So a year ago today I opened for Wednesday 13 at The Rockpile in Toronto. Only it wasn’t Wednesday 13. It was Joseph Poole’s band, Bourbon Crow. Joseph Poole IS Wednesday 13 but that’s besides the point.
Unbeknownst to me, Bourbon Crow was more of an acoustic laid back thing. But it wasn’t just that. It was a Q&A session. I didn’t realize that. Often I don’t pay attention to matters that don’t pander to my inflated ego. But had I asked questions instead of talk shit, the long winded ramblings in between their songs would have made sense.
But I didn’t ask questions. I behaved the way I normally did when I played for a crowd bigger than 200 people. I was as anti-social as possible with the exception of my friends who came out. Admittedly they were confused about the immense spoken word reverberating from the stage but they only knew what I told them, which wasn’t much.
So in true Doug Hell style I couldn’t get on Facebook fast enough that night to shoot my mouth off and run this clown into the dirt.
I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
Somehow this diatribe made it back to Wednesday 13 himself, and he took exception to my words.
The next day I woke up to over 900 emails from angry fans and Joseph Poole himself. The gloves were off.
I spent the better part of a fucking month verbally sparring with his fans as well as calling Joseph out. I challenged him to a fist fight which is completely out of character for me. But I found the fight with the fans even more exciting than the show itself. This would go on for about 6 months. The promoter of the Rockpile even emailed me to ask me to cool it. I couldn’t be stopped though. Facebook wars were my forte. The attention I was getting made me drunk with stupidity.
Nothing really good came of it. A lot of my fans patted me on the back for not taking shit. But to be fair, I was the one who started the shit. And unjustly so. I misunderstood something and publicly shot my mouth off without knowing the facts. I’ve always pride myself for standing up to bullies and being direct, but I was at fault.
As a result I have a very hard time getting gigs. A lot of promoters won’t touch me with a stick now. This was too high profile of a beef to think it would just fade away. I am still catching shit for it. Some of Poole’s fans have organized a posse that attack anything I put online with negative reviews. Every Youtube video I post gets crucified and down-voted the second it’s uploaded. You could argue there is no such thing as bad press but that doesn’t work for a guy like me. I’m an intensely unlikable internet blabbermouth who many would love to see fall. It’s not like I’m a famous musician.
There is not a lot I can do now. I could admit I am wrong but what good would that do for a guy who’s mind changed like the tides. I’m too mentally unstable to be taken seriously in any capacity. When it comes to lore and reputation that would seem cool. But life isn’t like that. I have a seriously hard time getting any kind of work musically because I’m too unstable and unpredictable. Again, we all root for that guy in cinema but in real life I’m just deemed unfit to work with.
I’m trying to change that. I’ve yet to fuck up in 2018 but it’s only January. I’m not being weepy either. I’m just being objective. Few things to me are more exhilarating than recognizing my shortcomings and learning from them. But am I learning when I keep repeating the same mistakes?
The verbal tsunamis have to stop too. When you ave a tongue like a scalpel, you need to reel in the bad guy. I won’t mention any names but I know an idiot-stick who thinks he can just verbally abuse you and then expect you to forget it if a little time passes. I’m guilty somewhat in that capacity. Generally I’ll shoot my mouth off and just kinda forget the whole thing. Then whenever my storylines happen to conflict with my victim again I’ll be shunned, and more often than not I am left scratching my head as to why. Then I’ll try to apologize but by that time it’s too late. I remember someone told me once they weren’t going to accept my apology suggesting to me that just because I was thinking straight, it didn’t mean I still wasn’t a fucking asshole. I really couldn’t argue that.
I am an asshole. I accept this. I am high-strung. I’m prickly, I’m severely moody and vexed by pretty much everything. If you chew loud, I don’t want you near me. If you have an annoying voice, I don’t want you near me. If you have a stupid sense of humour, fuck off. If you’re crass, fuck off. If you like to talk but don’t like to listen, fuck off. If you can’t survive without drinking or getting high, fuck off.
I will remove myself from the situation. I’m not going to come into your house and tell you that you can’t be crass or get high. But I won’t have you in mine. I won’t have you in my company.
Regardless, Joseph Poole, I don’t know you’re not reading this but I know one or more of your fans are. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I shot my mouth off on your stage. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have been performing for over 200 sets of ears that night. I acted like an asshole without knowing the context of what was actually going on. And even if you did want to gab and brag about being friends with Marilyn Manson in between songs, what lordly right do I have to pipe off about it? It’s your show. It’s your stage.
I apologize to the fans too. I was out of line. My 15 minutes may be gone but I’m still here, no further ahead than I was a year ago.
That’s about enough of that methinks. The usual thanks to everyone for coming out.