Of Conspirators, Sinners and Rebels

Of Conspirators, Sinners and Rebels

May 31 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada

“When did Rush become cool?”
-Dave Grohl

Today i finally watched the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction of Rush. I have always had the utmost respect for the band though was never a religious follower. Being Canadian this is almost heresy. I always leaned towards the punkier side of things. Rush was anything but that. Clearly as a musician I had to give credit where credit was due. I never wanted to play prog rock though I believe Rush to be so much more than just that.

I got to know Alex Lifeson for a brief period when I was managed by Rush’s management, SRO. Alex is the coolest guy ever. At one point he was on the dock to produce the Static In Stereo record. That didn’t happen. He is still the only member I have met though Neil Peart did briefly share our dressing room during the Golden Gods Awards in 2012. It was a madhouse and I didn’t wanna bother the guy. He’s notoriously reclusive and it was anything but quiet back there. He was gone as quick as he came. i coulda foresaw that. We had Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Duff, Chris Jericho and a revolving door of well wishers with us. I think he accepted his award and was outta there.

As a Canadian it brings a lot of pride to see Rush finally get some respect and mad respect at that. From Dave and Taylor from the Foos and from the massive audience clearly there for Rush.
Mad respect for a band that never really played ‘the game’. Did what they do for going on 40 years and have never really compromised. Now THAT is punk rock.

“When did Star Trek become cool?”
-Todd Dammit

Here’s some more heresy for you. When push comes to shove I have always been a Star Trek man over Star Wars. Right now all my nerdy friends are distancing themselves from me. I have thought a great deal about this and this is why. Star Trek was designed to represent the future. Our future. Is it realistic? Plausible? Even the slightest bit possible? I don’t know but I know as a boy I bought it hook, line and sinker. That in the future we would travel the stars and connect with ‘new life and new civilizations’.

I tell you this-if Starfleet were a real thing I would be a Starship Captain right now! I’d have studied better in school in order to achieve such a thing. To travel through space and have adventure after adventure? Oh hell yes. I did the next best thing. I became a rock musician. You’d be surprised how similar that is.

Star Wars was life altering for all of us. It still is. It is the single most extraordinary experience that so many of us share. I was the one bitching along with everyone else about the last trilogy but I am the one now saying the next trilogy is going to be amazing. Trust me on this.
Star Wars, to me, was such a sprawling story of epic fantasy. Farm boy, princess, pirate, wizard, good, evil. Though many of the characters appeared human, Han, Luke, Lei, Obi Wan, they were from crazy planets like Tattooine and Alderan. Were they human? I never really thought about that until much later in life. I mean they look human and may have been some distant relative to the humans of Earth. After all it was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
But this is why I always gravitate towards Star Trek because it was about us. Human beings evolving, hundreds of years from now. No war or disease or racism. All of that sorted and now we are looking outward. I liked that. These were our distant relatives. Starfleet headquarters is in San Francisco. I know where that is. I don’t know where Tattooine is.
So there you have it. Obviously I’m from the school that can enjoy both franchises just as much though there is nothing more humorous than watching people argue over Star Trek vs Star Wars.

Or Rush vs KISS for that matter.

I’m a DC man but I love me some Marvel. Obviously. It’s high quality stuff!
It is amusing to me to see people embrace Star Trek now that JJ Abrams has remolded it. He has done an amazing job and it brings me great pleasure to see people able to enjoy it without the stigma that has hung over it all these years. JJ will turn his magic on Star Wars which in my opinion needs new blood. Those last three films are evidence of this. Mark my words…

In other news…
My first solo album in 9 years is finally in the hands and ears of my beloved fellow pledgers and it has been such an amazing experience being able to share the light and dark of such a painfully personal album. For those of you who pledged I cannot express my gratitude enough. To be honest this was a project I was going to do come Hell or high water anyway but you’re involvement has made it something else entirely. This is one of those projects that feels like if I never say another thing musically again I’d be perfectly ok with Borrowing Trouble being the last of it. This has been a shared journey with a community of people who’s passion for music has really lit a fire under me.

Badge

Yesterday I went to my favorite music shop, Zia Records, and bought new cds by Iggy And The Stooges, HIM, Rob Zombie and Alice In Chains. Next week I’m getting the new Queens Of The Stone Age. It feels good to buy new music. To fill your ears and soul with the passion of the people you love and respect.

My most recent personal decision is to continue buying cds until this is no longer an option. Though I have completely amalgamated to the new way I know that I still love having the tangible piece in my hand. It is a distant memory buying KISS Alive II on vinyl and finding within it that giant gatefold of fire plus a booklet and tattoos. These things are lost today. I wish you all could have been there for it. It was a wondrous time.

It was important to me for Borrowing Trouble to be as personal an experience as possible. Handwritten title on the front of the album, photos in my house, super intimate recordings of songs that I almost cringe at how much I opened up. Almost!

I made this record under the banner of life. To live. If I die tomorrow I’m not going to regret not buying that property to invest in or not getting that 80″ screen TV. What I will regret is not making music that speaks to someone. Maybe not everyone but maybe just someone.
“The highest purpose of art is to inspire”-Bob Dylan If I can urge you to do anything it is to stop talking about it and thinking about it and just do it. Out of nowhere people write books and change lives. They finish that script idea and it becomes so much more than they ever could have imagined.

Do it. Be it. If it doesn’t end up making you a million dollars so what? The experience is worth so much more than money.

So the pledge remains active til June 4th. Then it goes live to iTunes and multiple other facets including this very website. It is a fascinating thing to think that the record store is almost a thing of the past. They tell you that it’s dead and then you walk into Amoeba in Hollywood and the place is hopping. Music is alive and well. It changes it morphs but it lives on.
You can pledge for only a few more days then that part of the journey is over and it become a whole other chapter of one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

The cd release show happens this coming Sunday June 2nd at Vamp’d. It will be the first live performances of songs from Borrowing Trouble as well as it’s accompanying EP, Near Life Experience. All of the existing Sinners will appear on stage with me for the first time in almost 6 months. Doc Ellis and I will perform on stage together for the first time in 2 years. I was not really aware of that as Doc and I have remained close regardless of playing together. That is exciting. Miss Cian Coey will be stealing the limelight and chewing up scenery leaving the rest of us to do our best to remain relevant in her presence.

The Conspirators will join me for a few songs which will be amazing. The three of us always threaten to do more together but this will be the first of these forays. We have decided to do some very challenging pieces but if you know me you know I love a challenge. Can’t wait.
My good friends, The Underground Rebels, will be opening the show which for me brings everything full circle. I found myself in Vegas working on the Rebels cd which led to Brent Muscat and I forming the Sin City Sinners which changed my life. Life is so bizarre that way. I recommend you do yourself a favor and try saying yes more than no. That often leads to the most fascinating results.

As announced all of the proceeds from the admittance fee will be going to the Greg Verdusco Memorial Fund put in place to help soften the blow of the financial crush brought on in trying to, sadly unsuccessfully, save Greg’s life. There is a big part of me that knows Greg would be very happy with how everything has come together though it breaks my heart that he can’t be here to share in this night. His life will be celebrated at many more events life this down the line.

It’s funny at the dawn of the birth of Borrowing Trouble (and Near Life Experience) I find myself already conceptualizing the next chapter. A big, noisy rock record. The biggest and the noisiest of my career. Seems fitting to follow the most intimate release of my life. You know I’ve always wanted to try making a concept record… Hmmmmm…

Hope you enjoy Borrowing Trouble, Near Life Experience and can make an appearance at the all ages show at Vamp’d on Sunday, June 2nd. It’s going to be a huge night.

Never stop trying. Never stop fighting. Ever.
Big love,
Your loyal and humble servant,
Todd Dammit


11 Responses to Of Conspirators, Sinners and Rebels

  1. hey Todd.. you start to scare me.. the whole part of the Star Trek/Wars thing could also be written by myself… (well only would change the boy to a girl) and about still buying CDs… yep.. I´m with you. Did you kinda steel my mind or what?
    BTW… Borrowing TRouble and NLE are just great!! I can´t stop listening to all the songs! Really not able to choose a fave one… no.. doesn´t work.
    And I sooo would love to be there on sunday.. but hell.. there is that big ocean and the whole continent between us and Scotty can´t hear me to beam me over! ;-(
    Have a lot of fun! Great eveyone.. and I´m lookin forward too your future records! ;-)
    Much love from germany
    Tina

  2. Avatar Jacqui Allison
    Jacqui Allison says:

    Thank you Todd, for everything

  3. Avatar Ann Chestnut
    Ann Chestnut says:

    Sunday night will be amazing! It will be especially amazing since proceeds go to your friend Greg!
    Thanks for encouragement to inspire others! Sometimes i feel i’m living in someone elses skin, living in the wrong life.
    I also dread the day there are no longer record stores to go to! The younger people don’t know what they are missing! Best Wishes on Sunday night!

  4. Always look forward to your blogs, Todd! And I was sooo stocked that RUSH finally got in the Hall…can’t really call it Rock n Roll Hall of Fame w/ the likes of Public Enemy and Madonna in there, but glad RUSH FINALLY got recognized & Heart too! Now, we just have to get KISS in there! As a Pledger to your new music, am stoked to get it…gonna buy another copy for my best friends birthday too…she’s a HUGE fan as well! Wish I could be at Vamp’d, but I’m stuck in the Midwest, but look forward to hearing and seeing all about it! Very cool thing you’re doing w/ the proceeds for your friends family…you
    ARE one of the good guys! Don’t ever stop being YOU!!! Your loyal and humble friend, Debbie

  5. My 17 year old son told me the other day when I asked him, why he did not just buy an album on iTunes, that he prefers to have the actual CD. So even our young generation prefers a tangible object – thought that was good to know. x

  6. Avatar Alissata
    Alissata says:

    I’ve got the same opionion than you concerning buying CDs. I also will going on to do this. At this time I’m exited for yours to come. But until then I hear from the offered download by pledge music. The songs are great and wonderful. I like them very much. – Waiting for more to come ;). Love Alissata

  7. Avatar Annette
    Annette says:

    Congratulation! Borrowing Trouble is a wonderful emotional (s)trip and it very touches me. The intimacy of it reveals a part of your universe and your openness earns a lot of respect. I am deeply impressed by your ‘philosophy of life’. Wish you much fun and success for your release party and hope to enjoy little pieces of it via internet………

    V/

  8. for some reason, i can imagine a raucous version of so scandalous in the next chapter. is that weird? also, i love hideous, gets me. Have an amazing night tonight. im very proud to have been allowed to be apart of this adventure.

  9. Avatar Letícia
    Letícia says:

    Well, beloved Todd

    It doesn´t sound like an heresy hearing from you about your Trekker preferences…
    I suspected this fact considering your nerdie reflections that appears here in this blog.
    When I was a child, never could see Star Wars until this end… Vader and Chewy and Jabba was so scary creatures that all time it passed on tv I coudn´t stay at the same room, so that I used to ran out with dolls, aircrafts or cars and always did something else. By the otherside, never lost one chapter of Star Trek… Spock an Data was my favourites for a long time… Once a time, I painted the Barbies with blue and green ink to have the Orion slaves for the GI Joes that acted like the tripulation of my “Enterprise” made with glue, paper and a cutted plastic bottle. (God! Poor dolls that were permanently damaged… ). Only finished to see the star wars “trilogy” years after this… with these fashion revival promoted by the new /teen/ young actual generation of fans (C´mon! Isn´t it a bigger heresy than yours ?).

    By the way, never before knowing your music I had this kind of identification that now occurs. Listening Borrowing Trouble and Near Life Experience these last days, for so many times tears rolled of my eyes, and smiles scapes from my mouth (and long whispers too)…. some because of lyrics, some because of your voice and expression, some by the perfect simplicity of the whole work… there is no explain for it. Not an unic.

    Wel… some time ago, watching an interview made for “Bowling Columbine” (have you seen it? It´s an amazing Michael Monroe´s film…), Marylin Manson said that when he was a kid growing up, music was the scape, and the only thing that had no judgements… and it could make a person feel better. Years ago Pete Townshend also said something like this in another The Whos´s biographical documentary… Of course the context of their words were significantly different than this one here but, I confess that it helped and openned my eyes and ears for a new dimension of perceptions.

    Taking the appropriate distinctions, I know exactly the devil´s “happy family” that lives in our souls… and admire how you expressed both of your sides with the new records. Both are a precious gems you generously gave us. The contradiction between the cute ukelele arrangement an the warm message impregnated in words of “so scandalous” is a delicious example of this. I don´t know what happened to motivate Arianna´s lyrics, but certainly the forgiven ask came at the right time (better late than never)… God knows how significant to me would be if I had something like this wrote or sang by an specific person… years ago… whatever happened wouldn’t have marked so painful scars… all that whole “incompletude” you reffered. Lucky is the man who never has to confront what he is capable to do. At this point, there is some good reflections described about life by Duff McKagan when he tell us the organization of his daughter´s 13 birthday party at “It´s so eazy” his own biography… certainly he, me and you have had life choices that taught us by the suffering way.

    Some of my sweetest memories of childhood were constructed in long afternoons listening vinils of pink floyd, jean michael jarre, cream, cat stevens, bowie, dire straits, stones, jethro tull, janis joplin, joan jett, johnny cash, the clash, malmsteen, deep purple, scorpions, queen… and jumping a lot at the sofa … and playing guitar with my brother when mom wasn´t looking for us. Well… for this everything we can´t change the pleasure of opening a good album by a simply download on ITunes… There is no money to pay for this kind of magic.

    I´ts hard to have a concept of what´s a birdie, there is something with it´s size. ´Cause an crow can fly just like a canary, but there is no doubt about the fact of the first one being a bird and only the second can be a birdie.

    Birdie can eat at the palm of our hands and take place with his tiny foots in our hand-fingers. But the most important: because it wants to. And If it´s standing in our fingers, we need to know how the situation of it can fly and go away with not turning anymore for us.

    Kisses and hugs
    Your loyal and humble fan.

  10. I try to write something despite my unsatisfactory level of English. Thus, anyone who reads this – good luck and … sorry ;)
    I focus on the most important thing – Your new albums
    I’m really happy that I was able to have them listen and I still do it (over and over again). They are just perfect. Long time I haven’t listened to anything so beautiful and valuable … at least for me .And I can not wait when I have them in the traditional form on a shelf in my room.
    I’m looking forward to your next album.
    And remember how much joy makes us you and your music.
    Good luck in everything

    Much Love
    Kate from PL

  11. light and love always, forever rush, eh… next chapter, a musical adventure, rocking and rolling along… thank you for sharing, see you soon… right… :)