(if you missed Part 1, you’re gonna be lost)
UPDATE : I’ve added a video of a full Godless performance right over here, if you’re interested.
Over the course of a few months, we performed quite a bit. I had to be sneaked in to a few of the venues, being that I was barely 17 and the rest of the band was in their early 20s. Thankfully, Phoenix had a lot of all ages venues, so this wasn’t as much of a problem then as it would be today. It’s funny to think of how many music venues and clubs I went to in those days that served alcohol, but didn’t care that mostly 16-20 year olds swarmed the place. This was before I ever really started to drinking (and about 4 years before the first time I ever got drunk), so I never got kicked out for sneaking drinks – unlike some of my friends.
My mom was really cool about the whole thing – she had no idea what was going on, and I’m not sure if she ever even met the other members in the band. But, she didn’t enforce a curfew on “gig nights”, even when I’d roll in at 2am on a weeknight. I recall one time being dropped off at Brad’s house after a show, since he lived within walking distance of my house and he wanted to hang out for a bit and go over some of his ideas and show me artwork for upcoming Godless merch and releases. I left his place at probably 1am and walked home, taking the darkest streets I could to avoid police. There were a surprising amount of cop cars in my neighborhood that night. Eventually, I got to my street and it wasn’t dark enough to hide. I’m walking home with lipstick smeared on my face (looking almost like blood), long black hair, a ripped and stained green jumpsuit, and a backpack. A cop pulled up to my house just as I got to my front door, and I couldn’t find my key in time. I started knocking and ringing the doorbell and my mom answered and let me in just as the cop was walking up onto my lawn – and he just said to my mom “he’s your kid? make sure he stays inside”. Now that might not seem that weird, but he had good reason to be suspicious of anyone walking around with a backpack, looking all fucked up, that night : a kid (about my age) was shot and killed just a few blocks away less than an hour prior. I later found out it was gang-related, so perhaps they figured “eh.. goths aren’t the gangbangin’ type”.
I really had no business hanging out with these guys – I was just some weird high school kid who thought he was “edgy” and “freaky”, and I can’t imagine how annoying I must’ve been back then. But they rarely gave me shit about much of anything. Maybe Guy just said “listen, my girlfriend goes to school with this guy and they’re friends, so.. just be cool?”, or maybe having an eager-to-please high school kid willing to beat himself up onstage and bring a little more pizazz to the show was worth it. Amongst those in my peer group, and to those even a year younger than me, I was super cool. So, that was nice.
Over time, I honed a bit of an outfit, and something of an order to my routine. I’d start fully clothed, with a “straight jacket” (actually just my old Karate Gi turned around and clasped together). Then, I’d “struggle” my way out of the straight jacket, to reveal a bright green jumpsuit. It was a one piece and unzipped easily. I borrowed (okay, flat-out stole) Marilyn Manson’s “smear lipstick in circles around my lips” thing, which looked suitably freaky, then I’d unzip the green jumpsuit to about waist-level. Sometimes I’d write little “edgy” one-liners like “Kill God” or “Fuck Jesus” or “Suck Me” on my chest w/the lipstick. Here’s a clip of me trying to draw an inverted pentagram (very difficult to do, btw, but I got better after this) and writing “KILL GOD” (or attempting to) on my chest…
I was a very scrawny little fuck, so just sucking in my stomach and popping out my ribs would get at least a few “ohhh lawd jesus” looks from the crowd. Beating myself with anything lying around onstage helped a bit, too. Eventually, I’d drop the jumpsuit and just be in boxers and pantyhose (no shoes, cause.. jumpsuits man) and that’s when I’d light candles and drip them onto myself. At one point, Brad thought it would be funny if he tied a blow-up doll to his mic stand, and “shoo!” me away when I’d try to grope it. Then, he’d simulate oral with it, rip it off the mic stand and toss it to me – like “here, have the sloppy seconds” and I’d usually really overdo simulated fucking on this thing. Keep in mind – I hadn’t even fucked an actual woman at this point, so I probably looked ridiculous 1I have the full show from which the clip above was taken, which you can watch right here.
As we performed more, and I became something of an official member — in that my “trial period” was over and I was expected to be at every show — Godless made some more merch, and focused on marketing themselves a bit. I was invited to join them for an official photo shoot, and I recall there was some back and forth on whether I should be in the photos. The photographer was cool and said “I think he’d look cool, just kinda hanging onto Brad, like he’s your gimp”, and Brad thought that was hilarious.
At the end of the photo shoot, the photographer asked if she could take just a few of me by myself – “y’know, just so you can have it for your own purposes”, and I’m a ham so I went for it. She took what’s still one of my favorite photos of me : laced up in my “cod-piece” 2which came from a girl who was dating Mick, to be explained in the next part, leaning forward, contorting my legs around themselves, and lookin’ pretty alright in that lighting. The photographer – let’s call her Katherine – asked if I’d be a model for an art project she was working on. She wanted me to wear a suit and a top hat and walk around the rubble of Downtown Phoenix, which at the time was being rebuilt so it was just endless construction everywhere. I agreed, we swapped numbers, and she hit me up later that week.
She wanted to meet that Saturday, and said she’d bring the top hat if I had a suit (yeah, I wore suits back then too). When she showed up at my house, she said “well, you better go shower first” cause I’d just woken up. My mom laughed and immediately bonded with her. When I returned from my shower, my mom was holding an 8×10 of that fucking photo of me in the cod-piece and said “Ohhh Mitcz! This is WONDERFUL!”. How or why Katherine thought my mom would be delighted to see me almost entirely nude, wearing fishnets and a bondage collar, is beyond me. But, she made a good call. My mom loved that photo so much she had it framed and put it on her desk at work. Did I mention she was a middle school drama teacher? For most of that year, I was a rockstar to her students when I’d swing by – “oh my… it’s the guy from the photo!”. Eventually, the school administration asked her to take it down, to which she was genuinely surprised – “that’s my son! he’s clothed for god’s sake! that’s his little art project and I’m proud of him!” she said in respone. They, however, didn’t see it the same way.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↩||I have the full show from which the clip above was taken, which you can watch right here|
|2.||↩||which came from a girl who was dating Mick, to be explained in the next part|