So it started like any other day. I grabbed my coffee, popped my Prozac (yes, I’m a spaz), and settled in for another day of hard rock and heavy metal blogging. I worked all morning like normal and managed not to piss anyone off and suddenly, I received an e-mail from Guns N’ Roses’ PR person telling me I was a persona non grata (in case you’re wondering how I know such a fancy word, thank Mrs. Brainfart). Well, before I go on, let me give you some back story.
About a month or so ago, I put in a press request for the Guns N’ Roses “reunion” show here in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome. Now you might be asking yourself, “Don, why on Earth would you want to see Guns N’ Roses after you said some pretty gnarly shit about their last Atlanta show at the Tabernacle and their Coachella appearance?” Well, here’s the thing. Opinions can change and as a writer, I love to be challenged by bands. If you didn’t blow me away or I just flat out thought you sucked, I more than welcome giving them the opportunity to try and prove me wrong.
About a week or so ago, I got an e-mail from Guns N’ Roses’ PR person (who by the way is a REALLY kick ass person and someone I love working with) confirming my press request. I was very excited to see if they would prove me wrong and show me that Guns N’ Roses was indeed back to form and in great shape. I had seen some clips of this tour online and I have to say that I was pretty fucking blown away. I was really looking forward to seeing this show… until I received word that I my credentials had been denied based on the commentary I had posted previously. I have no hard feelings towards the PR person. The PR person is merely the messenger and again, we have a great relationship that goes beyond this so I knew that it wasn’t her call. My past write ups were snarky and opinionated but I’m a small time blogger from Atlanta! While I was really disappointed, some journalist friends said, in so many words, “Dude, you’re a success. Guns N’ Roses (or at least their management) actually gave a fuck what you had to say.”
All of this got me thinking about other times where I had been “blacklisted” from shows. It was because of the same reason: sharing my honest, snarky, asshole opinion. Here’s the deal. I’m sure there are things I could say nicer but c’mon, I’m a fucking writer who runs a metal blog. I’m here to write and to entertain and it’s all part of my natural personality. Those who know me personally know that the way I write truly is me. I’m not a close minded jerk. I’m just a passionate and opinionated fan of bands.
If I wanted to, I could blow smoke up everyone’s asses and I could fluff the mighty egos of these people. If I did, I would have no problems getting free tickets, free CDs, and other swag. That’s not why I do this. I do it because I have strong opinions and I want to share them with people who generally don’t get to hear this kind of brutal honestly from a publication. And I don’t get paid for this shit so I can say whatever the fuck I want.
While I understand that it might not be easy for all journalists to speak their unabridged opinions (this may be their livelihood), why do so many bands get butthurt to hear someone’s honest reviews? I’ve seen this first hand. They love you when you are praising them but the minute they put out something subpar or put on a bad show and you call them out for it, you are public enemy number 1. You are a shitty nobody blogger and you are off the guest list.
At the end of it all, I still find it shocking that Guns N’ Roses or their people even care about what I have to say. Most of all, I find it interesting that they weren’t willing to give the band an opportunity to prove me wrong. Who knows? Maybe I would’ve given it an awesome review. Maybe I would’ve praised it and called it a contender for tour of the year. Will I take back the things I said in the past? Absolutely not. Why? Because at that moment in time, that was what I saw, that was what I heard, and that was what I felt. . That being said, I’m quite flattered that Guns N’ Roses even knows who I am.
Earlier this year, I attended a Sebastian Bach show here in Atlanta and gave a scathing (and deservedly so) review resulting in a literal war of words on The Great Southern Brainfart Facebook page that went on for a few days. It received mainstream media coverage, Blabbermouth ran it, and it even made the morning radio show here in Atlanta. Because I didn’t like his show, he physically threatened me, trolled my readers, and even trolled my photos on my Facebook page.
At the end of it all, Sebastian threatened me with this: “I will make sure you’re banned from every show here on out from Guns N’ Roses on down. You will never get into another show.” Well, since then I have covered numerous shows as press but I did just get blocked from the Guns N’ Roses show. So did it really happen? Did Sebastian Bach actually poison the well? Was I actually… BACH BLOCKED? Hm. If so, well played Sebastian. Well played!
But never fear faithful fartheads! You can count on me to continue doing things the same way I’ve done it all these years; uncompromising, unmerciful, honestly, and entertaining. My site isn’t mainstream but when someone calls you a “loud voice for the underdogs,” how can you not feel like you are on a righteous path? Hell, now I can say that it’s not just some little prog band from DC that hates me but Guns N’ Roses, the most notorious band in the world, the band that would kick your punk ass, got their thongs bunched up over my writing. Thank you and good night. <drops mic>