October 2002, 46 Pocomo Rd., Nantucket, MA
In your Thunderegg course packets, please flip to the lead story of the Tony Alamo Ministries newsletter, November 2000, which you found under your windshield wiper:
DELIVERANCE FROM CRACK ROCK! During the Christmas season, 1996, I was a homeless man struggling to survive the mean streets of Newark, New Jersey. I was an alcoholic and strung out on the crack rock. My life had spiraled down to nothing . . . I came upon literature from the Holy Alamo Christian Church that I was going to use to start a fire that fateful December evening. Something made me read the words so eloquently written, and it changed my life. From that day forward I stopped smoking the crack rock and only 10 months later weaned myself off the Wild Turkey. Today I am a proud and changed man thanks to the Holy Alamo Christian Church.
Would that all the world, especially in the post-grunge era of which our proselytizer speaks, have kicked the crack rock as well. But in the early nineties we got hooked on those gigantic guitars and loud-soft-loud-soft song structures, and there we built our cage. Like rebellious radioactive goo or Starburst Flavor Morph, crack rock has evolved into its own species, Nervermindus interruptus; it represents the toxic post-grunge deluge ever since Nirvana, which I maintain did a lot more harm than good in the long run. I liked Nirvana. But late on a Friday night last September I was driving around Brooklyn looking for an open gas station (the local BP was closed, appropriately enough, because the abandoned building next door was burning), listening to an NPR hagiography about the twentieth anniversary of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I lost count of how many times callers and commentators alike called it “important.” Driving down Fourth Avenue I was clucking to myself, “What about Stone Temple Pilots? What about Bush? What about Nickelback? ALL NIRVANA’S FAULT!” Then I played a midnight solo gig at Freddy’s for a crowd of three: Ivan, Tex, and this guy, also named Will, who’d been kind enough to get drunk with me at the bar beforehand, although eventually he had to go because he had to get up early for his job renting out bicycles in Grand Army Plaza.
If Thunderegg has had one discernible purpose since its inception, it has been to deliver the masses from crack rock. It’s okay to admit it: You were about to use your digital-only copy of Sweetest One to start a fire in your crack(rock)house, weren’t you? But something made you stop. The Egg can change your life, and we won’t even make you quit the Wild Turkey.
It first came up when tuning one night down in Vera Rubin, sliding down the scale to match the E. Woodfin rocked a break under the Scorpion of Jake and Justin took the mic, surprisingly. I was only twenty-one but the way that our band swung, I was sure that we were gonna be huge. In exchange for my commitment, started acquiring equipment, and bought a four-track when I turned twenty-two. I taped a couple versions, had mixed results with the dispersion, but was still positioned well at twenty-three. One thing that I did know was that rock radio did blow and that there had to be an opening for me. Deliverance from crack rock, deliverance from crack rock.
When I was twenty-four I was the Man, when I was twenty-five I was the mack. When I was twenty-six I had the bitterest existence trip, I didn't know if I would ever come back. At twenty-seven I had to regroup, at twenty-eight I had to pay some dues. Now I just turned twenty-nine, had the same list at twenty-five, but I'm not dumb enough anymore to follow through. Deliverance from crack rock, deliverance from crack rock.
You can postulate forever why you are no longer clever or why you can't seem to get up the nerve. What that accomplishes is never gonna serve you any better than if you just sat down and did your work. Time cannot be recaptured, but the past's a total bastard, who wants to hang out with him anyway? Better to focus on what's lasted and whatever's coming after and to count our blessings while we pray for a Deliverance from crack rock, deliverance from crack rock.