Iron Maiden was and is my favorite band. I absolutely love their old stuff, their new stuff, and almost all of the stuff in between. They're famous for having a number of bands open for them just before the band strikes it big, even their FAQ has a question about it. Which, by the way, fails to include a number of huge bands. When I saw them live back in '96, Fear Factory (RIP) was the opening act. There was a whole series of inside jokes amongst friends about FF and one of their songs being the "Russell Sprague" (my name) song. So I actually got to see them, was totally blown away, and immediately bought every album up to that point and after that until they broke up. I've listened to a wide range of music, and had some favorites from different genres, but FF was the first to really rank up there with Maiden for me. So I ended up seeing them live whenever logistically and financially possible, and soon they were headlining. Sure, it was little concerts at Birch Hill and the like.
Iron Maiden was reduced to playing crappy small gigs, much smaller than the giant stadiums they did at their peak (until Bruce returned). Eventually, Fear Factory would end up on MTV and playing some pretty decent venues, and being - at the time - bigger than Maiden. They'd end up accused of selling out, around the time that the Cars video/song was in heavy rotation. I felt sorry for the kiddies who would purchase the extended CD with Cars on it and getting traumatized by Concreto and the other kickass tracks on it. One tour, Fear Factory and the other bands all had their equipment stolen after entering PA. The trucks, empty, were found in a burning warehouse in the Camden/Trenton area. So they had to cancel the tour, and re-do it later. So, living in Jersey, I got to see them twice. The first time I had to blow off my roomie at the time, as someone else nabbed the ticket he was offered. The second time, he and I went by ourselves. Both times an amazing band who was just starting to get some airplay on WSOU opened up for them, and totally blew me away. The crowd roared like a lion, the jam session was awesome.
That band was System of a Down, an Armenian band whose debut album was finally catching on. Now they're on MTV constantly, playing huge venues, and have overshadowed the now-defunct Fear Factory. So I wonder who will open for SoaD and blow me away.
I hate the term "selling out". I realize sometimes it's a valid thing to slap on a band, but I think it's thrown around waaaay too often. I hate little indie-heads and the like slapping that onto every 'commercial' band in sight. Sorry, kid, did you pay to see your little emo band play? Wow, they sold out. Does your little punk sticking-it-to-the-man band charge for CDs? And more than the price for the media? Hot damn, they've sold out.
Sure, sometimes it fits. But I don't think adapting and growing as a musical artist is always selling out. When some band decides to try something new, they sell out, while Madonna's just re-inventing herself to whatever is hip that year... and is never really accused of selling out.
Should I regrow my facial hair?
To what degree?
And what length?
I think I'll spend the weekend contemplating everything. Doing laundry and sitting on a nearby hilltop, sleeping on my old leather trenchcoat. Lord knows I can afford to do little else. Sure, I'll see Feff, runstaverun, and aaronkliger this weekend, not to mention my roomies, but probably otherwise just hide. From everything.
I hate how people post things to their blogs that aren't quite the full story. Sure, I realize reality is subjective, and that I'm probably viewing things from my own kingfox-land eyes, but sometimes I forget that and view selfishly. And when I'm in selfish mode, I am irked by seeing people say things that aren't entirely true, important things that mean more to me than anything else on this molten ball of rock, water, and clear gasses. Things that I'd give my life for, that I'm heavily involved in, that I wish I could do all the right things about. I wish I could be the better person, do the things I need to do, and become the laughing guy with a pony tail, who knows how to say all the right things, and maybe play some guitar. Seriously. But instead I try, and fail, and try, and fail, and have to respect the other person.