Monday, November 16, 2009

A Day Late - Volume I - Thoughts on the Chuck Biscuits Hoax

So, the computer shit the bed a few weeks ago and it took a while for me to replace the power source and get some new RAM installed. Now she's purring along like the community-wrecking porn peddler that she is, god lover her.

And that means I'm back to my half-assed, last-to-market, never-been-proofed blog.


Speaking of last-to-market, how about that Chuck Biscuits story??

I first read about it from my muse, the lovely Carrie Brownstein (on her blog - via cliche!), and I'm not going to lie: it DID stop me in my tracks.

Chuck Biscuits is one of those musicians that for some reason I just imagined that no one else really gave any thought to. Maybe because I'm a drummer, maybe because so few people took Danzig seriously, and maybe because the punk bands he was in were so.....(forgive me)
fringe and dated to my ears by the time I had developed any sort of musical consciousness, but I just figured he was among the obscure artists that I would always consider to be mine and mine alone for adulation.

So when word reached me that he'd died, I was sad in a way that I couldn't even bother to try and explain to anyone.

You know, it's funny the thoughts that come to you when you get that sort of news....

I remember how he'd quit/been fired from Danzig right before I finally got around to seeing them in college, and how I was totally unsatisfied with Joey Castillo as his replacement that night at the Tower Theatre...Not so much because there was anything wrong with Joey, but because he wasn't Chuck, with his quarter-note, clang-thud combo which was basically the heartbeat of that awesome, awesome, awesome first Danzig record.

I sat there at my desk, taking an inventory of my favorite work of his. How the opening tracks of Danzig III and Danzig IV showcased some of his most powerful drumming. How his stint in Social Distortion gave the rhythm section a great big load of muscle, while still -- somehow or another -- making things swing.

But there I was at my stupid job, reading that Chuck Biscuits - drumming idol and unsung hero - was dead. And feeling a little bit alone in my sadness over it.

Imagine my surprise when the exceptionally elaborate hoax was exposed, and blogger/Danzig authority James Greene, Jr. received a virtual burning in effigy in the blogosphere for reporting on it! (Never you mind that everyone from Monitor Mix to too-cool-for-you Brooklyn Vegan jumped on the false story and pushed it out as fast as they possible could have).

Seriously, the hatred towards Greene was pretty astounding. And while, yes, I admit to being saddened at the news of Chuck's apparent death, and, yes, I was relieved to learn that he was still alive, I couldn't quite fathom how ANGRY some of the commentators on Greene's blog were.

What does this all prove?

1. The Internet is a weird place. Its a platform for screwed up people to say crazy shit. And that's mostly ok.....until you start messing with people's lives.

2. The Internet is a beautiful place. Who on Earth knew that a guy like Chuck Biscuits had so many fans, or that they felt so strongly about his legacy? The outpouring of fond memories for Chuck was something I found wonderful (and on a selfish level, rather validating of my questionable tastes).

3. The Internet is a great place for making yourself look like a doofus. I'm talking specifically about that person who was crying about being stuck in a state of false grief over Greene's mis-reporting. I hope that person goes to bed every night thanking his or her lucky stars that they haven't yet learned what real grief fells like.

4. Blogging about stuff that perhaps only you care about might not be worth it. Because believe it or not, someone else out there shares your fascinations. And they're just dying to piss all over you the minute you mis-step.

And that's in bad taste.

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