What if you became a rock star?
Moby invited us to dinner at his vegan restaurant the Little Pine in Silver Lake.
It was jumping.
We got a table in the back and Moby asked me about me, which rarely happens. I like that people like to tell their stories, but when do I get to tell mine? As for those who believe everything I do and feel is contained herein… To quote Rob Halford, you’ve got another thing coming.
Actually, it’s THINK, but even the Beatles used bad grammar.
But not Moby. Moby is smart.
So I ain’t a vegan, but if no one had told you otherwise, you’d have enjoyed the food, it did not taste like cardboard, although it was heavy on carbs.
And on the way out, Moby gave us his book.
Hmm… Does this mean I have to read it? It’s kind of like when someone gives you their CD, does that mean you have to listen to it? If only the giver didn’t see it as a gift, but knew that for the recipient to partake was a gift, but that ain’t the way it works.
And as we stood on the sidewalk Moby told us he read every rock memoir first, and I agreed that most were painfully awful, and he said he tried to have a nugget in each chapter.
So I started it.
And I finished it.
It was just that enjoyable.
Moby didn’t set out to be a rock star. He was the child of a single mother in a rich community who was poor himself. And although he ventured to a few colleges, he ended up dropping out and squatting in a warehouse and making music. That’s what no one is willing to do anymore, walk into the wilderness with no safety net. They want a guarantee, they want a clear path to the future, they don’t want to risk failing.
And Moby dropped cassettes at record labels to no interest.
But then he got a deejay gig at a club, and our story begins.
He lives in a cramped apartment in a bad neighborhood with a bunch of others, but he loves New York City, prior to the gentrification of Manhattan.
And this is where his story and ours truly diverge. He’s talking about club life, gay life, trans life, and mentioning hit records YOU AND ME HAVE NEVER HEARD OF!
The book should have come with a playlist. These unknown to me records would get the dance floor jumping. What did they sound like?
And he signs with a non-label and makes a hit by mistake and flies to England and is on “Top of the Pops” and all the while, he’s still a suburbanite from Connecticut. He’s a vegan, so he packs peanut butter for flights. He does overnight gigs on the Continent. He’s flying in the back of the plane. There’s no roadmap for a deejay at this point, they’re making it up on the fly, no one to tell him to ask for more, no one to tell him how to do it.
And then he gets signed to Elektra, his records flop, his mother dies and he gets dropped.
He truly believes he’s over, he’s a has-been.
And that’s when he makes “Play.”
When you’ve got nothing to lose, you play by your own rules, that’s when you oftentimes win.
Or fail miserably, we don’t hear about most of the failures.
So Moby is sober and Christian in a crazy world. But then he goes back to drink upon hearing about an ex’s new affair and then he lives a life of debauchery, screwing whomever’s available and…
This is not your typical music memoir. First and foremost, Moby wrote it himself. And at times, it’s a bit overwritten, yet it’s light years more readable than the usual tome.
And he’s wide-eyed and open. Not self-satisfied like the usual winner. Like they’re different and they were born to it. No, Moby follows the music. To the clubs, to the underground life, which somehow now surfaces.
And Moby still makes music every day. Although he hasn’t had a hit in eons. You see it’s about the passion, not the accolades. He’s a lifer.
And chances are you are too. You got infected by the sound. You followed it to the detriment of your life. And you think there’s a big division between those on stage and those off.
There isn’t. It’s all just posturing. Read “Porcelain” and see.