Deadsplinter Up! All Night: Addiction

When Jane’s Addiction first came out, many of my metal friends didn’t get it and neither did many of the traditional rockers.  The surfers got it and even though I didn’t know at the time that Perry Farrell was a surfer, his songs fired me up to surf.  I may get heat for this but their music made me feel like they were our generation’s Zep.   Big wave surfing takes as much mental preparation as physical training and nothing helps get into the right state of mind better than music.  The Nothings Shocking album dominated my cd player on trips to the north shore for big waves.  We would fire up a joint as the car left the last town before the country and as we got to the top of the hill that gave us our first glimpse of the giant rollers coming in with the first sun we would start the cd (Up the Beach was the first track).  By the time we got close enough to really tell how big the waves were, Ocean Size was playing.  As we rolled past our first beach, Mountain Song was blasting.  To this day, this is my “go to” song when I need to get fired up to surf or snowboard. 

When word first got out that they were coming to town we knew we had to see them, the Ritual de lo Habitual album had just come out and most of my friends got tickets for both nights, I could only afford to go the first night.  The night of the concert we were prefunking in the parking lot when some friends came by and joined us.  One of them said, “did you hear Chris saved the lead singer from drowning today at Free Hawaii?”  Free Hawaii is what we called a very scary surf spot that you literally have to crawl across rocks to get in and out of the water and time it perfectly not to get seriously hurt. Everyone was shocked and listened to the story that ended in “he got free tickets for both shows!” The concert was everything expected and an amazing show though Perry was a little less animated than these videos.  The day after the second show I called a friend who went and he said, “dude, you missed out!  Perry did the entire show naked!  The cops were too afraid of the crowd to stop the show, it was crazy!”  The day after this show, Perry checked into rehab for his heroin addiction.



    • Such a sad song.
      I have an older colleague who filled me in as to the meaning of Neil’s initial line “I caught you knocking on my Cellar Door”.
      My colleague worked in D.C. for many years, and there was a popular music/night club called The Cellar Door. It was a bit seedy, and every time Neil played there his bandmate’s dealer would come knocking on the “Cellar Door” to bring him his fix.
      Apparently, his bandmate died of an overdose and he is one of the friends that Neil is singing about in the song.

  1. On Monday, The Allman Brothers, along with some alumni, played a show at Madison Square Garden to mark the 50th anniversary of the band. It’s been difficult to find some really good footage of the show, but this clip of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks playing “Melissa” is pretty good.

    The ABB roots always ran deep, and you can see Derek’s little brother, Duane (named after Duane Allman) on the drums. Duane is normally the drummer for Widespread Panic. Derek and Duane’s father was founding member Butch Trucks’ brother. Derek and Duane are also the great nephew of long time baseball pitcher Virgil “Fire” Trucks. And of course, Derek was named after Derek and the Dominos. Is everyone clear on all of that ???

  2. So, people have shared a lot on DUAN. I guess it’s my turn. I had a serious drug problem for many years. I never really understood how my addiction affected the people around me. I had a guy friend who worried about me all the time. He may have had a bit of a crush on me, his father told me he did, but I was such a mess I have no idea why he would have. He used to tell me he was afraid I was going to die. He tried to be there for me but like all junkies nothing was as important to me as feeding my addiction. I was so selfish, I didn’t care how much I hurt him. The more he tried to help me the more I pulled away from him. Years later, when I was finally clean, I heard this song and it shook me up. It could have been written about us.

    The Hold Steady – Lord I’m Discouraged

    • Wow, that sounds so familiar. Alcohol was my cup of tea. Once, a girlfriend was yelling at me over my latest selfish move, and she asked me why I did what I did even though I knew it would hurt her. I looked at her a little quizzically, and then I realized what she was saying. My answer was as follows: “I don’t think you understand. You never entered into the equation. I wanted to do it so I did it.” Then it was her turn to look at me like I was crazy (because, of course, I was).

      Very happy that you found your way out. Most of us never do.

      • I understand that way of thinking. At the time my most important relationship was with the pipe, everyone else was either an impediment to or a facilitator of that relationship. It’s hard to admit that but I’m trying to be honest with myself about who I was. There were extenuating circumstances, I was self medicating but that doesn’t absolve me of hurting others. You and myo have both helped me open up. I worry that people will reject me when they know about my past, but pretending to be someone I never was is painful and unhealthy. I owe you both.
        I’m often shocked that I’m still alive and so far removed from who I used to be. A lot of people I hung around with aren’t walking this earth anymore. I guess I’m just lucky.

        • To be sure, I’m pretty judicious these days about who I talk with about these things because most people simply can’t understand. They’ve either been fortunate enough not to experience my problem or they’ve got a problem of their own which I can’t understand. So I generally tend to stick with talking to other drunks about this stuff. Once upon a time I would talk about it openly to anyone within earshot which…didn’t work so well. As with most things I had to learn the hard way. Only within the past few months have I started opening up about being a survivor of domestic violence because almost nobody can understand. I’ve only just started talking to my alcoholic friends about it and I’ve known them for 29 years. Writing about it online is only possible because of the anonymity it confers.

          All that’s to say that I think your opening up is a good thing—just Show some discretion. Sometimes we can get too comfortable talking about it and wind up opening our yaps in the wrong place.

          You are lucky indeed.

  3. …because under the bridge or brown sugar seemed too obvious?

    …so we’ll call that the addiction effort…& as for the surfing…I hear out with those big waves is where you find the pipeline?

  4. I doubt it’s of much use for surfing, but deep empathy of “Ripchord” always moved me — finding out the song was written about Elliott Smith makes the struggle and loss hit even harder.

  5. I was addicted to cigarettes for a long time. That was my vice and a compulsion to cope with my depression and anxiety. It was a strange sort of peace at times, this was my me time, and I’d shut out the world. It was difficult to quit for the longest time because smoking was how I made friends, outside of bars, shows, clubs, wherever. I’ve quit for good in the last year or so. It didn’t bring that same feeling that it used to when I was younger and that’s probably a good thing.

    Alkaline Trio – This Addiction

  6. I picked up a heavy habit when I was in grad school at Columbia. I lived in Harlem and would cop there, thinking it was all a cool Lou Reed thing. It was not. I lost a decade and a half and only escaped with my life because I’m very very lucky. All these years later, I have no idea why I survived, but I’m glad I did.

    And to cheer you up, here’s a little B.J.

  7. …so, one way or another now that I’ve read more of these this evening I feel like that eminem tune is a trifle frivolous for the company it’s keeping?

    …at the time I’d sort of figured I wasn’t going to remember the song on the edge of memory but since I have now & it’s arguably more appropriate

Leave a Reply