I grew up poor in crappy situations various crappy situations. What kept me sane was reading and music. I had so many different literary tastes growing up, be it fiction like Stephen King or Piers Anthony or non-fiction like reading Hunter S. Thompson essays or reading the Beats. I was a huge fan of the Beat movement.
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Japan is a wonderful country, a strange mixture of ancient mystique and cyberpunk saturation. It's a monolith of society's achievements, yet maintains a foothold in the past, creating an amazing backdrop for tourings and natives alive. Japan captures the imagination like no other. You never feel quite so far from home as you do in Japan, yet there are no other people on the planet that make you feel as comfortable.
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When you're a kid, nine times out of 10, everthing is pure depending on how you grow up. Everything is new as a kid, so it's all amazing and wonderful. But as we get older, things start to lose their luster or possibly their relevance. Things don't mean as much as they did then. I know the feeling.
Life is not that simple. That is why it is called life. That word includes both lie and if. Time to figure out which side of the "half" fence you are on: Does your life include a lie or just one big if? There is nothing wrong with either to be honest, but it will make your Sundays longer.
There is one statement I want you to keep after you are finished with this book. It is more of a mantra, really. Nonetheless, let it crawl across your mind any time you feel you have been backed into a corner spiritually. It is very simple: Live your life, no matter what life is. Take that with you. Live your life. No matter what that life is.
The things that scare me are real life situations. Real life is much more scary than anything you can put on the movie screen. Which is why I get very upset when people try to blame the movies for the violence in this world. I'm like 'Are you kidding me?'. There is more violence in a four hour period on CNN than any movie I have in my massive collection.
There is going to come a time when we have to accept who we are without the assistance of religion. That will be the dawn of true faith. We leave the big decisions to invisible consultants and pray we get the answers we are looking for. The late great George Carlin once said he gave up praying to God and started praying to Joe Pesci because his prayers to Joe Pesci were answered with as much accuracy and frequency as those to God. [... ] If we as people are still looking for answers, we should turn our eyes away from the heavens and look to each other. I know we do not play well together - hell, some of us do not even like being in the same room with each other - but the divine lies in all of us. We are miracles. We are "god." If we shared a little more, we would not be left feeling less. We hold the keys to our own destinies. It is time we started looking for the locks.
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Things can get tough out there. I am in no way saying life is easy and we should breeze through it like a fart through silk filter; we are going to take our lumps and deal with our own unique adversity. What I am saying is that in all the chaos, remember to breathe, remember to smile, and remember that the only time to panic is when there is truly no tomorrow. Fortunately for the majority of us, tomorrow will always meet us in the morning with a cup of coffee and a fresh deck of cigarettes, ready to crack it's cocoon and mature into today. So ease the grip on your moralities and be yourself. Fantastic is really just the flaws. Nobody is perfect - not you, not me, not Jesus, Buddha, Jehovah, not God. But the great thing is that you do not have to be perfect to be alive, and that is what makes life absolutely perfect.
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You have incredible lives ahead of you. You have incredible things that you can accomplish. If you feel that, you will have an amazing life. Do not let anything build a wall too high for you to get over. And I know that might seem very cliche, but I've had alot of friends who had hurt themselves. And when you're younger, a lot of that stuff is so temporary. You can get through it. You're stronger than you think. You'll ALWAYS be stronger than you think. Feel with your heart and do what you want.
On June 22, 2008, at the age of 71, an American revolutionary died. He was a bona fide genius, an outspoken critich, a literary giant and an unprecedented visionary. For 50 years he entertained, challenged and amazed not only my generation, but also ones before mine and well after. He was sensational, brilliant, iconic and unique - the quintessential individual. He was my lifelong hero. His name was George Carlin.
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When you're looking for a house, you're not looking for a house that's perfect. You're looking for that house to have character. And I think it's those little bits of humanity they come from the music. That's what the music brings out when you have that, it brings out the character of a song. You go back and listen to 30, 40 years of music, and all the great, great songs that we've had in our lives, they all have that character. They have that human nudge, they all have that human relation. You can relate to it.
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If you are too overwhelmed, then when you sit down and try to write something, it feels forced. There's nothing worse than forced music. I mean, this world has enough of that right now, where it's basically McDonald's making music. 'Everybody needs another hamburger and fries.' Here's a piece of crap that nobody's gonna care about it two years.
Now you've got people who don't really have the skills, because technology hides it, going out and putting these crappy singles out, and because that's all there really is, people basically eat it like hamburgers. It's become very, very commercialized. Which wouldn't bother me as much if people actually had talent. When I listen to something and the first thing I notice is that it's been turned into crap, I shut it off and throw it out the window of my car. Like it's the most offensive thing to me.
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So many people limit themselves by holding onto that baggage. They cut themselves off at the knees. And for me, meeting my father, and seeing how he was, and seeing that other side of where I came from, allowed me to kind of ascend spiritually. Now not to get all hippy or anything, but, you cant realise your potential unless you LET yourself realise your own potential.
Whether it's the Axis of Evil, or the evils of eating meat, it is a concept that has all but lost the impact it once had, because everyone thinks different things in this world are evil. PETA thinks what we do to animals is evil, but I think their overzealous approach is evil. Evil, in more ways than one, is comparable to the truth: definitions vary from one individual to the next.
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I moved to Des Moines when I was 15. I asked my mother to give up costody and sign parental rights over to my grandmother, who I lived with while I went to school. I was clean and finally starting to figure myself out. I can only say that now without laughing. I was still very out of my own place, and I didn't even know what that place was. All I knew was that I could write music, that I had no idea what that could mean and that I was still surrounded by people I couldn't relate to. I hadn't found my tribe yet.
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I write almost all my songs on an acoustic guitar, even if they turn into rock songs, hard rock songs, metal songs, heavy metal songs, really heavy songs I love writing on an acoustic because I can hear what every string is doing; the vibrations haven't been combined in a collision of distortion or effects yet.
The first time I can remember being on a stage in front of an audience was one that came with triumph, adrenaline and a childlike tragedy. The first time I was on a stage, it wasn't even a music concert. It was a magic show. That being said, the life I lead now isn't what you would call 'destiny'.
From depression to ceiling fans, I've been through it all. I've taken almost every step that life has to offer and invariably I've found several different endings to my Choose Your Own Adventure stories. I've lived, loved, sacrificed and scraped for this existence, this paltry little city state I call my time so far. And by God, I wouldn't change a single frame of this movie.
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I didn't write my speech until the night before, and even then I refused to write it out like I would say it, preferring to keep cribbed notes I could come back to if necessary. I wanted this to feel like a conversation because it was what I wanted to say that mattered, not how it looked on paper.
I mean come on. Do you know how easy it is to be famous these days? Do you have any idea? The web has made it plausible to have your very own platform to stand and spew nonsense from on an hourly basis. There's an old saying: when everyone is special, no one will be. These days, everybody thinks they're special, so no one really does anything to be special anymore.
I don't feel guilty about the music I love. If you feel guilty about something you dig, then you should stop feeling guilty about it. One of my favorite albums to this day is the 10th anniversary ensemble cast of 'Les Miserables,' the ultimate cast recording, and it is still something I love listening to top to bottom.
You gotta remember: we're musicians we're just crazy people who can't get along sometimes. I've definitely come to the table with my knife in my pocket a couple of times; you know how it is. It's part of being human. Now add fame and money and all that rock and roll craziness to it - we're lucky we don't eat each other in this industry!
I'm living on coffee, cigarettes and hospitality food. My bags and things are all over this hotel room in Dallas, but the scene could easily be in London, Paris, New York of LA. My eyes are burning, my knees hurt and I hate to say it, but a certain and vital part of my nether region is beginning to smell like peanut butter. Welcome to life on tour.
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