For those of you that weren’t aware, Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn has an online diary called, “Diary Of A Frontman…And Other Ramblings” which is amazingly good reading. Sharing personal photos, videos and other insights in poignant detail, Flynn has offered a view into his world that few famous musicians would ever dare to do.
The entries go back to October 2011, and vary in topics. I find his writing to be captivating and once I started reading; couldn’t stop. His observations and memories shared are above all else – real. You don’t have to be a Machine Head fan to appreciate the insights given by a man who has been there, done it, seen it, and survived it all (sometimes barely) – for over 20 years.
Excerpts from the last two diary entries can be read below. In the posting dated 2/11/2013, Flynn describes in very personal detail the heartbreaking decision to fire Adam Duce and how it all transpired. I hope you find this whole voyeuristic journey as interesting as I do, and if so, the link to subscribe to Robb’s “Diary Of A Frontman…And Other Ramblings” to read his entries in their entirety are below.
Valerie King, Editor in Chief
February 11, 2013
Excerpts from the diary entry (not in the exact order written)
That is the date we fired Adam Duce. That is the day that I had to tell Adam that after 21 years of being in a band together, I just couldn’t take it anymore.
It was hard. One of the hardest moments of my life.
It was also a long time coming.
We may have fired Adam on 2-11-13, but Adam quit Machine Head well over a decade ago. He just never bothered to tell anyone… but we all knew it.
I didn’t feel anything as I drove away from the jam room that night. When I awoke the next morning I didn’t feel anything either.
I wasn’t “numb,” I still “felt”, was just kinda blank. But three days after the meeting, an argument broke out in the jam room about how conflicted I felt about it. Then I cried.
I cried and cried.
I’ve cried every day since. I’ve been an emotional wreck. I cried writing this. I was sick the day that we announced it (11 days and 2 General Journals after actually doing it), walking around about to vomit for hours.
Contrary to popular belief, being in a band is tough. Really fucking tough. It’s the toughest sonofabitch you’ll ever come across in your life and it will beat the living shit out of you 80% of the time. Many times it feels like one big rollercoaster, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There are wins and losses seemingly every single day. Being in a band is one of life’s strangest gambles.
But when you do win, when you win that 20%, well… it truly is salvation. It’s what makes eating the other 80% of that shit sandwich bearable. It’s where “those” stories come from. It can be the best job you’ll ever have and unquestionably one of the hardest you’ll ever have. But until you’ve done it for 20+ years, you have no clue. Until you’ve held a band together for 20+ years, you really don’t know jack shit about it.
You think you do.
A band is a dysfunctional family. A brotherhood, a family business, and a Renaissance-era court. You’re roommates in a studio-apartment-on-wheels for years at a time, 24 hours a day. Plus you’re in the pressure cooker of the spotlight, every move analyzed, read into, or attacked. Everybody wants something from you, everybody wants to be your friend, everybody loves you, everybody can do so-much-better-for-you-than-the-people-you-have-now. Some people try and turn you against each other, and everyone wants to take credit for your success.
Oftentimes you’re enemies. At odds and fighting about something, but “pretending” everything is “fine” onstage.
But it isn’t…
To read the full diary entry:
“But can you do a power cord?”
Excepts from the diary entry (not in the exact order written)
March 5, 2013
Why do we play? Why does anyone start a band?
Back when I was a kid I just wanted to get out of Fremont. As far as “dreams or goals” I didn’t care about being famous or making money, getting laid would’ve been rad! But truthfully, playing guitar and whipping everyone into a circle pit frenzy would’ve been the ultimate goal in my young mind. My friends and I wanted to thrash the backyards, schoolyards and community centers of Fremont, California. But truthfully the ultimate dream stood about 30 miles, and a lifetime away. That dream my friends was to play The Stone in San Francisco and Ruthie’s Inn in Berkeley, without question the Thrash epicenters of the Bay Area.
So who were these under aged kids with dreams of clubs and circle pits in their heads? Well back then it was Jim Pittman and me. Another friend of ours played bass, his name was Steve Lombardo. In due time guys like Noel Plaugher, Leroy Mendez, John Tegio and Craig Locicero would share in these lofty thoughts, but in the very beginning it was just Jim and me.
I was obsessed with guitar, I played anywhere and everywhere. It’s all I wanted to do. The night I graduated from high school I discovered speed and that was it. Now I could play guitar for even longer, my focus was insane (don’t try this at home kids!) I’d practice an arpeggio for 3 hours, another for 2 more hours, staying up til 6AM. I had an ear too. I could play along to tapes, records, and hear all the right notes and none of my friends could do that. Even though they might have been better players, when they’d play a song I could hear that they were doing it wrong.
Shit, here I go reminiscing again…
To read the full journal entry: