Black Eyed Susan - Suite 666
Look, I'm not gonna sit here and try to bullshit you about what a great friendship Brookelyn and I had, because in the end we didn't have one. In the beginning sure but at the end? Fuck no. Truth be told she had me banned and blocked on Facebook and for the life of me I can't remember why. Doesn't matter really. Our relationship ended ugly, bigly ugly, HUGELY ugly, to put it politely, and the last time I saw her in person, downtown in the hedges, is the stuff of legend. I tell everyone the story but I won't share it here... heh heh I had no idea what she was up to as of late, and only knew of the little bit that I did know about her from hearsay and idle gossip from mutual friends. She moved back to Virginia to get away from the Vegas disease and everything that comes with it I heard. She opened an art gallery. She sold real estate. She left it all behind. She grew up. She moved on. I was kind of happy for her. And while I held no aspirations of a Suite 666 reunion with her, as I was rather embarrassed that she carried on with the band once George and I left, as I always am when bands try to replace me with other drummers, but I always wished we could of stayed friends or at lease personable. I did love her, as we all did, because she just had that endearing quality about her that just made you want to know her better, to befriend her and be a part of her world, no matter how big or small that part was. She truly was Art personified though, living it, breathing it, living for it, and living to create it with anyone and everyone. She loved jamming and playing and carried on writing poetry doing her art thing and raising hell in the local music scene with various musicians and drug addicts who were calling themselves musicians, and even in the midst of all the turmoil her sparkling eyes and that cheesy, mischievous smile on her pretty face would stand out. She truly was a piece of work, one of a kind, unforgettable, so when Jeff IM'd me a few days ago asking me if I had heard that Brookelyn had died, I was flabbergasted and a bit shell shocked. You could of told me that a million other people had passed away, and I would've believed you, but you wanna tell me that Brookelyn had died? Hell no. Hell fucking no. That can't be true. No way. She was too tough, too wild, too strong, right? It had to be a mistake or misunderstanding of sorts, right? Right?
But alas it's true. Brookelyn moved on and left us behind a few days ago. I'm not sure what the cause was and in the long run it really doesn't matter because she's gone and that's all there is to it. I'm sure if we weren't all under quarantine someone would of announced a memorial service of sorts for her at ye olde Double Clowne, but maybe not. The Las Vegas music scene is a fickle cunt sometimes, but truth be told there's not a lot of us still around much less still living here who would remember her fondly or even bother to care to get off their couch to go somewhere for her remembrance. If there was one though it would involve lots of cheap tequila, dollar store Viagra, and fetish costumes of some sort, where we would sit around and do shots and get shit faced and loud and carry on and tell crazy Brookelyn stories - lord knows I got a million of them! And I'm sure if you were lucky enough to spend any amount of time in Brookelyn's presence that you do too. That's just the type of girl she was.
When you ride around with someone for hours at a time, seeing the world pass you by from the comfort of the bench seating inside a cargo van, playing music together, writing songs, being in a band with them and with all the vices and self destructive behavior that comes along with it, all the shared highs, the lows, the booze, drugs, sweat, and blood, a bond is formed, for better or worse, and Brookelyn and I definitely had that bond. She had the ear for a good hook, and her lyrics were disturbing demonic poetry, and I feel honored and privileged to have played the small part that I did in bringing her musical aspirations to life. I'm sad that she's gone, sad that I'll never hear her ask me to check out this riff she's been working on again, sad that I'll never hear her drunkenly yelling my name across a packed bar calling me over to do a shot of tequila with her ever again. She was truly one of God's unique little creations, and her time on this planet was much too short to appreciate it all. If there's anyone who deserves to find peace in the afterlife it's Brookelyn. I hope that she did, and I hope that she's happy and smiling forever and ever. Through her music she will always be a presence in my life, and no one truly dies unless they're forgotten about, and Brookelyn will never be forgotten about by me, that's for damn sure!! ❤ I hope she forgives me, I hope I get to see her again, and most of all, I hope she finds the peace she was always looking for down here with the rest of us. I'm gonna miss her. A lot.
Go easy... step lightly... stay free. Salud!
Concerned Citizen - 45 Grave
When I woke up the other day and read the announcement from The Jagoffs on social media that they were calling it a day, I can't say it was a shock. It's a bit of a bummer for sure but it's not a shock. Nope. It wasn't that they weren't a good band, because they were, mining a fundamental Punk Rock sound that they mixed with some subtle Metal sensibilities for all it's worth, but it was more like because I saw them get sucked into that never ending vortex of playing the same shitty bars over and over again, opening up for every touring band that played here on a Thursday night, and if you're in a shitty band that only cares about drinking beers in the parking lot on the downlow, then that's great but if you're a band that actually wants to do more than that, like tour and record and support the scene, well then that vicious circle is gonna lead to burnout and frustration. Not saying that's what happened here, but I bet that I'm close to what the story is.
I caught an early Jagoffs gig at the Dive, saw some potential in the band, took a few pictures of them playing and left it at that, figuring that I'd see them play again somewhere down the line but I never did. Oops. They put something out, a release they called Smear Campaign, and promised to get me a copy of said release but never did, and by the time I had found out they put out a 2nd release called Class War and then gave it a review a month later (read it here) they announced they were broke up. Ugh. The bands posting listed a pseudo version of creative differences among other things as the reason for breaking up but I'm sure that even if the Gage father and son duo who make up the bass and vocals of The Jagoffs weren't moving away the band would still be finished. Vegas is a small town and the pool of musical talent here is more like a puddle. Very slim pickings indeed. Listening to the recordings of The Jagoffs shows a good band that cared about putting quality stuff out there and contributing to the scene whenever possible, which is exactly why they floundered here. The Vegas scene doesn't like those type of bands. We don't support them. Vegas doesn't want good bands that play good music, they want cool bands that are cool to be seen with and to say that you know, and if you don't know the difference I feel sorry for you. Yeah, The Jagoffs had their moment in the sun while they were here, opening up for some good bands in the process and ultimately falling victim to the Vegas curse of band burnout and it's a shame they're finito. Either that or the losers curse of the shitty places they played here in Vegas rubbed off on them like King Tut's curse did to those who discovered it. Le sigh. As they themselves said in that Facebook posting, it's not the end of the story but just another chapter and unfortunately for us, The Jagoffs Las Vegas chapter is now officially closed, and we're the worse off because of it. Good luck guys with whatever you chose to do, wherever you choose to do it. Salud!