for eons back in Canada. Guitarist, Steve Conte, will be unavailable for these dates in December so I got the call. I could not be more thrilled. Anyone who knows me knows what a gigantic fan I am of Michael and his previous band, Hanoi Rocks. I remember sitting in my room as a kid staring at the cover of albums like Two Steps From The Move dreaming of playing alongside these gypsy minstrels. Now all these years later I will be playing alongside two of the characters on that album cover-Michael and the legendary. Sami Yaffa. The third person on that cover now plays drums for John Lennon in the great beyond. RIP Razzle.
    I have knows Sami for a long time, too as we jammed together in the Dive Bar days in Vegas. We have always maintained contact. He’s another hero of mine.
    It has been a very important awakening in me to bring back to life the guitar player in me. Playing Steve Conte’s parts has completely reinvigorated my brain. I feel dormant cells springing back to life. I feel old ninja skill firing back up. It is good to challenge yourself. Do something different once in a while. I am a big believer in saying yes to challenges that you initially want to say, ‘absolutely not’ to. One day someone walked up to me and asked if I wanted to act in a film. My knee jerk reaction would have been ‘hell no’ but I decided to see that through. Though it never really took root in my soul I have always been thankful that I treaded in waters out of my comfort zone. Life is all about experiences and I’ve had every shape and color.
    I am very excited to be sitting in with Michael, Sami, Rich and Karl. Steve Conte is one of my favorite guitar players and it’s been a blast learning his chops to these legendary songs. Maybe I won’t be saying goodbye to the Co-Conspirators/Anti-Stars/Dammed just yet.

    From there we need to touch on the subject of TKO. An album that will be appearing in pledge form very soon.
    There will be a much more detailed explanation for all of this but let me explain as succinctly as possible as this piece has grown and grown as it is.
    Over the past 15 plus year my friend, Reed Shimozawa, from Zuckerbaby (the band that opened for AOE in Calgary earlier this year) have been writing and recording songs for no other reason other than the act of the pure love of music. Some of those songs appeared on my 2004 solo album Go Time!
    In 2014 I was intending to release a 10 year anniversary version of Go Time! which opened up the discussion of all the other material that was to make up the TKO album. Once we opened that door there was no way to really close it again. Then and there we decided to try and finish up this behemoth and release it. Now it’s going on two years later and we are still putting the final touches on it.
    The final TKO album will contain 14 songs. We have decided to include the ones used for Go Time! but everything has been remixed and remastered and is far superior to any other form you’ve heard them in. Once we got talking about it I couldn’t believe that songs like All Systems Go, True Romance, Now Hear This and 21st Century Bonnie & Clyde had never been released before. How could this be? That has to be rectified immediately.
    Once the pledge goes up you will receive the first single, All Systems Go as a free download with your pre order of the TKO album. Further into the campaign there will be a song called Gotta Go available only to pledgers available as a free download. Gotta Go will not be on the final TKO album. It will only be available to those preordering the album.
    There will be 100 numbered limited edition TKO shirts as part of a grand package from Agent Royale/Dammitwear as well.
    I love working with Pledge Music. We raise money for charities and get music directly to the people who give a damn. It is a dream come true for me.
    There will be an acoustic show at Vamp’d in January or February as part of the raising awareness of the TKO project. It has been wayyyyy too long since I did one of those shows. Those shows are the most fun ever. I will be bringing along a lot of my friends as you know I always do.
    There will also be an incredibly rare TKO show in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in March or April. That is going to be incredibly fun. The entire TKO album will be performed plus some classics from my catalogue and beyond.
    This kinda stuff really amps me up. I love making music. I love sharing music. I love the community created by these pledge campaigns. We have such a community already within the world of SMKC that I am excited to expound on that through pledgemusic.com
    It has been a while since a proper pledge was put in place. Borrowing Trouble was over 2 years ago now. Probably closer to 3 by the time we release TKO.
    We did a limited campaign for the live album Bootleg Confessional:Live In Vegas that was also very successful. This time I’m looking to do even bigger than the Borrowing Trouble campaign. On that campaign we reached 250% of our goal. This time I want to go even higher. I’m excited. I hope you are too.

    Well, by the time you read all this it will be the 7th and we will be playing the opening night of our Euro run here in Mumbai, India. What a fascinating place.
    Taylor Swift was apparently in the same waiting room as us in LA. I didn’t see her. I’m not good at spotting celebs.
    It is now the middle of the night as I am acclimating to a whole new time zone. To put that in perspective it is currently 5am here. It’s only 3:30pm the previous day in LA. That extra 30 minutes is weird. That shows you how far away we are.
    Yesterday I joined a cast of characters to see a couple of temples and it was the most beautiful chaos imaginable. So many people. Like nothing I have ever witnessed. The people are kind and gracious. And the food?!? A veggie’s dream. There’s another layer peeled away you may not have known. Todd Dammit is veggie. India is right up my alley!

    So now I must try and get a few more hours of sleep in before our routine starts to spin. A strange routine but routine nonetheless. Soundcheck. Dinner. Concert. Travel. Soundcheck. Dinner. Concert. Travel. Soundcheck. Dinner. Concert. Travel etc etc.
    This trip will be lovely as we are in Mumbai for several days then in Bangalore for several more. We play two shows within a ten day span. I’m hoping to see more and more of this rich, spiritual land.

    Well, there you have it.
    November-World On Fire tour 2014/2015 comes to a close.
    December-I will be a temporary member of Michael Monroe’s merry band of miscreants!
    2016-TKO will be released but of course through November/December 2015 the pledgemusic.com campaign will be in full effect.

    I hope you will be able to be a part of all this madness in one way or another.
    Alright, bed ways is right ways now.
    Big love to you and yours.
    PeaceLoveMetal
    TrueStrongFree

    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • After The Fall-Part 6

    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    October 8th 2015

    Ah, Minneapolis. Prince, The Replacements, Husker Du…Such an interesting and diverse selection of music has come out of here. It’s not too far from Winnipeg, Canada where brother Fitz is from. Used to be home to the Minnesota North Stars when I was a kid. They moved on to Dallas.
    We are enjoying a day and a half off here and I plan to take advantage of that time doing things I have been putting off…

    Such as writing this

    Right

    Now

    I’ve been meaning to check in for so long. It seems that any day off I have had has been filled with one activity or another. Today was no different. Took in one of the world’s biggest malls, the Mall Of America with Frankie. Yes, we are all kinds of white trash. A mall is the extent of our adventures. Today anyway. The singer, Jewel, was playing in the middle of the mall outside of Barnes & Noble as part of a book tour she’s doing. I’m one of the last people I know still buying books. I don’t care I love books. I shall buy them till they are no longer available. Currently I am reading Randy Blythe’s (from Lamb Of God) book and it is fascinating. Highly recommended.

    We ended up seeing The Martian at the movie theater, which was pretty rad, then met up with the gang for drinks. Now I’m back in my room. It’s after midnight and figured I should take a moment and catch up with all o’ y’all.
    We have been on the road, for this run, since September 18th. That’s almost 3 weeks. Most of the time when anyone asks me how long we’ve been out I say ‘5 Years’. It feels like that sometimes. Brief breaks to make a new album then back on the road. The Tour That Never Ends. I’m perfectly ok with that.
    We started in Providence, Rhode Island and had a blast. The first show of the tour is often referred to as a ‘warm up’ show as if it is some kind of rehearsal. No such thing in SMKC world. Every show is as important as the last. Whether 100 people show up or 10, 000.

    Jimmy Webb from Trash & Vaudeville turned up and it’s always so great to see him.
    It was our first show with our incredible opening act, The Last Internationale. I love those guys. As people and as a band. Delilah is a star and has incredible pitch and tone. Her boys, Edgey and Fernando, are slammin’. I’ve been listening to them non stop.
    Our good friend, Clifton Collins Jr, turned us on to them. I love getting my butt kicked by a new band. It definitely puts a spring in my step to get up and play our set.

    Providence proved to be a rowdy bunch indeed. The best thing about a ‘warm up’ show is it’s the first of that leg of the tour and new is always good. A lot of our friends showed up from out of town and we had ourselves a blast.
    From there we were off to a new festival entitled the Food & Truck Rock Carnival in the great state of New Jersey. This was a real family reunion for us. Brother Eddie Trunk was there in full effect. Great to catch up with him. It had been too long. Hoping we get to cross paths again soon.

    Zakk Wylde was holding court and was as entertaining as ever. He is one of the funniest cats in the world. He really should be hosting his own show. It’s non-stop laughs.

    Got to say hi to Dave ‘Snake’ Sabo from Skid Row as they were there. Jessie Camp, the former, MTV Vee Jay was on site and we had a blast talking smack. It was filmed so I hope that shows up someday. Complete lunacy.
    Johnny Kelly, currently of Danzig, was present. Johnny was the drummer for one of my favorite bands, Type O Negative. He’s an amazing guy and a legend. Hoping to catch him with Danzig one of these days.
    Went to watch Brother Gilby play his set but missed Taime and his Faster Pussycat. That woulda been fun.
    Our set was nuts. The turn out was pretty damned impressive for the first ever Food & Truck Rock Carnival show. That means next year will be even better. Brother Gilby got up and played Paradise City with us. An honor as always,
    From there we crossed into the land of my birth. Of Fitz’s, as well. God’s country. The true north strong and free. The great white north. Canada!

    Hamilton, Ontario specifically. The second I cross the border into Canada it is family time for me. I have family all the way across Canada and I try to see as much of them as I can.
    The show was incredible. The Last Internationale killed. We added Civil War back into the set which was a nice change. I don’t remember the last time we played that song. A bunch of our friends came from the US and as far as Japan to the show all sporting DAMMIT shirts done in the Canadian flag. What an honor. It was a real trip for me. I hope those friends realize how moving that is for me.

    John from the great Canadian band, Monster Truck, came out and it’s always great to see him. Monster Truck are amazing. Check them out.

    The Trews from Canada came down as well. Another great Canadian band. The guitar player, John Angus, has played with Fitz and I in our Canadian tribute band at a cancer benefit in Winnipeg.

    On to Toronto. The center of the Canadian universe. Spent time with my brother, John and his wife, Jenn. Hadn’t seen them since AOE reformed in Calgary on August 29th. Like I said I’m big on family.

    Another blast of a show. Civil War now semi permanently a part of the set. Good to be back in one of my old stomping grounds.
    After the show I reconnected with my old friend, Mark Holmes, from Platinum Blonde who had a major impact on me in my formative years. Mark was the bass player/singer for a three piece band as was I though I was just a kid playing high school dances. I did my best to emulate him but missed by a mile and became Todd Dammit instead. Mark is still one of my favorite songwriters and deserves a lot of respect. He gets bucketloads from me. His song, Not In Love, was covered by Crystal Castles and sung by Robert Smith from the Cure. That’s a major coup as far as I’m concerned. He now owns the Mod Club and still tours and records with PB. Proud of Mark.

    I also caught up with Brian Hetherman and Paul Eastwood part of AOE’s team at Universal Records back in the good old days. Oh, man we laughed and laughed. I love those guys. We went to war together in this business of show. We used to spend a lavish amount of Universal Records’ cash together back in the day before the record industry ate itself. We would go out and own the town for nights on end. What a different time it is now. A real pleasure to catch up. I hope to do so again soon.
    I got to meet the great hockey player, Paul Coffey, that night as well. He played on the Edmonton Oilers in the glory days. That’s a big deal to a Canadian boy. Fitz was over the moon. What a trip.
    Upon arriving in Montreal I couldn’t help thinking about the Guns N Roses riot that occurred there back in the Use Your Illusions days. Metallica and GNR were touring together at the time. I can’t even imagine those two gigantic behemoths on the road together like that. What a massive bill that is. Anyway, James got burned by pyro which ultimately cut Metallica’s set short then Axl walked off early and the place went bananas. I can’t imagine what an ordeal that must have been. This was after the St Louis riot no less. Man, oh man. Slash mentions those events on occasion. Sounds like a nightmare to me.
    This trip to Montreal was much different. On stage on time for a full 2 plus hours. We added the old Snakepit gem, Serial Killer. just to change things up. It’s good to challenge ourselves once in a while.
    The Montreal crowd was one of the rowdiest of this leg of the tour. Reminded me of Europe. Fantastic crowd. Great show.
    I hung back an extra day rather than driving overnight to Cleveland so I could spend time with my daughter who is in art school out there. She loves Montreal very much. It is such a beautiful place. Those winters are a bit of a shock to a kid raised in the west mind you. Very proud of her. We are a very artistic family.
    So the next day I had to face the drama of my flight being cancelled (wonderful) and then rescheduled earlier than my initial departure effectively cutting into my family time. Only by a couple of hours but annoying none the less. Airlines and cell phone companies-the biggest rackets in the world. Oh, well-better to show up alive than to board a faulty plane.
    Cleveland is always a blast. One of those great American Rock N Roll towns like Detroit or Chicago. Of course our gig wasn’t technically in Cleveland. It was at the Hard Rock in Northfield Park. Either way it was a great time. Lots of friends came out and we had a blast. The Last Internationale, SMKC, Civil War still alive and well in the set. Good times.
    As usual we say a quick hello to our friends and then we are back on the bus overnight to our next destination which in this instance was one of the other great American Rock N Roll towns-Detroit Rock City! At the beautiful Fillmore Theater to be more exact. What a great place.
    Another epic evening-The Last Internationale/SMKC killin’ it Detroit style. Detroit audiences are some of the best in the states.
    Towards the end of the show some jagoff was flipping off Myles. I got up on Myles’ riser at the front of the stage and pointed him out. It was hilarious to watch him crouch down behind the people in front of him like some frightened puppy. If you don’t have the balls to stand behind your actions then perhaps you should think your actions through a little more. On that riser plus the stage I must have stood 20 ft above him. He really did look like a little bunny.
    This is the classic phenomenon. I have no idea where this comes from. If you flip me off that’s one thing but flipping off my friends I will have you removed. It’s probably in your best interest not to flip me off either. Concert tickets ain’t cheap. It would be a shame to pay full price to see a partial show only because you behaved like a fool. Didn’t affect us at all. All I know is that I’m not going to stand there while someone of such low intelligence and high ignorance harshes our good time. Buh-bye!
    Other than that douche Detroit kicked ass. We played Shadow Life for the first time in a long while. Always fun to jog our memory with tunes to be in our regular playlist. Slash is good at throwing down these challenges.
    Then we ran across the state to Grand Rapids, Michigan to play at The Intersection. Another blast of a hit and run. Come out swinging’ and take no prisoners. We are so fortunate to have such good friends and Co-Conspirators that travel the world around the see us. It means the world to us. What a crazy small world with a whole lotta big love. Grand Rapids was no exception. These intimate shows are some of my favorites. Getting right in each others’ faces is just what Rock N Roll is supposed to be. We broke out Stone Blind for the first time in a while to change things up. It’s a nice challenge to play something we haven’t in a while.
    When in our next stop, Ft Wayne, Indiana the Conspirators took in an amazing facility called Sweetwater which is a gigantic music complex not too different from the Google campuses. Sweetwater is a functioning academy of music with a state of the art recording studio, theater/concert venue as well as full musical instrument retail stores. It’s quite mind boggling. We were really knocked out by it. If only there were places like this in every city.
    The gig in Ft Wayne was awesome. A lot of familiar faces. We played 30 Years To Life for the first time in a while which was refreshing. It was a mainstay earlier in the WOF tour. As time goes by we continually try to change our set list because of all the people who come to multiple shows. We try to keep a few things fresh from night to night.
    Then we were off to Marksville, Louisiana not far from New Orleans. Again a crowd full of familiar faces. We played Mr Brownstone from Appetite For Destruction to change things up a little. That one is always a blast to play. That was one of the only GNR songs Velvet Revolver used to play. I think they played It’s So Easy and Patience sometimes, too. We play a lot of everything from Slash’s catalog. Especially SMKC.
    That gig was a lot of fun. As always we had a blast hanging with friends after. The Co-Conspirators just keep growing and growing.
    Sadly this was our last show with our amazing opening act, The Last Internationale. I really do respect and love them. They have a very bright future ahead of them and I couldn’t be prouder to have shared so many stages with them. Keep an eye on them. And an ear. They are amazing. Delila, Edgey and Fern-you is loved!
    From there we were on to one of my favorite cities, Memphis. Last time we were there we went to Graceland. We didn’t have a day off this time so we had to cram any activities into a show day. All we managed to do was go to the Gibson showroom. Frank left Memphis with a new guitar. I think he has a problem. He has way more guitars than I do! And I have a lot!
    Memphis was incredible. We played Shots Fired from Apocalyptic Love for the first time in what has to be almost 2 years. Slash has really been pulling out the big challenges.
    A few days before Slash asked me to sing My Michelle. I said of course I knew it. So we jammed it. That night in Memphis was the debut of me singing My Michelle from GNR’s Appetite For Destruction live. What a blast. The funny thing is when I started playing with Slash I never had to go over any GNR material. I just kinda knew it. My Michelle included. That song kicks ass.
    Love Memphis. Next time I wanna go to Sun Studios. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see it.
    So here’s where things get interesting. We get to the Louder Than Life in Louisville, Kentucky and I’m super fired up. We are only doing an hour long set as we are opening for the great ZZ Top. Gonna be a fun and easy day. No problem.
    Caught up with some friends throughout the day. Our management were there in full force. A lot of homies coming and going. Good family fun. Scott Uchida, pretty much the band photographer, was there with is amazing drone camera flying around getting amazing footage. Beyond impressive.
    We got on stage to a gargantuan crowd. I believe this was only the second year of this particular festival and it was definitely a success. We tore through You’re A Lie and decapitated everyone with the joyous sound of RAWK. Then at the beginning of Nightrain I ran out to the lip of the stage as I do every single night to jam with the people. On this particular night, on this particular stage there was a messy array of cabling strewn about the front of the stage. There was certainly a lot of extra cameras and whatnot to account for all this excess. In the midst of my high energy I stepped back only to find myself on the unsure footing of a bunch of cables and as has happened many times before I knew i was going down. It’s a bizarre moment when you know you’re going. It’s not like time stands still. You are perfectly aware of how quickly this has all gone down but I remember with the utmost clarity rolling with the fall in such a way that my bass never touched the ground. I went down on my back and over and back up on my feet. Done it a million times. When you have been on as many stages as i have you’re bound to spill once or twice. Or three. Or four. Or five. Or six. I’ve completely lost track but I am very happy I fell back and not forward like Dave Grohl did. That would suck. Dave fell right off of a mega high festival stage and broke a bunch of stuff. Mostly his leg, I believe. No way. No thank you. I’ve never broken a bone and I am in no hurry to do so. A lot of people reached out with a lot of concern and it’s appreciated but I’m fine. It’d take a lot more than a fall to keep this man down. I have fallen before and I will fall again. As I said before-you fall, you get up, you carry on. Not just on stage but in life. I’m too stubborn to stay down. There’s still too much to do. Too much to see.
    Beyond that the show was incredible. It was one of the rowdiest festivals I’ve seen in a while. A lot of crowd surfing which is always dangerous. Watching it I just can’t help but wince as people are being thrown about the audience. As this is happening the ‘surfer’ is inadvertantly kicking innocent bystanders in the head left and right as they move to and fro. Be careful out there. It’s just a Rock N Roll show. We don’t want anyone getting hurt.
    It was such a brief set that it went by in the blink of an eye. The audience was super high energy and rowdy. Singing along and really going for it. Had I not fallen it would have been a complete triumph. I think it was a complete triumph even with the fall as far as I’m concerned.
    So then we were back on a bus overnight to beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota where I have wandered the gigantic Mall Of America for a couple days in a row. The place is gigantic. I wonder which is bigger the Mall Of America or the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Someone smarter than me will be able to answer that question.
    Since being here I have seen The Martian and Green Inferno. The Martian is great and Green Inferno is completely insane. Director Eli Roth is one sick bastard but it’s pretty much exactly what you expect and pretty much what you paid for.
    The show in Minneapolis was great. Probably one of the most intimate we’ve done in a while. Always fun to get that in each other’s faces. We added Ghost back into the set for the first time in a while and Slash rocked one of his longer Rocket Queen solos in a while. I, for one, dig it when he does that. He’s one of the greatest guitar players in rock history. He should throw down once in a while! We had a blast.
    Our friends, Raven Eye from the UK are opening the remainder of our shows from here on out. They are another great up and coming band. We are very proud to be introducing them to North American audiences.
    October 8th 2015
    Regina, Saskatchewan,Canada
    Now here I am in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. We stopped here for the day to let our bus driver sleep to break up the long drive from Minneapolis to Calgary.
    Brent Fitz and I did a little hang at a local club called The Exchange here in Regina talking about music and our careers. It’s meant as educational and was initially part of a drum clinic-kinda thing. I was there to tell my crazy stories. It was a good time. Great to see a lot of familiar faces and to get to hang in a city that was such a big part of the early part of my career.
    We just got back from dinner and now I’m waiting to get back on the bus overnight to Calgary. Hopefully I’ll sleep. I’m not the best sleeper in a bed let alone a moving vehicle.

    During the course of this tour there was news that the US and China have agreed to halt the ivory trade. As many of you know the song Beneath The Savage Sun from World On Fire was written in protest of the ivory trade and spurned an entire movement to do our best to be a part of halting it. If you were involved in our movement at all you should be very proud. We got behind something and made a difference. Of course, our involvement was only part of a much larger organization but it is proof that if enough good people get together the right thing can get done. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of us.
    From the good we get into the bad. Some villainous character bought up the rights to a medication designed to help people suffering from Aids and HIV and jacked the price up to some ridiculous price. When I first read it I thought it must be some over dramatized story fabricated just for shock value on the internet but no. It was real. All too real. Is this guy Lex Luthor or something? What a scumbag. There is a special place in Hell reserved for people of his ilk. There is a right thing to do in life and a wrong thing. This is an example of wrong. Help your fellow man. Someone much wiser than I said that. I like to think, in this instance, he was right. Always do the right thing.
    I hate that, yet again, I have to comment on another shooting. This time in one of my favorite states, Oregon. It gets so depressing having to constantly and pointlessly comment on these terrible events. The saddest thing is watching a terrible event like this divide people. Can’t it simply be enough that yet another group of completely innocent people have lost their lives? It breaks my heart that this conversation has to happen again and again and again yet it does and it will. as long as nothing gets done about it. People need to come to terms with the fact that there is even a problem. I don’t know that either side has an answer but I think accepting that there is a problem is step one. We shouldn’t have to worry about sending our kids to college or even a movie theater with the fear that we will never see them again. Enough. Seriously, enough. My heart goes out to all of those who were lost and to their families. Hopefully this tragedy will begin a chain of events that can help stop this senselessness once and for all. That’s hardly consolation but hopefully their loss is not in total vain.
    As always I look to a much bigger picture. A picture that no matter what still stands as strongly to me as it ever has and that picture is the future. Maybe when I’m long dead and gone but it’s coming. Your children will not see color or sexual orientation or all these invisible divisions we have been taught to see. As cool as you think you are your children are cooler and their’s will be cooler still. Their world is going to be amazing. I’m totally jealous.
    My dear friend, Jenny Galt, the singer on Indian Summer from my album, Go Time! just had a baby boy. I couldn’t be happier for her. Thank you for reminding me to look to the light even when things seem dark. Big love, Miss Jenny.
    Time for me to get my things together for the overnight ride to Calgary. I have family every day from here on out till the end of the Canadian dates. Going to be a blast but going to be a blur.
    From Regina, one of my former homes, to Calgary, also one of my former homes. I’ve been very lucky to call a lot of wonderful places home. This big planet Earth is my home. That makes you my neighbor. Howdy, neighbor!

    Big love to each and every one of you!
    Here’s to hoping that the next time I check in there won’t be some tragedy to comment on.
    PEACELOVEMETAL
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • World STILL On Fire

    September 15th 2015
    Los Angeles, California

    Long time no see, brothers and sisters. Though I should probably apologize for the lengthy break between these digital confessions to be honest I think once in a while it’s good to make one’s self scarce. I get positively sick of myself now and again. I think in this day and age of needing to share every thought that enters our heads with the twitterverse/Facebookland/SocialNetworkVille has gone too far for my comfort level. Now and then I think it’s healthy to unplug and disengage from the great neon bloodstream that is the internet. That said, I’m never really completely unplugged and since I’m posting now to catch up on all the time that has gone by I suppose I may as well have been posting all along.

    Sometimes you just don’t have anything to say and that’s perfectly ok. Better to say nothing than a whole lot of something that equals nothing.

    Though the good ship, USS Conspirator landed in dry dock some time ago things have been anything but quiet. I don’t remember the last time things were quiet. I don’t know that they ever were. Never. Ever.

    Upon arriving home from the road I spent time bouncing from Las Vegas to LA to Vancouver back to LA back to Vancouver to Calgary back to Vegas back to LA.

    SMKC senior staff have been down in the engine room preparing for a whole new journey set to make way in 2016 tentatively titled SMKCIII. Well, at least I’m calling it that. As it has been, off and on for the past five years, Slash, Fitzy and myself have holed ourselves up in a cold, dark room to create the music that Myles Kennedy will eventually sing upon turning riffs into songs. Commander Kennedy beams aboard now and again to assess progress and make his suggestions then we other three put our heads down and get to work. It stays this way until SMKCIII is in your hot little hands and ears.

    Before even re-acclimating to Las Vegas’ dense atmosphere we found ourselves in Malibu celebrating Slash’s birthday with our home team of family and friends. A good time was had by all. Slash has built a very happy and strong world around him these past five years and I’m happy to be a part of that.

    From there we were writing, writing and writing in our rehearsal space. While there we saw Duff and Matt rehearsing for a Kings Of Chaos show. Always good to catch up with the extended family. Those who came before us. They are the Kings Of Chaos. I am but a Squire Of Silly.

    Back to Vegas where the Conspirators all watched Aerosmith play at the MGM Grand only a year after we shared that same stage with them on the Let Rock Rule Tour before World On Fire was even officially released. I have been especially focused on these artists that are in their 60s and still rocking. None as powerfully or convincingly as the mighty Aerosmith. It is inspiring to know I’ll still be doing this well into my 60s and 70s. And beyond. Rocking into my grave.

    From there I was off to Vancouver for something resembling a family holiday sprinkled with initial rehearsals, for the first time in 17 years, mind you, with The Age Of Electric. It has been no secret that my old band from Canada played a reunion show August 29th in Calgary. These initial rehearsals were just early refreshers with the Dahle brothers as my brother, John, was still in Toronto and would be ’til about five days before the show. This initial visit to Vancouver was still about three weeks out from August 29th.

    The strangest thing about revisiting these songs with these guys for the first time in almost two decades is how NOT strange it was. There was something very expectedly normal to be playing those songs with THOSE guys. It’s what we did. It’s the music we made together. Mostly it was a lot of laughing and reminiscing. These guys are more than ex-bandmates. They are family. I truly mean that. Whatever differences we may or may not have had over the years in no way precludes that. I have known Kurt Dahle since we were 17 or 18 years old. We formed a band with our little brothers and went on to achieve more than, I think, we ever could have imagined. We weren’t the biggest band on the planet and we didn’t get rich but we did go Gold and cover a lot of ground, geographically and otherwise, in the almost 10 years we played together.

    There’s a reason why each member managed to do a lot of great things beyond the end of AOE. Kurt played on Letterman a bunch of times with the New Pornographers. I never got to play on Letterman. He will always have that on me.

    But these were only preliminary jam sessions. Refreshers. Homework for the eventual REAL rehearsal. Besides…I’d been called back to LA!

    Things had gone so swimmingly with the writing/preproduction of SMKCIII it was decided we needed to do another week of racket making. So off I went back to LA.

    This was Vegas, LA, Vegas, Vancouver back to LA.

    Another week of mining and polishing rare gems from deep within our souls proved extremely productive. Fitz and I caught up with Biff Byford, the lead singer for Saxon who happened to be rehearsing next door. That was a trip. He’s a legend. Saxon had been on tour with the almighty Motorhead. A tour which has since been cancelled due to health problems for the one they call Lemmy. We are all wishing Lem a speedy recovery. He has been through a lot these past couple years but he’s still kicking. We only hope he can regain his full strength and get out there and show us how it’s done again as he always has. Every time I sing Dr. Alibi I am singing it for Lem.

    Troy Duffy, the writer and director of one of my all time fave films, Boondocks Saints, stopped by for a visit. He is a real character and a very cool guy. There is an amazing documentary about Troy called Overnight which is a cautionary tale about this beast called Hollywood. I’m a big fan of documentaries that show the challenges of seemingly doomed projects that go on to be sometimes great like Apocalypse Now (the documentary of the making of that film is called Hearts Of Darkness). Sometimes not like The Island Of Dr Moreau. The documentary about the making of Moreau is called Lost Soul:  The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley’s Island Of Dr Moreau. Speaking of cautionary. There is another great doc called Lost In La Mancha which was to be a Terry Gilliam film starring Johnny Depp that never got made and has no foreseeable future either. I find it comforting to know that creators often go through unexpected challenges to finally see their art realized. My Apocalypse Now was called Static In Stereo. That was a very challenging project but ended up being a personal high water mark. Another one is called TKO. That one has yet to see it’s complete fruition but it will. I promise.

    Anyway, long story short-I’m a fan of Troy’s. Boondocks Saints is a classic. Always good to see him.

    So then after a week of cooking up future classics with Brother Slash and Brother Fitz I headed back to Vancouver to commence official rehearsals. For those following along that’s home from tour, Vegas, LA, Vegas, Vancouver, LA back to Vancouver.

    Interestingly enough upon my arrival in Vancouver my brother, John, had arrived ahead of me. Both of my brothers and I had dinner with our parents for the first time without girlfriends, wives or children since we were kids. It was kinda surreal. Like going back 20 years just like that.

    Just as before John’s inclusion there was something eerily normal about when all four members of The Age Of Electric were plugged in and playing together. As if an entire 17 year gap had simply been folded over and stitched up rendering the order of time…1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2015…as if 1999 thru 2014 had been torn out of the book altogether. On top of working through songs that we hadn’t played in a loooong time we had three brand new songs that had never been performed live to work up as well. I was reticent to force new material on anyone crazy enough to join us on this trip down memory lane but Ryan Dahle was rightly insistent and I thank him for being so. We didn’t want it to be an oldies show.

    So after about five days of actual, full band rehearsal we hopped on a plane and played our first show in 17 years at the Marquee in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    It’s hard to really put into words how this event felt. To be honest at first, during rehearsal and even the trip to Calgary it all felt very normal. I’m a working, touring musician. This is what I do. That all felt very familiar and normal to me.

    On the day of the show I think the gravity was still lost on me. It was a day of chaotic socializing. Reed and his band Zuckerbaby, who had played with us back in the day were there to add to the nostalgia of the event. Of course, Reed is one of my closest friends so seeing him was probably more comfortingly familiar than time travelingly nostalgic.

    Zuckerbaby were incredible. One of the most underrated bands I know of. Andy has one of those voices that scratches me where I itch. Ian is not only one of my favorite drummers to watch but one of my favorites to play with. He plays drums on the TKO project and portions of Go Time! Jamie is a great addition to the fold. Reed is one of my favorite guitar players on the planet and I say that without hyperbole. He should be playing for someone important. He’s that good.

    Then it was time.

    And I think that’s when it hit me. I looked out at those faces and I realized that this wasn’t just something important to me. It wasn’t just something special for the four guys on stage. It seemed to me that those faces looking back at us thought this was pretty damned important and special, too. There were smiles from one end of the room to the other and those smiles were shared by the guys on stage.

    We opened with Motor, the first song from the ’95 Untitled album and the crowd sang the chorus at the top of their lungs. It was, admittedly, one of the heaviest moments of my career. A song that we played back in ’95/’96 that didn’t even find it’s way into the ’97/’98 Make A Pest A Pet Tour setlist. From that moment on I knew this was going to be a very special night. Possibly one of the most special nights of my life.

    All capped off with an entire crowd singing Oh! Canada at the top of their collective lungs, no less.

    Though it is easy to keep things in perspective there is nothing wrong with losing one’s self in the moment. I knew that the next morning I would be back in the US and in the comforting breast of my new life but tonight I was 17 years younger. We all were and we were going to enjoy it.

    I had been saying for years that I always wanted to do this someday and now it has been done. All that can be done from here is to do it again. I have no answer as to when that could be. Or, as is the most frequently asked question, where. But I can say that this will happen again. Hopefully sooner than later. Only time will tell.

    We played songs we hadn’t played since 1993. That’s 22 years ago. We played three songs that had never, ever been played live before. Songs that don’t have an absolutely defined idea of what will happen to them or where they will go or what they will be. Maybe a release someday. I don’t know. Isn’t that the beauty of not knowing? I like to think so.

    After our show we moved on to a friend’s club where I had done an acoustic show the previous year called the Trop where we had an after show party. It was a chaotic yet enjoyable time. I only wish the boys in the band could have spent more celebratory time together. We were sucked into the vortex and didn’t really see one another again. Ryan Dahle and I went back to the hotel together and agreed that it had been a magical time. Ryan and I have had our differences over the years and nothing makes me happier than to have those childish things behind us.

    I think this show has probably created a momentum that will lead to more. Even Kurt Dahle who carries himself with a certain amount of healthy skepticism seemed to have a good time.

    And just like that I was up and back to Vegas.

    For those keeping track-

    Tour-Vegas-LA-Vegas-Vancouver-LA-Vancouver-Calgary-Vegas

    I was OFF tour yet still ON tour.

    While in Vegas Fitz and I joined Bob Kulick to watch Grand Funk Railroad which features Bob’s brother Bruce on Guitar. They were playing a the classic Fremont Street casino, the Golden Nugget. It was a great time. Bruce Kulick is an old bandmate of Fitz’s when they were in Union together with John Corabi of Motley Crue.

    Bob Kulick is a legend, of course. He has been closely associated with KISS since the very beginning playing on recordings throughout their career. He played on Paul Stanley’s solo tour back in 1988. Eric Singer was the drummer on that tour. He went on to replace Eric Carr for the Revenge album.

    Bruce Kulick has been a friend of mine for almost a decade. I first saw him play when I was a kid at the Agridome in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in March of 1985 when he was in KISS on the Animalize tour. Now he’s a friend. Life is funny that way.

    The next night the Conspirators went to see the Guess Who at the Cannery Casino in North Vegas. A good time with a bunch of Canadians playing hit after hit after hit.

    Funny to have been to see two golden age bands like that two nights in a row. Like Aerosmith it made me think what it’ll be like playing music in 10, 20, 30 years from now. I think it’ll be awesome. Can’t wait.

    So now here I am back in LA. In the same hotel I’ve been staying for the past five years off and on.

    We played a private show over at the Chrome Hearts factory. Chrome Hearts, the high end, jeweler/clothier. It was an immensely good time. Most especially because I got to meet yet another hero, Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. Steve was there and got up and jammed Rock And Roll by Zeppelin with us. That seemed like the least and most punk rock thing ever at the same time.

    Some of you may know that I named my cream Les Paul Custom Jonesy after Steve. He has made a long standing impression on me all of my life.

    I also loved the one off album he did with Duff and Matt called the Neurotic Outsiders. I told Matt and Duff at the above Kings Of Chaos rehearsals that if they ever do a Neurotic Outsiders reunion show and John Taylor can’t do it to call me. That’d be a blast. Of course, I’m sure Mr Taylor would be happy to be a part of that.

    9/11 showed up again as it does every year. It brings with it terrible memories and pending melancholy.

    Kerry Simon passed away. Slash and I played a benefit gig for Kerry a few years ago that included Bill Murray, Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Vince Neil, Billy Duffy and Matt Sorum. We were trying to raise money to help save Kerry from his terrible affliction but he, sadly, has succumbed to his disease. It’s heartbreaking but one can only find peace in the idea that he is suffering no more. Little solace but that’s what we cling to.

    The other day I stopped by to say hello to Duff at a Hollywood Vampires rehearsal and had a pleasant surprise. Duff and Matt are playing with Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp’s Hollywood Vampires. What a blast.

    Sure enough who should walk in but Mr Depp himself. I’d never met the man but he was as charming and as friendly as I could have hoped. He was engaging and thoughtful. We chatted about his new film, Black Mass (which looks amazing). I asked if he had to shave his head as he did in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (one of my faves). He said he didn’t have to this time but told a very amusing story of how he would walk around undetected during the filming of Fear And Loathing as no one could recognize this bald man as the world famous actor, Johnny Depp. The only people who did pay him mind were other bald men who would nod to him as if they were all part of some secret society. I found that to be an amusing story indeed. He told us to stick around as he headed off to his duties but I had rehearsing of my own to do. I’m glad he was a cool guy. You always hope that those kinds of meetings will be positive. I still think Johnny is one of the greats. Ed Wood, Raul Duke, Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow…he has created some almighty characters. I look forward to his next creation.

    Alice Cooper said hello and he is always a total gentleman. I never expect these people to remember me and maybe he didn’t but he sure seemed like he did and that’s enough for me. Speaking of ‘the greats’-Alice is in a class all his own.

    So yesterday we pressed the pause button on the writing and preproduction chapter for creating SMKCIII so that today we could focus on the World On Fire US/Canada Fall Tour 2015. Before closing the pre production chapter we erased all the titles from our dry erase board from the World On Fire writing sessions. That wasn’t an easy exorcism. I remember writing those titles down as if it were yesterday and here we are ALREADY writing new ones in their place. I won’t give away too much about this chapter of SMKCIII but let it be said that we are well over halfway through the writing of that future album as it stands today. The entire album could be written before the end of 2015. I’m that optimistic. You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one…

     

    Today Slash, Fitzy, Frank and I ran through all the songs we are going to play on the upcoming tour. Myles shows up tomorrow for full rehearsal. We will run through it as a refresher and be ready to kill by the first show of the tour this Friday.

    For the fall tour we have introduced a limited, one of a kind, white DAMMIT-True, Strong, Free shirt. Created in conjunction with Caffeine Nation for Dammitwear. Caffein Nation is my brudda from down Unda’s company, Andrew Treadwell. Check out his stuff it’s killer.

    We’ve never done a white Dammit shirt before. I think it’s time. Stay tuned to when it will be available.

    TSF

    Alright, well it’s now 2:18am September 15 2015 so I should get some rest for the full rehearsal tomorrow. Hope to see you out there helping us set the world on fire!

    Though these have been seemingly dark times of late with so many shootings, latent racism, latent homophobia I still believe that we are better than all of this. It is my belief that our children are better than we are. They are going to be a part of a world I hope I live long enough to see. Tolerance, life without fear. Crazy words like ‘brotherhood’ could actually mean something. I am ever hopeful and I hope you can join me in doing the same. Love is bigger than hate. It always has been. It always will be.

     

    Big love to each and every one of you

    Your loyal and humble servant,

    Todd Dammit