It’s no secret that my head and heart are both card-carrying members of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club…in spirit, which is truly all that matters. It’s a club that asks precious little of its members, gives no directives, charges no dues, does not participate in hazing and whose motto is, effectively, “Come As You Are” and I have. Bless their hearts, they’ve been quite gracious and welcoming and accepting.
BRMC’s music and I go back a ways. I don’t claim to have discovered them on some dark and stormy night after randomly popping into the revered Los Angeles venue and launch pad known as the Silverlake Lounge and I cannot give you an approximate date when I officially became acquainted with the Robert L. Been, Peter Hayes and Nick Jago version of BRMC (we’ve since welcomed Leah Sharpiro to the fold) or what song served as the introduction. But the detail, itself, is a minor plot point within the bigger picture because, at this point, it just feels like they’ve always been there.No matter how darkly lit the room, it’s been all of the subsequent moments, the lyrics, the guitar chaos, the ridiculously athletic bass lines that followed that have solidified them, made them musically and in some ways, emotionally necessary and, oddly, a point of light. So much so that Ive found myself going the extra mile to see them, hear them, experience them.
In 2007 I found it necessary to see BRMC (opening for Kings of Leon at the time) at the Greek Theatre, in Los Angeles, Radio City Music Hall in NYC and the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia. Oddly one of the most vivid memories of that Tower show: when doors opened and we entered the venue, the floors were nastily sticky. As in “Did no one mop up after last night?”-sticky.
That same August it became necessary to rearrange certain flight plans because BRMC decided to add a headlining show at Irving Plaza in Manhattan a few days prior to the Jones Beach gig. Arriving at JFK airport that evening, my luggage and I hauled ass to the venue in order to make the show. Mission accomplished. My luggage enjoyed the show as much as I did.
In October of 2010 I had the strangest urge to ditch work and fly to Atlanta for BRMC at the Masquerade, so I did. After the show near the back bar I heard someone call my name. Having no idea who the hell in Atlanta would know me, I turned around to find Julian Dorio of the Athens, GA band the Whigs, staring at me. Our conversation went exactly like this:
Me: “What are YOU doing here?”
Julian: (cocked his head, gave me a “Really?” look): “I live here. What’s your excuse?”
Fuck. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.