Slept in. Went to Pisa to see this leaning tower. Thought perhaps I could offer some assistance with my extensive engineering skills. Took a train. It is true. You can just go to a station and take a train anywhere here. it is incredible. In less than an hour we were there. But we walked a lot. On the train we met a lady and her 4 girls. I told her in a very broken Italian: “do you go to tower? O.k. good. we follow you.” and so me and my friend just followed this family around all day. She showed us everything and taught us a lot of Italian. It was fun. When you first see the tower, it is kind of a freak out, growing up seeing it in books all your life and then there it is in front of you. it looks a lot smaller at first and then you get close to it and wham. It was breathtaking. And the cathedral is amazing inside.
Not much darkness here. sun rises by 6 and is still up at 10 at night. so the days seem very looooong. People smoke everywhere. in America you just aren’t used to it. someone lights up and it is a worse crime than murder. In fact isn’t murder legal now in the states? We can do that now, right? But here people just smoke everywhere. They light up and I find myself looking at them with this scowl like how dare you. and then you realized that you aren’t in the states. They’re just used to it.
Yes the Italians are the coolest people on earth. Seriously. I read it recently in a medical journal. I think they took blood samples. That’s what it was. I used to always think the English were the coolest. You know the Beatles and The Stones, Oasis, Zeppelin, The Young Ones, and Eddie Izzard, o.k. well maybe the English are the coolest after all. of course the French think they are the coolest, which is why they aren’t. and I think a lot of other countries think that the Americans are the coolest, the whole John Wayne, sly Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Cary grant, James bond, (yes I know what you’re thinking—those guys are English, yes, but they are American now—we bought the rights…) Lenny Kravitz, Tom Cruise, o.k. so maybe the Americans are the coolest after all. I guess if you want someone to come crashing into a building on a motorcycle and save the day yea you’re going to want it to be an American. with a slight British accent of course.
But there is still something unspeakably cool about the Italians. Maybe it is just that they are so skinny and handsome and pretty. But what is wonderful is that they are cool but still very shy and nice and without pretense. You know how the Latinos (o.k. fine, some of them, lets not stereotype God forbid) are very what they call machismo? It is this kind of I don’t know what you call it, like peacocks with testosterone shots, always strutting their stuff. (Think of the movie Scarface—this isn’t an exaggeration, I live in Miami, you see this every day all day long) It is just part of their character though. The men act all like I’m so tough I’m so cool. And the women act all like I’m so hot and you can’t touch me. It takes some time for you to get through it so you can meet the real people underneath. I asked la Princesa a few times about it and we talked about it. can’t we drop all the bravado and pretense now that we’ve slept together? She says it is just the way it is. Love it or leave it baby was her attitude. So I left it. This is why the Brasilians stand out so much in South America because they are not this way. They are just the sweetest humblest people. Blessed by God in some secret way that only they know about. Everyday is a joy to be alive. Unless of course you want to actually get something done. Forget about it.
Well you would think that the Italians would be that way too, because they make them out to be that way in the movies and on TV, with all this bravado and machismo. But our teacher explained to us that it is just American TV that does that. That real Italians are not that way. one of my travel books also says the same thing, says its just a stereotype from the movies. And so far I have noticed that this is true. They are really nice and yes kind of shy and very polite. Even though they are the leaders of the world in style and fashion and coolness. You know, everyone wants a piece of the Italians. I don’t know if there is another country that is more envied or coveted or adored for their style. Maybe America. It is so crazy. How are they so nice and yet so humble. Any minute you expect Sonny Corleone or Tony Soprano to come around the corner, but I think it is the Italian Americans that are that way. Not the Italians. They are just too cool and confident to act like that. They are very nice people.
Have I said it enough times? It is so hot here. Seriously hot. I have had three sprites today and two huge bottles of water. I only drink espressos and cappuccinos cold and with ice because I am so hot. The Italians think I am crazy. First off they don’t use ice. When you ask for it they look at you like you are crazy and it is unthinkable to ask for it. They believe that air conditioning and ice are both very unhealthy. Oh well. Then I will die twenty years younger. Fine with me. I keep trying to explain to them that everyone in America drinks cold or frozen cappuccinos during the summer. They think I swear to God that I am making this up—that it is my own invention. A cold cappuccino. Can you imagine? God I just realized that I haven’t seen a Starbucks or anything like that. How wonderful. You just have no idea how much you truly hate stuff until you are away from it for a while. The sprite here is better than the states. No seriously. It tastes different. I used to say that about Brasil too. They make them different flavors depending on the country. The sprite here is very lemony.
I don’t know what hurts the most, my feet from walking so much or my ass from riding the old rickety bicycle all over the place. I have become an expert at maneuvering around all the people and in between the speeding cars other bikes and scooters.
Tomorrow we will go to Chianti, to see the beautiful countryside of Tuscany. Prepare to drink a lot of wine. Now I am watching Godfather one. The best one. it reminds me of my grandfather. It is late. I am tired.
[can you masturbate in someone else’s apartment you are renting? Do you dare? Can they tell when you leave and they come in? They walk in…. Hhhmmmm… I think someone masturbated in here…]
What up ambasciatore?
Chilling in Italia. What’s up with you?
How is your sweet girlfriend? And your new company?
Working hard. Kicking butt. Trying to make it happen. What have you been doing there.
Any new Italian music?
Yea, a lot of it. tribilistas, vasco Rossi, of course Paulo conte. I will play it for you when I get home.
Will you ever come home? Or have we lost you forever to Italy?
The wandering ambassador tours Europe. Wassup?!
No, I’ll be home. I miss you guys. But this is good here. I am learning tons. Resurfacing.
I envy you. I wish I was there. have you seen Ponte vecchio yet?
Yes. I live right over it. I ride my bike over it everyday.
You fucker. Go see some soccer.
Yea, you know how much I love that. lol. Yipfuckinyea.
But I will bring you back a jersey though. Tell me which player or team you want. They are everywhere here. it is hard to forget about you seeing the soccer jerseys everywhere. I think of you all the time dog.
Yeeeee. Bring me a jersey from the team Brecia with the name of Baggio. He is the best player right now. the ponytail.
Did you ever hear back from that rep from Island records?
No. nothing. Never called back
I put in a few calls. and got no response. That’s the game. I hate it.
In no other business in the world do people act that way. it is beyond rude. It is bullshit
that is why their business model is dying. they are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. They don’t know what the fuck they are doing. That is why I don’t mind people stealing music anymore. If we are going to have to work day jobs anyway to earn a living because of these assholes then let their industry fall down around them.
I asked this lady if she liked Rufus wainright and she said ‘honestly no.’ I knew then that she wasn’t going to be the one for us. she didn’t even know who Caetano was. Lost, she is. And she is the director of their whole a&r department.
That is fucked up.
Imagine that. but it gets worse.
she didn’t even know how to download music there at her office. honestly. I sent her to our website while we were on the phone and she couldn’t download the music. Their connection was so slow. It was hilarious. She kept apologizing.
Serious LOL. She kept screaming at one of her assistants to help her and saying it was embarrassing that she couldn’t download fast. and I’m thinking and she’s calling to sign us?
Maybe well sign them. HAHA
No wonder they are getting eaten alive by the techies and the kids.
I had to keep telling her what to do to listen to a song. And she finally said just send it through the mail, it will be easier. LOL. So that’s where we are.
Who has she signed?
She signed cypress hill and Pete Yorn I think. 1 out of 2 aint bad. But shit in twenty years? you would think she would have done something more.
How do they keep their jobs like that?
They don’t really. They just move from job to job in the industry hoping they can stay in the biz somehow. That is why they are all so hot to sign the next big hit. They hope it will help them keep their job. So they end up passing on a lot of the artists and they sign loads of copy cat bands instead.
Like all the new alterna bands. That totally suck and try to sound just like
nirvana and nickel back. I hate that shit. They aren’t doing anything original.
They are paid not to do anything original. They are paid to sound like everyone else.
I can’t tell you how many times in the last ten years I have been asked to stop doing things so original and try to fit in with the mainstream a little. And I just can’t do it bro.
And now you’re touring Italy living the high life. you must be doing something right. Wassup???!!!
These bands, a lot of my friends bands, guys I know over the years, they sacrifice themselves on the altar of the mighty American dollar. Doing whatever they tell them to do. thinking they will be stars. And two years later they are nobodies again back in their own home town and worse yet they have no money and a shitty commercial sell out album to show for it, rather than at least a lot of the indi bands that stay true to their vision.
That is why indi is so big now. people want more vision, more heart. Less crap.
definite. But I want to make some fucking money too, tu sabes? We need to get to the peeps. tune em in and turn em on…
Whereas at least with artists who stay true to their vision, it doesn’t matter how big they get they still have these great masterpieces to look back on the rest of their lives.
Like rise and shine! great album.
I love that album too. three major label reps turned it down bro. One said it was too big–too much music. Seriously. When you hear this all you can do is laugh and be happy that he is not working for you. Another guy said we could re-record it and make the second half more like the first half we could have a deal. Make it all modern rock like better luck next time. I told you guys about that offer.
Fuck that. then we sound like everyone else.
Exactly. That’s what I said. Thanks but no thanks.
sleep with you is good too. the peeps dig it.
It’s a more cohesive package, that’s for sure. We are going to do well with that album. with or without a major. The people love it already. Thank God.
We did good!
Yes we did.
Rise and shine and so quero are two of the best songs on there. that’s what makes that album cool. fuck them.
Idiots. Always the last to know. they think people want albums with ten songs that all sound the same. What they don’t realize is that no one listens to the whole album anymore because of that reason. That’s why people just steal songs off the Internet instead of buying the whole album. they are ruining the art form for everyone. And bringing down their whole industry in the process. Turning into a song-only business instead of what it could be.
there are no good albums now like there used to be. maybe U2 and Radiohead and that’s it.
albums suck these days. They strip all the cool out of them hoping to squeeze out another hit rather than letting them be works of art that can stand on their own.
Mephisto used to call people like that “a real waste of good flesh; better to eat them,” he would say.
But all for you was a great album.
Janet Jackson’s last one. great fuckin album. and Madonna has had a few really solid albums, like four in a row now.
Madonna Yeeeeaaaa. I don’t do Janet though.
I love Janet’s last one.
This rep God bless her was very nice on the phone. She told me that she just wanted to get that one big hit band, like Evanessence, she said. I muted my phone and laughed. Because now she thinks the next band is going to be like evanessence rather than looking for something new.
She was seriously on the phone with me telling me how great we were and hoping we would be the next Evanescence. I could already hear her trying to change us around in her head to market us to a certain demographic rather than just take our movement and give it the juice it needs to grow its own demographic.
So she is now prob in the process of turning down hundreds of amazing acts every month while she looks for the next evanescence, while last year everyone looked for the next Blink 182
and the year before they all looked for the next limp bizcit, and the year before the next Britney, and the year before the next Nirvana, etc etc… and that is why rock radio sucks today and no one cool listens to it.
Truer words were never spoken. But now there is a lot of cool radio on satellite that plays everything.
In Italy they play everything on the radio you can hear music from all different countries. We never get that in America. Its always the same lame crap.
I love European radio. It kicks ass.
This is why prince and Aimee Mann are on their own. Seriously twisted when one of the most influential artists in history is on his own and just totally ignored by the mainstream because of the major labels’ tyrannical stranglehold on entertainment and yet they shove Michael Jackson’s lame ass excuse for music down our throats every chance they get.
Easy there Tiger.
Yea you can get pretty upset. Seriously. I fucking love prince and I hate this bullshit. But it isn’t really the labels fault totally. A lot of it is radio. Clear channel.
Some of the most influential artists of all time never had hits. Or had very few. artists like Hendrix, zeppelin, the dead, Lou reed, the doors. No mucho top forty, but huge artists with careers that have lasted way beyond their own lives. If I was a rep for a company I would stop worrying about what the next hit was going to be and find music that made me jump out of my skin because I liked it so much. Let the people catch up to you rather than trying to catch up to the people. this is the problem we have in the biz today. they don’t understand the old model. When music was the best for a while…
Then we wouldn’t have such shit on the radio and on MTV. There would be more good music.
True that. not that there isn’t any good music out there cause there is. But you have to hunt for it. its not the stuff that is on radio or TV for the most part.
True dat. Like Jovanotti. He rules.
Bowie stopped playing the whole game. Stopped making videos and promoting to radio and he had his biggest album in twenty years. he said it wasn’t worth it for him. he knew he had his fans. What was important was getting to them, not getting out to the normal mainstream vehicles… and it worked. So we do the same. Fuck the mainstream. Let them catch up to us.
Yeeeeeaaa. Luckily we sell a lot of albums on our own independently. So we don’t have to worry so much either. Wassup?!
Well that’s a very positive way to look at it, but we have to make some fucking money bro. I want us to be making sick money for how hard we work. And also, I want us to reach more of our potential fans. I would like to see us getting 100 or 1000 fans at a time rather than 10 at a time. there is nothing that I love more than when someone is just totally crazy for our music. I just love that.
so yea it would be nice to find more and more of these people that we are making the music for. We are very happy and appreciative of the fans that we do have and the response that we have received from the new CD which hasn’t even hit the stores yet. I’ll tell you, if I were not so happy with where we were musically, with how great the music is that we are making, I would be depressed about this situation with the major record labels. Because yes it is frustrating. But we don’t make music for fame or money. We make it for the passion of the music. For the creative expression, and the joy of being a part of something so wonderful with other musicians. The people who make music or any kind of entertainment for fame you can tell a mile away. Because normally it is so far removed from its art form that it is more similar to a commercial product rather than a work of art. We need to get this to a bigger audience and speed things along a little. I would at least like to see everyone making a good living from how hard we work at it.
No, we’ll find someone cool. I feel it.
O.k. later dude. I’m going to eat some delicious food.
O.k. enough of that BS, let her drown in her own misery wondering why she still has not had that “one big hit” in her 20 year career while Transcendence continues to grow. [ps—in little less than three months from this writing this rep will be fired…] These reps are just so dumb for the most part. They are the reason why the airwaves are so filled with crap. and why everyone has to email each other asking for a suggestion for some God music. because we just aren’t getting on the radio these days. very few of them have that something special that gave us so many amazing artists in the sixties and seventies. They just have no clue these days what a real artist is. This is why when real artists still manage to break out it is so cool. Although it is happening less and less now.