Shatner, Courtney, Ginger, Affleck, Conspirators, Sinners and Rebels

August 26 2013
The Fortress Of Solitude, North Pole

Just woke up to a video of a dude named Ohyn from the UK playing my song, Nothing Personal, on Twitter. It’s a bizarre thing hearing something you came up with being reinterpreted. Thank you so much, Ohyn. That is a great honor. I’m honored that anyone likes anything I do enough to even spend time listening let alone taking the time to learn the words and chords. Music is a fascinating thing that way. You can go to the other side of the world and share nothing in common with a person but music. I suppose that’s true of someone down your own block. You could be politically diametrically opposed but realize you both love AC/DC. Maybe the Middle East needs more Rock N Roll. What would there be to fight about once both sides of that coin discover The Ramones?

It has been about a month since the last show of the Apocalyptic Love tour which ended at Las Vegas’ House Of Blues. An epic night as I’ve mentioned before. Since then I’ve been to Canada, to Vegas, to LA and all points between. Very necessary for the brain to find other things to focus on. I’ve been going through my old blogs with the intention to compile them for a book. A lot of it has been a trip cuz it all seems like just yesterday. The past three and a half years have blown by so fast that the passage of time goes largely unnoticed.
This very passage I’m writing here will probably end up in the book. The follow up book will begin with the making of the next album.

Fitzy and I took in a Star Trek convention which we will do on occasion. I’ve explained in the past how much I love the world of Gene Roddenberry. It was an amazing day as a lady simply came and brought us backstage to meet William Shatner. Of course, Shatner is the biggest of the big within the Star Trek world. Sure you may dig Nimoy or Patrick Stewart more but Shatner is the Elvis, Mohammed and Ghandi of Star Trek.

Just before Bill took the stage to do his thing he came over and shook our hands. The man is a dynamo. He is constantly moving. I will never have his energy. I don’t have it now.
It was an extremely big deal for me. He has been a hero since I was a little boy. Another hero checked off my list. Life is funny.

My dear friend, Ginger Wildheart, is another human dynamo. He is constantly moving like a great white shark. Just as he releases a cd he has another one coming down the pipeline or he’s on tour with his solo band or he has reunited The Wildhearts for a series of shows or, out of nowhere, he’s playing guitar for Courtney Love. I’m convinced he has clones. I’m thinking at least 2 clones to maintain this workload. I think they are all wired to one another because they all retain the same memories. Whether with a close or the original copy he is never anything but gracious.

His manager, the amazing Gav McCaughey, contacted me and said that Ginger would be in Vegas with Courtney later in August so I was more than prepared to come watch the show. I have long been a supporter of the whirlwind known as Courtney Love. A lot of people never got it but I thought that Live Through This was one of the strongest albums of the 90s. She has one of those voices that can go from very delicate to tearing the skin from your face. I was there through Celebrity Skin and through the solo album, America’s Sweetheart, and on to the most recent Hole album, Nobody’s Daughter.

While her erratic behavior seemed to scare people away it, for some reason, just drew me in even more. She really is one of the last rock stars that way. It doesn’t seem an act to me like drunk kids breaking a lamp in their luxury suite. Oh no! No, I get the impression that Courtney’s behavior is so much more damaging. Probably at the risk of herself and those she cares about. But she’s a big girl and she, like all of us, is accountable for her own actions.

I’m disappointed that she felt the need to attach the name Hole to her last album without anyone from the band included. It’s a Billy Corgan move to simply replace everyone and carry on with the name that has more value than as a solo artist. People tried to make me do that with The Age Of Electric back in the day. I wasn’t having any of it.
If Courtney wants it to be Hole she should call up Eric and make it happen. I’d be there. I think a lot of people would.

But anyway…Courtney has a proper solo band and our old pal, Ginger, is playing guitar for her. How this came about is beyond me. I don’t know where the connection came from or how it all fell into place. I just came in midstream and enjoy the ride.
Gav wrote me and said that the opening act has fallen through and Ginger is going to open the show doing his songs acoustically and would I like to join him. Ginger does acoustic shows in England and there are like 5 or 6 guys on stage playing his songs. It’s funny. It turns into a hippy commune of Ginger-dom.

I, of course, am an invested enthusiast and know a giant chunk of Ginger’s music. Gave knows me so well. I’m the guy to call in this situation. So what started out as coming up and playing a song or two turned into doing the whole set together.

What a blast. I did both nights at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Casino. Got to meet Miss Courtney and played Ginger music. The first night I wore a Bloody Villains tee shirt. Bloody Villains was my dearly departed friend, Greg Verdusco’s band. He was a huge Ginger fan so I wanted to share that with him. Beyond that Ginger and I played Answering Machine by The Replacements which was Greg’s favorite band so it all felt very apropos.

Speaking of which The Replacements played their first show in twenty some years in Toronto yesterday. What a trip. This is yet another thing that Greg would have loved. It seems so bizarre for this to happen when Greg isn’t here to see it. I have a feeling he is more than aware of it, might even have had something to do with it happening from the great beyond. Anchorman 2 is another thing he is missing that would have meant the world to him. Star Wars Episodes 7, 8, 9 too.

At any rate he was with me in my heart and on my mind.
Always a blast playing with Ginger. That friendship will sprout something someday. The two of us vibrate at very similar frequencies or at least our frequencies accommodate one another very well.

On Saturday I sang on the upcoming covers album for the Sinners. I sang Search And Destroy by The Stooges which is a song we actually did back in the Dive Bar days. It was a good day. I have traveled the universe and back but these guys will always be family. I may not be around enough to play Vegas but the Sinners will always be around.
I need no rehearsal. I know Search And Destroy like the back of my hand. I simply walked in and sang. I was out in minimal time. Zach and I sang some harmonies for the impending Sinners Christmas 2. Good fun.

There has been much talk of Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman. Must be a slow news week. I love how passionate we are about a fictional character. It really is fascinating. I don’t really know how I feel about Ben as Batman. I mean I definitely wasn’t feeling the Ben of old. The Bennifer days were insufferable. Slowly he began redeeming himself with The Town or eventually Argo. I would have preferred a relative unknown a la Henry Cavill but then again I do remember some people being weird about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker.
I’m not defending this move. I understand Warner Brothers safe betting on a proven star but I don’t know that it was the best. Christian Bale was and is a proven avant garde actor. A proper ‘actor’. When he steps into a role he seems to become the character where Ben tends to be Ben in whatever he plays.

That said, it is a comic book. Christopher Nolan was such a rare gem. He took the Batman franchise exactly where it needed to go. Now that he is gone we are left to the danger of Joel Schumacher-isms. We cross our fingers and hope for the best.

I don’t know why but Marvel just seems to get it more. To make smarter moves. Taking a wild bet on the comeback of Robert Downey Jr or casting relative unknowns like Chris Hemsworth or the tried and true Chris Evans seemed all genius moves but they are all rolls of the dice that may or may not pay off. The Avengers can do no wrong it would seem. I thought Iron Man 3 wasn’t the strongest but it did mega numbers. A lot of that has to be attributed to the charisma of Downey.

Someday I’ll look back at this blog and by then I’ll know how that all worked out. People think Affleck would freak out at all the negative press but that giant check from Warner softens that blow just fine. Warner also loves all this free press negative or not. It does nothing but attract attention to a project that all of us are going to see anyway. Complain or not we are going to see it. It’s that simple.
See you in the summer of 2015 Ben Affleck/Batman. Star Wars Episode 7 is going to be the stiffest competition imaginable.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing Borrowing Trouble and Near Life Experience arriving for everyone. It has taken entirely too long but it is finally making its way into the hands and ears of all the people who made it possible. As always my only hope is that you enjoy it and get something out of it. As I watch Ginger crank out cd after cd after cd it awakens a part of me that wants to dig in all over again and crank bust out another one for you. But it is important to me to let Borrowing Trouble have it’s time to take seed and grow on its own before making that next step. That will definitely happen but not until 2015 or so. For now I have the next Conspirators album to focus on!
The vinyl is still on its way. Again, I blame my intense sense of perfection but I want it to be right for your ears and eyes. It’s coming. Nothing cooler than you receiving your discs and then the vinyl following shortly thereafter. Can’t wait to get that to you. I appreciate your continued patience. Coming soon!

The show at Vamp’d in Las Vegas is exactly one week away now. I’m starting to get very excited to play again. It will be exactly three months since the last Borrowing Trouble show and about 5 or 6 weeks since the last Conspirators show. That’s a long time to be off stage. Especially for me. Luckily my pal, Ginger, had me up for a couple of nights to feed the monster inside of me.

For the show you can expect some of the same and a whole lot of new since the last show. There will be The Underground Rebels opening. There will be Conspirators and Sinners on stage. I plan to play a lot of songs that did not get played last time including most of Borrowing Trouble and a mix of other songs that I can’t believe I didn’t play last time. In a funny way I feel much more confident about this show as the music has been floating around out there for a little longer. It’s more familiar to everyone and can be enjoyed all the more.

The last show was one of the most magical nights of my career and this one promises to be equally so. If not more so.
The show is being recorded so I’m encouraging everyone to sing at the top of their lungs and have themselves immortalized on future live releases. I plan to keep the momentum of music moving forward ‘til the end of time now.

I have every intention of bringing this show beyond the great city of Las Vegas. There are plans falling into place that are too premature to get into but I hope to bring this music as far as I can. More on that as it develops. It’s gonna be a blast. Music is a beautiful thing. A song written one day can live on and become something totally different ten years later. Look at a song like It’s Not You It’s Me.

Speaking of which 2014 is the 10 year anniversary of Go Time! and I am working on releasing a special edition next year. There are also plans to release a special package of the Static In Stereo cd. There is a full album’s worth of material for Go Time! to get out there and probably as much SIS stuff too. Music never dies. It lives long after the person who created it. Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, their music keeps going and going and going. I hope to be a fraction as lucky as them to have my music floating around out there long after I’m gone.

I think I’ve yakked enough here. So just to reiterate- Shatner, Courtney, Ginger, Sinners, Affleck, book, Go Time! Reissue, SIS reissue and… Borrowing Trouble!
Most importantly and immediate another celebration at Vamp’d on Labor Day Monday September 2nd with The Conspirators, Sin City Sinners and The Underground Rebels plus a few surprises. I’m super stoked.
I really hope to see you there. Please come say HI!

Your loyal and humble servant
Todd Dammit

6 Responses to Shatner, Courtney, Ginger, Affleck, Conspirators, Sinners and Rebels

  1. Avatar Janette Martin
    Janette Martin says:

    See you in a week! SO EXCITED!!!

  2. Hey. You know what?

    Love, Courtney
    Love, Eric (he just plays like he’s painting, doesn’t he? It’s all colors)

    Glad you are enjoying yourself with your other life and friends :)

  3. Avatar Adrián Pérez
    Adrián Pérez says:

    Good luck in you next presentation! And also tanks for share whit us your life ans experiences.
    Come to México.

  4. You’re such an exceptional writer Todd, and your writing style is so likeable and unselfconscious, I am over the moon excited that these blogs will be made into book(s)! Aside from being a very witty and entertaining diary of your life and your travels with Slash and company, which we fans certainly appreciate, this blog broadcasts a vital message that sort of inadvertently eclipses the memoir aspect of it all. I’ve turned everyone I know who loves music (everyone) on to it because between the lines you are chronicling a time when music, or the construct of it, is and has been changing so rapidly and dramatically. Your candor and eye of the storm observations capture the uncertainty and upheaval that everyone, fans and musicians alike, have been feeling for some time. Through it all your underlying message rings clear, buzzing like a relentless current through every new entry: the spirit of Rock is not just alive, but indestructible. It goes without saying that I am a huge fan of your music, but I love your blog almost as much. Almost. Anyway, thanks for that and thanks for the last three and a half years of your life, up close and personal. It’s been a gift.

  5. We all need more Rock’n Roll!!! Because music cannot only connect people with each other but also show us beautiful things beyond of hate, violence and ignorance. I am sure that also applies for the people of the Middle East. But unfortunately their religions are getting misused for political purposes. I believe religion can connect people with each other like music does. It could be so easy if we all would take this possibility into consideration…
    The CD’s have finally arrived and are just perfect. For me it was very instructive to look at this from a whole other perspective as I usually do and to be part of it makes the result all the more valuable. I am ready for the next one …:)

  6. glad it was a good summer, and i total agree about music, what a better place the world would be if only… :) i will come say hi when you are in vancouver, or surrounding areas, and famous last words… “I wont go before my time, I’m brand spanking new” yes you are… Always… :)