This blog still gets plenty of traffic related to The Great Chuck Biscuits Death Hoax of 2009. For the sake of continuity, here’s a link to the Crawdaddy! article I wrote last year that served/serves as the final word on the matter. I still hope one day Chuck will come forward and at least apologize to all his fans for what he pulled. An explanation would be nice, too, but at this point I’m a little more interested in where the stage name “Biscuits” came from.
P.S. – As you can see, the entire Crawdaddy! website has been moved to Crawdaddyarchive.com. Yes, I know I have to go back through JG2Land and update all the corresponding links. I’m saving that chore for the hour after my root canal.
This is one of those things that makes my head throb, my chest sting, and my testicles ache. Crawdaddy.com, the Internet extension of legendary rock rag Crawdaddy!, is ceasing publication on July 22. The controlling bean counters have long been displeased with C-Dad’s relatively low traffic, but instead of investing a little time, energy, and moolah to improve the situation, they just went out and bought an already proven Internet winner. Hence, the return of indie music chronicle Paste Magazine, which Crawdaddy.com will be folded into.
I’ve been contributing to Crawdaddy.com since around the time it launched in 2007. It was enormously exciting to be included in a new chapter of this storied magazine’s saga. After all, Crawdaddy! was America’s first journal of rock n’ roll criticism, a volume whose silly name belied the groundbreaking and forward-thinking writing its pages contained. William S. Burroughs and John Lennon, C! contributors from way back when, generally didn’t lend their names to crap. I can’t tell you how thrilled I felt being Geordi La Forge to their Mr. Spock and Bones McCoy, as it were (Crawdaddy! founder Paul Williams would of course be Captain James Tiberius Kirk in this goofball metaphor that doesn’t even really make sense considering the mag first returned after its initial 1979 fold in 1993; guess that makes me Quark, or maybe Seven of Nine?).
It’s not for me to say if Crawdaddy.com matched the Crawdaddy! of yesteryear, but I can say firmly and proudly that between 2007 and now we produced a mountain of engaging, thought-provoking, and emotionally charged content. I am honored to have shared space with such great scribes including but not limited to Andres Jauregui, Dan Weiss, Denise Sullivan, Howard Wyman, Allie Conti, Mark Prindle, Ryan Wasoba, and Jocelyn Hoppa. Jocelyn was actually Crawdaddy.com’s Editor-in-Chief when I joined up; she did a great job running things and I’ll be forever grateful to her for giving me a shot at a time when I had more parking tickets than published clips.
At some point back there, Jocelyn stepped down and Reviews Editor Angie Zimmerman took over as EIC. The transition was seamless, and for once I could say I had a job where the new boss was just as awesome as the old boss. How often does that happen? Approximately never.
The best part about writing for Crawdaddy.com was the freedom. Our work was only edited for grammar, spelling, and factual information. We could write anything about anything, so long as it pertained in some way to rock / pop music, and I don’t mind telling you we were paid in the neighborhood of handsomely. That was, to steal a phrase from J. Springfield, an embiggening feeling. I’ve worked for other places that pay significantly less yet watch their content like the most conservative of hawks, desperate to adhere to a certain established mold. How sharply frustrating it is to hear from an editor that you can’t write x opinion piece because it might upset the corporate dictators, or to see a colorful phrase excised from your work because some stuffed shirt deemed it “uncouth.” Dried up stinky dog shit like that never happened at Crawdaddy. In the end, you were the judge, jury, and executioner of your own work.
That luck was also our downfall. The corporate dictators never looked at Crawdaddy.com beyond the visitor statistics. They couldn’t monitor our content because they didn’t know what it was. We could have been printing pages from Mein Kampf or a 1984 Toyota Celica owner’s manual and they wouldn’t have known. They just saw we weren’t getting hits, and hits equal revenue, and what we were doing obviously “wasn’t unique” or we’d be getting more traffic than every porn site combined.
I think anyone who spent more than a few minutes perusing Crawdaddy.com, whether they liked it or not, could ascertain that we were doing something unique. It wasn’t a catalog of list-based journalism or trend-riding link bait. Obviously part of the blame here lies with The Social Network, a movie that convinced a lot of old white men that websites are only worth a damn if they can get you blown in a men’s room.
But I kid Aaron Sorkin. It’s not his fault Papa left us for someone younger with bigger
tits SEO. I guess that’s just business as usual. It’s still heartbreaking, though, because Crawdaddy! has such a rich history and recently it felt like the website was really growing and reaching more faces awash in LED glow. Now everything we did over the past four years is going to be relegated to a dusty wing of an already too-cluttered web presence. It feels like the end of Raiders, but the inevitable sequel isn’t so inevitable.
I’ll be blogging like regular over at Crawdaddy.com for the next two weeks, so keep tuning in for the requisite updates about Glenn Danzig, Axl Rose, and archaic ’90s rap groups. The motivation is faltering, but I know many of you out there are fans and appreciate the C-Dad, and that keeps me from spending my days face down in the bathtub marinating in a small pool of warm Sprite and my own filth. Thank you sincerely for your support.
Beginning Monday, I will be blogging on a daily basis for Crawdaddy!, the rock n’ roll website I have been regularly contributing to since 2007. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity and promise to deliver as much awesome as humanly possible within the context of day-to-day music news / criticism.
What does this mean for JG2Land? I’m guessing less rock, more other stuff. Life provides plenty of inspiration outside Finnish wig core and the other basement audio genres I tend to champion. There’ll always be something to write about here.
So, yeah, make sure you’ve got your dials set to Crawdaddy! next week. I plan to lead off with a post centered around Bad Brains—specifically, how the CD release of their 1983 album Rock For Light ended up being half a step faster than originally recorded. According to bassist Darryl Jenifer, I was the first person to ever inquire about this somewhat serious gaffe. Interestin’ stuff, folks. I hope you’ll take the time to check it out!
In the meantime, you can get your JG2 rawk fix with this just-posted Reverend Horton Heat interview. Probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to speak with. Rev is keepin’ it real and totally down to Earth.
Last month for Crawdaddy! I wrote an open letter to missing-in-action punk/metal drum legend Chuck Biscuits demanding he reveal his current whereabouts and explain his lengthy absence from the rock n’ roll scene. The whole thing was just a goof, really; I never expected this piece to garner anything but a few chuckles from those in the know. I mean, honestly – only two people commented on “An Open Letter To Chuck Biscuits,” and they were both me!
So, you can imagine my complete and utter shock last night when I opened up my Gmail and discovered a brief message waiting for me from the reclusive man in question himself, Mr. Charles Montgomery “Chuck” Biscuits. Yeah, you read that right—Chuck Biscuits sent me an e-mail last night. Cue montage of mushroom clouds, women fainting, and cats rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
I shan’t reveal the entire body of text Mr. B sent me, although I will tell you the former Danzig member confirmed that he is currently “awake” and “rotting twice to the gut” in “the land of the flanneled, tree-huggin’ bunny-fuckers” (does that mean Seattle or Northern California?). A picture was included to verify that I was in fact reading a passage written by the one and only Chuck Biscuits:
A dialogue has been opened with Chuck concerning an in-depth, one-on-one interview for CDad; I shall keep you updated on any developments. In the meantime, I invite all the JG2 haters to bask in the vaporizing glow of my rock n’ roll hermit magnetism powers.
Check out my Crawdaddy!-approved Ron Asheton eulogy. Here’s a sample for the discriminate link clicker:
I remember hearing ‘No Fun’ for the first time on the house sound at Side One Records, the hippest record shop in all of Volusia County, one otherwise stupid afternoon during my freshman year of college. It made me want to put on the darkest sunglasses I could find, clap my hands, and nod my head with my mouth open like a mental patient whacked out on rhino tranquilizers. It was that good. This vinyl copy of The Stooges was priced at $15—I think it was some kind of collector’s item because Dave Alexander had farted on it or some shit. I wasn’t about to pay that, but the cavalier soul of ‘No Fun’ stuck with me. How could it not? That riff was, as a Vermont hippie might say, so crunchy.”
If the Flower Children did anything right, it was appropriating “crunchy” for adjective use outside the food world. Thank you, filthy jerks.
No, I didn’t kidnap Sebastian Bach. There was a listening party at Webster Hall in Manhattan. To answer the burning question most music fans have about Chinese Democracy, no, Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t rap anywhere on that shit.
I can’t say much else about Chi Dem at the moment because I’m working on a feature about it for next week’s edition of Crawdaddy! However, I will state for the record that I think David Fricke was being quite generous when he awarded GNR Album No. 6: Abuse Your Delusion four stars in his review for Rolling Stone. Quite generous.
Tune in to Crawdaddy! next Wednesday to get the full Chinese Democracy monty from JG2. I can’t promise free Dr Pepper, but it should be worth the wait.
P.S. – Axl was not at the Webster Hall listening party. Neo-GNR guitarist Bumblefoot was, though. Like every celebrity, he’s much shorter in real life.
P.P.S. – I realize calling Bumblefoot a celebrity might seem like a stretch. Remember, in my world, the two guys from Ski School are equal to your Brad Pitt and George Clooney.