Getting Out Of The Ring

People write in, they say you don’t write blogs like you used to. You don’t get into the personal stuff, the fucked up shit, the brain pain. The stuff you used to write like no one was paying attention. You know, the real thing.

And I say, hey, I’m still here. The world is still sitting on my chest, shoving its dick in my mouth, same as anybody. But if you’re lucky, you don’t die, you get older and you learn something. It’s all about change. Change your mind, change your diet, change your pants. Change your way of thinking. Maybe it can’t be done but it’s good to try. In fact, it’s vital you try. For the good of your own soul. Or what’s left of it. So you lost your shit and went crazy. So what? Did you come back? Did you even try?

Well, I’m trying now. Just watch me.

So the two things that have occupied my thoughts a great deal so far this year are all to do with change. All to do with the serpent that swallows its own tail. Circle of life. Flat line of death. Returned, reborn, released.

Or re-relased. Lemmy going was a game-changer for me. Oh, we knew he was on the way. Well on the way. Why did they keep him out there? Because he wanted to die with his boots on. One thing about Lemmy, he loved those white boots and he wasn’t taking them off for anybody. Unless it was because he had his cowboy boots ready to change into.

Then when Bowie went I cried. Only a little blub. Grown man blub. Quiet, like, when no one could see. And I knew I was blubbing for me as much as for him. Maybe more. Lemmy should have been dead 20 years ago. But that bastard wasn’t having it. He liked to look death in the eye and growl at it. Dare death to take another step forward, even as it swooped down to devour him. Bowie was already immortal. He had also just released his best album since Low and Heroes. You just didn’t see it coming.

Anyway… it makes you think, right? Or think even more. You can’t know life until you know death. I’m a father and a husband. Sometimes even a good one. But you have to think hard every single hour.

Guns N’ Roses reforming has also had an effect on me. This time wholly unexpected. I find myself cheering them on. Yet every time I show some sign of support here or on my official FB page and etc, some smart cunt pipes up about me either being ‘back on the payroll’, or how I’m simply angling to get in Axl’s good books. And it wearies me. Yet what gets me more is I know what they’re talking about. They are not right but I get it.

Of course some people feel like that. Most of them weren’t even alive when I knew Guns N’ Roses. But they’ve heard the song, they’ve read the book, what other conclusion could they draw? Well, I can’t speak for the song. I never lied, or ripped off the kids or any of that, but come on man what a song. The best putdown song since Dylan’s ‘Positively Fourth Street’ or Lennon’s ‘How Do You Sleep?’.

As for the book, the biog I wrote on Axl, over 10 years ago now, that I can do something about. It’s not that the facts are all wrong or any of that. But the spirit is mean, disgruntled, unworthy. I’m sorry I wrote it. Sorry I wasn’t man enough to see the bigger picture. Sorry I squeezed all of the peace, love and understanding out of the book. I’d just had a heart attack, was angry at the world, thought I was about to check out and rather than reach for the light, I blew out the candles then sat there in the dark mouldering.

I’m not like that anymore.

So here’s what I’m going to do. The original Axl book is long out of print. The story didn’t even get as far as Chinese Democracy being released – a far greater album than anything any of the others have released since 1993, and I like some of their shit. So you can still Google and find it somewhere going for a penny plus postage. But the updated ebook version which came out later and has been available to buy through my own website pages, that is now gone.

I was talking to an old friend about this at lunch the other day. He is also now a father. Asked me how I’d feel if someone wrote unflinchingly about the years when I lost my shit? Oh, I could have said, well, I beat them to it with Paranoid and Getcha Rocks Off, but that just isn’t true. The really horrible stuff I’m still too fucked up to tackle because I’m still struggling to know how to say it out loud, even to myself. The truth is it hurts when someone drives nails into your hands. And it never stops hurting.

I don’t want to be the guy with the hammer anymore. Life really is too short, as Lemmy and David proved.

So goodbye W.A.R. It sure wasn’t fun writing you, I doubt it was much fun reading you, and you know what, it’s time to get you out of the fucking ring once and for all.

Meanwhile, back in the world of sunlight and song, I can’t wait to see what Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses do next. They are the last of the giants and I am a fan.

6 thoughts on “Getting Out Of The Ring

  1. Regarding the cunts, well they always were cunts and always shall be. For someone who bought W.A.R several times for himself and gave it as a present, I understand why youre not selling it any more. If anything, W.A.R showed how much you cared about the band (and Axl himself) that you felt so angry and bitter about what happened. Jesus Christ, any one of us would have so dont be too hard on yourself. In fact, if you were after a heart attack, venting i.e. literally getting that off your chest might have been the ONLY thing you could have done. It would take a real cunt not to see that, linking back nicely to the first sentence 🙂

  2. Hi Mick
    There’s not many people out there who would take back whats said, even fewer in the journo business who would take back what could be, if marketed right, a good earner. Respect, as the youth of today would say (Don’t get me on to “My Bad”!)
    Life is too short, I thought that the other day, when I splashed out on a new book. Sod buying all those second hand ones, treat yourself for once! The new Lemmy book is on it’s way!(It better be good!!)

  3. Great post. Yeah, it’s been a tough year for those of us connected to the world of Rock through fandom, way, way more so if your lives were entwined with those that have gone, be it friend or relative. Like you I’ve got a young family, started relatively late in life and you can’t help but wonder what’s round the corner, how much of their lives you will actually see, whether they’ll have their own Bowie or Lemmy or even bother with the old ones.

    Good ol’ GN’R. The inevitable opinions are split between the interesting, the petty and the pointless – now with added AC/DC. I’m old enough to remember Guns from back then, buying the records on import, going to the club gigs blah, blah, the horror of Donington and I truly think they lost something when they got rid of Adler and later Izzy. Some will say they gained a bit more. Opinions, eh? So, yeah, I’m a “sad cunt” for making sarky comments on facebook but I kinda cared about how bad those clips looked and sounded and was surprised that they could be defended, “Riff Raff” in particular. But what can you do? As much as complaining that it’s the promoters and lawyers calling all the shots cancelling a tour probably isn’t an option. Too many people, not just those on stage, taking home a much needed pay packet.

    Anyway, Rock On, as they say. I’ll be buying the Lemmy book like I’ve bought most of the others (I’m not into Reed, Doors or Foo’s enough for those yet but I did buy “WAR” retrospectively so that I had a then “full set” of Mick Wall hardbacks on my bookcase. Ultimately, after all, I’m a fan).

  4. Good on yer Mick! I’m amazed, and then, not amazed, at the vitriol heaped on the genuine RNR mad, fucked up, soulful, beautiful, ugly (not looks), getting almost normal, wonderful star that Axl is! He’s a precious jewel in a fuckin sandbox of mica, and thank Christ he’s playing with some of ‘them’ again. Hope Izz shows up, and Adler. Especially Izz though. Love ’em…

  5. Agree with the other posters in that I wouldn’t beat yourself up too much about what you wrote all those years ago. It’s a reflection of how things were at that moment in time, that’s all. Maybe the culmination of years of soaking up the self-absorbed bullshit of the rich and famous and dishing it back for a change. And when the pompous and precious make their inevitable writhing protests – it’s only to be expected, move on.

    As for the Lemmy book, I’m not only gonna obtain the Kindle version, my preferred medium, but will purchase the hard copy as well, which my missus prefers. How rakish is that?

    • Rakish and honourable and very much appreciated. Would you give it an Amazon review too please? I don’t ask much… 🙂

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