[Re: James Mann’s review of Iggy Pop’s Avenue B , Winter 1999 online edition]: Please don’t call Iggy “the Dick Clark of rock n’ roll.” It made me sick.
James Mann replies: I apologize if I caused any confusion by referring to Iggy Pop as the “Dick Clark of rock and roll.” It was only in reference to each man’s seeming agelessness, not a comparison of worth. Dick Clark, of course, is a soul-dead hack, completely out of touch with this, or any other planet. Iggy Pop, on the other hand, is the baddest motherfucker to have ever trod a stage. Although his last record blew, I’d still crawl a mile on broken glass, smeared in peanut butter, to hear him sing.
This was my first time reading and checking out your site, and you guys can EAT A DICK!!! Your Crazy Town review [Live Ink, Winter 1999] was obviously written by somebody that had Jonathan Davis’ dick in his mouth while tickling Fred Durst’s asshole. For one, they are good friends of Korn. Second, Durst had tried to sign them to his label, but they held out for Columbia. Third, everybody should know “Only When I’m Drunk,” because it is the rock rendition of their friends, the Alkaholiks. Get some real people that can write an honest concert review, not just some lame fuck who worships his favorite band and can’t accept somebody new entering the scene and tearing shit up. They sound like Korn and Limp Bizkit — please, Limp isn’t even close to as hard as Crazy Town.
Andrea Thompson replies: I think you failed to read between the lines — or maybe you had someone read it to you. Don’t know whose cheerleader you are, but your response to the review was way off the mark. I thought Crazy Town was a good band, they were just opening for the wrong act [Buckcherry]. What you need to realize, my colorful friend, is that everything is subjective, and I hold no torch for Limp Bizkit or Korn. They are, however, great at what they do. Any comparison that was made should’ve been taken with a grain of salt, and obviously, a shot of very strong liquor to calm you down. I’m sure Crazy Town will find success — they’re aggressive, in your face, and do hold an unmistakable appeal. Plus, with fans like you on their side, the rest is just gravy.
[Re: “This World Was Never Meant for One as Beautiful as You,” March 1999 Features]: I can’t thank you enough for such an insightful article. I have been bipolar for as long as I can remember. Granted, much of my childhood is either blank or blurry until late middle school. What I do remember is usually negative, involving punishment, disappointment, and violence towards others. I didn’t begin any kind of psychiatric help until the middle of high school, when my subsequent violence, bad grades, and covert drug use were too much for my poor family to handle. They had never seen anything like this before. My grandfather was an alcoholic, my mother is hard as nails, but no one had ever seen the blatant disregard for life as I was showing, both my own life and the lives of others. I had slipped from one of the smartest and most creative to an after school special gone horribly awry.
I’ve taken a lot of different medications for my disorder. It isn’t as bad as Lee Ann’s, or dear Tristan anymore. Having been a heroin addict by age 13, I developed a strong desire to get out of the pit on my own. In my mind, I see no difference between the smack and the prescriptions; both are chemicals that control my emotions, and I turn into one of the Erinyes without my fix. Avoiding addiction of any kind is an ongoing battle, and when I have “issues,” I remind myself of the chemical alternative.
I am now 23, and have often wished I could put into words how this feels: what my mind is thinking, how much I want to get off the rollercoaster no matter how good it feels, because I know the better it feels, the harder I’m going to crash. My father is a pharmacist who understands the chemical side, my sister is intensely logical but has listened enough to begin to understand how erratic this illness can be at times. My mother, however, has never been able to understand, no matter how much she wanted, or asked, or researched. I am a firm believer that this is because she harbours a bit of it herself, although not nearly to my extreme. After giving this article to her, we sat and had a long talk about where I’ve been, and what I’ve done, and how I’ve survived, especially without drugs of any kind. It has re-sparked her interest in understanding, and put the situation into new terms from a mother’s eyes to help me. She has also begun to recognize bits and pieces of herself in my stories.
This is not an easy road for anyone with this type of illness, no matter what the varying degree. I’m light years away from the time when I had daily episodes like Tristan, and each day I step away from the last episode I had when I had to be restrained. We learn to breathe and we learn to leave the room. There are still days when I sit in the bathroom and shake, but I make it to fight another day. The only thing we can have is self-reliance, and the support of loved ones when our strength is gone. Thanks to Lee Ann’s intense and god-sent article, one of my most important supporters has been able to get a little closer.
Julio Diaz responds: Unfortunately, we haven’t heard from Lee Ann Leech, who wrote the article, in a while, and weren’t able to reach her for a response (Lee Ann, if you’re reading this, please get in touch!), but I’m sure she would thank you for your heartfelt and moving letter. It is indeed a wonderful thing to hear that something we published has moved you so deeply, and had such a positive effect on your life. We often forget that this little magazine we publish can have such an effect on people; hearing from you helped bring that back into focus for all of us. We wish you all the best, Jeanne.