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 Blackie about The Crimson Idol

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xanthipee
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PostSubject: Blackie about The Crimson Idol   29th August 2010, 9:55 pm

I've posted it on the waspnation already, but why not post it here ...

Edited by Kristina Estlund

Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. has been on a long and radically winding road
for the past three years. It's taken him that long to perfect The Crimson
Idol, a brilliant conceptual album that easily compares to those by
Queensryche, Savatage and the Who. He suffered for his art, but out of
that suffering came a cautionary tale focusing the rise of one Jonathan
Aaron Steel, an ambitious musician who gets much more than he bargained
for from the biz. Now, having put together a new band (guitarist Johnny
Rod, drummer Stet Howland and bassist Doug Blair), Blackie is ready to
take to the road and will be touring soon. Let us join the master of the
macabre as he relives the creation of
The Crimson Idol, a to-hell-and-back
trip that brought him face-to-face with his own dark side.

From RIP Magazine November 1993

REAL IDOL CHATTER

By Blackie Lawless








The Crimson Idol is an enormously complicated story. There are ten songs
on it, and each one is a euphemism for something else. Nothing on this
album is really what it appears to be
at first glance. Everything is a symbol for something bigger. The story
was written from a satirical point of view. That means that wherever a
person is at in their life and whoever's viewpoint they're listening to in
the story are going to determine the story they're going to get. If you're
18 and you listen to it, you're going to see one thing. If you go back
and listen to it five or ten years from now, you're going to get a
completely different story. I didn't want to create fast food for the
ears. I wanted something that I thought was going to have longevity.


I divided it up within the given space I had, which was an hour. I
wanted to tell the story of what I thought were most of the inherent evils
that go on in this business. The bottom line of this story is: Be
careful what you wish for; it may come true. In this industry people are
desperate for fame. They think they want it. I would say that covers about
98% of the people on the planet. When you get it, though, it's like you
get the tiger by the tail. You have one of two choices- you either hang on,
and you're in for a rough ride; or you let go and get eaten.


Each character was a little bit of a lot of people that I've met. When
it comes to this business I've found that you're either decent or you're
not, and there's not a whole lot of grey area in between. I've been doing
this almost ten years now, and you get to a point where you wake up one
day about halfway through your career and go, "What am I doing here? Why
me?" It's a question you'll never be able to answer. It starts eating at
you after awhile, and one of the conclusions you come to is. "Well, maybe
I've been put here to say something." If that's the case, I have one of
two choices: I can either say something good, or I can say something
negative. One thing that all entertainers have- especially musicians
who've achieved any kind of notoriety- is this great gift that they've been
given- and it's not their talent. The gift is that they stand on this
platform, and when they speak, the whole world listens to what they're
saying. You can either use that in a positive way or a negative way.


There are nine characters in the story, and they each have been
written
from a satirical point of view. Like Charlie, Jonathan's manager. Upon
first examination somebody would think that I'm slamming the music
industry, but Charlie is a euphemism for entertainment in general-what
happens to these kids when they come out here, and how they get consumed

by the machine. Although Jonathan is very green when he first starts, he

asks Charlie on the phone, "Tomorrow when I'm gone/Will they whore my
image on/I'll will my throne away, to a virgin heir and Charlie's
slave."
In other words, is he going to end up like Elvis or Marilyn Monroe? Will

he be dead and have someone still making money on him?


Jonathan is not me, but I became him over the course of making the
record and was miserable for about a year. I didn't come from an element
like that. To become that person, I had to get down in the gutter and stay
there, emotionally. It took a phenomenal toll on me. I don't know if I
ever want to go through anything like that again. I don't think it's worth
it. Still, I'm a little close to it right now. Maybe in a year or two I'll
change my mind, but there was a lot of pain. I reached a point where I was
seriously fearing for my sanity. I know that sounds way over-emotional,
but it's true. There was about a six-month period right towards the end
when I couldn't sleep. I was sleeping probably four hours a night. When I
would sleep, it wasn't a deep sleep; it was more like passing out. I was
drinking a lot because it was the only way I could go to sleep. I'm not an
alcoholic. The only drinking problem I ever had was somebody I used to
work with. A couple of times I would jump up in the middle of the night
and stand straight up in bed because I was having nightmares or
something- cold sweats and the whole bit. It was not a very pleasant thing.


When I hit the one-year mark of working on the project, that's when
the psychosis started. I'd gotten to a point, and I kid you not, where I
sincerely believed, sincerely as I'm sitting here, that I would never be
finished with the record. There was a little part of my mind that said,
"Just put one foot in front of the other, day after day after day, and
you'll probably get there," but there was such a void. The story I tell
people when they bring this up, the analogy I give them, is that it was
like climbing a mountain you couldn't see the top of because it was
shrouded in fog or clouds. You're standing at the bottom, and you think
you've got a good idea and you've got all this energy, so you say, "Ah,
the hell with it, I'm going for it." You start traipsing along, plodding
along, day after day after day. You start getting pretty close to the
clouds, then you find yourself actually in the middle of the clouds. You
become completely disoriented. You don't know what's up or down, .
sideways, left or right. You are literally in a fog, and . you have no
sense of balance anymore, but instinct . keeps pushing you on. Finally you
see a little light, and . you run as hard as you can to get to it and out
of the clouds. You can now see the top of the mountain, but . from where
you're standing, you're exactly halfway from where you started. Now you
have one of two choices- You can either go on and finish it, or you can
go back down. But either way, you're still in the middle. That's exactly
what it was like. And unless somebody's walked this walk, they will never
understand what it means.


Some of it I found to be very therapeutic. The beginning of "The Great
Misconception of Me," where he's: doing that great confessional bit, I
found that to be very . therapeutic. One thing I learned about writing is
that once you're a writer, you're always a writer. You're writing
whether you know it or not. That's what was happening to me as I
accumulated the story.


I wrote this record because I get asked one question over and over and
over again wherever I go: "How do I get from where I'm at to where you're
at?" I would try to tell these people, but they couldn't understand it any
more than they could fly. So I thought, "Okay, I know what I'm going to
do; I'm going to tell them this story, and I'm going to show them the
worst possible side of this business. Once they've heard the story, if
they think they still want to go for it, hey, go for it. Have my blessing.


The problem is that most people get into the business for the wrong
reasons. The reason to be in this business, for me, is not the love of
playing music as much as creating it. It's the idea of creating something
from nothing. That's the reward. If you're into it for any other reason,
any other perks or whatever, well, maybe somebody in our position ought to
tell these kids. Then at least they've been forewarned. They can then
understand quicker than they would have had they never been told. If
someone had told me this story ten, 15 years ago, I wouldn't have given a
shit; I still would have done it, because I didn't give a damn. I was
willing to pay the price. Any price. Most people say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I
want to pay the price," but they don't know what they're talking about. I
tell people when they ask for advice, "Show business is not looking for
people who want to do this; it's looking for people who must do this."
There's a difference. In other words, if you don't think you can live
without it, then go for it. Give it a shot. There's nothing wrong with
trying and failing. But if you have the slightest inclination that you can
live without it, you better seek another line of employment, 'cause you
ain't going to make it to the finish line.


When W.A.S.P. first started I was oblivious to the things that I'm
talking about right now. The only thing you're interested in in the
beginning is how many women you can get and how many times you can get
drunk each week, and your songs reflect that. I'm not knocking new bands.
I think there's a place for that. It's rock 'n' roll. I haven't lost that
fondness or that original motivation, but after you've been there for
awhile, I think you have a responsibility. The R word- that terrifies the
hell out of most people. They don't want to hear about it because it's
enormous pressure. Sometimes it takes the fun away from that party
atmosphere, and it makes you realize that you're responsible for the
things you say that either directly or indirectly affect a lot of people's
lives. That's a scary thought. Most people don't want to deal with that. -



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disangie
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PostSubject: Re: Blackie about The Crimson Idol   8th March 2011, 12:33 am

thanks a million for posting this one, i lost it Smile

well, how much i understand this man....this feeling about beeing always in the middle, this kind of clouds where you fall when you begin to create something....things you feel they will overpass your willing...

one reason i love him, he never hide how weak he is...sometimes...
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