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Memoir

1.

The Initial idea for writing this was simply a question someone asked me in November of 2015 at Thanksgiving.The question was“what kind of muic do you like”? Well,the common answer usually given from people of all ages is“whatever is on the radio“or“I listen to what my kids are playing”.Sometimes in rare instances someone will be like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off when that question is presented to them,finally giving them the opportunity to share there life knowledge about something they hold dearly.Well,I could just think back in my mind and mouth off a timeline of different bands,styles,genre’s,and leave it at that.I however have in someway,shape,or form been influenced in all aspects of my life even to this very day relating to music.

After deciding to go forth and answer the question, I realized that it would be far more complicated and would be a lengthy answer to say the least.I am of course writing all of this from memory so in order to get to the point some stories may take some time.I do tend to mindlessly ramble trying to include every memorable detail to complete the story.

I have never studied the proper way to write a book and are not familiar with all of the mechanics.I am sure the reader can tell just up to this point!Anyway,I will not be able to specifically name every name that may be included due to obvious reasons.Most that were in the past still are,some deceased,some have dissapeared and the majority I do not want to be in contact with anyway.

Well,here is my answer.

2.

Being born in September of 1978,I was growing up when all of the cool stuff was just coming out in the 80’s.A lot of the stuff that is still popular today was just being innovated and I got to see it all.I witnessed the VHS rental stores,a slew of iconic 80’s cartoon’s and movies,Nintendo coming out as well as arcades and those cool all in one 2 storie malls that are almost obsolete.It was a good time and even at that young age I knew it was something special.I can not really write much about my extremely early years with music but one monumental thing that stands out was in 1985.

Depending on what month I was either 7 or 8 years old and I remeber everything after that.I do have very fond earlier memories from the time I was 1 or 2 but I will save that for another book!

Back to The Future.I remember my mom and dad renting that movie and letting me watch it with them.The end section of the movie where Marty is playing Johnny B. Good is burnt into my memory to this day.(Years and years down the road I eventually learned that Paul Hanson was the guitarist)I do not know how are why but no other happening in my life had such an impact on me the way that did.I knew I wanted to play guitar and that I wanted to be a famous guitarist one day.Only if I knew what I eventually lived through.

I knew from that point my life had changed and I looked at my life in a whole new light.I was 8 years old and already had a purpose in life that was very clear.Growing up at that exact time in history was definately to my advantage,radio stations would play what became known as glam metal and looking back it was a trend to say the least.I would see older kids wearing band shirts and patches,buttons on their blue jean jackets.I did not know the term “heavy metal“quite yet but I knew what was being played, I liked.Researching music from 85-87 one would find what was getting major exposure at the time and radio and video play as well.I remember hearing Poison,Whitesnake,Ratt,Bon Jovi(Unfortunately)Ac/DC,as well as other pop rock oriented music.

Thanks Gus.After having one life changing experience with Back to The Future I did not think I would experience another.I went with my parents and brother and sister to visit relatives whom we visit regularly back in those days.He had a jam box with a tape deck that had been melted from the sun.I said“man what happened to that?“he told me someone had used it on a roof job and left it on the roof.Even though it was melted on one side it still worked and he asked me if I had heard this new band Guns N Roses.I told him no,but lets here it!I remember the tape being to cued to Nighttrain and after hearing just a few notes I was speachless.I had heard the aformentioned bands on the radio but this was yet another crucial life experience.I stayed in his room the remainder of the visit listening to that cassette tape and still listen to that album untill this day.A little later he said “hey do you play guitar or anything?I have one I forgot to show you“No,I replied but I want to.He pulled out a red guitar that was a v shape and had a slinky like wound up cable and a small amp.That was the first time I had ever saw someone play a guitar right in front of me and I loved it.I had to have one of my own.

3.

I was poor growing up,that is the bottom fucking line.My mom and dad did the best they possibly could but we were all in it together and were very poor.I had no idea how I would ever get a guitar and I was heart broken already.I thought it was over before it had even began at that early age(I later come to buy everything I ever dreamt of probably collecting $65-70 thousand dollars worth of gear throughout the years)Even though it seemed doomed from the beginning,I was still enjoying listening and fantsizing about playing so it was still a good feeling.

Remember Columbia House music club?Get 10 cassettes for a penny.I saw an ad in some magazine and all of the stuff I had heard on the radio was on the list.I asked my mom but after her reading the fine print and realizing additional albums would have to be bought she wouldnt do it.She told me she couldnt committ to having another bill and I understood.Who could I get to order them for me considering almost everyone I knew was poor like we were.I found someone,my uncle agreed to send it off in his name but I could only pick 2 and he would get 8 since he would be the one paying for it.I couldnt argue and had to make up my mind on what 2 I really wanted.After hours of looking at what was available I decided on the Appetite For Detruction(I still have that same cassette in my vault) that I had heard at my cousins house and decided to take a chance on this cool album cover.Anthrax-State of Euphoria.Probably around 8-12 weeks later I had my very own tape collection getting started.

4.

1987 led me to a chance meeting with someone who would influence me greatly and whom may have even altered the course of my life in a good way.I remember the teachers talking about this kid whom had gotten a giant piece of wood stuck in his chest and had to go home.In my mind I was expecting him to have had a vampire stake through his heart they way the teachers were talking.I thought he would be out of school permanently due to the unfortunate accident but low and behold there he was bcak at school the next day!Me being naturally shy at that age,I would barely speak to anyone I didnt already know much less approach someone.My curiosity got the better of me though and I walked up and said“hey I heard you had a giant stick go through your chest.To my surprise he said“no,I got a splinter from sliding down the wooden rail on the jungle jim and it was about an 1/2” long.Well then I told him,my name is Josh and we are in the same class,what kind of music do you like?

He started telling me about how he was the youngest of 6 kids and one or maybe two of his brothers in particular had turned him on to things like;Ted Nugent,Alice Cooper,Metallica,MegadethOzzy Osbourne,as well as what was the early beginnings of was to become thrash metal.At that point I had heard a lot of the “glam“metal and hard rock but did not know yet about the heavier music.After telling him I really liked Poison,Def Leppard,Motley Crue,Guns N Roses he laughed and said that type of music was for girls only.I said fuck you and that started a on again, off again friendship for almost 30 years.

5.

In those days and at that age the concept of friendship and keeping in touch isnt really something that was second nature.You would meet people at school then lose touch and quit talking over the summer.I dont really remember all that much of that particular summer but in 1988 on my first day of school guess who was in my class?I had matured a bit and had done my homework about educating myself with as much music as I could.By that time I somehow began to aquire blank cassette tapes and started recording songs from the radio and getting other people to make me copies of the tapes they had.1988 was a monumental year looking back because everyone knows that the masterpiece ‘And Justice For All’from Metallica came out and I had gotten a dubbed copy from a neighbors babysitter that was a few years older.I remember her telling me how she had spent her babysitting money on the cassette but couldnt understand what they were singing because it was so fast.Around that time I was also introduced to Megadeth from my babysitter who was my cousin through marriage at the time.

There truly was a lot of cool stuff beginning to come out and I enjoyed all of it.Radio stations were playing heavier music at selected times(New Orleans had Headbangers Heaven and Houston had Sweet Nightmares that were played at odd hours during the weekend)and ofcourse every Saturday night was Headbangers Ball.Dont get me wrong Headbangers Ball played some dumb shit at times but for the most part I was getting introduced to bands that were just coming out.I had the best of both worlds listening to glam metal and getting into thrash and speed metal,I was dying to start my own band at 10 years old.

The problem with starting a band that young was first getting the other members who were into the same music and secondly finding like minded kids who had or could get equipment and were on the same mental level as well.Looking back I can now see how I probably stressed out the friends I had being so persistent and probably driving them insane.I knew I wanted to play the guitar but did not have one yet,I found a singer,a girl I knew was going to play bass and I had a friend that wanted to play the drums.None of us had equipment but would spend time coming up with drawings for what I wanted the album cover to be as well as trying to write lyrics and come up with a solid band name.It was fixing to be the summertime again and I would be going to the 6th grade in 1989.Dam I thought that is a long way away,will people even listen to this music next school year?Is my favorite band Guns N Roses going to be around next year?

6.

I still was not able to get a guitar but did see something that summer that once again had a big influence on me.Not having a guitar I would spend the summer staying up all hours of the night trying to catch music videos or horror movies and when I wasnt doing that I was listening to my tape collection ,drawing,or just imagining how I wanted the band to be.One night I just so happened to catch this public brodcast type show that had guitar players on it.I was amazed when I saw Stanley Jordan tapping with all of his fingers on the neck,Jeff Beck with his yellow Fender and Jennifer Batten with her Ibanez guitar(to this day I can not track down what show that was)it was really my first look at what was considered instrumental guitar.Oh yea,watching Morgus was also a ritual for most that lived near New Orleans.Well the summertime is over and 6th grade started.

Starting 6th grade in 1989 not as much had changed as I thought it would.Guns N Roses had made another album and a lot of the other stuff I had been listening to was still being played.Girls would walk around with Poison and Dangerous Toys shirts and the guys would all wear the old Metallica shirts.I once took my entire Strawberry Festival fund which was $5.00 and scored a Metallica-Damaged Justice tour shirt that was a bit small even back then.I didnt care,I wore it proudly almsot everyday.On a side note,I dressed a certain way out of neccesity of being poor and that was camoflauge pants with a metal shirt.I personally did not see anyone else with that combination back then but today it is a pretty common thing.Innovater?

Nothing out of the ordinary really happened that year except constant talk mostly led by myself about getting a dam band together.No one had any equipment and oh yea,the singer failed and I didnt know where the hell he was.It would be a few years later before we would get back on track again.End of the school year and my mom says“hey do you all want to move”?meaning my entire immediate family.I asked her where and when she told me I was eager to make the move(I probably didnt have a say in the matter anyway being 11)It was out in the country surrounded by woods with a canal and plenty of places to camp out.I loved it and have been here for 28 years now.

7.

Oh yea,I got a guitar!Unfortunately it was short lived but in 1989 my parents ordered me a guitar from Fingerhut that they could pay monthly notes on.Years later doing some research,turned out it was a Harmony electric guitar with a small 3 watt amp and instructional book.I had no idea what to do with it when it finally came in the mail and didnt know what a tuner actually was.I tightened the strings on it in my room and ended up breaking 3 from over tightening them.My mom said the guitar was defective and shipped it back.My music career was over as soon as it had started!I would not getting another guitar until years later from that point.I also eventually learned what a tuner was for and how to use one,I never had many broken strings after that.I was bummed out at an early age because I had had the opportunity and it had vanished almsot overnight.

My grandma would bring me up to the music store on Sundays when they were closed and let me look through the window.Back then it was common to see hot pink guitars or snakeskin guitars and everthing else that was bright and flashy for the time.I had no idea how to get a guitar but I did learn a lot more about music.A lot of styles had developed in the 4-5 years since I had first gotten hooked on metal music.Death metal,Speed metal,industrial,thrash,gothic metal had spawned a lot of good bands and genres.I met some cool people here and there that would mention a band I had never heard of or I would read the inside of tape covers and see who they mentioned.I could not afford a guitar but I did find a way to make money for cassettes and magazines.I would sell turtles and snakes to a biology lab in town.I still have most of the tapes I bought back then from doing that.

Now it was 1990 and something terrible that still affects me to this day happened.Living in the country there are(were)plenty of woods to run around in and camp out.When I got tired of sitting inside I would always walk around in the woods to kill time and enjoy the quitness.One day while a few of the other kids from the neighborhood were around I decided to climb a tree for fun.All I remember was trying to reposition myself to climb higher when I heard“watch out“I leaned back the branch broke and I fell out landing on my back.The right side of me had a cane pole that I had cut earlier with a machete and if I would have been to the right a few inches more it would have went straight into my back probably coming out of the front!I caught my breath and when I got up my right arm was heavy and didnt want to move.I was in shock I guess when I looked at it and realized that when I hit the ground the impact caused my right arm to snap at the wrist and it looked like a “U” the bone was almost completely out of the skin.I got rushed to the hospital and the doctor told me to look the other way and they pulled it until something seemed to crack even more then they put a cast on it.One thing that still haunts me is the doctor telling my mom that in 20-25 years I would more than likely have severe problems with my right hand!

8.

I fucking hated having the cast on.I had to try and sleep a certain way and it seemed like for all the months I had it the aching and throbbing never seemed to stop.I had to go back to school and since I had written up until that point right handed,I had to learn to write left handed(that actually come in handy years later)

I dont remember being given any pain medication during all of that but I figured there had to be something that would help,I was miserable.I had always remembered my mom and dad having thses little strawberry wine collectible’s from the festival that they had on a shelf.I had heard about people drinking but had never tried ay myself.One day I took one of the bottles and drank it then filled it back up with water thinking no one would notice.The throbbing was gone and I had a good feeling that I had never had before.I was 12 years old and had found something else I liked.Unfortunately future events would not be in my favor so much stemming from this!

1990-1992 was Jr high school and I was getting more knowledgeable about music and life in general.I still didnt have a guitar but the spirit was still strong and at that age other things were occuring also that seemed to pass the time.Jr High was a dose of reality.I never got into trouble myself,but the school I went to had its share of events that I am sure a lot of people remember.I remember once there was 7 fights before I had even gotten to school that morning.A small riot that involved a girl getting pushed down the stairs,3 suicides by students and fights every other day.I do not support violence but during that time it just seemed normal everyday routine.

Somewhere in that 1990 time frame 2 things happened.First I saw a MTV news special that had Steve Vai playing his Multi-colored swirl Ibanez 7-string universe.He was saying how he was getting ready to go out on the Whitesnake world tour and demonstrated these cat and lion sounds with his guitar.I loved that guitar instantly and have since.The second thing was there was another kid at school that actually played the guitar.I had not known of anyone even having a guitar since my cousin showed me his red flying V.The reality of someone around my age having a guitar and supposidly knowing how to play was an inspiration and a bummer at the same time.I thought it was cool that someone else was playing but I wanted to be the one playing.

9.

I had never actually gone into that music store before and had only seen from the window outside.I was still quiet and shy at that point but made up my mind to finally go in and look around.I think I have always had social anxiety even at a young age and that is probably a factor in my heavy drinking later on.It was like nothing I had ever seen before when I walked into the small store with guitars hanging on the wall and small to giant amps on the floor.I remember one of the salesmen standing there talking to someone with this tiger striped guitar around his neck playing ‘Wherever I may Roam’it had not been out very long and I overheard him saying he saw the video and learned it by ear.I was amazed and could not believe someone could actually do that.(that guitar turned out to be a very rare Ibanez Predator that a friend of mine ended up with and still has)

“Let me know if you want to test out anything“he looked at me and said.Too damn scared to talk I just turned back around and stared at the cool guitars hanging on the wall.I knew I could not afford anything but enjoyed looking at them“I see you keep looking at the Ibanez“he walked over and said“here,you can have this Ibanez catalog to take home“they were usually sold for about $5.00 but I think he could tell I didnt have any money.I said thank you and went out of the door.I stared at that thing like it was a playboy magazine and memorized everything in it.I noticed right off the bat it had that very same multi colored swirl guitar that Steve Vai was playing and come to find out it was his model guitars.

I got in the habit of calling the store from home asking prices about all of the ones I liked especially the Vai models anly to be let down at how much they were.(I would end up getting a rare Vai model down the road that is very special to me )Back then hearing a guitar was $1700.00 is almost the same as it being a million dollars.I did however end up with a Super Nintendo right when they came out that eventually led to something even greater.

My Jr.High days were coming to an end,I had no guitar and at that point had never even played one yet.I had a SNES,a few metal magazines at that point and my collection of tapes originals and copies was starting to grow.

10.

Summertime before high school and new life experiences about to begin.

At this point I had not talked with the singer,the drummer had sinced moved and the girl bass player was no where in the picture either.I was by myself but still had never given up on my dream and wanted to stay focused.After using the game system I got bored and had the idea of bringing it to a pawn shop and trading it for a guitar!I talked to my mom about it and she agreed to it to my surprise.I was excited that there was a remote possibility I may finally be getting my own guitar.My mom took me to the pawn shop because naturally I was not old enough to pawn anything and when it was said and done the salesman pointed out my options.It was like picking a prize at a festival from popping baloons with darts and having to choose from a certain row.

As he was going down the line he pointed to a red guitar that was pointy and didnt look like the boring typical guitars,that was the one I wanted.It was a ‘Eagle“brand guitar that I have never been able to find any information on and I do not have any pictures of it.I could not get a amp from the deal though so I didnt worry about it really.I was just extremely happy to own my very own cool looking guitar.

I got home,went to my room and sat there with this new guitar I had at that point waited almost 6 years to get and I was excited.My excitement changed very quickly though when I immeadiately realized that I had no idea how to play anything at all.I actually didnt know what a pick was at that point and I felt depressed right off.I did not personally know anyone who played and I had no family members that were musically inclined either.I had no idea what the fuck to do!I had finally gotten what I wanted but I was completely miserable.This trend seemed to reoccur many times throughout my life.

11.

Now,anyone reading this may be thinking“he has only talked about guitar and has not really answered the original question“dont worry it will all tie in eventually and when I say the floodgate opened up it did just that.

Ah,summeritme was finally here and I had no idea what would be in store for me that particular summer.I was excited that I did not have to go back to school but I didnt seem to be in contact with any friends either.I remember the first day of summer my phone ringing and someone saying“hey is this Josh”?“Yea,I answered“who is this“after them telling me I was sitting there thinkingokay what are you calling me for.The person was a friend of a friend of whom I did not know very well or how they had even gotten my number.“Hey,schools out you want to come spend the night and listen to some music,draw,etc“yea sure.After getting there he introduced me to some newer music that I wasnt aware of at that point,King Diamond being the one that stands out.“If you listen to this album you can see ghosts around the room“he said.I didnt buy it but enjoyed the music anyway.I also got introduced to a band that night that I had heard a little bit of but for some reason did not really like at first,Pantera.Of course now I could not imagine the thought of ever not liking Pantera,Oh well I guess some things take a while to absorb.

That summer was actually was pretty cool.I had a new friend telling what high school was going to be like,what kind of girls would be around and there was no end in sight for cool new metal coming out.I spent the rest of that summer messing with my guitar but still didnt know how to play anything.I was depressed and actually considering giving up before I had even started.Me being down one day I decided to ride my bike over to my Grandmaws house right down the road.I would have yet another turning point in my life from this single event.

I know it was 1991 at that point because Metallica’s black album was out and Enter Sandman was being played non stop.I clearly remember riding past this red tin house with a old van parked out but I never saw anyone outside.To the amazement of my ears on that day I could hear Metallica blaring loud from that very house.I was to affraid to just go up to the house so I asked someone that lived by my grandmothers house if they knew who lived there.“Yea,it is my cousin Eric,he is older than us and also has a band“the person told me.My first reaction was “can you introduce me?“Sure the person said,lets go.I was extremely shy and full of anxiety even at that age so I probably almost passed out while walking to the door.A taller guy opened the door and after being introduced he said“hey man,my name is Eric”.

12.

Now,up until this point I still had the dream,owned a guitar and had seen one or two people do a little picking but nothing like I was wanting to play.“Do you play any “he said.Yea,I told him,I have a guitar and listen to heavy metal.He responded with“I have a band and we prctice over here every weekend,you can come check us out is you want to“I was speachless and politely walked away.I had to go and see it for myself and sure enough that weekend when it was getting dark I got on my bike and headed over.I could here guitar,drums,and vocals down the road before I had gotten there.My life was about to change.I parked my bike and walked up to people hanging out and the 2 house doors wide open.The carport was full of people,the living room had girls on the couch and music was loud as fuck coming from the back room.I felt like I was in a bad ass movie or something.“Hey man you made it“the tall man said.“Did you bring your guitar?“No,I replied,Im not good enough to really play with a band yet.“Well,dont worry about that you will get there,hey come over here and meet the guitar player”“Hey Sam this is Josh,Josh Sam“I didnt know what the hell to say and just stood there.I ended up sitting on the couch just listening to covers of Black Sabbath,Metallica,Lynard Skynard,gGuns N roses,Ozzy Osbourne,and believe it or not Soundgarden.(I still have a hand written songlist from the man himself in a scrapbook”

After aeeing a actual metal band right in front of me inspired me more so than ever to learn how to play but I wasnt quick to ask anyone to show me.I later had an opportunity to trade the Eagle brand guitar for a Peavey T-60 to someone and I went for it.Shortly after that(probably a few weeks)I finally worked up the courage to bring my awesome Peavey country guitar over to Eric’s pretty much just to show him.For some reason he liked it instantly and offered me a trade on a guitar he had sitting in a case.He never did end up playing guitar and I never did know how he ended up with it(never will now)It was a hot pink Dean guitar with a Floyd Rose tremolo and a hardshell case.I thought it was flashy and similar to the bright 80’s guitars I had fell in love with years earlier,I traded on the spot.I asked him where that guitar player was so I could ask him to show me how to play something but he said he didnt know that day.Oh well,I had a new guitar that looked metal and I was happy.

13.

I had gotten ahold of a Circus magazine(that I never paid for)and each month they would have a few bars of guitar tab.One issue had music notes from“Everything About You“from Ugly Kid Joe.I knew the song but really didnt know how to read the music.I would listen the song over and over while l was looking at the notes trying to make a connection but nothing was making sense.I dont remember exactly how long this went on for but it felt like forever.(Probably 2 weeks in teenage life)

I was talking to someone on the phone who didnt even play guitar and was explaining to them what I was trying to do.“take the page and turn it sideways so it looks like 6 strings of a guitar neck“the person on the phone said.I did and immeadiately saw what he was talking about.I was looking at the number from left to right on each string.Now for anyone who reads tab this will be self explanatory.I put my fingers on the fretboard like the magazine said and raked my thumb across the strings.I had played my very first D major chord(the first chord of the above mentioned song)and the sky opened up for me and the seas parted.It all made sense and I knew how to read all of those numbers I had been seeing in guitar magazines at the grocery store.

Now that was a revelation within itself one of those defining moments of discovery that will saty with someone forever,well at least for myself.I continued to go to Eric’s house to watch them play and look through magazines Sam would bring with him.I started learning little bits of songs that I liked but wasnt until I had a teacher that it started coming together.I had finally statred coming out of my shell and strted asking questions.Once Sam told me they were going to start practicing at his mom and dads bell pepper packing shed to avoid any noise complaints and I was welcome to come over for guitar lessons.

It was around December of that year that I made another trade,as much as I liked the Dean guitar I had fallen in love with a BCRICH that was hanging on the wall at Hayden Music(rip)in Hammond.My mom and dad let me sell the Dean to the pawn shop and my grandmaw gave me the rest of the money to go and get the BC Rich Warlock and a Peavey Rage158 amp.I had never gotten a amp up until that point so I was happy with the way things were starting to go.

14.

My first guitar lesson was till this day very embarrissing even now.I showed up at the bell pepper shed and brought my new rig inside and was ready to get started.I stood there with my guitar hanging around my neck but I didnt have the strap behind my back but more like a olympic medal hanging around my neck.Sam busted out laughing pointing at me and showed me how to fix it.I bet he still laughs at that,I know I sure do.

I knew how to read tab and had started learning how to use a pick.He got me started with some riffs I wanted to learn from Black Sabbath,Metallica,Slayer,but I wanted to play one particular song that HE could play.Crazy Train!To my embarresment he would not let me borrow his guitar magazine with the tab so I wrote it down on notebook paper with a pencil.I got a dubbed copy of the song and started to what I thought would be impossible in my bedroom at home.Sam would ride over with his guitar sometimes and I would go to his house to try and learn stuff.I worked on Crazy Train as my number one priority for a long time and always enjoyed going through it.I dont remember how long it actually took me to learn but while learning it I found it easier to play other stuff I had never tried before.It was getting exciting.

At this time I was in High school and went for no other reason than to socialize.I knew I was learning how to play and along with that started to give me more and motre confidence.Along with gaining confidence in myself I started thinking it was time to get a girlfriend to round out my life.I figured fuck it,Im going to be a rock star I should have all the girls.

15.

I would see her in the school pick up line every day but never did approach her to start a conversation.She was pale white,thin,blonde hair and had a porcelin chinda doll face.I had to talk to her.I had older friends that were legends in my mind that played real music and were living the life.I didnt really consider the friends at school that experienced and focused on my life outside of school more.I did however work up the courage and instead of just walking up and talking to her I went home found her unique last name in the phone book and called it.To my surprise after introducing myself she told me that she knew exactly who I was and had wished I would have simply approached her.Now I am 13-14 and really had no idea what a “relationship“was besides the stereotypical highschool relationships one would see on a tv show.

We talked for a bit and hung out at school after that for a little while and even went to the mall once or twice.Having similar interests in music and other things it was cool.I would constantly talk about music and guitar playing and she would play piano pieces over the phone that she had learned.It was going well but just didnt really ever evolve into anything more and before I knew it we were over.I didnt really feel very much about all of it and we still talked at school.One cool thing was that I got the chance to go to a concert.Megadeth!Yes,the mighty Megadeth with Stone Temple Pilots in New Orleans.I had to sell several of my cassette tapes to get the money for the ticket but it was dam worth it.

As usual I was nervous as fuck going into the concert.I walked in and it felt like the thunderdome on Mad Max.I had never seen so many metal people in one place my entire life in one giant room.It was January 9,1993(I still have my stub and little pamphlet)I knew a little from STP from constant video play for ‘Sex Type Thing and Plush but was there for megadeth.I was already a huge fan of Rust In Peace and liked Countdown To Extinction very much.Whenever Megadeth came on the place erupted and it was loud.I had seen videos of people trying to crowd surf and wanted to try it myself.I went to the front of the stage where it was starting and some big ass fucker picked me up and off I went.I was floating backwards staring at the ceiling and then it happened.I am not sure why but when the crowd ran out I hit the concrete floor on my back and couldnt move.I looked up at the people gathering around me but could only move my eyes and had no feeling in my entire body.All I could think was about news headlines stating kid gets paralyzed at Megadeth show.I think I was motionless for a few minutes and then started to regain feeling in my limbs so I got up and started moving around.One of the people who had went to the concert with us and told me I had blood coming out of my left ear,I felt it and it was.I didnt know what to do so I went to the bathroom and washed my face.I didnt get to enjoy the rest of the show because I could feel the back of my head swelling up but didnt want to make a big deal out of it.I never really told many people and felt it for about 3 weeks straight after that.I am still here 23 years later so who knows?

16.

The rest of that year was fun and my guitar chop’s were getting pretty dam good.I had never owned any of my own tab books so my mom scrapped up the money and got me one for my 15th birthday.(I still have it)It was Megadeth-Rust In Peace and the music was hard as fuck to play.I could play a few Metallica,Sabbath riffs and had for the most part learned Crazy Train note for note but this was on a different caliber.I thought I was a strting to be a good guitar player but this shit was mind blowing and I felt inspired and intimidated at the same time.I was getting kinda discouraged here and there but as usual I carried on and never gave up.Besides practicing from that book in my room and going to school not much exciting really happened.Not until December that is!

I had never done any drugs and did not really think about it all that much.I had taken advantage of sneaking a beer or a screwdriver whenever possible but never any drugs.A cold night in Decmber I got a visit from someone that had lived nearby for as long as I could remember.I never was best friends with them but I didnt mind talking to anyone at that point.He asked me if I wanted to sit on the porch and smoke a joint.You know,I wanted to be a famous guitarist and I figured I would run into that stuff eventually so what the hell.I sit there and took a few puffs and after a short time of passing back and forth the entire joint was pretty much down to the roach.At first it did not have any affect on me until I realized the stars in the sky were forming shapes and coming toward me.I did not know what to think and figured this was how everyone felt after smoking.I told the person I wanted to go into my room and play guitar.

It was the weirdest experience I have ever had.I remember playing the guitar but being able to play stuff I had never even played before it was strange.I turned to the person and said “Hey can you see this“my hands were turning into claymation like the Green Jelly-3 little pigs video.It wasnt until I stopped that it got worse.I told him to grab my headphones so I could record the shit I was playing because no one was ever going to believe it otherwise.I paused for a moment and everything got quiet except for my heart beating around the entire room,I had no choice but to wake my mom up and she called the ambulance.After getting loaded into the ambulance the hallucinations stopped and I started throwing up non stop.Later on after an analysis at the hospital it was determined that I had smoked a joint laced with angel dust and almost had a heart attack from it.I eventually made it home and slept for almost 2 days straight.

17.

I returned to school as usual and no one even knew what had happened to me.I did not broadcast it and wasnt exactly proud of it either.I was pretty much scared straight at that point.Well,except for alcohol!I had always seen this plain but good looking girl in art class but really didnt think I was going to be her type.I remember one incident where she accidentally kicked my booksack under the table and later told me she thought I was going to kill her.As usual like most instances so far I started talking to her purely by chance one night through a mutual friend.I enjoyed talking to her on the phone and like the one before we met at the mall.One thing that has always stood out in my mind is one conversation we were having and she told me how she loved this guitar part on a song.I asked her to play it over the phone and come to find out it was ‘Aint Talking About Love’ from the mighty Van Halen.I didnt know how to play it but knew someone that did so I let her go and immeadiately called him and learned it right there over the phone.

I called her back and told her I had a surprise for her,I sat the phone by my amp and played that very riff a few times then picked up the phone.She loved it and knew I had learned it just for her(a technique I would use throughout life)I felt like I had won her heart from doing that and it definately boosted my ego as well.Unfortunately it didnt seem to go as I had planned.I was getting really good at my craft and didnt want any distractions to say the least.I did want a girfriend but I also wanted my alone time to practice for hours without having to answer to anyone.I broke up with her and for the first time felt something from doing so.Was she my first love?Years later I was told that my dumb ass doings drove her into a deep depression,I never intended for that and didnt think I could have possibly meant that much to someone else.It was just what I heard and have never been told anymore about it.I am sorry.

I was so tired of wasting time at school and tried to stay home as much as possible.That year was cool in one way though.We had a guitar class as an elective and I was the one that convinced the principal to let us do it.The band leader was naturally concerned about the school band so he let us play our guitars in the sheet music storage room which was the size of a small closet.I think there was 7-8 people crammed in there at one point.It was great sitting there for a class and playing metal riffs back and forth and the teacher never bothering us.On one occasion he did walk in and say he had to give us a grade so we would all have to learn a small piece of music to be graded on.I always being the dam leader it seemed like reccomended Ode To Joy for electric guitar.I had gotten a new guitar magazine and it was in there that month.He agreed but I dont think he actually ever come back to listen to us.I do remember getting an A in band though.Towards the end of school he said he was going to get a friend of his come and play guitar for us.He said that the guy played classical guitar and was very good.He never did come and play for us and what is a classical guitarist?

18.

At this point it was 1994 and several factors that had good and bad influences had taken place.Ace Ventura had come out and seeing Cannibal Corpse was one of the coolest things ever.I was playing guitar everyday for hours on end and gotten pretty dam good.Well that is what I thought until meeting another guitarist that was from Texas.I was at a friend of mines Halloween Party and in walked this long haired dude with a Vital Remains shirt.Regular metal shirts were pretty common but to see someone with a death metal shirt was not.I wanted to see what this person was all about so I went over with a beer in hand and introduced myself.The rest of the night we ended up talking about all of the usual shit and then he said he played guitar.A few guitarist had emerged at this point but none were really anything special to me.I told him and my cousin to come over the next day and check out my playing.I didnt expect them to actually come over so dam early and I was hung over pretty bad.Eager to see what this player had I invited both of them in and went back to my room.I had my bcrich and the same small Peavey amp set up and told the guy to play something.

The best guitarist I had ever seen in person was my guitar teacher but I must admitt,this fucker was pretty dam good.He played Troops of Doom from Sepultura,some Death Riffs,Morbid Angel,Unleashed and Paradise Lost.Once again I had to re evaluate my own skill level on guitar.At this point I was listening to Death,Thrash,Glam,Speed,Grind and traditional heavy metal as well as shred guitar players alike.I welcomed the more knowledgeable guitarist and it gave me a new perspective on stuff I didnt know how to do yet.

During that year,I also got to see some legendary concerts like Pantera,Black Sabbath,Motorhead,Morbid Angel,Sepultura,Prong,Danzig,Type O Negative,Megadeth (again)Corrosion of Conformity,the highlight of it all was getting to meet Peter Steele(rip)Type O Negative had just finished playing and I went to the bathroom.Standing there was the man himself with no one else around.I walked up to him and just started talking and he was a big mother fucker.They had given out these godflesh stickers at the door to everyone so I got him to sign mine.A few minutes later other people noticed he was there and started to crowd around before he signed my sticker he said “Josh,can you hold my water bottle“it was pretty dam cool and I have always felt very priveleged to have met him.

19.

I kept doing what I had been playing guitar,listening to music,having different associates come and go.Some friendships would begin and others would abruptly end overnight it seemed like.I hated going to school and it would soon come to an end for me.

Remember the drummer that had moved to Mississippi?He was back and had actually gotten into heavier metal than I ever thought possible.A few months after him living here again things started to come together.He called me and said he had finally gotten a drum set and was ready to get something going.I had been waiting on this and was ready to get with it.Ill never forget the first practice at his grandmothers house in the living room.He had gotten a sparkle orange 5 piece drumset that looked like something from the 1950’s.It didnt matter though because it was a drumset nonetheless and that was all that really mattered.I sat my small peavey on a chair plugged my Bc Rich in and started to play.He started playing the drums and instantly drowned my small amp out completely,it was actually kind of funny.I am going to need a bigger amp to play with the drums,I asked him if he knew a singer or another guitar player.His response was“you are the one that keeps up with everyone and I just moved back,you should know some people“I guess he was right.“Hey,I met this killer guitar player at a party a while back maybe I can see what he is doing”

I got in touh and we set up our first pactice.I do remember it being in the winter time because we had set the drums up in a workshop outside and had to take turns warming up by a small electric heater.I had naturally brought my small Peavey but it was even better that the new guy had a bigger amp that had 2 inputs.We had no idea what to play so I mentioned Am I Evil? the Metallica version.I had been working on it for some time and I knew the other’s were familiar with it also.The drummer counted of and then me and the other guitar player started playing.It was unreal and a feeling that can never be recaptured once it is done.It was great and me and the drummer especially knew it.

The practices began to become a every weekend thing and although not always very productive it was a lot of fun.We had focused on learning some cover tunes and the other guitar player could play solo’s as well.We would mess around with Am I Evil,Raining Blood,Troops Of Doom,Orgasmatron,Dead Skin Mask,Seasons In the Abyss,Dead Embryonis Cells and something I had started learning was the cool riff from Joe Satriani’s ‘Summer Song’.It was very exciting and people around school even started to acknowledge the fact we had a band and a metal band at that.We tried out a single bass player but that did not work out because he was mainly into punk music and I hated that shit.My mentor Eric came by a few times to sing but had his own thing going so that didnt work out.Another guy later came into the picture who was more less just a hanger on and eventually somehow ended up in the band after I left.

I thought in the beginning just from the pure feeling that it would turn into something major.I even remember one time someone walking miles from town out to where we practiced just to hear us.His famous quote was“you guys are fucking awesome”.I had one a girl or two’s heart from playing guitar,had people talking about the band and was getting better and better.It can only keep getting better right?I remember someone saying“hey,have you heard of this band Acid Bath from Louisiana?I have there first demo you wanna listen to it?“I did listen to it and I hated it!

20.

Normally after a band is together for a while you all get to where you want to write your own music.I was fine with that but had not had much experience making up my own shit.The other guitar player however was really good,could play very well by ear as well as come up with riffs.I was game to have another guitarist write riffs atleast until I got better at writing myself.It started out pretty good but I realized that even though this dude could play he would write some stupid ass shit.I later learned he was heavily influenced by the likes of Gwar,Anal Cunt and other dumb shit in general.I had already started having conflicts of interest due to the subject matter of what was being presented as well as the actual personality of certain band members.I was not willing to compromise and knew I would be more content doing things myself.

I have been known to get on peoples bad side for simply being non compromising and honest about things that I did not truly believe in.I left the band and all did not go smoothly as I had planned.I started hearing from other people how the other guitar player was going to kill me and how it was in his blood so to speak.Come to find out a very famous movie about a man on death row who befriends a nun was a true story based on this guys uncle.It was ‘Dead Man Walking’with Susan Sarandon and Shawn Penn.The guy who was electrocuted was this fuckers uncle and the thought of all of it kinda freaked me out.I did see that person years later and I am still alive!

Even though I had left the band and didnt have anything lined up,it really did not bother me for some reason.I wanted to work on my skill more and then go back to the band thing.It was nearing the end of that school year and I could not wait to get out.I had heard about this kid at school who also played guitar but he would never really talk to anyone.I saw him walking past my classroom so I stopped and introduced myself.“Hey Im Josh,I heard that you play guitar“he responded with “yea I do,My name is Joey”.

21.

I had always seen this dude from school for years and years but did not know shit about him much less that he played guitar.He was always non comforming and extremely intelligent.I was doing my best to make friends that played music and that could possibly be a band member.I started talking with him at school and asking him some questions about music theory and scales because he was well versed in that sort of thing.We traded phone numbers and would talk on the phone from time to time about everything from girls at school,shitty musicians we had come across,what we wanted to do when we got older and especially about music.He was not a metal head or burnout or anything like that.I know he favored some of the grunge and alternative but more than that he was a dam good songwriter already.

I had since gotten back in touch with my second girlfriend but it still didnt work out,we would talk a lot on the phone and it was enjoyable but never was like the first time.I was a bit heartbroken to say the least until I walked through the lunchroom and there she was.I had never seen this girl at school and dont know how I could have ever missed her.There she was sitting with her friends at the table,long blonde curly hair with a beautiful face and a low cut shirt.I was once again in love.I did not know what her name was but I had to find out.Back then everything was word of mouth and that was about it.I asked around only to be told“dude she is way out of your league” I simply ignored those comments and said fuck you.It took me a few days but I found someone that was dating her best friend at the time and I actually knew him a little.“Man,you have to get me her number or atleast tell her I am interested“a while later he came back with a crucnched up piece of paper and handed it to me.“This is her number“he said “good luck with that one man“he walked away and I opened the paper.

I now had her name and number and just had to get the balls to make my move.I waited kinda late and called one night to my surprise she answered.A few seconds later her mom picked up the phone in the other room and asked who it was,I hadnt introduced myself yet so the girl didnt really know what to say.I felt like a fucking idiot in that situation and started to hang up myself but I didnt.I had went this far and had to at least take the chance.She responded that it was a friend and her mom hung up,I introduced myself and she said she didnt know who I was and that made me feel even worse.I tried to give her an idea of myself but she insisted she did not know and told me she had to go.I sat there for a few minutes and then called back to try and describe myself more and she told me straight out she did not know me and to leave my number so she could figure out who the hell I was.She took my number and hung up on me.I felt horrible.

22.

The next night I was talking to my new friend Joey and instead of going on and on about music and the like I was telling him about the incident and how ignorant I felt.He had been going through a relationship turned stalker in his own words at the same time and even wrote a song about it later on.I was completely bummed out and my confidence level had turned to shit.Now I have always been pretty self motivated and driven but sometimes shit like that will make anyone feel bad about themselves.Me and him continued to talk a pretty good bit and he asked if I would like to audition for his band.I knew it was not my style of music but hey I wasnt doing anything else.I agreed to it and went over to audition.It was cool,I played the stuff I knew and listened to him play the stuff he had been writing.I wasnt really into the alternative/grunge but if I knew what I knew now I would have joined his band.A while later him and the bass player talked for a bit then come back and told me I could join if I would like.I didnt want to go into something half assed so I declined.We had a lot of respect for one another so it wasnt a big deal after that really.We continued as normal to talk on the phone about shit the next week or so then I got a surprise call.

I think we all go through a period where it seems like everything is shit and it will not get better.I know this is pretty dam common in teenage life and funny looking back on it.I clearly remember laying in the bath tub no one at home just staring at the ceiling.I was wondering what I would ever do and if I would start to feel happy again.The phone rang and the answering machine came on.“Hey Josh“I heard on the machine“I was calling you back,just call me when you can“It was that dam girl that had hung up on me.I got out of the bathtub and grabbed the phone.I did not want to seem like I had been there waiting but I guess I kind of was.I waited a little while and called her back,she sounded different and seemed interested in talking.I felt better once again.

I absolutley loved the fact that I was talking to this beautiful girl that seemed so far out of my reach just a few weeks earlier.We talked everynight after that and talked about anything and everything we both could think of.My confidence and ego had once again gotten inflated and I was loving it.I was once talking to her pretty late at night and Joey called in I told him who I was talking to and he said he would call back.I swapped back over and told her who had just called and she was amazed.She said she had always seen him around school and how he didnt talk very much.I said yep me and him are really good friends in fact we are talking about having a small party with his band playing at it.She asked me when it was going to be and I said“it is going to be the day before Independence Day and we are going to call it the Dependence Day Festival“she told me she would not miss it for anything.

23.

I was back to having fun and enjoying life at this point and I was 16 years old.I would play guitar and talk to my new girl on the phone as well as Joey so we could plan the party.I would stay on the phone all night long swapping calls back and forth talking to a shitload of people and wondering how I was going to have this massive party with no money?I want to give a summary of how the part ended up progressing from what I do remember.

First off it was supposed to be Joeys band playing on my moms back porch and have friends and family over.Well,out of the blue someone got my number and said they had heard about the party and wanted to play also.The next thing that happened was us getting a stage from a ballet school to better accomidate the bands.I started getting calls from people I did not know wanting to be added to the flyer(I still have 4 of them)in the end I think it was 6 bands and 2 did not make the original flyer.Thsi was starting to get big and I didnt realize just how much so untill I got the idea to call the local college radio station.I was calling to ask if they would announce on the air about the event.The dj said he would but probably didnt have to because word had gotten out and everyone already knew about it.I called Joey and was in a complete panic mode,I had visions of thousands of people in my front yard and it all turing into total anarchy.

I was a nervous wreck but yet I was looking forward to it.More than the event itself I was enjoying talking to the woman of my dreams and could not wait for her to be with me at the party.It was stressfull but something I would never want to replace either.July the 1st I was talking to my beautiful girl and she said“I have to tell you something,I didnt want to bring it up but we are moving to Ohio“I asked when and she said“we are leaving tomorrow.“I didnt want to bring it up and ruin the good time we had been having“I sat there in silence for a moment and did not know what to say.Once again everything fell out from under me it felt like.I had gone numb.

Interestingly enough,remember that band Acid Bath I mentioned?I had somehow managed to get Dax Riggs dad’s number and in return got the Acid Bath house number.I called and left a message and to my surprise a few days later Dax called me to see what I wanted.I told him how the festival had escelated and would love to have Acid Bath play at it.He said he didnt think that would be possible but either his or Sammy’s band may be able to play if they had the time.Unfortunatley it didnt happen and most people never believed I talked to him to begin with.Oh well,I know.I even had people calling me saying they heard Acid Bath was playing at my house.Dam that was a good time in history.

24.

The night before the party/fest I was a complete disaster at that age.I was worried hundreds or thousands of people would be there and tear our house down,my dream girl was well away from Louisiana and I did not know what to think about anything.I went to sleep sometime that night and ended up waking up early the next day.It was officially July 3,1995.

I remember walking outside seeing the stage set up,no one at home and it being really quiet.I said to myself“no one is coming to this fucking thing“I felt bad all the way around.I heard a noise and up the driveway comes a big as truck pulling a trailer full of music equipment.Hey they said we are suppose to play here.I pointed to the stage and they started to set up the gear.I will never forget this huge cadillac or town car pulling up arounf 9:00 that morning with one dude and two chicks all with beers in hand.One of the ladies approached me and siad“hey is this where the festival is going to be”? I said yes it is and the cars starting coming in.

It was a one chance in time that a event like this actually happens and yes I am glad I was there.Cars started pulling up and before long the entire yard was full of people.People I had not seen in a long time and a lot of poeople I did not even know.It was awesome and the bands started playing.I remember hearing one guy had took some acid and was in my sisters small swimming pool with all his clothes on and said he was in the ocean.I looked down the hall and counted 7 girls going into the bathroom that was really small then a friend of mine following behing them.We took a notbook around and took orders for people and collected money.My cousin and uncle(RIP)took me to WinnDixie and we bought close to 500.00 worth of alcohol to bring back,it was great.

After getting settled in and making the rounds I ended up sitting by myself on the back porch of my moms house with this gigantic party happening a few feet away.I sat there watching people smoke weed behind the house but I didnt care really and I didnt seem to bother them.The party had turned into a complete success and estimated around 300 people were in attendance.All of this happening and there I was sitting on the back porch with a few cans of beer I had taken out of someones randome ice chest.

A old friend at the time came back and said“why arent you at the party man“I just sat there thinking how I was going to get to Ohio.He had heard about what had happened and now that I think about it did have a little too much insider information.He told me to cheer the fuck up and then told me something that changed my feeling once agaon.“Hey man you know that girl was in love with you right?“I knew me and her had been talking a lot but I did not know she felt that way to be honest.I was bummed one minute then on top of the world the next,I figured if a girl like that had fallen for me I had no limits.My confidence once again was reborn instantly and I knew that from that point on that nothing would or could affect me in a negative way again.I was wrong in thinking or feeling like that just a few weeks down the road and this time it was not a girl breaking my heart.I thought I had known what depression and lonliness was but I was just beginng to experience it.

25.

Overall the entire event was something that will be with me forever I would not want to change that.I would not be entirely honest though if I said it was all good because it wasnt.As the day progressed more and more people came and everyone there was drinking more and more including myself.Joey’s band was the main headliner and hit the stage when it got dark.It was going well and I thought I had pulled off the greatest event Ponchatoula had ever seen.I wasnt sure to this day what caused the actual incident but Here is what I remember.

I hear the band stop and see a few people arguing on the stage,I walked up and 2 relatives OF MINE had started shit with the band and other people started to get involved.There was a bit of arguing and pushing but it never evelved into a brawl or anything.People started leaving and clearing out like the cops had shown up or something.I tried to find Joey but he had already left and I never did actually know what caused all of it.Everyone was gone and for me it was a weird feeling of not knowing what to think.I wanted to call Joey but somehow felt the blame for all of it even though I dont know what the hell happened.I decided to wait a few days before I called to apologize to him.I told him I was sorry for whatever had happened and that I did not want to have anymore parties ever again in fear of something like that going wrong.I could understand his anger with the whole incident and remembering him telling me“good,dont have anymore and if you do dont invite those inbred looking fuckers to it“I said I was sorry again and hung up.

The next few weeks I was down in the dumps from what had ended up with the party,my girl leaving and just not having much feeling at all.I do not recall doing very much of anything for a while,I didnt answer the phone,I didnt go anywhere,I didnt play my guitar,I was just existing.

I got a call on August 13,1995 while I was sleeping.I was sleeping on the floor in my sisters room with a blanket when she stood over me and woke me up.“Joshua wake up your friend has died“I was up instantly“what friend what are you talking about?”“your friend Joey was killed earlier today in a boat accident.

26.

I could not move,speak,feel,or anything else for that matter.I had thought my life had been dramatic at times but this was a whole new level.I did not understand it or why it had to happen the way it did.I started getting calls from people telling me they had heard about it and I never knew what to say.I had the date for the funeral but did not go.I did not want to go because I did not believe any of it was real and the joke was on me.I knew that everyone was in on it and he would call me up laughing and telling me he had getten me back from the mishap at the party.

It was not a joke though and it was in fact very real.So real for me I could never understand it to this very day.

I had never really looked too deep into religion or was not even sure I believed in anything.I knew for a fact after that very day that I did not nor would I ever believe in a higher power of any kind.I could not comprhend believing in any god that would have let something like this happen.If for any time in my life I may have pondered the thought for now it was gone forever.

27.

I got a call shortly after from someone introducing herself as a friend of my dream girl that had moved away.She had also called to tell me she was sorry about what had happened to my friend and I could call her if I ever needed to talk.I really didnt want to talk about it but I thought it was very thoughtfull that someone gave me the invitation.I walked around like a fucking zombie and did not have very much going on at all.I had once again quit talking to people and did not want to be bothered.I would stay up all night staring at the ceiling and would burst into tears at any moment.I knew I had to get up and do something but I didnt know what really.My 17th birthday came around on September 30 1995 and I sat in my room by myself listening to the radio.I could hear the answering machine getting full of happy birthday messages and people checking on me but I did not care.Eric had been playing every weekend with Bane Denial and we were good friends but I avoided him too.People would come to my house and my mom would tell them I just did not want to see anyone.I felt like I was fading away.

Being 17 meant I could get a payroll job though and I thought this may take my mind off things.I had long since left highschool and had went to Adult Education to get my GED instead.I went in and took the test and passed within 2 weeks when I was 16 but had to wait until I was 17 to take the actual test.I was 17 and just never went back back,I wasnt worried about it and it did not mean that much to me anyway.I had no idea where to get a job at 17 so I just filled out random applications at wherever I wanted to.I went to the infamous Elmers candy factory because I heard they would pretty much hire anybody and I had heard right.I got a call a few days later and then my mom drove me to a interview.I was told I could work from 11pm to 7 am and I accepted.I have always been a night owl and loved to sleep all day so I figured I would make out fine.

My mom dropped me off at night then had to come back and get me in the morning.I dont know how she ever managed looking back on it.I was so depressed going into work at night and on my breaks at 2am I would sit in the breakroom and stare out the window.I hated the fucking job and only made it a few weeks.I had other shit on my mind that was much bigger than going to work for someone else.I think my mom understood and didnt say anything bad when I told her I was not going back.I was a complete fucking nervous-depressed wreck and didnt know anything anymore.I decided to call that girl back to have someone to talk to.

28.

I enjoyed talking to her and it became a everyday thing.I stayed at home sleeping most of the day and would get up around 4 and wait for her to call me.I had even started picking up my guitar again beause I had started to miss it.I slowly started to come around and get back in touch with friends and had also stumbleb upon something else.I found out that I could pick and sell shantrell mushrooms for almost 7.00 per lb right down the road.I had not messed with the turtle and snake business very much for a long time and hated trying to work for someone else.I started racking up and a few days out of each week I could make 65-80 bucks a day.Now back then that was pretty dam good and I knew exactly what to spend it on.

Throughout the years I had been drinking any chance I could get.I never looked at it as a problem and was really just having fun.I was getting back on track,making money and learning how to party again.I was fond of having bonfires and campouts for as long as I can remember.I would invites newer friends over with guitars and jam out and get drunk.I missed my friend dearly and even though on the surface I was getting along I was tore up inside.I did the best I could and wanted to move forward with my life.

I loved talking to my new girl and had given up on the one that had moved away.I knew I wasnt ever going to get to Ohio and our letters and phone calls had stopped anyway.Although I had had a few relationships I never was one to look into things quickly.I had a friend of mine call me and say“hey that girl you have been talking to thinks you can not take a hint“what the fuck do you mean I said“she has fallen for you,you dumb fucker and you are the only one that doesnt seem to notice“I started thinking about it and dam he was right.I had somehow once again unknowingly charmed a beautiful girl into falling for me.

I didnt want to jump in head first,but I didnt want to fuck this one up either.I was drinking pretty dam heavily at times and no one really noticed.I would sell mushrooms and get someone older to buy me Seagrams 7 whiskey and Mad Dog.I would keep them hid in my room and usually save them for myself and just drink beer when I would get together with friends.I also had aquired a tatse for cheap ass Taaka Vodka straight out of the bottle.I had good days and then very bad.On my good days I would talk on the phone with my new girl and other friends and then I would dissapear for a few days and stay in my room.I remember downing vodka or Mad dog at 7 in the morning and lay there with the room spinning just as everyone else in the house was getting up.Everyone knew I drank but not like I did by myself.

29.

I remember December of 1995 coming around and I got invited to go to a show.Come to find out the girl I had been talking to for the last few months was a ballarena.I was going to see my very first performance of the Nutcracker which I knew absolutely nothing about.It turned out to be pretty cool and whenever she came on to dance it was amazing.We were not officialy together yet but I thought it was a good idea to have a girlfriend that was an aspiring artist like myself.After seeing the performance I asked her if she would go on a real date with me to a Christmas party at my great aunts house(RIP)she agreed and said someone was going to drop her off.She ended up riding up with one of my friends and fellow guitar players because his mom picked her up and then dropped both of them off.I went with my mom and had gotten there early,maybe too dam early.

I had already started drinking a few hours before she had gotten there and it was beer and then whiskey with my grandpaw.Needless to say by the time she showed up I was feeling good.We hung around the party,walked around outside and decided to walk down a little ways to this bridge.I grabbed a beer and a big ass glass of whiskey and coke and we started walking.Just sitting there on the bridge rails talking and having fun while I was getting tore up.My mom walked down and said there was a firework show going on and asked if we wanted to go.We all loaded in back of the truck and went to the mall.I dont really remember why they were having a firework show during December maybe it was some sort of Christmas celebration.

I was feeling good until we parked and then that was it.I told them to go and look around and I would catch up in a bit.I didnt though,I started throwing my guts up in back of the truck with all these people just walking by staring at me.I eventually realized they had all come back and were staring at me laying there with puke all over my clothes and I couldnt move.That was my first official date with my new girl.Quite an impression huh?

30.

We eventually decided to officially get together but before I go into that part I did it once more.I had been playing guitar more than I had been so my chops were coming back and I was feeling pretty confident.I asked her what was one of her favorite songs and she told me Silent Lucidity by Queensryche.I was in luck because I already new that one from years earlier.I waitd one night and told her I had a surprise for her.I set the phone next to my amp and with a beautiful clean tone with chorus guitar tone I played the song for her.I had used my tried and true method to seal the deal.I had a new girlfriend and things were going good.

A lot of stuff actually started to happen from that point on.Eric was taking off with Bane Denial and we would go to practices and hang out.I got to go backstage at a Zebra concert because her dad had known them all for years and we were still having frequent get togethers at my house as well as attending many parties with bands playing.It was a pretty good time.I was however drinking all the time too,not only was it a weekend thing but every other day when I could get it.

I was hanging at my guitar teachers house and would always have beer available.I hadnt taken any lessons from anyone in quite some time but I would always end up going back to his place to jam out.I remember one night it was pretty late and we were playing some Metallica song and I said“hey man show me how o play something“he old me that I had surpassed him and he couldnt show me anything else.I couldnt believe what I was hearing,I had surpassed the one I had looked up to for so long.I took it as a great compliment and realized I had in face achieved something I always wanted I just didnt really notice it.

During some of my alone time hours I was getting into some crazy guitar shit and had borrowed a big pile of magazines from him.The same person that would not loan me his Crazy Train tab years earlier.He had known me for a while now and knew I wasnt some fake,he knew I was pretty dam determined depite all the shit I had already been through.I started getting heavily into shred guitar players like Yngwie Malmsteen,Greg Howe,Tony Macalpine,Joey Tafolla,Marty Friedman,Chris Impellitterri,and the rest of the guitar masters.

I would like to note that around the same time I would meet another guitar player that would change my life drastically.It was the guitar player from Bane Denial.The people I had met in the past were pretty good but this guy was amazing.I had never seen anyone play Yngwie right in front of me.Although I never really got to know the guy very well one visit will always stand out.

31.

I had gotten hold of this Yngwie Malmsteen VCR tape that I would watch over and over.Malmsteen would play the shit so dam fast I never could catch what he was doing.Keep in mind,I had started learning some of that fast stuff what did not know exactly what was going on theory wise with it.I specifically remember on the tape him saying“this is a A minor arpeggio” and blazing through it.I didnt know what the hell he meant and this is where that killer guitar player comes in.

I went to watch Bane Denial practice one weekend with Eric and we got there a bit early.I asked the guitar player if he knew what Malmsteen was doing on the tape and what was an arpeggio.He grabbed some paper and explained to me how every other note from the scale made up and arpeggio and I could play them anywhere on the neck.It hit me instantly.I went home that night and understood everything Malmsteen was talking about on the tape and music theory all made since to me.A lot of people have never believed that the entire scope of theory hit me all in one night.Oh well,anybody want to quiz me?

I had gotten a reputation for being a dam good guitar player and had gotten several offers from local alternative/grung/punk type bands but always turned them down.I was not going to play a single note I did not want to play and I was not willing to compromise.Looking back I should have taken advantage of the opportunities but who knows how that may have turned out.I wanted my own band and I wanted other players to be on the same level that I was.I didnt think that was too much to ask.

32.

I have an offer.The same guys who I had met years earlier at that little red tin house was now asking me to be there new guitar player.Bane Denial was no longer together so Eric was free.Sam was still playing and best of all they had a drummer and a bass player!It was the whold band and something I had never gotten the chance to do.Eric was famous as far as I was concerned because he had done all the rock star shit and had great stories about all of it.I was excited about getting involved with 2 of my biggest influences in a band whom I did not even know how to hold a pick when I first met.It was cool and I was ready to get started.We had a long ass list of cover tunes and we all went to work on learning them.Eric was always the most talented one and never had a problem learning songs pretty quickly.The rest of us started coming into the picture and we were sounding good.

I can not help but remember one practice looking over at Eric and thinking to myself“man this sucks for him that he isn’t doing the club shows anymore“I always felt like he had stepped down a good bit and I felt bad for him,I had nothing against the other guys but I thought that Eric at least could do better.I got depressed about that for some reason and a few months in I quit the band and starting to sink back into a depression.I had gotten to a place where I once had dreamed of being and I was lost and felt lonely and I didnt know why.I had never stopped drinking but started doing it even more at this point.I still had my girl which I got along with very well most of the time but it was not enough it seemed like.I did not know what the fuck I wanted to do.

I heard that a little while after I left the band dissolved.I was noticing a pattern with bands breaking up shortly after I would leave.Coincidence?Who knows.I bummed around for a little while and in the process lost touch once again with a lot of people.I had never really lost the desire to play music,I just couldnt find the right people to play with.Around that time I heard there was going to be a audition in New Orleans for this band Marilyn Manson.I had heard a few tunes on the radio but after thinking about it decided not to even bothering with it.I still had a no compromise attitude and really wanted to do my own music instead of joining someone elses band.I did not care how big the band was or any of that I was not interested.I treied to talk a guitar friend of mine who was 16 at the time but he said he wasnt gonna audition for a band that would want to suck his dick on stage.I think old Manson had a messed up reputation even in the beginning.

33.

I eventually got another offer and it was from the drummer of the previous band.It had been a few months and things had started to change.New music was coming out like Godsmack,Korn had been out for a few years and this Nu Metal shit was starting to get popular.I did not like it and really did not want to have anything to do with it.I was proud of the skill level I had worked up to and was not willing to throw it away just to fit in with what was going on.I have always liked what I like and that was it,I did not care to lie to anyone to fit in.I didnt know what this new offer would be about so I decided to give it a try.

I was told beforehand that new singer was a bit older and supposed to have had a lot of experience.I being my usual self was skeptical because I had heard it all before.I met the guy and also met a new bass player that wasnt very good.The singer went on about how he was from Florida and was friends with with Marilyn Manson and had been in the studio with Deicide and knew the people from White Zombie and all this other shit.It was interesting to listen to but I was not interested in hearing all of these may be true stories.For some reason the guy had the impression he would somehow change the way I played and was a all new mentor for me for some reason.I ignored it and started working.We needed anoth guitar player to fill out the band so I reccomemded a long time friend of mine who played.We had a giant ass warehouse and a huge pa system that reminded me of the I remember you Video by Skid Row.

I had the makings of 2 songs and when my friend came in I showed him the riffs until we got it together.I really didnt think much about the bass player because I couldnt hear him anyway,I never did pay much attention to what he was doing.It took some time to get the music down and none of us had heard this new great singer do anything yet.He said he was waiting for the music to get tighter before he would come in and sing.I didnt really care for the whole vibe but finally after about 7 weeks he came in and grabbed the mike.He had a jambox recording of the first song and said he preferred to work on his parts at home.Whatever,I didnt give a fuck at this point.The drummer counted we went into the tune and then he started singing.I was surprised believe it or not,he had a dam good vocal range and could sing really well.Maybe something would come out of this.

34.

I thought it was going good finally and I was enthused about all of it.We started practicing 3 times per week and seemed to be going great.That was untill,I was told from the singer that the stuff I was coming up with had a old thrash heavy metal sound and that kind of music was dying.I talked to him for a while about what direction he had in mind and he was dead set on Nu metal and thought the Korn sound was the way to go.I was not going for it and realized I had hit a brick wall,I quit and that was the end of that.I later heard about 3 weeks later the band as I suspected had broken up.Notice a familiar pattern?I am beginning to think they can not all be coincidence.

August 13,1997 I was sitting at the U.N.O lafefornt arena getting ready to watch Queensryche.Me ,my girlfriend and a friend at the time went.I was feeling pretty good and excited to be seeing Queensryche for the second time.Until I realized what date it was,it had been 2 years to the day that I had lost my friend.During the entire show I just sat there na d thought about what had happened,I couldnt seem to help it.I would have been just as good sitting at home in my room by myself.

I was already 18 by this point and really did not have a lot going on.I had never went back and finished my GED so I said what the hell.I went and singned up at the school which was now in Hammond at the very end or beginning of September.I had to go on Tuesday and Thursday nights from five to nine so I started going.I figured I would go in and breeze through it but I had forgotten a lot the last few years.I sat at the table with my mind wandering but wanted to be there at the same time.I went a few times and kept noticing this long haired dude in a wheelchair.I thought he looked like a Vietnam vet or something and that he was finally coming to get his diploma.One particular night I got to school late and my usual seat was taken.I looked around the room and the only table that had a available seat was at the same table as the Vietnam vet.I went and sat down but did not say anything.

It was a bit odd at first not knowing how to start a conversation and the air had dead silence surrounding the table.Apparantley he knew one of the guys that went there and before long he had walked over to talk to him.They started talking about music and the guy asked the long haired fellow“hey,do you think Korn is metal”? He started laughing and then looked at me and asked“Do YOU think Korn is heavy metal”?I told him that Korn in face was not metal and in face they fucking sucked.Everyone started laughing and the tension eased.“My name is Chalres“he said,“cool man,I’m Josh.”

35.

Turned out this dude was not a vet and was actually a year older than I was.I guess the full beard and long ass hair made him appear a little older,sorry Chalres!We pretty much instantly started talking about music and all of the shit that we both listened to.I had a pretty dam good knowledge from having studied throughout the years and was very rarely upstaged by anyone when it came to metal .This dude was naming shit left and right that I had not heard yet.Nevermore,Bethleham,Moonspell,Ancient,and some other crazy black metal shit.I was impressed to say the least and was glad to have someone to talk music with.The schoolwork started to get pushed to the side and entire classes would be dedicated to telling old stories about concerts and some of the misadventures we had each went through.

If anyone remembers on January 23,1997 Audie Pitre from Acid Bath had passed away in a car accident.They had a fill in bass player for a while after that and guess what?Acid Bath was going to be playing in Hammond.I had grown to like them throughout the years and had never gotten to see them in concert.I asked my girl if she wanted to go and asked Charles’s if he would like to go also.I called the bar where they were going to be playing at to get some details and was informed the show had been cancelled.

I had turned 19 that year and even though I enjoyed going to school to socialize and all I was ready to finish.I told Charle’s I was going to buckle down and go ahead and finish school.I went home with the study materials.put Acid Bath-Scream of the Butterfly on repeat and started studying.I went back to school took the pre test and missed only 2 questions out of hundreds all I had to do was take the actual test now.I touched up on whatever I could, went and took the final test and passed.I had finally finished school,I was quite content actually.I went back by the school the next week and planned on giving my number to Charle’s but he wasnt there that night.I told one of the teachers to pass it on to him because we were planning on going to a concert that was coming up.

36.

The new year came and I still did not have a job,a band,and had starting losing touch with people once again.I did the usual I had become accustomed to like, odd jobs,playing guitar and lots of drinking.My girlfriend surprised me by saying that she had decided to go to college which I thought was great.Problem was she had made the decision to move to another state and had worked out all of the details without even mentioning it to me.Looking back it worked out well for me later on but that year itself was pretty boring.She would drive down ever or every other weekend and then go back on Sunday to return to school.I was trying to be supportive but really did not care for a long distance relationship.I was starting to get limited in the fun times I could have with her.Mostly due to time limits and it started to get old for me.We somehow managed to make it untill the end of the year and broke up over the phone just as the new year was changing over.I started January 1,1998 single.

37.

Nothing was happening for me at that time,nothing at all.I once again decided to trying a regular job just to have something to do.I had always seen this garden/plant nursery right down the road from my house and put in a application.I got hired about 2 weeks into the new year and started a pattern.I would work Monday through Friday planting flowers,taking care of several greenhouse’s and filling orders.I dont think it was the worst job but I new I could do better.I would usually cash my check early on a Saturday and then go up to the Music Express in Hammond.I would buy lots of cd’s and spend the rest of my money on beer and vodka.I basically sat in my room listening to the albums I had bought and stayed drunk on the weekends.It was a depressing time to say the least.

Unfortunately there were no good looking women working at the nursery and I didnt go out anywhere either.I kept the same pattern for a few months and out of nowhere it hit me.I want to go to college for music.I had no knowledge of how to get into college and didnt know where to get started.I got my mom to drop me off on the campus and I wandered around for a while just looking.I stopped a passer by and asked where the music building was,they pointed and I was standing right in front of it.I walked in and found the office and went inside.I didnt know what I was doing so I just stood there.A few moments later someone asked if they could help me and I said“yes,I want to come here for music“she told me what I had to do and handed me some papers.“Bye the way“she said“what do you play?“Guitar, I said.“What type of guitar“she replied“Oh,I have a Ibanez at home”“No,what style of music do you play,we only offer classical and jazz guitar here at the university”“I play classical guitar”.

[* I had never even touched a classical guitar and did not know shit about it.I had heard Randy Rhoads-Dee,Jason Becker -Air and some of the bits Yngwie had played.I had to meet with the Classical Guitar instructor and do somewhat of an audition a few days later.I brought along my Green Ibanez with no amp because I did not own a classical guitar.I was pretty comfortable and he told me to just play whatever I could.I ripped through anything and everything I could think of and tried to cram as many notes as I possibly could.I guess in reality I played for 3-4 minutes and he said he had heard enough.I had never had anyone judge my playing and I started to get nervous.He looked at me and asked me how did I learn all of that stuff and how long had I been playing for?He told me I had exceptional talent afr more than most that signed up for the program.He also told me I would have to lose the pick and play with my fingers on a nylon string guitar. *]

38.

The application and paperwork proccess was a bitch to get through and the financial aid part was hectic also.I was not eligible for any type of grant or anything so I had to take out student loans to pay for all of it.After all of that shit was finalized I was ready to start my college career.

I envisioned I would be surrounded by like minded virtuoso musicians who were all dedicated and thought like I did.I was wrong.I did meet a few guitarist and musicians that did have dedication and talent but for the most part I did not.College was full of dreamers who did not know what the fuck they wanted.I felt old compared to the rest of the students becuse I was about to turn 20 and had already gone through a lot.Most were straight out of high school and thought by going to music college it would automatically make them a famous musician.I dont think I had ever met a bunch of kids with little to no life experience then I did at college.I did see one thing that was interesting though.A beautiful girl in my guitar class that could play very well!That was rare in those days and I had never had a guitar playing girl before.

Probably about a month before college started I ran back into my old friend from nightschool in the K-Mart parking lot.It had been almost a dam year since we had lost touch and I hesitated about approaching him.I figured what the fuck and alked up to him as he was wheeling out to the van.Come to find out the teacher had never given him my message and he didnt know how to get in touch with me.I asked him what he had in his bag and he pulled out Rust In Peace telling me he had to get a new copy.He started telling me about this sattelite tv show that would play Morbid Angel videos and other cool shit.We traded phone numbers and got back in touch soon after.

39.

College wasn’t a total dissapointment and some cool things did happen as well as some shitty things too.I had the opportunity to meet the Los Angels Guitar Quartet and then see a performance.I approached William Kanengiser and asked him about guitar parts from the movie Crossroads.He seemed to get offended and told me that Steve Vai had played those certain parts not him!I turned around and walked away.The performance was great though and talking to the rest of the quartet was a cool experience.

Another good time was getting to go to Harahan to see a Michael Angelo Batio grand opening of a Guitar Center.I had been a fan of his playing for years and could not wait to meet him.He played and then answered questions for about an hour.During the talking he was saying how back in the 80’s when he would do clinics and all of the hot shot guitarist would stand there with there arms crossed.Charle’s turned to me and said I was the only one in the building with my arms crossed.It was quiet funny actually and made me realize even more so I had something wrong with me.After the performance he was doing autographs and talking with fans.I asked if he would take a picture with us and he said ofcourse.I was excited about going to get to have a picture with one of my guitar heroes.We took the picture nad eventually went back home after the event.Come to find out the guy who had brought the camera told me weeks later that the film was really old and the pictures did not develope.I eventually got over it as time passed.

I did speak to that certain girl anytime I would see her but never could seem to get a good conversation going.I guess she was not interested so I just left it alone.I heard years later she had passed away at a fairly young age from a accidental mixture of medication(RIP)I always wonder what she would have became with her music.

[* The main focus of each college year is to have a recital at the end of each term.20+ guitar students learning classical pieces as well as solo performances.I was putting the time in because it was harder and precise music to memorize.Every note counted and had it's place.I started trying to get in contact with estranged friends and family letting them know I was going to make my debut classical guitar performance.I had a pretty good turnout of support and feeling good about what was happening.We were each given a stack of programs to hand out to whoever we wanted to and it felt pretty cool.I went around and gave everyone I knew a program and had not looked at them myself yet.My mom called me over and asked where my name was on the program.I looked at it and for some reason the teacher put the entire classes names on the program except for mine.I felt like a fucking idiot and went to track him down.I pointed it out to him and he apologized and didnt really tell me how he had forgotten my name. *]

I was mad to say the least and told him since my name was not on there I was not performing.He went on to say stay professional because things like that would always happen in life.I agreed to play with the understanding he would not call any uneccesary attention to me and make me even more nervous.The curtain open to a theater full of people and the teacher walked out to the front of the stage.He took the microphone and made an announcement that Joshua Beard would be performing but was not included on the program.I let it go and played the show.It was a great experience being under the bright ass lights and looking out to a full house.We got such an applause 2 encore’s were performed.My first public performance was a success and I liked it.

40.

I had made it through an entire year of music school but besides learning some guitar pieces I had not learned very much else.I asked the teacher for my Jr or possibly Sr recital if I could do the 24 Caprices from Paganini on classical guitar like Elliot Fisk had done.He told me that he would not ever try it and it was going to be extremely difficult to pull it off.I had played for years with a pick and struggled to have perfectly manacured fingernails and was always getting told about my poor posture and right hand positioning.I explained that years earlier about my fall and how my wrist was fucked up permanently and that it would not turn any other way.I was learning and playing classical pieces and really enjoyed it but heavy metal was still always on my mind.

I saw someone one day walking into the music building with an electric guitar so i caught up them and asked them what they were doing with it.I did not know and was never told by anyone that I had the option of studying jazz guitar instead.I finished out the rest of the semester and when I went back to school I changed my major to jazz guitar instead.I did not have any knowledge of jazz and had never really listened to it all that much.I was confident though that I would excel much quicker getting to play my electric guitar and use a pick.

Now,before going any further I think it is important to include one stand out story from a few months earlier.I think the importance of this for the reader is valuable in adding humor but also just being down right ignorant.

41.

Even though I never got too close to anyone at school I did have a few people I would play guitar and drink with.One in particular was straight from high school and did not have very much life experience it seemed.I did feel at times that he was living through my stories since he really didnt have many of his own.One event will always stand out and it is something like this.

I was in my room at my moms house reading the Agony And The Ecstasy by Irving Stone when I heard a tap on my window.I looked out and this fucker was standing there with a case of beer.He asked if I wanted to drink some and I said yea why not.I didnt want to wake anyone up in my house so I got myself together and went outside.I intended to drink a few and then go back inside because I had school the next day very early.One beer led to another then the idea came up to ride into New Orleans and go to Bourbon St.I was starting to get a buzz and said fuck it lets go.Once getting to Bourbon and walking around it was boring.I had already been there and dont that years before so I was ready to go.I figured it would still give me enough time to get some sleep and make it to school.

On the way home the dumb fucker misses the exit and keeps on driving.A lot of time started to go by without any signs and once we finally saw one it said now entering Mississippi.I could not fucking believe it and was getting tired anyway.I guess this person had never had any wild adventures and said“Hey,you want to go to Florida?” I grabbed a hot beer from the backseet and said sure why not.I dont remember what route we were taking or any of that but it was starting to get daylight whenever we got into Florida.I had drank most of the case of beer myself by this point and was working on my last one.I told him we had to stop and get more beer for the rest of the trip.We stopped at a small gas station and I went in and bought some coronas and a pack of smokes.Heading back to the car he was surrounded by 3 cop cars and they were asking him questions.

I could not run or anything and was pretty drunk anyway.The cop asked me what I had in the bag so I showed him.They took the beer and told us to wait in the car.A few minutes later the cop comes back and tells us that he would not bring us in if we stayed in the resturant near by and sobered up.I dont think the cops in that area were too bright.We agreed and went and set in a booth and was told that we would be checked on in a few hours.The cops left and we just sat there.As soon as they left I bought some more beer and told the guy lets go,I am ready to get to Daytona beach.We took off and did not look back.I had already been up around 48 hours at that point and was wired out completely from sleep deprevation and a shit load of beer.

For some reason it once again took a long as time and we finally made it to Tallahassee.It was starting to get dark and the car started making a noise.We pulled into a rest srea and the fucking car started pouring smoke and died.Neither one of us knew how to work on cars and did not really have the option of calling anyone.We sat there for hours trying to figure out what to do and it started to get really late.I went to a bench at the rest area and tried to sleep.I was not able to though due to he current situation.A redneck woman with rolled up sleeves and a trucker hat approached us and asked if we needed help.She looked under the hood and after a while the car was running again.I was burned completely out and wanted to go back home.No one knew where neither of us were and at this point had been gone for almsot 2 days.He called his mom and I called mine and both started screaming telling us to get the fuck home.He had it worse than I did though with his entire family wanting to talk to him and in a complete panic.We started heading back home and I told him him to stop the car.I got out and laid on the road and stared at the sky.It had turned into a horrible experience and I was starting to wonder if I would make it back home.We eventually made it back to Louisiana and he dropped me off at home the next day.I went into my room and fell out for an entire day before waking up.I forgot to mention ths all occured during finals weel.I missed 3 days of school and had a thought that had not crossed my mind before.

Do I have a drinking problem?

42.

Emotions finally calmed down and things started to move forward as usual.I started my college year with jazz studies and didnt see that person very much after that incient.Probably scared him to death!Nothing out of the ordinary happened from that point on that stands out to me.I was sitting on the steps of the music building once and saw a line of black un marked cars pulling up and wondered what was going on.The president of Haiti was coming to do a lecture and was surrounded by armed guards wearing suits.I did not move a muscle as they all walked by fearing one may shoot me if I moved too much thinking I was trying to attack the president.

Things were actually pretty dam boring until I saw her walk by.I had never lucked up and had a metal type gothic style girl.She had a different color hair every other day and piercings to go with it.For some reason she walked up to me one day and sat next to me and introduced herself.“Hi,I am Christina“I introduced who I was and we started talking.Everyday was the same routine pretty much,she would see me sitting on the steps and just sit down next to me and we would talk.I think she was going to school for clarinet or something like that,I dont know if I ever asked.One day it was a friday and we were having some holiday and had a week off from school.She walked up to me with a piece of paper folded up and told me to call her,she kissed me on the cheek gave me a hug and walked away.

I did call her and we talked for quiet a while at school and on the phone.I was drinking on my own time and had not been associating with anyone else really.I figured the whole Florida incident would have slowed me down but I think I started drinking more.I stared falling behind with my school work and quickly lost interest.I had made up my mind to drop out because I could not handle any of it anymore.She walked up behind me and hugged me while I was sitting on the steps and whispered into my ear she would see me in class.I knew I was leaving that day and did not know how to tell her.She went into the building and when I did not see her anymore I grabbed my stuff and walked away.I have always wondered if she remembers me and thinks of what may have happened to me.I somehow lost her number and we never spoke again.I am sorry.

43.

I was not even 21 years old and completely, mentally and physically burn’t out.I had stopped making plans and really did not what to expect in the future.

For a few weeks before leaving college,I had started working.My aunt had bought a resturant and offered me a job.I was a dishwasker at a truck stop resturant actually liked it.In the beginning I was going to school on Monday,Wednesday,Friday and working on Thuesday,Thursday,Saturday,Sunday.I had the 2-10 shift and enjoyed making money steadliy for a change.After leading up to the events of quitting college I was free then to work pretty much anytime.Sometimes I would work 14 days in a row then take a day or so off.I did not really have a lot of bills so I spent most of my money on alchohol and cigarettes and the occasional t-shirt or cd.

I had never really thought much about the whole internet computer thing and didnt have to use it very much even in college at that time.After hearing people talk about all of the cool shit that could found on the internet,I dicided to get one for myself.At that point in history dial up phone line internet was all that was available and it was slow as fuck.I called my friend Charle’s who was into computers and he got me started.I was introduced to e-mail,search engines,chat rooms and just shopping on different sites.I started a pattern soon after nad it worked for me.

I would work from 2-10,leave work and get some beer and smokes,go home and get on the internet.I would look up stuff about bands,guitar tab,chat with people and browse the dating sites at the time looking for a new woman.I would stay up until 5 or 6 in the morning,fall asleep and do it all over the next day.It was a pretty simple time for once and I kept that pattern for close to a year.

44.

2000.That was the big year whenever everyones computers were supposed to crash and the world would come to an end.As we all know nothing major happened and life carried on as usual.It was on again off again that entire year with socializing and at that point I didnt think very much about it.I was playing guitar regularly at home but had not bothered trying to get with anyone else.I would have regular chats with people from all around the world and stayed in contace with a few women but nothing ever went beyond that.

Almost a year to the day I had a fallen out at the resturant and quit.I wasnt worried all that much except for not having my beer and cigarette money.Oh yea,I had a computer note and internet bill I had to take care of now.It didnt take all that long and the very plant nursery I had worked at in 1998 was hiring again.I went back to work and it was a circus.I had a few relatives and other people I knew working there and it did not last long.I had to find something else and I did.This wahat set in motion a series throughout the years and I believe going through about 26 jobs.

The next job I landed was a bicycle tech going to Wal Mart stores all around and putting together the bikes they sold.I would have to go on the road everyday and usually not get home until late at night.I was no longer on the 2-10 and could no longer stay up all night like I had been accustomed to doing.I had pondered the idae of going back to college but already had aquired some bills and could not due to financial commitment.I never could adjust to the whole morning scedule and being on the road.After 4 months I once again decided to call it quits.I knew something would come along and it was a case of someone elses misfortune that brought forth the opportunity.

45.

My brother had been working at a few weeks or so at a woodshop close to home.One day he accidentaly almost cut his thumb off on one of the machines nad had left work.Apparantley the shop had a lot of work and needed someone to go and help out.I had never been in a shop in my life and had no previous knowledge of woodworking to say the least.I thought about it for a while and decided to try it out.October of 2000 was when I got my very first woodworking job,problem was that is was not set in stone and I agreed to go on as a helper.I had started to really enjoy what I was learning and had never really felt good about a job like I did this one.I think the idea of creating something had somewhat of a art feel to it and that was right up my alley.Unfortunately only after 6 weeks into it I was sent home and told that once the work started rolling in I could come back.I was sad about the possibility of not getting called back because I had found something I was actually enjoying for a change.My year at the resturant was pretty good most of the time but this was a skilled job that actually took some thought.

I remember staying home for a few weeks being bummed out and waiting for the call to go back.Sure enough I got the call and went back to work full time in December.It was more interesting than any job I had up until that point and I was actually strting to feel pretty good in life.I had to get used to the morning hours because there was not really any way around that.I would like to think I got used to it as the years went by but in reality I still enjoy the nightlife.Oh well,I was on a good track learning something interesting and getting paid to do it.I was making more money than I ever had before and felt like I had a purpose in life again.

Even though I had to sacrifice the nightlife I started to make up for it on the weekend’s.I would work throughout the week and get my check on Friday’s usually.I would cash my check first then stop off at the store and get a case of beer and a few packs of smokes.I was hanging out down the road from my house at my grandmaws house by the canal and never knew what would happen as each weekend was about to begin.Normally I would come home and take a bath then head over there for the festivities to begin.It was predictable in one way but total chaos at times.We would have bonfires burning from Friday evening untill Sunday morning.

I would pay my few bills I had aqquired,buy food for the week ans spend the rest on beer for the weekend.If I had $200.00 I would drink that much beer and ofcourse had other’s helping with that as well.I never did like spending the night at anyones house very much so I would wait until the beer would run out and walk home at 3 or 4 in the morning and then go to my room and pass out.I am pretty sure I walked into the ditch a few times but I always made it home without getting hit by a car or passing out.I would sleep it off and drink a few beers on Sunday to feel right again.I was always broke by Monday morning but it didnt really matter that much to me.

46.

During that same time I had gotten back in touch with one of my old friends from years earlier.I was out on the riding lawn mower one eveing and he come pulling up and introduced me to his new girlfriend.We went in my room and I grabbed my guitar and plugged it in.He had been telling her I could play very well and she wanted to see for herself.I played Holy Wars from Megadeth and that was it.I think she was impresssed!Come to find out they were living together and had there own place.If nothing was going on by the canal for a weekend I would go to their house instead.It was pretty dam cool and I even had my own room.I would get dropped off on a Friday night and we would all sit around drinking and listening to music.It was a good time.

I guess during that time I must have felt like I had my life in order.I had gotten back in touch with my college classical guitar teacher and started taking lessons at his house.I would go on Saturday afternoons then start my partying after.Things were going good and I even thought about once again going back to school.I knew financially it was not possible though so I left it at that.All was well until a single accident kinda fucked up my good time.

I guess I starting to get drained from working full time during the week and drinking the majority of the weekend.I went to work as usual and was tired even before I got there.I was not paying attention on a machine and ran my left hand right into a spinning blade.For a moment I was sure I had lost my finger,but I did not.After I washed it off I had cut my left hand index pointer finger right at the knuckle.I could not see the bane and it did not look like I needed stitches but it did throb like a mother fucker.I showed the person I was working for and he did not seem to give a fuck.He laughed it off and didnt really have much of a concern at all.He was only concerned about me making money for him and that was it.

I called my teacher and told him what had happened but he told me to come to my lesson anyway.I went that following Saturday and showed it to him.I could not even bend my index finger and it was staying swollen but he also didnt think it was a big deal.I realized that he just like the other was interested in the money.I could not play at that point and did not want to continue paying for lessons.I took it personally and never went back.I have never spoken to that teacher again.I think by now he is probably around 70 years old.

47.

I went back to work and since I couldnt play for the time being I went back to looking on the internet and trying to find a new girl to talk to.Now,I was always pretty much a metal guy and was only interested in finding a metal girl.It was the 2000’s and it seemed like they did not exist anymore.I searched for some type of metal dating sites but instead ran across a weird gothic site.Thinking back I believe it was a site with a guestbook and some people would ad links to their personal sites or email address.One of them had an link so I decided to click on it.

I do remember the website I had stumbled across was pretty basic and had a section for the person running it to write details and thoughts about therself and may have even had a few pictures.I must have been interested in what I was reading at that point because I noticed either a email link or a yahoo messenger contact info.I had originally had a ICQ messenger and then started using the yahoo one as well.I wrote to one of the two and didnt think much about it,I was not expecting a response.I can not remember the exact number of days but I did eventually get a response.I thought what the hell I will get a conversation going,I wanted to talk to anyway.

I recall using the yahoo box and introducing myself as I had done plenty of times already but to no success.One of the first things I got in a message was’asl’I asked the person on the other end what the fuck that meant and she wrote back.Age,sex,location.I responded with 22,male,Louisiana.I got a reponse of female,18,Louisiana.

I had gotten one of those printer/scanner/fax units sometime earlier and had learned how to scan and send pictures.Whoever was on the other end had gotten my interest being close in age and from Louisiana.I asked her to described herself and her EXACT response was“I am 5ft 2” and am not telling you how much I weigh”.I didnt know what to think about that and just shook my head.A few minutes later as I expected I was asked pretty much the same thing.I had already had a picture saved on my computer and told her I would send her that one.It was a group picture of myself and a few friend from the Strawberry Festival from the year earlier.In the picture weas one of my friends who at the time was probably 400 lbs,I told her that was me and waited for a response.I was not being mean to my friend and have told him the story throughout the years,we both thought it was pretty dam funny.

I dont think I got a immediate response and after sitting there laughing I wrote back and said I was the one with the Acid Bath shirt.

48.

Apparantly she liked what she saw because from my memory we would talk every night around the same time for hours on the yahoo messenger.It was good conversation to say the least and thus set me into a new routine.I was still working at the woodshop throughout the week and had started skipping the canal and going to my friends house every weekend.I would buy some beer and sit in front of the computer drinking and typing messages back and forth.It went on for quiet some time and I still did not know how she looked!It did not bother me though really,I enjoyed the conversations that much.We would talk about anything and everything.I would write long messages about how I had played guitar fro so long and the kind of music I listened to and how I had went to college.I explained how I was a professional craftsmen even though I was not,I was merely a shop helper at that point.Oh well,she would never know.Or would she come to find out?

I’ll admit,I was interested.I dont remember how many weeks went by but she finally sent me a picture.She told me it was from years earlier and she looked a bit different now.I got the picture and finally had a face to go along with the typed messages.I did not have very much of a first impression though because I knew the picture was pretty dam old and did not want to go by that.I started to get tired with the typing and asked if I could call her or she would call me.It was agreed upon and we started talking on the phone.She had a beautiful voice and seemed shy.She later told me I sounded like a country fucker and had a weird accent and way of talking.It was cool,I would buy phone cards and she would to I believe.We would meet up on the yahoo then talk on the phone,it was great.

I always seemed to lead the conversation though and asked most of the questions.I wanted to see her in person so I came out and asked if it could ever happen.I had never driven and she told me she did not drive either.Fortunately a festival was coming up in Hammond and she was going with her family.I figured this was just a good time as any to finally meet up.The festival itself was and still of to my knowledge in November and December.This should start to set a better timeline from here on out.Anyway,I was going to meet her on a Saturday but decided to go over to the canal that Friday night.I woke up on that Saturday morning bright and early hung over pretty dam bad.I did not want to miss this opportunity so I pulled myself together and got my brother to drop me off.

We had both agreed that if we saw each other from a distance and was not interested that we could simply walk away.I was a bit nervous and my head was hurting like a mother fucker.I got dropped off out front and found the first beer booth I could because I was dying from dehydration.I was only there for a few minutes walking around and there she was.She was beautiful.I walked toward her and gave her a hug.She introduced me to her family and we took off walking around and talking.I could tell she was nervous and she was absolutely beautiful.

49.

Through the months since we had initially first started talking one thing I did mange to learn about her was one of her favorite songs.‘Wish you were Here’ by Pink Floyd.I had already learned it in case of a chance meeting so it was in my repetoire.I never did like that band and actually still do not to this day.Oh well,no need to tell her that.

When the day come to a close she offered to drop me off at my house so she could see where I lived.Her and her twin sister brought me home and came inside.It was kinda weird looking at 2 of them even though to me they never looked alike anyway.I told her I wanted to play something for her and took out my guitar.I took a deep breath closed my eyes and played Wish you were here.Did my old tried and true method work?I was not sure and they told me they had a long drive ahead and left.Maybe I had lost my charm,maybe my guitar playing sucked,maybe I was not what she had thought.I come to the fact that all the above had to be true because we stopped talking.I do not know what happened or what I did.I was sad and started to fall apart again.Would I ever see her again?

That was in November and for the next 6 months I did not talk to her.I thought that after her seeing me in person I was not what she was looking for.I also thought that maybe she was too beautiful for me.I was bummed out and went back to the canal and weekends of drinking like I had done before.When I was not hanging out I was sitting in my room getting drunk by myself dreaming of playing guitar and getting famous.I always remember it being cold and grey for some reason.I had a dark cloud over me and felt sad all of the time.I was still working at the woodshop but as I expected started to have problems.I had went from a huge interest in woodwork to not even wanting to be there anymore.It had all just become routine and nothing special.

The new year had come and gone and life was boring.What had happened to my beautiful new girl and why didnt she talk to me?I had somehow lost her contace information due to reformatting my computer and had no idea to get in touch with her.She was gone forever and becoming a memory that I could not and did not want to forget about.

50.

One night at the end of March I was in my room laying on my couch staring at the ceiling and thinking.My mom comes in and told me someone was on the phone for me.It was her.My whole mood instantly changed and we started talking,picking up it seems just at where we had left off.I made dam sure to get her phone number this time and wrote it on a board I kept in my closet.I did not want to lose touch again.It was fun once again and for some reason I didnt ask why we had stopped talking,it was not important.The important thing was that this beautiful girl was back in my life again.It was always funny how events like that would make me feel better almost overnight.

The next big thing coming up was the good old Strawberry Festival and I knew it would be a dam good time to see her again.We had always had great after parties at my mom and dad’s house after the festival when it closed.Full of people sleeping on the floor and drinking all night long.She worked out the details on her end and said that one of her friend’s would be driving her down and they would both be spending the night.

That friday of the big weekend had arrived and I was ready to go.My friend Eric had started working with me at the woodshop a few weeks earlier and I told him about my plans.We were pretty close and had remained friends for a long time so he was game for whatever I had planned.We got off worj at 12:00 that Friday and me and him cashed our checks.As usual I stopped and got some beer and got him to drop me off at home.I told him I was going to get ready and that he would have to come and pick me back up.I started drinking and got ready,a few hours ready he was back and we were ready to go and meet the girls.

Even though she had been to my house once before,we decided to meet at Wendy’s in town and have them follow us back to my house.Me and Eric pulled up in his old green machine truck and they were already there.I got out of the truck and saw her getting out of the car just as beautiful as I had remembered.I told them to follow us back to my house and me and Eric would get in the car with them.We went back to my house and got in the car with them and I told them I had to stop at the store.Even though I had bought beer earlier I figured a little more wouldn’t hurt.I filled up a ice chest full of different shit and we went to the festival.It was cool being with her again because I thought she was gone forever.Well she was there with me having fun.

The festival usually ended at 10 so we decided to go back to my house and continue the festivities.It was plumb wild and a lot of people were at the house.I being my usual self was already drunk and still didnt want to stop.I eventually got so drunk I had to lay on the couch.I told someone to go and get her and tell her to come sit by me .She sat next to the couch holding my hand while I threw my guts up and then passed out.Talk about another good first date huh?

I got up the next morning and felt great for some odd reason,I guess because I had already thrown up everything in my entire body and was refresshed.I guess sometime after I fell asleep she left me and went to the chair.I looked over and she was sleeping,sitting up in the chair.I had never seen anyone do that before.It turned out that her friend and Eric ended up sharing the same mattress in the living room that night.Her friend told her that he had invaded her space and his response was“I aint no space invader“I think about that all the time.

51.

Now the pattern in my life seemed to always have good and bad almost equally.I was happy about getting back in touch and staying in touch with my new woman.Even though we had not made it offical I thought it wood be soon.But like I said,evertime something good happened something shitty would be close behind.

On April 13,2001 my longtime friend and neighbor got murdered a few houses down from mine.It was later determined that a x boyfriend had come and Shot to death my friend and his girlfriend.Ont body was in the house and one laying in the front yard.The murderer was caught hours later and admitted to the whole thing.It was fucking horrible and I had not had to go through anything like that since 1995.I started drinking that morning when I found out and before I knew it my house was full of people talking about what had happened.I drank the entire day trying to block it out but never could.I missed a few days of work and pulled myself together.It would soon become common for me to go through this type of thing and still never get used to it.

Afew weeks earlier I had found out that one of the women who had worked with me at the resturant had been killed also.Her husband had beaten her and locked her in the closet until she died.I did not know her very well but did work with her for a year.(RIP)Eileen.

52.

We lost touch again,Dont ask me how it happened or why but the communication had slowed down.For the sake of the timeline I do remember talking to her on the phone and telling her what had happened to my friend.It was only a week after we had went to the Strawberry Festval but our conversation had slowed down.I remember working at the shop and hearing on the radio that 2 planes had flown into a building.It was September 11,2001.Me, like most people did not know what the hell was going on until all of it later became more publicised.I will never forget that day either!

My memory does start to get a bit fuzzy at this point in time and it sucks.I dont think we ended up talking very much until almost the end of that year.Now that I think about it she had another boyfriend from what I remember.I do in fact remember getting back in touch with her and her telling me she had a boyfriend.I guess I must have not meant that much to her after all.I really didnt know what to think anymore.

53.

As far as I can remember things stayed pretty routine for me.I was usually either working,drunk or depressed.I had actually had more concern about this dam girl than I had with any of the others before.It did not seem like it was going to work out but I didnt seem to move on either.I was just living.I missed her very much and really did want to talk to her again.

As fate would have it In November of 2001 she called me on the phone.It had been almost 7 months since we had talked and I was happy just to hear from her.I had missed our phone conversations and the 2 times we had met in person.I always wondered what she was doing and also wondered if she ever thought about me?She told me she had started driving and was going to come and see me,by herself and spend the night.I could not wait.

She drove down just like she said and that was finally it.I never did ask about the lapse in communication or her having another boyfriend for a while.I never did ask if she had thought about me.I did not care about any of it,once again she was here with me and I fely happy again.We went for a night time walk and walked on some cut down logs on a construction site and talked.We talked about a lot and I mentioned I did not want to have kids and never wanted to.She told me she never saw herself having kids either and it was great.Or was it?

Things started to go well and that point on she would come down and spend the night every other weekend.We even got to spend the New Year at Diney World.It was turning over to 2002 and things started to look bright for me again.

54.

2002 was a very eventful year or very bust year I guess one would say.I finally had a new girlfriend and was still working at the woodwhop.She would come down every other weekend and we would take full advantage of it.I was still drinking and loved it.I was still making pretty good money and started to rack up a shit load of credit cards and I made use of them.We would go out and eat,visit friends of mine,I even started trying to get together with people to play music.I was always doing something and enjoyed the ride.Just like always though the bad was right behind me as usual.

She definately knew I drank when we met and since we had gotten together.I had went through flown blown alchoholism already and had a lot of ups and downs with it.If we decided to go out I would drink,If we decided to stay in I would drink.I should have been happy having this life and all but I guess I wasn’t.I would get extremely fucked up and have her sit next to me while I would throw my guts up and be hung over the entire next day.That year showed what I had worked up to for the most part.Let me explain how it would go.

I would cash my check right after 12:00 on a Friday and stop at the store to get a 6 packof beer.I would go home and take a bath and get right back to drinking trying to decide what I wanted to do that night.Usually by that time while trying to decide what I wanted to do I would get her to run me back to the store to get another 12 pack so I would have some for later.We would come back to the house and talk about what to do and I would be steadily drinking.Normally we would decide to go out and eat and I would stop on the way to the resturant and grab another bottle or 2.Once at the resturant I would continue to drink and eat a little bit.I would stop at the store on the way home grab one more and then continue with the beer I had from earlier that day.I would fall out in the yard,pass out in the car,throw up everywhere and she would always be with me.

I am willing to say that this was a routine for me and was for much of 2002 going into 2003.We had a good relationship and a lot of good comforting times but I was doing my best to destroy myself it seemed like.I wanted the rockstar life and thought that was how it had to be.I was going by what had always come natural.

55.

I rememer things going pretty much that way until I finally quit the woodworking shop or actually got laid off in December of 2002.I was bummed out but had wanted to get away from that place anyway.I did not like the people I had to work with and did not get the respect I deserved from the amount of knowledge I had gained.I did manage to make it through the holidays and found some odd job bullshit to start off the year.It was rough not being steady but I made it work and in April I got yet another great offer.I was offered a guitar teacher job at a music store that I had always went to since I was younger.I had always thought it would be dam cool to get payed to play and teach guitar.I jumped into it and hated it right off the bat.It was 2003 and no one gave a shit about metal it seemed.I was a glorified baby sitter for kids who did not know what kind of music they listened to much less what kind they wanted to play.Not to mention I did not make any money hardly doing it.I knew I had to get a real job and soon.

I think the teaching gig lasted close to 3 months and I was broke as fuck at this point.It was something I had always dreamed of doing but after I got it I did not like it.As usual something came along and it was something I had not done before.I was laying on the floor bummed out in mom’s living room when my brother walked in.“Hey,you want to come to work with me and dad?“it was an offer to go offshore and work on a dredgeboat.I mainly went out of neccessity from having a shit load of bills piling up.I went to work offshore in July 2003.

It was a whole new experience for me and besides staying gone for 3 weeks out of the month it was not that bad.I was mostly in the Gulf Of Mexico and would watch dolphins jumping around every evening while sitting outside on the bench.Another cool thin was the money I would be making.I had never made a lot of money but this was going to be even better.Of course with more money there was always a price to pay.

56.

It was fun having that much money in my pocket and I took advantage of it when I got home.Since we had gotten together my girlfriend had moved from 3 hours away to about 1 hour away with one of her sisters.I would come home and she would come over usually on the weekends still but sometimes during the week.We would still go out and go to resturants and all the same shit we were used to doing.I drank more because I had more money and could finally start to see the strain it was causing.I was getting runned down once again from drinking,staying offshore and putting a strain on my relationship.One of my lower points though was on my week off close to my birthday.

On September 28,2003 I got the news that my neighbor and family friend had gotten killed.He was only 16 at the time and me and my family had known him his entire life.He was playing russian roulette and ended up dying because of it.My heart sank nad I was extremely sad about it to this day.His funeral was on September 30,2003.My 25th birthday.I will always miss you Dusty(RIP)A lot of people have always asked me what it is like to have a good memory for names,dates and so on.Let me tell you it fucking sucks,I would be much better off from not having most of these memories.I would not be able to write this either though!Why is it always a double edge sword with things?

57.

I guess that everything that I had been through so far in my life was still with me.I really had no reason to drink as much as I did because I knew it really did not help change anything.I started thinking that the rock stardom may have not been meant for me nad I did have a job that could be pretty secure.I was starting to have relationship problems and really wanted to change the way I had done things for so long.I was 25 and starting to look at things differently I just didnt share my ideas with my other half as much as I should have.I was convincing myself that I had a good wild run and it was time for me to grow up more so to speak.I started off the new year which was 2004 thinking differently than I ever did before.

I had never wanted to have kids but for some reason I actually started to consider it.I loved the girl I was with very much and started think of how it could be.I came home a day early one time and was going to surprise her.I wanted to tell her some of the new thoughts I had been having and see what she thought about all of it.I made it home and gave her a call.I was surprised to have her tell me she had made a new friend.I asked what her name was and she told me it was a guy.My heart sank and even after all of the stuff I had been through I do believe I felt the worst I ever had in my life.I was speachless and heartbroken simply from the thought of it.All of the stuff I had been thinking about went out of my mind instantly and never entered it again.I got extremely mad and strted cussing then hung up.I was devastated and kept asking ,why?

Like most idiot’s usually end up doing I talked with her again.I wanted the details of what had happened and what made her do it.Come to find out and from I gathered,I was gone so much she had gotten bored.We had been through a lot at this point but I didnt understand it.She had willingly met some dickhead online and went out of her way to go and meet him at a bar.She even had this person come back to her house to hang out.All of this while I was out in the middle of the ocean working.

58.

I wanted to understand but never could.I could not get it off my mind and went completely numb.After me badgering her for more answers it just going in circles.I tried to go back to work offshore but just couldn’t do it.I cleaned out my locker at work,got a boat to bring me to shore and never went back.I really loved this girl and even though that had happened I still wanted to be with her.We picked up where we had left off but it was never the same.I felt horrible,embarresed,and starting drinking even more to kill the pain.I had someone but was completely lonely.Another terrible thing would take place just weeks later that would add to my misery.

Me and her stayed together and I started bringing her with me to friend’s houses and one night we ended up right down the road by the canal.It was the usual shit and the usual people.A friend of mine had just gotten back together with his wife and they seemed pretty happy together.He asked me for a cigarette and jokingly said“my doctor told me one more ciggarette is going to kill me“I knew he was joking so I gave him one.We all stood around a fire drinking heavily and after a while me and her went home.I got up the next morning hungover and got some news.

On February 22,2004 My friend that I had given the Ciggarette to had gotten killed.Him and his wife had left that very get together and ran off the road on their way home.It was said that the impact was so bad they both got decapitated.I still miss you Leslie(RIP)

I tried to carry on with all that had happened,my love meeting someone else,all of my friends dying,my drinking problem, but I just could not do it.The beautiful girl I had met what seemed like so long ago,the same girl that had my name tattooed on her wrist,the same girl that held my hand on the couch that night of the Strawberry Festval was no more.We decided to to break up and go our seperate ways in June 2004.She was out of my life again.

59.

The next few months were a blur for lack of a better word.I didnt care about anything and more burned out than I had been since leaving college.I guess it could always get worse huh?

I did not even bother trying to find a job right off the bat.I didnt give a fuck if I worked or not.I did however eventually get a new girlfriend.I met her from a dating site and she was from the rich side of town.She was quiet tall and actually pretty good looking.We were complete opposites though and I knew it from the start.We got together in September of 2004 right before my birthday.It started off decent and one particular weekend was two for one.My birthday was on a Friday and a friend of mine was having a benefit concert in Hammond on the next night.She had never experienced the wild life and I guess thought it was exciting.Like everything though it got old fast.

The next 9 months of that relationship was a waste of time pretty much.I stayed drunk the majority of the time and realized she liked to play games constantly.We were on again off again ever other day and it was absolutely fucking stupid.I think the part that stands out the most to me is at the very end.Even though it was always up and down I kept doing it out of boredom and just to pass the time.The Strawberry Festval was coming around around again and I asked her to go with me.I called her early that morning and asked if she would meet me there.She was going on and on about something and I had enough.That very morning right before I left I told her it was over and I could not put up with it anymore.I hung up cracked open a beer at 8 am and went to the festival.

As soon as I got there the parade was starting and my uncle asked me where my girlfriend was.I told him what happened and then started laughing.I do wish her the best bt she definately was not the one for me.

Even though I had only been single for a few hours I was looking already.Why not?I was single.I ended up having a pretty good time that day and even ran into one of my old friends that went back to the band room in high school.We hung out all day drinking and I ended up losing my mom and dad and had no way to get home.I got my friend to drop me at home but no one was there and I did not have a key.I climbed through my bedroom window and fell oout onto my floor.I had just bought a new stand up fan and winded up cracking the top from falling into it.I just layed there staring at the ceiling until I heard the phone ring.Guess who it was?My ex girlfriend that I had not talked to in 10 months since we had broken up.I thought about it for a moment and called her back for some strange reason.Even though all of the shit had happened I still missed her deep down.We talked for a while and she told me she had been working a job with nightime hours.Even though she was 3 hours away we somehow ended up agreeing to see each other.I passed out for a little bit and the next morning she come pulling up.I asked her if she wanted to go to the festival and she said yes.It was on the Sunday and the last day.

I think everyone was surprised to see her and I was too.We went to the festival then she had to go back home.I think she had been up for a long ass time at that point.It was nice to see her and I actually felt good.That night my other ex from 24 hours hours earlier showed up at my house demanding her little box of shit.I gave them to her and said goodbye.Before she left she asked me why I had been having an affair behind her back.I had not and told her leave me the fuck alone.

60.

My original first true love was back in my life and I got a call to go back to the woodshop that very same month.April has usually been a good month for me up until this point.It would not be later on though.I felt like the past was the past and I wanted to let things go.I was not getting any younger and was tired of things constantly changing all the time.We got back together and thought it would be cool for her to move down here so we could be together.Looking back I would say it was not a bad time.I had become so exhausted in life and did not want to keep struggling all the time.

We had a good time but things did start to change.I guess deep down I had been torn up by what she had done it just did not want to leave.I kept it too myself though with the occasional outburst but we seemed to make it.One thing that will always stand out is Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.I was working at the woodshop and they had started to warn people to evacuate.Her dad insisted on her not staying here and I agreed.I had and probably never will leave when those things happen but that is my nature.She left to go back north and I stayed here.I finished that work day and didnt think we would be affected by it.It came and went and luckily my area did not get any damage.We were without electricity for a month because of a tree tearing down the power line,but I couldnt complain.New Orleans was another story though.Until this day I hate watching footage of how horrible that was.

She came back home and we made due with the situation.We had rigged up a shower outside with a tarp and hose pipe.Any helicopters flying over could probably have seen us naked in there,I thought that was fun.Eventually in my area of the world things started to get back to normal and life for me was actually normal.It was kind of weird being so calm,I was not used to that.I did not want to question it either though.Hey,maybe it would be smooth sailing from here on out?

61.

We made it through until the brand new year and it was now 2006.I didn’t drink as much and throughout all of it was still playing guitar.A lot of people had come and gone and I was starting to calm down quiet a bit.In my mind besides a few ups and down the relationship was going good and I was enjoying it.I had ended up having yet another falling out at the woodshop and had gotten a job doing marble work.I would make marble countertops and then help install them.I had to go down into NewOrleans to install and got the finally see all of the damahe first hand.It was absolutely horrible what had happened and I was looking right at it.I was also skeptical about being at some of the places we had to work also.Pretty bad neighborhoods at times.

The marble shop was not bad except for the fact the owner was a complete dickhead,the foreman smoked weed at work and the other helper would drink beer when the owner was gone.I did not like the vibe of the environment and it did not last long,plus I had something else on my mind anyway.This time it was not my relationship,or guitar,or money or anything like that.It was my oldest friend and mentor Eric.He had had health trouble for years and never would take care of himself.I am sure if he would have had the opportunity to write a book mine would pale in comparison.In February he had collapsed and gotten rushed to the hospital and slipped into a coma.

They moved him to East Jefferson Hospital in New Orleans and put him in his own room.I went a few times to see him and worried constantly when he was going to wake up.I was talking to him once and when I told him I had to go his heart monitor started to fluctuate.I know he could here me and it was very painfull.Even while writing this years later I still get sad thinking about him lying there but not being able to do anything.It was unceratain what exactly had happened to him but I later found out it was complications of diabetes and his kidney’s had shut down.

On April 15,2006 my best friend Eric Scott Goudeau was gone forever.I miss him very much and always will.He had told me at that first meeting in the red tin house that I would be a good guitar player one day and would have an eventful and exciting life ahead.I guess he was right.I will see you again my friend.

62.

Wish You Were Here.Remeber how I won that girls heart from playing that on guitar?Even though it had seemed to be working out I guess it was not the same and we wanted different things.Me and this girl had been through a lifetime together but both knew we wanted to take different paths in life.I could understand it completely, but it did not make it any easier for me.We talked it over and both realized that in order for us to both be happy we would have to be apart from one another.We were living together and she was going to move out the next day to get her new life started.It was calm and a mutual agreement between both of us.We decided to watch a movie together and then go to bed.The movie came to and end and the closing song was Wish You Were Here.It is a picture perfect story that most people will never get to experience.The next day she was gone.I was back to where I had started a lifetime ago.

63.

Third Times a charm so the say.I somehow went back to the dam woodshop and started working again.I didnt question it,I just went.I was sad beoming pretty dam void of emotion at this point.It did not take long and I met a new girl on a yahoo dating site.I knew the ex was not coming back and that it was finally over.In reality I believe I met someone about 3 or 4 weeks later.As usual we started out with emails and instant messages then worked up to the phone.She was a interesting girl and had a more interesting name!Dajonel.Her profile picture was absolutley beautiful and wanted to talk to her and find out what she was like.I remember in her profile she mentioned she could speak Spanish,I later found out this was not true and still laugh about it.

We talked for a few weeks before I asked her to meet me at a bookstore in Hammond.She told me she would be wearing all grey and would be sitting out front.I went in my usual dress pants and white button up that I had gotten used to wearing.I saw her sitting at the table and walked right up and sat down.I started talking to her but did not know what to think at first.She was not a typical giggly ass brain dead girl,quite the opposite actually.Very smart and liked to read a lot.I was dying for a drink and brought up the idea of going to a Mexican place right down the road.We got in her car and she told me not to touch the radio because I would mess it up.I definately needed a drink.

We made it to the resturant and sat out on the patio,it was something I had done a many times before and still enjoyed it.I mainly liked to sit outside so I could smoke.She pulls the lemon out of her iced tea and puts it in the ashtray putting my smike out.I ordered another drink and didnt know what to think.I was not sure this would work out at all.I didnt know how to read her quite yet and was not sure if I going to be able to.We had a good time and then she dropped me off at home.I didnt expect much out of it really.

64.

I will admit,I was not totally convinced that this new one would work out so I started looking again.I think after meeting her I realized that she had not had much life experience and I would definately not be good for her.I explained that to her and we would only talk here and there over the internet.I had been through so much in life and didnt want to ruin it for someone else who had a life ahead of them.I looked around for a little bit and landed another one pretty quickly.We met and were briefly involved for 3 weeks max and I had to let her go.We were also complete opposites and I knew it wouldnt work.I moved on once again and met a girl at a party a few days later.I was staying drunk all the time and really did not give a fuck at that point.

This new girl was short and listened to metal.We talked for hours and she even played the bass a little.I thought it may go good but too many red flags were popping up already.It lasted a few weeks and went down in flames.I can say that the 2 combined was a complete waste of time and two of the experiences I would prefer not to have even gone through.I do not know what ever happened to either one of them and I do not fucking care.

Dajonel however would not listen to my advice however and instead of believing I was a bad influence her response was that she had fallen in love with me.We had actually hung out a few times and on one occassion showed up at my house while one of the other girls was with me.She asked me to walk outside and whispered in my ear that she had fell in love with me,got in her car and left.Hey,maybe she did have some emotion after all.

65.

My 28th birthday party was killer.We started out at my favorite mexican resturant then I got a phone call that an old friend was throwing a party for me also.I got as drunk as I could at the resturant and then me and Dajonel went to my other party.I toasted everyone thanking them and telling everyone how I was surprised I made it be 28.We sat around drinking beer and downing vodka,I was completely fucked up but also having fun.Me not wanting to go home as usual ended up at a boat launch in Mandeville.No one was there so me and Dajonel jumped in with all of our clothes on and swam around the water.I pulled her toward me and gave her a kiss,it was official.I had a new girl in my life and she was beautiful.

I had 2 old wedding rings from past relationships that I would wear just for the hell of it.I took both off and threw them into the lake.If anyone out there ever finds a fish with a ring it was mine.I do not want them back either.

I was 28 years old and had already went through everything that I could personally imagaine.I had to let it all go and just remember everything for what it was and how it had been.I had carried around so much weight for so dam long and made the decision to let it all go.My wild times were not quite over yet but besides all of that my dam right hand had stopped working like it should.I was losing my ability to play guitar and had been since June.I wonder what’s going on with my hand?

66.

I had only done labor work throughout the years and most of the time it was repetition and heavy lifting.I had always heard about carpal tunnell for guitarist and thought that is what I may have.I had been playing guitar now for a long time and had definately put in a lot of hours over the years.I had never really had health insurance and decided to go to the good old public charity hospital.I went to the emergency room because making an appointment would have taken months.I got in and explained what was going on and had a few x-rays taken.The only information the doctor could give me was I had developed tendonitis and or possibly carpal tunnell.They did not do nerve testing and that I would have to make an appointment.I got perscribed the usual anti inflamitory bullshit na d was told to put heat and ice on it and let it rest.It was dissapointing not finding out anything.

I knew that from the type of work I was doing that rest simply was not an option.I brushed it off really because I did not have much of a choice.I had too many dam bills to just stop working and that was the brutal truth.I had to work with what I had and didnt have many other options.I hated the fact that I could not play guitar anymore.I had had it since first attempting way back in 89.I had lost a lot of shit but I did not want this to be gone also.

67.

My newfound relationship was going very good but my job was not.I had already worked at the woodshop on 3 seperate occassions and had put up with a lot of shit from time to time.I had only been back for a little while but got tired of it once and for all.I ended up quitting that November shortly before Thanksgiving.I was tired of that that place and did not miss it once I left.I did like woodwork though and had become pretty dam good at it.It had been my longest lasting line of work and I did not mind continuing it.Just not there.

I found another job pretty quickly doing the same type of work just another place.It was a bit further than I had ever worked before but I didnt mind.The pay was good and I knew what I was doing.I orginally started in December of 2006 and the job laster until around June of 2007.I ended up getting ripped off in the end and the dick head guy running the place went out of business.I have never seen him again dont care too.I wasnt the only one who got ripped off so I didnt feel that bad.I dont know what ever happened to that fucker.AllI knew is that I had to find something to do and fast.

I had been on and off with woodwork for 7 years and wanted to try something different.I was starting to really have problems with my entire right arm and wanted to give it a rest.I started looking around and couldn’t really find anything so started to think about learning how to do something new that would be stable.I did not want to go back to college because first off I could not play anymore and secondly I thought it would end up being a waste of time.I did however consider going to trade school and learning something that I would actually get a job doing.

I went up to the trade school and got a shit load of pamphlets on all of the courses offered and took them back home.Some were obviously not going to work for me like;nursing,barber,secretary,automotive,or the computer science.I narrowed it down to welding or accounting.I was sitting in my room drinking Heiniken and decided to flip a coin.Heads for welding tales for accounting.I flipped the coin and got heads,I was going to register for welding.

68.

I worked out a deal with my parents and they agreed to help me go to school once again.I went through all of the registration and bought all of the supplies needed for the class.Keep in mind,I was a woodworker and had never touched a fucking welding rod in my life.I had never even seen anyone weld,all I knew was that I would eventually be able to make good money doing it.I got prepared the best I could and class was starting on August 18,2007.I was interested to see what it was going to be about.I had met the teacher prior during the registration and he did not seem all that bad.I may have made the wrong choice.

The first day of school was sitting in a small room with 30 other much younger kids listening to the teacher talk.We took breaks and went to lunch then back to class.He asked if anyone had all of the gear needed to get started and I was one of the few.I went to the booth he pointed at with my welding gear on closed the curtain.I had no fucking idea what to do and was already about to have a heat stroke.The teacher walked by slung my curtain open and asked me why I wasnt doing anything.I told him that if I did know how to weld I would not be here.I dont think he always remembered he was there to actually teach.He come in my booth and showed me how to get started burning a rod.

I was not comfortable for the first few weeks and did not understand what I was supposed to doing.The teacher could not explain anything and turned out to be one of the biggest fucking dick heads I had ever met.I was going to pack it up and quit everyday but I kept going back.I would watch him weld and it still did not make much sense to me until I noticed something at home.

I was buring a candle one night and noticed the wax dripping and when a piece would land it would harden.It hit me all at once,I was holding a dam stick of liquid metal and I had to form circles with it.I went to school the next day and sure enough I was right.It all clicked and I knew how to make wedling beads.I did an entire plate and brought it for dick head to look at.He asked me if someone had welded that for me so I turned around and went back to my booth.

69.

It actually started to come pretty easy after that since I understood the concept of what I was doing.I would weld plate in different positions and overhead,grind metal,use a cutting torch,and all of the basic shit I had to do.I had been waiting on an appointment from that first dr visit and finally got a letter about having a nerve test done.It was already 6 months later I had to go out of town to do it.My hand was still bothering me a good bit but not as bad as it had been with the woodwork.I went to the appointment and took a nerve test that came back negative.They told me to go back to my doctor and discuss other possibilities.At this point I had made it through my first semester of welding and had done pretty dam good.My mom and dad were helping me but it was hard for me to go without money because I had used to it.

I was on my way back home from school one day and ran into my neighbor at a gas station.I had never actually spoken to him but knew he had some sort of construction company or something.I told him when I got home I would walk over and talk to him and I did.Come to find out he had moved down here after losing his house in the hurricane and had a renovation small construction type business.He offered me a job and I took it.I contacted the school and told them I was going to work and would get back with them in the future which I eventually did.I went to work that December and started making money again.

It was actually pretty cool,I hated traveling but it was just the two of us most of the time and I liked working alone anyway.I would pressure wash,paint,mud sheetrock,small cement jobs,clean peoples yards and once we got hired to put up a shit load of Christmas lights on someones house.I liked it and since he lived right next door I would go over after work and on the weekends to drink beer.

70.

My relationship was going very well,I was making money and living a fairly civilized life for once.I got along with my girlfriend so well that the whole drinking thing started to slow down.Dont get me wrong we had fun but the heavy drinking I had done for so dam long was starting to be not as important and I didnt mind.I had never had a relationship quiet the one with I was having.We never had any problems and she was always supportive of what I was trying to do.She did not having any nagging brothers or sisters and did not care much for family get togethers and all of that type of shit.I never wanted a family life and hated going to reunions and family holiday get togethers except for my mom and dads.One great thing is she did not want kids.I truly never wanted kids and in a big way was glad that the incident took place years earlier.For a split second I considered it and quickly lost interest after what happened.So I guess it was good that it did happen.Weird Huh?Fortunately for me I have never had the thought about having kids and still do not to this day.It is not important to me.Nothing against them just not for me.

I did enjoy working and the money but after 10 months I decided to get back to the welding booth.I picked up right where I had left off and on paper it was my second semester out of six.I had not found out anything new from the doctor and tried to just ignore it.I had another visit coming up and found out something pretty dam interesting.Turns out after a exam I had developed a ganglion cyst on my right wrist that affecting my tendons and my right arm muscles.I had to have surgery and that was supposed to take care of my problem.I finished my second semester at school and had the surgery over the summer.I was told it would heal up in two to six weeks and I could go back to school.I was not ready when the next term started so I had to sit another out.It sucked but I had to do it.

I eventually healed up but it really did not fix my arm problem and I still could not play guitar.Even though I was bummed outI went back to school and started on my third semester and worked straight on through and got my fourth one down as well.The entire time my arm was bothering me and guess what?The fucking cyst came back.Almost a year to the month I was back in the operating room having the exact same surgery.I was told that this should be my last time and I should not have any more problems after that.I ended up having to leave school again for healing time but did return afterwards.

I went back to school and finished my last 2 semesters,finally.I had started in August of 2007 and it was December of 2012.Talk about a long fucking time,but hey I finished what I said I was going to since I had landed heads with the coin.I was getting to my last 3 days of school and considered it a done deal.Or was it?

The teacher had askded me to help him with some special project the last few days before I left.I really did not want to but went to school anyway.I was fixing to start and he started complaining about some shit.I told him I really did not want to do the dumb shit to begin with and he told me to go back to my booth and I had to start over.I packed up my gear and told him he could do what ever the fuck he wanted and I was done.I walked off campus and figured I would not be graduating from that incident.I really did not care but a few weeks later I got a call to pick up my diploma.I heard the very next semester he left as well.Dick Head.

71.

It was officially 2013 and I was feeling fairly well believe it or not.I had gotten my diploma but had not looked around for a job yet.My relationship was going very well as usual.My big concern still though was my right arm.I had made it through school and had worked but had also gotten to where I could no longer write with my right hand.I had to find out what the hell was wrong with it but did not know where to start really.I could not stand going to public health but I did not have much of a choice.I needed a dam source of income but was struggling to lift up anything at this point.I would drop everything I tried to hold and it was taking its toll on my mind.I had not been able to properly play guitar since June of 2006 and now it was seven years later.

I had also went through a few more family deaths previously as well.In 2012 My moms mom passed away which was my grandmaw.My uncle Curtis Passed away,then my first cousin Jennifer died as well.My dads mom passed away which was my other grandmaw then my moms brother Glenn died shortly thereafter.I also had non or distant relatives pass away and seems to continue to this day.A long time associate Debbie passed away then my moms Aunt Annette died.Following Annette dying she was joined by her grandson Laramie and her son Larry.It had been one death after anotheri t seems and thus carrys on my moms Halloween Party picture myth.We have pretty much always had a Halloween party large and small for as long as I can remember.Looking bacl at the pictures from those parties the majority of the people in them are no longer with us .Scary thought huh?

72.

Throught the rest of 2013 and 2014 I kept a pattern in my life which was going to the doctor when I could finally get an appoint and trying to work.I started having apin radiate into my neck at this point,something that had not been there before.None of the doctors could ever give me a straight answer and I continued to get frustrated and depressed.It was getting hard for me to work but no one seemed to give a fuck besides me.I even tried putting headphones on my arm after reading’The Mozrt Effect“but it did not work.

I ended up at a chiropracter for 3 visits once to see if I could get any answers there.One of the things they did have me do was electrical therapy throughout my entire arm.I could not afford to continue going so I saved up the money and bought my own machine for my house.I would give myself ectrical treatment everyday and after months of doing so nothing had changed.I had began to think I was imagining all of this and had thought about all of it for so long I believed it.I had also the considered the fact of possibly an ex girlfriend had put a curse on me to take away my guitar skills.

I had never had insurance but thankfully with the new laws I was able to get it in January 2015.It was different being able to scedule an appointment and ge to it a week later.For years I would have to wait months to get and appointment and it was discouraging to say the least.I set up a primary doctor and got the ball rolling.Soon after I would find the answer to what I been searching for for almost 8 and a half years.

73.

I went to the primary doctor and explained everything I was feeling at the time.I had already done it plenty of times before only to always be let down with no dam answers.This time was starting of different though,the doctor started actually telling me possibilities of waht may be wrong with me.She told me I would have to have a MRI of my brain to rule out early signs of Multple Sclerosis and the possibility of areas of brain damage.I had went through a lot of substance abuse and had those hard falls years earlier.I was nervous but ready to find something out.

I had the test done and when I met with her again she told me I did not have anything going on with my brain and it was unclear yet again.I didnt get discouraged though because I knew we could look into other options and that it would not take very long.It was not until my mom mentioned something to me that things started to make sense.A few monthe earlier she had been diagnosed with with degenerative disc disease,spinal stenosis,and bulging disc.I started thinking about it and realized I had similar symptoms myself.I did a lot of research and set up another doctors appointment.

I told the doctor I wanted to have another MRI but this time on my entire spine.I had another test done and waited to go back to the doctor.Sure enough I was right.My test result showed that I also have degenerative disc disease,spinal stenosis,and bulging disc.I had to set up one more test to pinpoint exactly where.I had to have another electrical nerve conduction study so I did.I remember asking the doctor doing it if all of my symptoms could possibly relate to nerve damage in my arm?She told me I was about to find out soon.

First I got my wrist tested then she started working upwards toward my neck.She said she could not tell me anything until she was completely finished though.After the test was done I sat up and put my shirt back on.She printed out some graph charts and sat down.I had a very severe compressed nerve at my c5-c6 and c6-c7 level in my cervical region.The same nerves that controls a person’s arm hand and finger movement.For almost 9 years I had been walking around with nerve damage and did not even know it.I was sent to a neurologist to find out what I had to do.

74.

After seeing a top notch neurosurgeon it was explained to me that I would have to have my disc taken out and replaced to free up my nerves that had been compressed for so long.It was the same thing as Dave Mustaine and Peyton Manning had to have.I was ready to go forth with it but was told I would have to make a career change as well.Normally even with insurance as most of you know,they will get one to try anything and everthing first before approving a major surgery.I had to jump through a few hoops before I could even have a surgery done.My first step was good old physical therapy which was a waste of time and did not improve anything.Secondly I had to go under and get a Dexamethozone Injection to see if it would freeze my nerve,that did not help either.All along I had to take Hydrocodne and nerve medication to keep it manageable.

Insurance companies make sure to take any measures and approve the cheaper way out first and this actually took some time.I went back and forth giving my previous treatment time but nothing was helping.I was struggling to work and had developed insomnia as well at this point.I did not think that anything would could get worse until December 27,2016.While going to the grocery storte on a Sunday someone ran into me and Dajonel at full speed while we were getting onto the interstate.We both had our seatbelts on but the impact would have put me through the windshield if I had not.Dajonel was leaning forward a little and was not affected by the impact as much.I thought my dam neck was broke and did not want to move.

I had not ridden in back of an ambulance since that incident from years earlier with the angle dust and here I was yet again riding in one.The brought me into a room and did a scan to see if I had anymore injuries and claimed everthing looked good.I personally did not believe it because I felt like shit.

75.

I started off the new year feeling pretty dam bad and felt worse than I had prior to that.I had started to develope severe headaches after the accident something that I had never really had before.If I would turn the wrong way or reach overhead or even pick up something more than 2 lbs it would cause a flare up.Now throughout the years I had had a many of hangover’s but this this new process was the worst I had ever gone through.A good description would be something like this:After I could feel one coming on it would set in a few minutes later.I would get dizzy and nautious at the same time and my head would feel like a watermelon or I had gotten hit in back of the head with a bat.I would lay down and then throw up whatever I had eaten that day.I would go through the throbbing for 8-12 hours and it eventually ease up.I would be so drained and exhausted that I would pass out and sleep for a while.It was the worst hangover/s I had ever had without touching a drop.

I tried to go back to work out of neccessity but realized I could not do it anymore.I went to another top notch neurosurgeon and was told that if I did not have surgery that another accident would paralyze my entire right arm and possibly my entire right side.I had no choice but to go and have it done.

I left the woodwork for good on January 17,2016 and had a surgery sceduled for February 24,2016.The surgery came and went and I did not find out untill afterwards I had gotten a donor bone placed into my spine and a dam metal plate with screws as well.I made it through the surgery and and had to pretty much sit and try to sleep straight up for 6 weeks.It was a weird experience and very uncomfortable not being able to lay down or look up but I had to do it.I was also told before going in I would end up with a 1/2 “ incision but it looks more like I had my throat slashed on a prison yard.

After 7 months post op I dont feel very much different and still have neck,arm,and back pain everyday.I was told that my nerve had been compressed for so long I may have permanent nerve damage in my right arm for the rest of my life.On the other hand I was also told that it can take anywhere from 18-24 months after decompression for my nerve to regenerate and work down to my fingertips.At the time of writing this I am nearing the 8 month mark and have had no improvement.

76.

I still can not play guitar and do not know if I ever will.I guess only time will tell.I miss it very much and would love to have it back in my life again but who knows?

I have been pretty dam bummed out playing the waiting game and have had a hard time finding a job that is not labor related at this time.Maybe I should have picked accounting back then!I do however have my very own nice house and me and Dajonel recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary.She has been with me through all of my down times and a lot of dam good times.I figured I would driven her mad at this point but she is still with me.

When it is all said and done I really can not complain and have in fact had a pretty dam series of events up until now.I became a good guitar player like I wanted ended up with that Steve Vai Ibanez I had always wanted and even a full set up for a home recording studio.I just can not use any of it at the moment.I know throughout this story I did get away from the original question of what kind of music I listened to. Well,let me go ahead and answer.

I have listened to hundreds of bands throughout the years and a variety of styles and genre’s.It all depended upon what I was going through in my life at that time.I do have a wealth of musical knowledge and love to talk about music with anyone when I get the chance.I hope this story some what portrays how music was a love in my life and I do want to play again someday.

Out of all of the music from every style I will always have one that remained my number one to this very day.The same band who’s demo I heard ay back in the practice room on that cold winter night.The band that I absoluely hated the first time I heard them.

Acid Bath.

This entire story derived from someone asking me what kind of music I listened to back in November 2015.A wile back someone asked me what kind of movies do I like to watch?


Memoir

Dear Reader, You might wonder what’s so special about the pages ahead. It’s a look into a life that we all live, expressed in such a way that we want to live through the happy, and even the sad, moments all over again. You’ll find yourself holding your breath, wondering how he even took the next breath, and you’ll fall into the depths of your own memories of happiness, hurt, and longing. If you’ve never felt passion in life, you can take a bite of his. He’ll leave you tasting the hunger pangs, the deep satisfactions, and the fullness of what passion defines. You’ll know that you’ve either been there and you get it, or haven’t, and now you need it. I never thought I’d provide a foreword for anyone, especially not this man. But he has always had a way with words; to draw you in and make you want to listen. He’ll charm you, and you’ll realize it much later, when it’s almost over, and you’ll wonder what just happened, and better yet, how it happened. He’ll remind you that we’re all driving down crazy, winding roads, and somehow our paths, while completely different, still have similar twists and turns, bumps and potholes. You may just dig in the ashes and attempt to rekindle the cool embers of the passions that used to burn within your soul. You may want to search out your soul mate or sow the seeds of the promiscuity you never experienced. Or you may just want to stop and let it all settle, and you’ll be thankful for each and every moment you got to take in one more breath. Sincerely, A firsthand witness

  • ISBN: 9781370242542
  • Author: joshuabeard848
  • Published: 2017-04-21 01:05:11
  • Words: 32775
Memoir Memoir