UPDATE : I’ve added a video of a full Godless performance right over here, if you’re interested.
Over time, Godless had picked up a pretty good following. The goth kids would come out in full force, and I got to know a few of them and sort of embed myself in the goth scene outside of Paradise Valley. Some of the members of Godless also had longtime friends who’d come out to shows as often as they could. One such fella – let’s call him “Mike” – was probably in his early-mid 30s and was basically the headbangin’, truck-drivin’, rock-shirt-wearin’ fella you thought kinda died out with hair metal in the late 80s. He’d try to start mosh pits with the casual goth dancers and it looked more like a monster truck barreling through a forest made of sticks.
One night, I was forced to get a ride home with him. That was frightening as hell. He was not only clearly drunk, but he hopped into his truck while still holding a beer. I tried my damnedest to get him to give me the keys — cause that’s what I’d always been told in those after-school specials — and it didn’t work 1I’ve come to learn : that never works. He wasn’t letting some 17 year old kid drive his truck for the 40 minutes it took to get home. On the way, he stopped at a Circle K, picked up a 12-pack of beer, tossed the beer in his truck, pulled one out, then pissed on the side of the building while chugging the beer. He smashed it on his forehead and said “ALRIGHT! LET’S ROLL!” and popped open another beer. We ended up at his double-wide trailer, while he and his mom finished another 4 beers each and sang to each other from the “all rock request hour” on Phoenix’s predominant rock/metal station 98 KUPD.
Spoiler alert : I didn’t die.
One night, after a show at The Mason Jar, this beautiful woman came up to me and said “I really like the way you move. And your.. vibe. Your whole energy. Very raw. Very sexual. I’d love to get together and take some photos of you”, and handed me her card. I was feelin’ pretty good about myself. I couldn’t wait to tell Mick. Guy was in a relationship with Terri, Brad was married, and Dan often had a girlfriend of his own. Mick was the wild ladies man. He had these long braided strands of black hair, and built much like Dave Navarro (but with darker skin). He’d wear skin-tight black latex, which he’d shine up. And long cargo shorts, with combat boots. He was the sex machine. I looked up to him, and we’d high-five each other when we got “lucky” with a phone number, or a makeout, or.. well, he did a lot more damage than me, so it was mostly just “Go Mick!” — when I got “lucky” it was by virtue of Mick being too busy making out with someone already. When I finally found Mick, he was talking to the photographer girl I met earlier. Her name was Kelly. I figured “maybe Mick’s trying to get in on that. I should leave him be”, but as I was turning around I heard “Mitcz! come here!” from him. He wanted to introduce me to Kelly, saying “she might wanna take som…” she cut him off “oh, we talked earlier. he’s down. we’re gonna do it”. Mick said “she’s a great photographer, you guys’ll have some fun”. Guy thought this whole exchange was hilarious – that I almost bragged to Mick about being hit on when I wasn’t, and the girl doing the “hitting on” was Mick’s new girl. Terri, nearby, just patted me on the head and said “well, at least she thinks you’re pretty enough for photos”.
When I finally met with Kelly about a week or two later, it was at her apartment and she was showing me some of her work. A surprising amount of her work featured nude images of her. I had to play that one cool, and not be like “holy shit you have great tits” or anything. She said she thought wearing boxers onstage was cheesy, so she gave me this weird cod-piece type thing. It was basically black underwear that came up to about my navel, but zipped from the taint to the top (where the navel was), and there was a big bondage ring on the zipper itself and various rivets lined along the edges. I ended up just folding it down over itself and zipping it halfway 2you’ll note this part of the story is told out of order from the photo shoot – where I was wearing this cod-piece thing. I wore that thing onstage, every time, for about the next 2-3 years until it finally ripped in half.
I’ll tell the remainder of the Kelly story at another time, because it’s a totally separate event 3and, again, I’ve gotta write 365 of these fucking things and I’m not gonna waste a good story in the middle of another story, but suffice it to say that she eventually broke up with Mick and her and I hooked up. Mick was a bit angry at me — not because I was trying to fuck his ex — but because “we’re bros, man. let’s not let a woman divide us. If she talks about me, tell her that’s none of your business and remind her I’ve never broken that trust with her by talking to you about her”. I agreed, and I followed that direction, and it was actually very good advice. Whether or not there was more to it than that, I can’t say for sure, but he never did talk shit about her around me and he never asked me about her. That was one of my favorite things about the Godless times – the advice and knowledge about life I gained from watching and hanging with these guys who had their shit together. They weren’t wild party animals, they weren’t heavy drinkers (mostly), there was never – outside of occasional pot – any drug use. They had their own lives, but they came together to make evil-sounding industrial-goth music and outside of that were just 4 friends with jobs and cars and girlfriends or wives.
As the summer between my Junior and Senior year came to a close, Godless went into the studio to put together a 4 track demo (which you can listen to at the top of this link) and prepare for some new shows. They even brought me “on tour”, which ended up being the 5 of us split between two hotel rooms in Flagstaff, AZ (population : 5 goth kids). We performed at some tiny little shithole bar, where the owner made it very clear that their proximity to the fire station 100 ft away made it impossible for us to do anything that involved fire or flames or even sparks. When Flagstaff’s 5 goths showed up and literally no one else even wandered in, we went on and did what we could with it. I still did some of my candle work, which made the owner jump up and down and shout “NO! NO! NO CANDLES!”, I just ended up extinguishing them on my tongue and throwing them at the bar.
It was a shitty gig all around, but shit gigs are where you come together with people. The good gigs, you’re too busy congratulating yourselves and each other. But, shit gigs? Everyone gets on the “this sucks, but let’s laugh about it” train as a method of survival, and you end up bonding in amazing ways.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↩||I’ve come to learn : that never works|
|2.||↩||you’ll note this part of the story is told out of order from the photo shoot – where I was wearing this cod-piece thing|
|3.||↩||and, again, I’ve gotta write 365 of these fucking things and I’m not gonna waste a good story in the middle of another story|