I’m Your Charity Case, So Buy Me Something to Eat…

…I’ll pay you at another tiiiiiiiiiiime.

Who are we kidding?  That dude’s not paying you back.  If he were into things like paying people back, he’d have a job, not a band.

There are good musicians to date (accordion players) and there are bad musicians to date (all the rest of them) but, just like any other study in stereotypes, the bad ones generally stick out the most.

The one thing guy musicians have in common is that you will always, always, always come second in their lives.  Get used to it.  Your smile’s got nothing on bright lights and a roar of applause from strangers.  Nothing.

If he were given the opportunity to play a show in front of 10,000 people, but it would require him to amputate one of your toes and then eat it in front of you, guess who’s about to have only nine toes?  He will yell, “Thanks for the snack, babe!” as he runs down the hall from his dressing room to the stage.  You will hobble on a tiny bloody stump.  The next day he will be annoyed that you now walk so slowly, and will loudly sigh when you ask him to slow down.

A musician will refuse to call you his “girlfriend” unless you let him move in with you.  If he hasn’t moved in yet (which would be surprising seeing as he’s homeless), you will instead be referred to as “I don’t like labels.  Can’t we just hang out and have sex at my leisure?”

Him calling you his “girlfriend”, by the way, does not imply exclusivity.  “Girlfriend” is more equivalent to “Benefactor”.  He will absolutely still have sex with other women.  He’ll have sex with you, too, but you’ll also have the good fortune of being the one he chooses to put gas in his car, food in his belly, and clothes on his back.  Lucky you.

So he gets it on in the bathroom at the bar with some random skank?  Big deal!  Don’t you get it?  His passionate soul can’t be tied down, baby!  The heart (dong/ego) wants what it wants.

He will say, “Mmm-non-mon-pom-wall” and you will say, “What?”  Then he will spit out another woman’s underwear from his mouth and say, “It’s nothing personal!” Then he will ask you to wash the underwear along with the rest of his laundry.

As the girlfriend, the only way to prevent such things from happening is to make sure you attend every single show his band plays.  Because if you ain’t there when he walks off the stage, trust me, there will be plenty of girls who will be.  Even if it’s on a Tuesday night at 1:00am, it’s a three hour drive away, and you have to be at work the next day at 7:00am.  Even if your best friend is marrying a British royal and you’ve been invited to be in the wedding party.  Doesn’t matter.  Your ass better be there at whatever shitty bar he’s playing in Lakeland, Florida on a Tuesday night.  Your devotion and paranoia will be rewarded by maybe not getting an STD.

If you have a problem with any of the above, you are “uptight” and you “don’t understand” him.  If you actually break up with him over it, he will tell everyone that you “went psycho” on him.

Here’s a handy tip sheet to help you make an informed decision the next time you’re thinking, “Oh my god – he was totally staring at me through that whole last song!  Damn he’s hot!  Should I give him my phone number?”

Narcissistic Personality Disorder I mean, Singer: The worst, worst, worst.  Master of the Gaslight, Keeper of The Ego.  No one can convince you they’re madly in love you, then have sex with your sister, then make YOU apologize for it, then convince you to give them $300 for their car payment better than those guys can.  I’ve known many smart, level-headed people who have been reduced to insecure, suicidal wrecks at the hands of the singer.  Stay away!  These guys propose to you within a week, and fall desperately in love with you – for about two months.  Then it’s onto the next one.  Do a Google search for “love bombing”.  Expect to find a large cache of John Mayer photos.  Then he’ll be like, “I really consider myself a guitar player…”  Shut up.  We all know that you can actually play.  We get it.

And, yes, I was a singer.  And an asshole.  I get the irony.

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Extra Spanx were required just to keep the ego from jiggling.

Lead Guitar Player:  Requires an incredible amount of patience.  Your relationship will consist of listening to him play scales, pretending not to notice that he’s stealing all your skinny jeans, and riding on his bike handlebars to buy him McDonald’s.  He uses the words “LITERALLY!” to describe anything that is not literal, to the point that you will eventually start to involuntarily cringe when he says it.  Also, he is approximately as smart as a potato chip, but he will tell you that he’s “street smart”.  Also, he is not street smart.

Rhythm Guitar Player:  Generally easy-going, but is pretty sure he’d rather be the lead guitar player, and needs constant reassurance that he’s as good/needed as the lead guitar player.  You will come to recognize the sound of skateboard wheels on your driveway as him arriving for dinner, and gentle sobbing as the sound of him falling asleep on your futon, clutching a photo of Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam.  He owns either a ferret or a snake, but never both.  He gets haircuts regularly, which is good, but only because his mother still pays for it.  He is 35.

Bass Player:  Do you do drugs?  Would you like to?  Date a bass player.  He’ll only charge you for your half, oh, and his half.  The sound of a car door slamming and “Later, Grandma!” is your cue that he’s already eaten dinner before he arrived at your house, so now it’s time to smoke a bowl and watch some Adult Swim in his “crazy” boxer shorts.  Do not let this man bring pewter figurines into your house or you will never get rid of him.  He will pull out his Wizard Pocket Constitution and tell you that, legally speaking, a pewter wizard can’t be evicted until thirty days’ notice has been properly served.  He will ruin your clothes dryer with the 24-sided dice that he forgot to take out of his wide-legged jeans.

Drummer:  You have to question anyone’s motives for wanting to lug all that crap around and beat on it for hours at a time.  Perhaps he’s angry?  But he also wants to sit?  Sitting and being angry?  What a coincidence!  That’s exactly what you’ll be doing the whole time you’re dating him.  His ass smells terrible.  Like really, gut-punchingly terrible.  So bad that you store a dead buzzard in the laundry hamper to kill the smell.  He has a car, but he also lives in it, so at least you can kill rent money and gas money with one never-paid-back-loan-stone if you’re hesitant to let him (and his piles of crap) move in.

This is what happens when you let that happen:

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You could not envy my 21-year old decorating skills more, and I honestly can’t remember whose drums these were in my house

Keyboard Player:  Only if you can handle hours of stories about how he totally pwn3d all the noobz at computer camp when he was a teenager with his savant-like knowledge with regard to the more obscure works of Philip Glass.  If you’re into that scene, then please go forth and propagate with this man, and spare the rest of the world from his wiener.  You’d be taking one for the team, really, and someday your eventual spawn will probably be smart enough to crack enemy computer codes or something, or at least come up with wireless ear buds that don’t look like Ben Stiller’s ear in that scene from “There’s Something About Mary”.  You know which scene.  Don’t make me spell it out.

Any Musician Who Takes Off His Shirt Onstage:  Gross.  Just gross.  Nobody wants to see your weird spoon-chest, Topher.

Guys Named Christopher Who Call Themselves “Topher”:  Musician or not – just say no.

In Defense of Hair Bands

This, dear friends, is the exact moment that a frontman in a hair band locked eyes with me for the very first time.  (Please note the super boss Metal Edge magazine t-shirt.)

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This particular frontman is CJ Snare from Firehouse.  A great triumph of mine in recent years was finding a karaoke list that included Firehouse “Don’t Treat Me Bad”, and I sang the shit out of that song.

I’ve drifted apart from many things of my youth – things that I thought I’d love forever.  Winn-Dixie Superbrand individually wrapped cheese slices, white Fayva high-top sneakers, respect for Corey Feldman as a dancer, but the one thing I’ve never parted ways with is hair bands.

If you’re wearing red and black tiger-striped spandex leggings and suspenders with no shirt and preening around a stage singing songs about (a) strip clubs, (b) the Sunset Strip, or (c) strip clubs located on the Sunset Strip, then hell yes.  Count me in.

If your band name is filled with deliberate misspellings and needless accent marks, names of cities in east Asia even though you’re from Scandanavia, or is simply the last name of the person who has the coolest last name in the band – I’m all about it.

I was thinking about it last month when Anne and I went to see Poison for the tenth time, or as most of my “cool” musician friends refer to them, “Do you seriously like those bands?  I have lost all respect for you.  Don’t ever talk to me again.  Ever.”

Fact:  The only reason I ever took my Poison door poster down was to put up a Skid Row one, that I promptly covered with red lipstick kisses.  The Skid Row door poster was surrounded by posters of Kip Winger.  I bear no shame, and I shame no bears.  Related, Kip Winger is an unapologetically hairy man.

My cool friends will often accuse me of just trying to be “ironic” by liking these bands, even after I assure them that I’m not, and pull out my collection of Winger t-shirts, much to their horror, as proof.  My love for all things hair band runs as deep as the swimming pool in the L.A. Guns video for “The Ballad of Jayne”.

It blasts forth from my heart like a fire hydrant in the Slaughter “Up All Night” video.

It is as pure and platinum as Matthew and Gunnar Nelson’s long, blonde locks.

That’s right.  I’m at Nelson level hair band fandom.

Nelson.

I feel like you really need to know the depths to which my feelings lie, or else this entire conversation will be for naught.  I don’t want you walking away from this thinking I’m talking about rock bands like Van Halen, a band that managed to be the perfect hybrid of wicked fun and incomparable talent.  I don’t want you to think, “Hey, that Maggie sure does like AC/DC!  What a cool lady!” and then call it a day.

Motley Crue is, in fact, the most cerebral band I like from the 80s.

I want you to know what you’re getting into here.  If you put on an Enuff Z’Nuff video, my eyes will glaze over and I will sing along.

Hair bands came along at a time in my life when things really couldn’t have been worse.  Poison, in particular, came around when I was in middle school, the literal worst.  The god awful, miserable, worst of the worst.  The onset of the hideousness that was puberty, living in a house with caved-in bathroom walls and falling-down ceilings, carpets blackened with ground-in cigarette ashes, and piles of old furniture rotting in the yard.  Where when you flipped on the kitchen light, you could be assured that at least 200 cockroaches would scatter for cover, and at least one of them would stand there, defiantly, like “Fuck you, kid.  This is my house,” and you’d know that, deep down, they were right.  Getting shipped off to live with out-of-state relatives when the shit really hit the fan at home.  Getting groped in school nearly every day when the going attitude was, “Ignore it.  Maybe all these guys with their hands all over your body just like you!”

Having a goddamned perm at the exact same time as 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner became popular.

Mr. Belvedere being cancelled.

Middle school in the mid-to-late 80’s:  It was a real crap festival.

No matter how shitty things got, when I turned on the television, I could be assured that Bret Michaels would be there wearing leather chaps, fingerless gloves and a bandanna, literally humping his way up a microphone stand while singing about bops that were unskinny and dancing with laser beams in the shape of ladies.  You could always count on fun times with those bands.  And as a matter of fact, as a singer my entire vocal affectation can be directly attributed to the thousands of hours I spent singing Poison songs as a tween/teen.  I wanted to be Bret Michaels.

Fun was always part of the package with hair bands.  They were like a candy necklace around the bag of garbage that was my life.

I’m not telling you this to get your sympathy for my troubles.  I’m telling you this to get your sympathy for hair bands.

Hair bands provided me with an escape from the misery of my life, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.  I know it because I can see it on the faces of the thousands of people who still show up for the reunion tours, who still scream like it’s Beatlemania when Kip Winger walks out onto a stage in his leather pants, and to women like me who feel proud to see Lita Ford still tearing that shit UP.

It’s the pageantry.  The wink-winkiness of it all.  The pointy guitars and choreographed moves while ripping out scales at nearly supersonic speeds.  The men in frosted pink lipstick and thigh-high red boots and the women in flamey leather jumpsuits pouting for the photographer in Circus magazine.  The frontman wearing a pair of cow-print chaps and doing high-kicks onstage.  My god, how could you not love it?  How could you not love every single second of it?

I mean, it’s just rock ‘n roll. Why you “cool people” gotta be so uptight about it?

And I’ll tell you this much, smartypants, the fact that I love hair bands doesn’t detract from my love for “ooh serious bands” like Wilco and Dinosaur Jr even one little bit.  Just because you love sumo wrestling doesn’t mean you can’t also love greco-roman wrestling, or professional wrestling, or mud wrestling.  The love for one thing doesn’t detract from the love for all the other things.

That being said, if Jeff Tweedy from Wilco and CC DeVille from Poison were both tied to train tracks and I could only save one of them…

I’m just saying the guy doing the high-kicks in the leather pants is probably not going to be the one who ends up becoming train meat.

I was an internet troll.

I didn’t plan on it.  Not unlike breaking into a Wendy’s after hours because you really need to get at that Frosty machine, or rebooting the television show “One Day At a Time”, it was one of those things that just sort of happened.

Related, there is only one “Schneider” and his name is Pat Harrington, Jr.  So anyway…

The year was 2006, and the television show “Rock Star Supernova” had just premiered on CBS.   If you didn’t have the privilege to have ever watched it, Rock Star Supernova was a singing competition-type show, but instead of winning the title of “American Idol”, you got to become the lead singer of a made-up band called “Rock Star Supernova”, which was a supergroup that featured Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, Jason Newsted from Metallica, and Gilby Clarke from Guns ‘n Roses.

Now, this would have all been just fine because whatever, except that they also made these guys the judges, and there were two things they all liked to do:

  1.  Compliment the dewd singers on things like their voices and stage presence.
  2.  Compliment the lady singers on things like whether or not looking at them gave them a boner.

Tommy Lee had one thing in particular that he liked to do in addition to those two items:

  1.  Use the phrase “Off the chain!” more times than I thought I would ever be able to emotionally and mentally withstand.

And even that may have been fine in 2006, except they made one crucial error, in my opinion.  One un-fixable error.  They made Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction/Red Hot Chili Peppers the host.

I think Dave Navarro is, what’s the term?  Grody to the max.  Super ew?  Whatever the word is that comes to mind when you have to reach down into the drain of your sink and pull out some hair and you’re pulling the loose hairs up and they’re all slimy.  That.

Disclosure:  I don’t know him.  Never met him.  I have no business registering an opinion on the man.  As most people will tell you with regard to most subjects, I should probably just shut up.  My feelings about him have no place in reality, I know.

Here’s my issue:  He just does the whole “rock star look” to the point that it makes me want to run screaming into the arms of rap-country just to get as far away from rock ‘n roll as possible.  Rap-country.

Rap-country.

Every episode of the TV show he was nearly-shirtless, in that while he technically had a shirt on, it was unbuttoned to his pubic bone, with some form of leathery pants, slicked wet-look hair, eyeliner, some kind of scarf or feather boa, had on tons of huge rings, and then the necklaces.

My god, the necklaces.

So many necklaces.

He looked like what would happen if they held the Mardi Gras parade inside a Hot Topic and made you exit through a car wash of Astro-Glide.

And maybe this look was fine, and even something I was thoroughly, thoroughly into when I was 16 years old, but by the time I was 30 and had dated more of those types than I care to think about, so the thrill was gone.   By the time I hit 30, I thought that particular look on a man was the equivalent of flying a flag on top of their heads that read, “This Guy Has The Clap and Don’t Even Get Me Started on His Ego, Which Also Has The Clap”.

In order to adequately address my feelings on the subject, I started trolling the comment board on the TV show’s website.  Like any troll, I did it because I had a lot of free time on my hands, and my personal life was fucking miserable in every conceivable way, so I took it out on people who had nothing to do with my problems.  It was a dick move.

For reference, this was also around the time I used to start fake Myspace flame wars between several accounts that I actually controlled, to make it look like people were fighting when it was actually just me working both profiles.  This was when I ran an advice column as a fake nurse who was into BDSM just so I could make fun of other bands.  I used to hate-listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio during my lunch break so I could yell at the radio while wagging a Burger King bacon double cheeseburger at it, and then blog about in open letters to him.  This is pre-therapy Maggie we’re talking about here.  Pre-Bobby Maggie.  Asshole Maggie.

Don’t be a smart-ass.  Yes, there is a difference.

I started by going onto the comment board for the show and posting a thread titled, “Dave Navarro Needs to Put On a Shirt”.  As you can imagine, this comment board was filled with people who were actual fans of the show, rather than me, who watched it merely so I could hate it.  Most of the responses to that thread were along the lines of, “Are you crazy?!  He needs to take that shirt all the way off!  He’s hot!!!” and then I would comment something back like, “What he needs to do is set up a termite tent around his body so he can fumigate whatever is surely living in his crotch.”

I found my way into as many threads as I could just so I could act like a dick to total strangers.  I made it my job to make fun of people for liking the things that they liked and, as an asshole, it made me feel better.  This is the very definition of an internet troll, by the way.  Did I mention that it was a dick move?  It was a dick move.  I feel really bad about it.

I kept posting threads, and making fun of everyone on there, until one day when a commenter flat out asked something to the effect of, “What is wrong with you?  Why do you spend so much time commenting on here if you don’t even like the show?”

Hmm.

It was a real wake-up call for me.  Why was I spending all my free time coming up with newer and better ways to be mean to people who I didn’t even know?  What was wrong with me?  I stopped commenting on the board that day, and stopped hate-watching the show.  I didn’t want to be that person anymore.

So maybe there is hope that you can say just the right combination of words to a troll to make them go away.  Maybe?  Hell, this was 12 years ago.  Trolls have only gotten stronger.  You probably have to pull some of that magic powder out from Weekend at Bernie’s 2 if you want to stand a chance against them.

That being said, it was with great pleasure that I read the part in Bobbi Brown’s memoir “Dirty Rocker Boys” where she basically described her first meeting with Dave Navarro as him answering the door completely naked, telling her he was having sex with a fan in his basement and filming it, and then he sat her down in his living room and told her to wait for him until he was finished.  Before he left the room he said, “Oh, hang on,” and put on a videotape for her to watch.  The videotape was of him wanking it.

So.  Internet trolling?  Wrong.  My opinion on Dave Navarro.  COMPLETELY ACCURATE.