Wednesday, December 31, 2008

it's not as much fun to pick up the pieces

this has been a bad year for me. it is ending poorly. there is no escaping that. no spinning it into something more positive.

toward the end, i got my ass kicked so righteously, so excellently, i've had to relearn how to walk.

the last few weeks have been a time for heavy soul-searching. never fun. the enemy of fun. i have some deep regrets over many things this year. hard to make peace with myself. hard to stop thinking about all the things that went wrong.

but i am trying to let go.

i have got a lot i need to do in the new year.

light a candle.

Monday, December 29, 2008

i fucked up

sunday was simply awful.

felt like i was improving. the black thoughts seemed like they were starting to lift. they'd been less paralytic over a succession of days.

and then sunday. hated sunday.

all the poison came rushing back.

i do not like writing these blog entries knowing that most people who read them aren't going to get it. some might write me off as cracked, pathetic, or crying out for some kind of pity party.

but sometimes, this blog is only for me and what i need to vent about.

i am sick. i hate being here. i hate thinking these thoughts. i hate beating myself up. i hate destroying myself. i know this wasn't my fault. i just can't stop the war in me...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

scorched earth

thinking about it, talking about it, writing about it, trying to avoid it completely, beating myself up while simultaneously trying to make peace with myself. my fucking life has turned into some interminable, overwrought scene from Magnolia.

it doesn't make sense and i wanna turn it off.

if money weren't an issue, i'd travel.

well, if money weren't an issue, i'd buy a huge brownstone. but i'd also travel. go somewhere that's not so utterly tainted for a while. if i didn't have to worry about money, i'd escape for a good, long stretch.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

to hell

ask yourself: is there anything more profoundly sad than checking Misanthropy Central on Christmas day?

watched my screener of Benjamin Button on xmas eve. just to have seen it a little before the public. the horrible, horrible public.

haven't watched many movies lately. any hint of romance is a rusty blade wrenched in the gutty-wutts. the mildest representation of affection is a slap in the face. a kiss. hands held. just fucking kill me.

the war with myself is a cold one. heart & mind. mutually assured destruction.

24 hours of A Christmas Story...

did you get everything you want?

yeah... almost.

"almost", huh?
yeah... that's life.
well, there's always next christmas...

ralphie, appropriately, is not consoled by this. the future is little consolation. getting what you want next christmas is not a consoling thought.

getting what you want precisely when you most want/need it. that means the world. it makes all the difference in the world.

and then, of course, ralphie ends up getting what he wants for christmas. what he's been pining for the entire length of the movie:


i could use a gun right now...

"Oh, there goes Malice being Malice again! THAT'S SO MALICE! Play us the hits, Malice!"

i could use some peace. a sustained sense of peace.

no one to talk to without a co-pay. i am profoundly alone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

writing on the wall

but i don't want to know it now
cause knowing you
it won't change a damn thing...
... but


Xmas Eve. Rottenest Xmas Eve in a good long while. Which is saying a lot.

When you can't sleep, the lonely world gets magnified. My neighbor's alarm goes off a few minutes before 7am. S/he hits "snooze" between 6-7 times up until 7:40am.

I am dying but I am getting stronger.

What doesn't kill us makes us more misanthropic.

Don't call this a comeback.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the journey from abandonment to healing

excerpts from susan anderson's "The Journey from Abandonment to Healing"

pg. 34
"For some, suicidal feelings, while not to be acted upon, can serve a purpose. They can help to shore up your ego during this stage. The idea that we could end the pain if we wanted to restores a sense of control that we have temporarily lost..."

pg. 36
"Many of these uncomfortable and unsettling sensations respond to the effects of a well-known drug—one that is legal and readily available—alcohol. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can dampen tensions and the edginess you feel. Even the most moderate of drinkers tend to overmedicate with alcohol to help themselves fall asleep or relax..."

pg. 71
"... The more time that passes, the longer your needs go unmet, the more your body and mind ache for all that you've lost. No matter how hard people try to hold themselves together, a profound sense of loss intrudes on every waking moment.

"The effects of withdrawal are cumulative and wavelike. They often have to get worse before they can get better, a point lost on friends who expect to see your desperation dissipate, not mount day after day."

pg. 74
"Even if a relationship had only been a date or two, your hopes for the future and your need for love were invested in that person. When hopes don't materialize, your disappointment can be profound; it puts you right back where you were before: alone. Your sense of loss may be no less painful than if you had been married for many years."

pg. 124
"Society, unfortunately, does not assign bereavement roles when someone is abandoned. There is no funeral, there are no letters of sympathy. Rather, you are seen as someone who has been dumped.

"Abandonment survivors are left to wonder if perhaps they caused their own problems. Maybe it was their fault the relationship ended, perhaps they shouldn't feel such pain, perhaps it's a sign of emotional weakness. These self-recriminations add another layer of shame, forcing us farther into emotional exile."

Monday, December 22, 2008

sustained sense of peace

sunday. forced myself to step out onto the gray/ drizzly/ wintry city streets to head to barnes & nobles to try to pick up ANOTHER book that was recommended to me. this recommendation, from someone on an online support group.

on the walk, negotiating the disgusting icy-gray pools of melted snow collected along street corners, i had another one of my epiphanies. thought about writing the words down, but i didn't feel like going to the trouble. so i just kept repeating one of the key phrases to myself:

"a sustained sense of peace"

for 30 blocks. saying it to myself like a mantra. muttering it under my breath. sustained sense of peace. that's what i'm after. that's what i've been after.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

peace of mind

i haven't been well.

i wept in front of my mother yesterday. she came to the city to have lunch with me. she noted that i had barely eaten anything at lunch. i told her my appetite has been low. and then i broke down and cried.

i didn't cry in front of her when my wife walked out on me. i don't remember the last time i wept in front of my mother. i've always tried to shield her from my pain.

i was too weak and tired to put on the act. i couldn't pretend that i was fine.

i feel gutted. physically and emotionally. trying to get on my feet again. trying to take care of myself.

the weather is not good for me right now. the cold and the gray and the wet messy streets. it pains me. it just makes things worse.

i need to get stronger. i need to hit the ground running in the new year. i need to find some success in the new year.

i just need some peace of mind. just a good stretch of peace. i'm falling apart too much. 2008 was such a troublesome year for me, in hindsight. for all the promise and promises, nothing paid off. year's closing and i'm heartbroken and demoralized. i stumble back and forth between a sense of stability and a sense of overwhelming chaos.


Friday, December 19, 2008

you can have whatever you like

progress made. progress lost. stumble through the week in a slurred stupor. no one understands how painful this is for me; the pain makes people uncomfortable, which is more isolating. if i could just get over it, i would.

everyone doesn't go through this. everyone hasn't felt what i'm feeling right now. it's a fact.

thursday night, dinner and drinks for one at the pub. been having a hard time eating but it's a lot easier when i'm being served. and drinking. brought a book with me that my therapist recommended, called "letting go" (wanderer/cabot).

started seeing this therapist last week, to help me through this. older woman, which gave me some pause up front, but she's been good to talk to. got excited when she gave me the name of this book that's supposed to assist you in "letting go" after a breakup.

dove into it. problem being, the book was written/published in the late-70s. terribly dated. no cell phones, no internet, no home computers. it assumes you live in a house with multiple rooms. that women stay at home and men have careers. i started reading in earnest and then i started bookmarking the crazier passages.

pg. 64,

"a glass of wine or even recreational drugs like marijuana can help you relax. don't use drugs or booze if you feel depressed, only if you're horny."

this is real.

"if it seems as if every time you have a dream, it's about your ex, don't worry too much. everyone who ever gives up addiction has dreams about it. the alcoholic dreams of booze, the drug addict of heroin, fatties of hot fudge sundaes."

i'm not making this up.

pg. 97,

"aversion treatment is good when unexpected sad thoughts occur...

"actually put a raw egg out in the sun for a day. it'll rot and stink, and the odor will be nauseating. take out the contents of either a benzedrine inhaler or a zippo lighter and refill either one with cotton that's been soaked in the juice of the rotten egg...

"... if you have a sad thought or nostalgic wish, pull out your inhaler and take a sniff... imagine! you'll get nauseous at the thought of your missing lover."

did johnny knoxville and steve-o write this bit?

on meeting up with your ex post-breakup:

pg. 106,

"even if your ex responds favorably to you, it may not mean that he loves you, only that he just closed a big deal and feels generous, warm and loving toward the whole world. or if she is sweet and passive, it could be because she just finished making love with someone else."

fucking hell.

on using and verbalizing fantasies:

pg. 150,

"don't go all over town saying you're going to kill your ex. what if they fall out of a window? you might be an immediate suspect."

well, that's one to grow on.

despite how absurdly out-of-date the book is, i keep plowing through, trying to take what good advice remains. when you're this desperate and lost... well, i'll take anything.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

fresh frosty hell

everything in the wrong place...

this sort of thing never makes sense, i guess. doesn't stop the mind from trying to make sense of it. remembering things said and things done, trying to reconcile the senselessness of where we are now.

3am. a dull calm. passed out too early and now i'm up. "up" in the least positive sense of the word. dull calm is better than the desperate panic i've suffered for much of the past week and a half. stages. recovery. not looking to bounce back to life. just clawing toward that low, lonely plateau. a sense of quiet, bitter acceptance.

times, it seems, no one really understands. no one really relates. i don't want to be here. i'm not in love with the misery, familiar as it is. i want a way out. i'm not just looking for "attention".

(sign o' the times, even my managers are getting in on the "let's boost malice" parade. so strange to have these people in cali invested in my well-being.)

helps to write. even if it is something so unproductive as a fucking blog entry.

tuesday, i got up at 5am after failing to sleep for hours. it's a hell of a time to wake up. nobody is awake, east coast or west coast. television is all infomercials. you want to experience hell, try watching cnn all day. 24-hour news becomes a cycle of 3 news stories regurgitated a thousand different ways. the same commercials every 10 minutes. huge one-day sale at joseph a. banks, don't miss it.

wednesday, a small gift. all the HD channels that my brooklyn friends have been enjoying for months have finally found their way to northern manhattan. the opiate of television. ufo hunters, mythbusters, man versus food, american justice, a dozen hitler docs. anything WON'T do, but a lot of it will.

thursday. today. antyhing can happen. an infinitesimal measure of solace. i don't want the world. all i want is some peace of mind.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


this was a triumph.

i'm making a note here: "huge success"

(even tho u broke my heart and killed me.)

i vent here because i need to. because it's mine. i do what i want here. not that i need to justify it.

everything is cold and blue.

one day... and pray that day may never come... you'll understand.

i'm not doing this for the attention.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Alone Again Naturally

And... it's over.

Three months and single again.

No time-outs. No breaks for space. Just a clean cut. Almost like it never happened.

I feel numb. But it's easier this way. I may feel hellish in the mourning. Not to say I feel particularly great right now.

There is an anxiety inherent in trying to keep something alive. Something you care about.

But once it's dead... it's dead.

It's cold. And there are twitches of pain to be felt. But what the fuck are you gonna do? It's just a fucking corpse now.

Monday, December 15, 2008



everything calm.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

dead space

writes two lines of a reply email.

lies down. closes eyes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

welcome to heartbreak

i've been listening to that OTHER album that dropped the week of Chinese Democracy, Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak, almost nonstop.
The album was recorded in under two weeks in Hawaii. As implied by its title, 808s & Heartbreak prominently features the Roland TR-808 drum machine. West felt that the 808 is an important instrument that can be used to evoke emotion; the concept was introduced to him by Jon Brion. According to West, the fact that Hawaii's area code was "808" was coincidental, as he had already developed the album's title before being informed.
me, i've been less than well. haven't eaten since wednesday night. the internet kinda sucks in a lot of ways and there is a delicate balance between writing a blog for personal catharsis and writing to just throw all your personal business out into the public.

so, you'll have to excuse me for writing that i'm feeling like hell and not elucidating why.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

more terrible things

Overwhelmed with anguish, Dong Yun Yoon walked unsteadily to a pile of rubble where his home once stood and pleaded for advice on how to cope after losing his family.

His wife, two children and mother-in-law were killed when a fighter jet lost power and crashed through their home and burst into flames. A day after the tragedy, Yoon held a news conference to ask guidance from people who have suffered "more terrible things."


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Blackberry Curve Incident

File this under "tech", for the Google searches. One of my contributions to the internets.

Through, I purchased a new phone (Blackberry Curve) for a cool penny along with a 2-year service contract with Verizon. (Switching over from AT&T.)

Good deal. The mom and the girlfriend are both on Verizon, which translates to free texts and calls.

Ordered the phone on Black Friday. Received it the following Tuesday. All excited to switch up.

Couldn't activate the phone.

Called Verizon. The customer service rep told me that I received my phone before my service application could be put into the system. She said she HAD my service application and that she'd try to expedite it so that I could activate the phone that day. I just had to wait for a confirmation email.

No email that Tuesday.

No email on Wednesday, and I called again. This time, the customer service rep I spoke with couldn't find me at all on the system.

Tried help. They've actually got a pretty good help system. You can send them an email or you can have them call you.

Bit of a delay and run-around here. Picked up the cause again on Thursday, to receive a flurry of apologies from Amazon. A very helpful Verizon rep I spoke with clarified that the specific service plan that I ordered was not available with the specific model of phone I'd gotten... so my application got tossed!

He easily revised my plan, which was essentially the same deal. It was just a stupid technicality that no one had caught.

Yadda, yadda, yadda... active Verizon Blackberry Curve by Thursday afternoon.

So, be careful if you're impulse-buying one of those phones/plans through Amazon. If you go straight to one of the stores, it can be a lot easier. They set you up immediately and you're flying.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Where do we go from here?

Man loves his library...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Antagonize Me, Motherfucker

First week of sales for the long-in-development "Chinese Democracy" were subdued... with a #3 debut:
Best Buy Senior Entertainment Officer Gary Arnold had predicted "Chinese Democracy" would be the week's top seller, but it ended up being bested by Kanye West's new release "808s & Heartbreak" with 450,000 copies and country star Taylor Swift's former champ "Fearless" with 267,000.

What happened? Wasn't "Chinese Democracy" one of the most-anticipated and talked-about albums of all time? Wasn't it so steeped in myth and lore that a massive debut week was all but assured? Maybe not.

The October release of AC/DC's "Black Ice," while not a perfect comparison, comes to mind. Like Guns N' Roses, AC/DC was a band that had been off the radar for a while and opted to partner with one retailer -- Wal-Mart -- for the release of its own long-awaited new album. "Ice" ultimately chilled with 784,000 copies in its debut week -- the veteran group's best sales frame since tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan started in 1991.

And now we have GNR's album, in an exclusive deal with Best Buy (and iTunes). And it starts with much less.

So, why didn't GNR's number even get close to AC/DC's?

Wal-Mart gave AC/DC the red-carpet treatment. The retail giant made sure the album had the appearance of an event record -- something every Wal-Mart shopper needed to own. If that didn't convince consumers, maybe their famed store-within-a-store display did.

But at Best Buy, based on reports from Billboard staffers on the ground during release week, the promotion was on a smaller scale...
No shit. I couldn't even get a copy of the album on the first day. And the store I went to didn't even have any kind of display for the fucking thing. It was fucking appalling.

Despite some mixed to positive reviews, it's also disheartening that the album's essentially relegated to "lighter side of the news" fare. Did the Rachel Maddow show *really* need to take a potshot at this album?

GnR was the first band I cared about.

Axl Rose is a misanthropic recluse—prone to sporadic ranting—who takes wayyy too long to get his work done. I can understand that. If you gave me a boatload of money, I'd hole up in a big mansion and disappear for a decade or so, too.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My Step Brother Has a Posse

My step brother, Mark, has a posse.

But I'm getting ahead of myself... I should first say, I've got a step brother named Mark.

Son of the Norwegian who married my mother.

I met him once. A few years ago. Over an awkward Thanksgiving dinner. Before he got sick.

Brain cancer. He's been on his last legs for a while. I didn't actually see him this Thanksgiving, but he was next door, being cared for.

He died early this morning, around 3am.

Suffice it to say, I did not know him.

He was in his early-40s and I always get a bit off-put by the ones who die early.

Clock keeps ticking...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Deck the Halls

What does a perennial costume shop in NYC do after the rush of Halloween?


Oh, shitty low-res Treo camera... we have had some good times, haven't we, then?

That we have.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thanksgiving Breakdown II

Part of my motivation for spending Thanksgiving with my mom in her Norwegian husband's home was to help her set up her first real computer. A Macbook that my Mac-dizzy sis and her husband had ordered for her.

For those not in the know, my mother's Norwegian husband is an old fuddy-duddy she met while ballroom dancing about a decade ago, perhaps. They were just dating forever but officially tied the knot (name-change and everything) about a year or two ago.

I've never been the biggest fan of "Arne" (ARR-neh). He is a cartoonishly grumpy old man who always seems to be complaining.

When the Time Warner guy was in and out of the house trying to set up the cable modem, Arne kept bitching about how "this idiot keeps tracking his dirty shoes on the carpet!".

The technician was having some difficulty setting up the Macbook because he rarely ever saw them. "Most people around here have PCs." (And YES, the operating systems are in fact different enough such that the Mac OS is NOT FUCKING INTUITIVE, thank you EVER so much, you Apple-Cultists! Say it till you're blue in the face, it won't fucking make it so.)

Arne hovered unhelpfully in the background, occasionally spouting off dumb queries. ("Is it working yet?") When the tech was finally done, Arne held him up at the door while he bitched about tv commercials. ("There are too many commercials on tv! We're paying good money for these channels, they should be paying US to watch them!") To the Time Warner cable guy, he's telling this. As if this guy was going to drive back to Time Warner HQ and speak to the Grand Wizard of Television about decreasing the amount of commercials on television to fucking placate this old Norwegian fuck up in Goshen!!!

Then I helped my mom cook the Thanksgiving feast...

I mashed these...

The stuffing, I improvised from scratch, thanks. It had apples and sausage in it. Big hit among the extended family of Norwegian hoople-heads who trampled in.

Mom carving up the roast beast...

While we were waiting for company to arrive, Arne tried to have a chat with me...

Have you seen Reli... Relij... Religulous...?

(surprised at the contemporary reference)
No, I haven't, but it looked interesting. Do you like Bill Maher?

Not particularly but I think... people who are super religious are funny. Like deez Muslims who blow themselves up. I bet that's not part of their religion but they just take it too far!


You know I got nothing against Muslims. Like I got nothing against gays. So long as they leave me alone. When I was on my first marriage, we went on our honeymoon in St. Thomas and there was this hotel nearby that was filled with these gays. This one guy kept trying to talk to me even though I was married and he knew that I was married! He just kept following me!

[Please understand that I am not making this up. This may not be verbatim but this is the precise trajectory of the conversation: Bill Maher, religious extremists, gay guy hitting on him. Zero transition.]

Thanksgiving night, I tried my best to show my mother some of the fun things she could do with the internet. Here she is watching some YOUTUBE videos of Tina Turner and Cher appearing on OPRAH. Good times, good times...

Here's me and mom video-chatting with my sister's cats in Oregon. HAAAAY!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanksgiving Breakdown I

Ordered a new phone. One thin penny and a two-year contract with a new service provider. I haven't switched my service provider in... you know, I may not have changed my service provider since I got my first cell phone about a decade ago!

AT&T's gone to the dogs. (iPhone dogs.) Looking forward to Verizon and my brand new CrackBerry.

Here's me clearing out the inventory of low-rez pics from my shitty 2-year-old Treo...

Smoke on the highway, on the way to mom's house. A car engulfed in flames in the distance.

45 minutes of stand-still before we moved again. Caught a glimpse of the extinguished wreck.

Was scouring for these zinc-infused suckers all over the city and finally found them at a Goshen CVS. I guess it's a CVS brand. Good for bolstering the immunity during germ maelstroms. (Like babysitting.) Picked up a few for the girlfriend.

The simple joy of pushing a grocery cart down a parking lot. I sometimes miss the quiet suburban life.

Cooking with mom, eve before Thanksgiving. In the house of her Norwegian husband...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Seems such a long time ago...

"What are you willing to accept, in terms of behavior, from the people who protect you?" That was a very resonant question in 2002, when we were still in the shadow of 9/11.
Shawn Ryan, The Shield

Everyone catch up with their DVRs and watch THE SHIELD finale?

Doesn't happen often—takes quite a lot these days, in fact...

... but I was in tears during that finale...!

The episodes leading up to the finale had sorta prepped me for the end, but when it happened... NO SPOILERS HERE but when it happened, it totally knocked me out. Niagra Falls, baby.

Other reviewers have seen fit to use THE SHIELD finale as an excuse to take a potshot at THE SOPRANOS finale, and I would like to hop on that bandwagon. THE SHIELD finale was as breathtaking and pitch-perfect in all the ways that THE SOPRANOS finale could've been. It involved me emotionally, where THE SOPRANOS slammed the door in my face.

THE SHIELD somehow managed to leave the story open-ended while simultaneously offering some profound closure.


You fucking hear me, David Chase???

CLOSURE!!! I still want my motherfucking closure, Chase!!!

Yes, is this the super? I want you to know that David Chase in 2F is a whore!!!

Take a walk through memory lane with Walton Goggins.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Get in the Ring

And then suddenly... it was December. As if we'd skipped too many pages at once and had landed at the final chapter. It was the first day of the last month of 2008.

Worst yet, it was another fucking Guns N' Roses entry...

Excerpt from the lyrics of "Get in the Ring" off of Use Your Illusions II, W. Axl Rose:

I got a thought that would be nice:
I'd like to crush your head tight in my vice—

And that goes for all you punks in the press
That want to start shit by printin' lies instead of the things we said!!
That means you,
Andy Secher at Hit Parader!
Circus Magazine!
Mick Wall at Kerrang!!
Bob Guccione Jr. at Spin—
What, you pissed off cuz your dad gets more pussy than you?!
Fuck you!!
Suck my fuckin' dick!!

You be rippin' off the fuckin' kids
While they be payin' their hard earned money to read about the bands
They want to know about!!
Printin' lies, startin' controversy—
You wanna antagonize me??
Antagonize me, motherfucker!!
Get in the ring, motherfucker!!
And I'll kick your bitchy little ass...
... PUNK!!!

Excerpt from a recent interview with Mick Wall: I was wondering where you were when you first heard your name mentioned in that song. What did you make of it?

MW: I'd been warned a few months ahead of time that it was going to happen, then I heard it 'round a friend's house and it was a mixture of being kind of horrified, being kind of flattered, but mainly, to be honest with you, a little hurt because to be accused of lying, and ripping off, and all this stuff by a group that I had spend '87 to '90 working very closely with -- I was the first person outside America to write consistently and seriously about them, I had a TV show and a radio show over here, and this is pre-internet, pre-multi-music channel era. Even MTV wasn't part of the furniture over here in those days.

I had the only weekly rock show on TV and radio over here, and I was the only person playing "Welcome to the Jungle" on video and playing the album despite all the cuss words. Shortly after, I spent most of my time in LA, '88, '89, '90, I became very close to them. And I witnessed a lot of things that to this day, I've never written about, never discussed, because they were private things. They were very personal things, troubled things, and I felt that I was a guy they could trust. They gave me a gold record for GNR Live because of all the help I'd given them.

The whole thing with Axl came from an interview. He called me late at night, demanded I go to his apartment. Vince Neil had been saying some stuff about him and he wanted to set the record straight. There's always a vendetta going on somewhere with Axl. And I got there at like 1 am, and I left at like 5 am, and we did an extraordinarily long interview all about how he wanted to duke it out with Vince, and he was going to kill that motherfucker, and all the rest of it. A few weeks later, as I'm writing the story, I realize how heavy this looks, so I call him on the phone. I taped that conversation also, and I said to him, "let me read you this, because to me this sounds heavy, and I just want to make sure this is how you still feel, and you still want to do this." I read it to him, he laughed, and then he said, "I stand by every single word, motherfucker, go ahead and print it." So I did. And literally within a week or two of the story appearing, as far as he was concerned, I'd made the whole thing up. I was a dirty rotten limey journalist who can't be trusted, and had lied about what went on, and misquoted him.

I mean, it broke my heart, because this wasn't just some guy I'd met once and interviewed and there was a misunderstanding. The reason he called me so late at night, as I'm getting into bed, is because I was the go-to guy, certainly outside America. He had a close friend in LA who was a writer he would talk to also, but at that point I was the guy that would do Britain and Europe and all the rest of it. And it really hurt. What hurt more was not so much Axl -- because I knew he was crazy -- but the other guys having to toe the line. The next time I saw them it was awkward. Duff walked straight past me, which broke my heart, because again, we had some very personal occasions where I'd felt I'd helped him a lot.

Anyway, cut to many years later and we're still talking about it. In some ways it conferred a degree of fame or notoriety, or name recognition, and that hasn't been a bad thing always. Slash has since apologized. Steven asked me to ghost[write] his autobiography, which I didn't do in the end. Izzy and I have had a good laugh about it. Duff is still really weird about talking to me, which is strange because he seems so together these days. My feeling is that he's embarrassed and just doesn't want to go there.

And Axl, the last time he played London, there was a guest list and there was a shit list. There were people employed to walk around the gig, and anybody on the shit list had to be ejected. Guess whose name was top of the list?