Tell Me What To Write

Really crazy that I wrote this nearly two years ago. And so many great questions came of it. What I didn’t anticipate was how hard some of the answers would be for me to write.

It’s public knowledge that Stan and I are in the middle of a lawsuit regarding the band Sugar Ray that we all built together, but we have never spoken of it, preferring to handle it behind closed doors and amongst ourselves. Sugar Ray is something that Stan and I have been in for half our lives, for 24 years, and to go through something this messed up has been quite a trip.

So then these questions come it.. and they’re great questions! And I was excited to answer them. But then I put the keyboard in front of me and…. blank… I couldn’t write them. I know the answers but it was stuck because some of the answers would reveal the truth that we have been hiding and preferring to keep quite amongst ourselves.

I will answer some of them now because the severity of what has happened and the shock of dealing with this ugly matter has subsided a little bit and there is some distance to stomach it.

Again, if you wrote in asking me a question, thank you so much and I whole-heartedly apologize for it taking this long but perhaps this explanation will help you understand why your questions when ignored.

Most of all, thanks for following and thanks for listening.


I have been in bands a long time. And I love to write.

Anything you want to know?

Anything at all?

I would appreciate it if you could ask me to write something, if you have a question or a curiousness to what being in a band on the road, writing songs, vomiting from a moving van in the rain in Seattle, writing a hit song, having people hate you, having people love you, recording studios, psychotic breakdowns on the road, industry people and their suits and smiles.. If any of that interests you and makes you curious, I would love to hear.


Bands I have played in.

  1. Animositywanted to be punk rock, settled for a garage band from Irvine (1983-86)
  2. The Shamandoors-ish jam-ish rock mix (1986-87)
  3. The Shrinky Dinxheavy metal beginnings of Sugar Ray (1988-1995)
  4. The WeirdosI replaced Zander Schloss for their 1990 tour opening…

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Sugar Ray Journal – Vancouver 2001

Sugar Ray on GetMusic
Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect/Getty Images

*after reading this post it’s kind of redundant and a little boring perhaps… but such is the way of life on tour sometimes. It’s not always the most exciting thing. You’re just trying to do things right sometimes and not drink yourself into a coma to be some lame-ass rock star casualty. So, sometimes you turn in early and don’t go big after a show. This post reminds me of how business like some days can be. When I read the ‘signed a few autographs.. ‘ it seems flippant as I read it back, but it wasn’t meant that way. It was just something I did. You always feel grateful if ANYBODY ever wants your signature. But it was also just one of the things out of many that you do during the day: eat, sleep, drink, perform, meet, hang out, screw around, watch TV, read, rest, rinse & repeat. So although this may never be counted as great prose, it does capture a very typical day on the road. Some days were more controversial that others. This wasn’t one of them. Cheers. Continue reading “Sugar Ray Journal – Vancouver 2001”

Find A Friend Who Believes In Your Band More Than You Do

McG, on the set of a movie, was our friend who believed in us more than we did

If you are delusional enough to not just play music for fun, but to make it your living and have it pay every bill you encounter as you grow up and get older, then let me help you right now.

Quit the dream.

Just play music for fun.

Keep playing in that indie band and just ‘put out’ EPs on iTunes. It’s pretty damn easy these days.

But if you’re a massively stubborn individual, and you don’t care what anybody says, and you’re willing to starve for years, and willing to work shitty jobs on the side, for years, and willing to forgo health, friends, and a social life, well, then, maybe you’ve got the mindset and are obsessed enough to give it a shot. Cause that’s what it takes. It takes a committed, obsessed person. I’m sure you’ve heard from countless people that you might need a ‘backup plan.’ Forget the backup plan. That’s half-assing it before you even get started. I never believed in that. Maybe you can. But I’m ADD so I have to focus 100% on one thing at a time or it gets convoluted and the original plan suffers. There are some things you need, however. Continue reading “Find A Friend Who Believes In Your Band More Than You Do”

Question to those who follow my blog

First of all, for those who receive my blog via email, I want to say thank you for following me. Second, I’m not posting this on Facebook or Twitter, I only want to ask those who have chosen to follow me.

If you haven’t noticed, I blog about two things in here- music and photography.

I have played music for half my life in the band Sugar Ray. I have a lot to share and write about music, touring, my times in the band, what it takes to make it.

But I’ve also taken a huge detour into photography as a creative outlet for me, and I find myself writing about it a ton.

So here’s my question: Should I just split it into two separate blogs?

We all have so little time to waste these days… I don’t want to waste your time if you are only interested in my perspective on music. Or vice versa.

Know what I mean?

If you answer me, awesome. If not, thank you for following me in the first place.

Have a great day.

I love you.




Happy Endings

Mt Fuji Fest-1
(me onstage in japan at the Fuji Fest)

This isn’t what you think. It’s not about a bathhouse in NYC or hookers in Singapore. It’s about the day that a tour ends. It happens to every bad on tour. At the end you’re wiped out. Crispy. Fried. Flambeed. Salty. Dirty. In a single word: sapped. You’ve given everything you can night after night and now you have nothing left. And when the final show comes up, you have this inner glow. it’s not the light at the end of the tunnel, the light is finally upon you. So a few things happen. And they do not happen during the last week, or the 2nd to last day, only on the final day have you actually slugged through it all and have your airline reservation emailed to your iPhone. The two things are:

1) You get elation about you because you’re going home to all things familiar. As humans, we desire a certain amount of things that are predictable. Touring is not predictable. It can become routine, because you are playing the same music in a different city every day, and you trace a lot of steps in the same way. So we are happy to go home to all OUR things. Our home, our toilet, our wives/girlfriends, our favorite places to eat, workout, drive. All those things run through your head.

2) A shared ‘look’ between band members. This is the real happy ending.  Craig and I did this to each other at the end of every tour. We just look at each other. We know we’re stoked it’s over and that we’ve pulled it off. We may try to hid it because you need to give a great show, every show, but it’s still there. Lurking in the body of someone who’s standing onstage and performing and has a giddy underbelly about him that knows tomorrow he’s flying home to be with his family, friends or just his pillow. That is, unless you get too drunk and miss lobby call. Then you’re screwed.

If you’re lucky enough to see a band at the end of a long tour, see if you can spot some band members giving each other the happy endings look. The longer the tour, the deeper the look will be. The deepest one I can remember was during Every Morning which was the last song of our tour with Uncle Kracker in 2000. We were trashed at the end of that one. I’ll never forget looking at Craig during the bridge at the end of the song.