One month into the school year and work has only grown more stressful and soul-sucking than ever before. I see no end in sight. This song represents what my brain feels like every waking hour [that I’m not eating grape pie].
Almost every time I have a truly great day/night/weekend, I fall into a pretty substantial depression in the following days. It’s bad enough to make me consider avoiding enjoyable experiences altogether - the logic being that without the high there may not come the low.
Friday night was no exception; it was one of the best nights of my life and it saw me achieve one of my biggest goals since moving into this house. Now that it’s over, I’m struggling to find anything that is worth looking forward to.
You’re older than you’ve ever been and now you’re even older and now you’re even older and now you’re even older. you’re older than you’ve ever been and now you’re even older, and now you’re older still.
Isn’t it weird how you can hear a song countless times over the course of 14 years and then one crisp and sunny day in September you stop hearing it and instead you actually listen to it and you’re like: “Holy crap!”?
I rolled out of bed around 930am and went over to my computer, just like I would on any other Tuesday. As soon as I signed into AIM, a good friend that lived in midtown Manhattan sent me a message.
Mark in Manhattan:(9:39 AM): JESUS CHRIST TURN ON THE NEWS
Me:(9:40 AM): HOLY GOD
I watched CNN as Aaron Brown struggled to report what was happening.
Mark in Manhattan:(9:47 AM): good god
Mark in Manhattan:(9:48 AM): it's just.. jesus christ.. not the thing you expect to wake up to
Mark in Manhattan:(9:50 AM): we're lucky that there are tall buildings around the towers.. if the planes were able to hit the base those buildings could definitely toppled
Mark in Manhattan:(9:50 AM): I mean there's still a risk now
At 959am, I watched as the south tower collapsed...
Me:(10:00 AM): OH GOD
Me:(10:00 AM): mark...i dont care how far away you are
Me:(10:00 AM): stay safe
Mark in Manhattan:(10:00 AM): I'll try
Mark in Manhattan:(10:00 AM): I've been hearing ambulances and such driving by all morning
...Mark, however, hadn't seen the collapse.
Mark in Manhattan:(10:03 AM): THERE WAS ANOTHER BUILDING THAT JUST LIKE EXPLODED
Me:(10:03 AM): the trade center FELL OVER
Me:(10:03 AM): didnt you see it?
Mark in Manhattan:(10:03 AM): no??
Me:(10:03 AM): yse!
Me:(10:03 AM): the south tower...
Me:(10:03 AM): i need to go...
Mark in Manhattan:(10:04 AM): jesus christ
Mark in Manhattan:(10:04 AM): playu
Mark in Manhattan:(10:04 AM): pkay
Mark in Manhattan:(10:04 AM): okaty
Me:(10:04 AM): i can hardly breathe
Me:(10:04 AM): holy cow
It's weird that technology allows me to go back in time to exact moments. Reading through this log, and the days that follow, I was reminded of the fact that, at the time, I was a mere 21 years old. I was young, largely immature, suburban and coddled.
I don't remember it this way, but the logs don't lie - I was full of fury and anger. I was calling for revenge. I wanted Bin Laden to suffer and I didn't care how many civilians had to die for that to happen. It disgusts me to realize I once felt that way.
The usual suspects? Maybe, maybe not. This song is offered as proof of my theory that Izzy Stradlin was the only part of Guns N’ Roses that really mattered. Slash’s lead guitar chops were nice enough, but guitar players are a dime-a-dozen. Izzy knew how to write a hook. Were there any justice in this world, this song would have been a huge hit.
I’ve never been shy about throwing around my love for Izzy - the man was responsible for many of GNR’s hits - but you’re out of line by lumping Slash into the “dime-a-dozen” pile. Slash is one of the 5 best rock guitarists in history - possessing both the chops and the persona necessary to be a long-lasting icon; you don’t see anyone asking Mick Mars to play with them at the Super Bowl or be featured in a video game.
“next we attempted nadine a couple more times to no avail. finally, on the 11th full take of nadine, we nailed it. the one break before the solo that had been screwing up every previous take came out perfect and no one made any mistakes that were worth redoing the whole song for.”
-Steve’s Yellow #5 recording log - September 3, 2001
I can’t believe it took us 11 takes to get this simple song done right, but that’s what happens when a young band enters a professional studio for the first time and tracks their songs live to ADAT. Overdubs and punch-ins become a last resort and if any one aspect of the song lacks the necessary feeling, the entire take is scrapped and you try it again.
I can tell you the exact night I first met Nadine: May 15, 2001. I was MCing a party at a local record store to celebrate the release of weezer’s green album that night. It was the first and only time I can say I’ve ever had a “love at first sight” kind of experience. I wrote this song just a few days later after we’d hung out for the first time. I’d probably listened to the green album 25 times over the course of those few days and clearly this song was inspired by the mood of that album.
All the stars seemed to be aligning for me, but unfortunately she never felt the same way. Flash forward exactly 10 years - Nadine’s wedding took place on May 14, 2011. They’re an infinitely better couple than she and I ever would have been and I offer my full congratulations to both of them.
Moral of the story: writing a song for a girl you really like rarely works out in your favor romantically, but at least sometimes you’ll still end up with a pretty good song.
Naturally, not everyone will necessarily support Bazan’s new outlook, as illustrated during a recent show in Portland, Oregon: “Someone (there) asked me, ‘Are you a Christian?’ and I replied, ‘No.’ They said, ‘That’s okay, we like you, and we’re praying for you.’”
Despite the fan’s verbal support, Bazan was convinced it was delivered with disdain. “The way they said it was really condescending. I began a song, but it started steaming inside me, and I thought, ‘You know what? Fuck those people,’” he recalls. “After the song, I said, ‘I’m not, like, trying to be a dick, but fuck you guys for assuming that you’re right and I’m wrong and that I’m the one who needs to change my thinking.’ I realize that’s part of the program, but it’s shitty to say aloud.”