My first act of music journalism since 2002
September 6, 2013 by Thomas Wictor
My first act of music journalism since 2002 was completed with Scott Thunes, of course. I enjoyed it thoroughly. An excerpt:
I used to be a music journalist. It was the best job I ever had, and I loved it. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t work out. A combination of factors—mainly my own problem with bottomless rage—ended my career. However, I got to meet, speak with, and write about some fantastic musicians. It’s all in my book Ghosts and Ballyhoo: Memoirs of a Failed L.A. Music Journalist.
Rick Suchow asked me if I’d like to find out if I still had my chops as an interviewer. I agreed, and for my first foray into the field since 2001, Rick let me choose the man I called the Collateral Ghost, Scott Thunes. It was an odd experience interviewing Scott again, because we’ve become friends. He’s no longer a ghost or Former Frank Zappa Bassist Scott Thunes. Now he’s just Scott.
He’s still one of my favorite bassists, though. He can’t peel off that label.
* * *
Since we first met in 1996, what’s the most profound difference in your life that you want to talk about?
In 1996, I had just removed myself from LA and repaired to my old stomping grounds. I went from desperately scraping by on a month-to-month basis – going from having a ‘regular’ gig with Dweezil Zappa (rehearsing 5 days a week for a year and a half) in 1988 to going on a tour with him, to recording with the Waterboys, recording for Seal (having the entire project be scrapped and started over, twice), recording for Wayne Kramer (not getting to tour with him), getting fired by Dweezil, not getting to tour with the Waterboys (even after auditioning for the touring band), recording with Andy Preiboy, touring with Steve Vai and touring with FEAR (none of which made me rich or anything remotely similar, actually, only just scraping by. This is all over a six year period and most of those acts didn’t ‘pay’ like a ‘real’ gig would.) all the while living in a pretty cool apartment and having great friends, female companionship of differing qualities and quantities, and actually physically performing music either with others or at home on my computer—to being with my new girlfriend in Northern California.
Another door happily closed. One by one, all the really awful, painful episodes of my life have receded into the distance. I can still see them, but just barely.
Thanks, Scott. It was a true privilege to interview you again.
Scott Thunes was my mother’s hero. He represented much of what she wished she could’ve had. They never met in this cycle, but I’m hopeful that someday they’ll have dinner together. In time.
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