It’s vivid in my memory. I was sitting on the left side of the bus when Mikey walked in with Joe. I knew who he was because I had been a fan of his band since I saw them play the Fireside bowl in 2002.
“Hey Mikey, this is Chris. Chris this is Mikey.”
Since that day in 2004, we haven’t stopped talking. Through all the ups and downs of both of our lives, he has always been a solid dude. Ask anyone who knows and they will tell you that every one in that band are genuine motherfuckers who never let their heads get too big.
I was not only a friend, but a legitimate fan. So when I read the news last night I found it difficult to pay attention to anything. I had to turn off the television and ask myself why I felt so bummed. I don’t expect anything to last forever, especially bands. And when my favorite bands broke up in the past it was met with a shrug and a, “Eh, yeah, those things happen.” But last night I was actually upset. I would potentially never see them live again. They would be emotionally shelved away with the greats and I would have to move on. But I didn’t want to move on. Something in me feels like it was incomplete. That their work wasn’t finished. When so many great artists over-stay their welcome and drag their legacy into the ground, that should have broken up, and stayed broken up, one or two records ago - it always seems to be the wrong bands who end up leaving. Because to me, Conventional Weapons was the most solid record they ever released and I would have killed to see those songs live. It’s like I want to shake them by the shoulders and say, “No, motherfuckers. Not yet. You don’t get to leave us now.”
And for those people shaking their heads saying, “Ugh, it’s only a band.” Clearly you have never heard music before. I mean, like, really heard music. It infects us with emotion and passion, oftentimes more than people that have said “I love you.” So when something so genuinely inspirational and compelling leaves our lives abruptly, yes, it feels like someone has taken something important from us too soon. Like we never got to say goodbye, and part of us feels slightly cheated.
So now we have to live off the memories. The great nights we had singing along with friends to words that lifted us up and motivated our lives and all I can think of is to say is Thank You.
*Pic outtake. We both look greasy and drunk. Note Gerard’s hair. He asked me to give him bangs so I walked to Walgreens, bought a some peanut M&Ms, a pair of $5 scissors, and made him look like one of the Ramones.