744. Thunderstruck

Remo and I went into the hotel bar for a nightcap. I got my bourbon in soda instead of straight up since we were in Florida and it seemed more appropriate for hot weather, even though it had turned into a pleasantly cool night out. I figured I could use the hydration, anyway.

And the bourbon was soothing to my fatigued emotions. It was tiring to hold them in all the time but then it was exhausting to let them out, too. How is that supposed to work? I pondered that while watching the little bubbles make their way past the ice cubes in my glass.

“You think he’s going to grow up okay?” Remo asked.

No need to ask who he meant by “he.” “He’s going to be fine, Remo. As long as you love him and you tell him so.”

“You think?”

“Yeah, I think, or I wouldn’t have said it.” I was trying to pace myself with this drink but it wasn’t working. I tried to take a sip and ended up with a gulp. Maybe I was kind of thirsty after all. We were at a table, not the bar, though, and this late we were the only people in there and there was no sign of our server.

“I just don’t want him growing up in that environment.”

“You mean in the constant arguing and fighting?”

“Yeah. They were relatively calm today. Everyone on their best behavior. Kind of surprising.”

“They didn’t want to look angry in their photos,” I said, jokingly, but I meant it.

The server appeared then with a large basket of french fries and three little pots of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, and I remembered to ask her for a glass of water.

Remo took a few fries with mayo and then pushed the entire basket in my direction. I salted them until my arm was tired and then began speed-eating them one at a time. Craving salt. Hm. “Remind me to remind Flip about the Gatorade,” I said between bites.

“Did I fill you in on the schedule for New York?”

“No, did something change?”

“Hard to believe but every extra show they could add, they did, and they’re all sell-outs.”

“Nice. Isn’t the new album charting now, too?”

“Yeah, but it’s more the tour is spurring album sales than that people who bought the album suddenly woke up to the fact we’re coming around.”

“You sure about that?”

“Well, no, but that’s what the common wisdom says.” He sat back, nursing his bourbon neat. “It’s your doing, I think.”


“Haven’t you been reading the reviews? The critics love you.”

“We play well together, Reem. It’s a good show and it’s different from the same old, same old, so that’s spurring people to come out. That’s a no-brainer.”

I’m not sure why this conversation was turning into an argument when there was nothing to argue about–it wasn’t like we actually disagreed, right?–but maybe it just goes to show we weren’t superior to Melissa’s family.

“Maybe,” he said, but grudgingly. “So we’re playing two nights at Brendan Byrne and two nights at Nassau Coliseum, sandwiched around three nights at Great Woods.”

I felt a little chill go down my spine at the mention of Great Woods. That’s where we were supposed to play our last show of the 1989 tour, our “hometown” show outside of Boston. I felt downright superstitious about the place. “That’s awesome,” I said, but I probably didn’t sound like I meant it, given what I was thinking about. Plus I was busy licking salt off my fingers.

We fell silent for a bit. One more gulp finished my drink and I started on the water.

Remo turned his glass around in his fingers. “We should go in the studio together,” he said offhandedly.

“Yeah,” I said automatically.

He sat up. “What do you mean, ‘yeah’?”

I froze. “I mean…yeah? You said something and I agreed?” Right?

“You didn’t sound very agreeable,” he growled.

“What the fuck, Remo, you’re going to criticize how I agree with you now? How the fuck are you going to react when I disagree?”

“If you don’t want to do it, just say so.”

“Who said I didn’t want to do it?”

“Come on, Daron, you’re as obvious as anyone I know. Wear your heart on your sleeve.”

I don’t remember slipping out of the booth but I was on my feet so I must have.

He was still talking. “I know you’re busy. I hear what’s going on. How many demos did you cut while the rest of us were on vacation? Two? Three? You’d think you’d have a little time for me, then.”

Speaking of obvious and wearing your heart on your sleeve it was obvious to me that Remo was hurt, like really hurt, but that was the last thing I was able to deal with right then, what with the carbonation in my drink having sped the booze directly into my bloodstream, and with my nerves already overtaxed from Disney.

All I heard was the “wear your heart on your sleeve” comment and I took it as the axe I had been waiting to fall ever since the fireworks, waiting for someone to call me a sissy. In hindsight of course that is not what was going on there, but in the moment there was no way to change course or put the powder back in the keg. And I could not get actual sensible words to come out of my mouth because there was no way to make sense of a miscommunication like that. So what I said was something like “what in the fucking hell do you want from me?” and then stormed off before there could be any answer.

DGC Wiki!
Did you know there’s a DGC wiki? The DGC Encyclopedia is currently found at https://daron.ceciliatan.com/encyclopedia/  If you’re interested in helping fill in articles, please drop a line to daron.moondog@gmail.com. 

(Another hit from 1991. Been thinking about AC/DC a lot lately. If you didn’t hear, lead singer Brian Johnson was told get off the road IMMEDIATELY or risk going totally deaf. The band pulled in Axl Rose to fulfill those [rescheduled] dates. Meanwhile Malcolm Young [rhythm guitarist] already had to retire because of Alzheimers, and I think their drummer’s in jail on drug charges…? It never gets easier, does it? -d)

(Oh, and I had to add this version, too…)


  • s says:

    Oh honey, you really need a good, grounding conversation with Ziggy, and to get laid so you can chill the fuck out. You are all over the place and those are the two remedies that work for you. *hugs*

  • TJ says:

    And a bit of a therapy tune-up?

    Seems as though D is self-medicating to cope with stress and loneliness, and falling into using booze instead of words.

  • G says:

    God, I wish you would have borrowed Jiminy Cricket while you were at the park. You really need someone to help you hash out your shit – usually I would have said Remo was the one you needed. I’m just hoping that there isn’t going to be some “incident” that is going to set you back in other ways (ahem – relationship with my sweetie Ziggy – ahem). But I’ve been reading this for too long to hope for the best here, just the best you can do at the moment. Your emotions go to level 11 and I worry.

    Had you ever gone into the studio with Remo before? I’m kind of surprised he’s that hurt; I would’ve expected him to be singing your praises and being all Yoda-like. I was kind of on your side there. I thought they weren’t even going in the studio themselves this year.

    I’m wondering why you’re going back to being so high strung about your manhood. Maybe it was just the fact that Remo’s in-laws made you think about your family and that brought back all of the shit you went through with your sexuality and Digger.

    I wasn’t expecting this from the Nomad tour. I am really pulling for something good to get you back to yourself (without regretting it later would be nice).

    Big hug, love.

    • daron says:

      Remo and I had never recorded together at that point. And I don’t think I ever got much less high strung about my manhood, I just narrowed what things were actually threatening to it. This was pretty much a perfect storm of him and me both being hypersensitive in all the wrong ways.

  • Tim says:

    Funny thing about Remo, he alternates between being supportive and being jealous, which is actually very similar to a type of ‘dad’ some people wind up with. As a reader I constantly feel like I’m walking on eggs around him, and I’m sure Daron feels the same way (good job ctan lol). Its like some parental figures can’t decide whether to promote/admire or compete with their own kids, mostly subconscious, but sometimes consciously resentful of getting older and and seeing the offsprijng begin to outstrip their accomplishments. With Remo, seems subconscious because he tries to hard to be there for Daron in other ways. On the other hand, he is not as emotionally retarded as many and its puzzling. I keep thinking that at some point we will find out some more about where this all comes from.

  • Bill Heath says:

    In my experience, this is fairly typical of a “parent” in the same field as the “child.” When I left music for the military, my mother ceased this behavior. Then my future father-in-law, a retired military officer, started it. When I became a high-value global management consultant, everybody piled on. I mean, how difficult can that be?

  • Ashpence says:

    Seems to me that Remo is running scared. Sold-out arenas, sold-out extra venues, and unprecedented media attention for the band. Daron, the cause, is sitting right in front of him with his star rising higher and higher by the day.

    Yet, on the flip side, the end of the tour and Remo’s self-appointed retirement (a completely new and terrifying phase in his life bearing potential for soul-crushing failure) is looming closer and closer.

    Really, it’s no wonder he would want to grab hold of Daron and the “riskless” and inevitable success he represents. Yes? Or is that just me?

    • Bill Heath says:

      You’re the first to describe what to me sounds like a midlife crisis, and there is likely some truth in it. Daron’s success was far more riskless and inevitable the day “Candlelight” went gold. A couple of months later, Daron was basically irrelevant.

    • daron says:

      I’m not the cause. I’m just the kick in the pants. Possibly musically and life-evaluation-wise. I can’t help Remo with his life evaluation stuff though because I can’t answer half the important questions for myself right now

  • Samira says:

    Arghhhh, now I’m all caught up, which means *waiting*. I love Daron, I love Cecilia’s writing (this is not by any stretch the only of her works I’ve consumed) … but I so do not love waiting.


    Reading this has sparked some really great conversations in my household, mostly about music – everything from the creativity and “authenticity” convo’s to the business and how it has evolved and continues to evolve, but also some about sexuality, sexual identity and the politics and social impacts surrounding these topics.

    Thanks for an engaging story with characters I feel like I know (I’m pretty sure I’m friends with some of these guys/gals – or people very like them) and a story that makes me willing to follow. (I am way more a binge once it’s done kinda gal in general – too focused on resolution and satisfaction/gratification to be a good audience for most serial type things).

    And thanks for making all of this so accessible – anything that sparks good conversation is a treasure – above and beyond it’s value as the thing that it is. 🙂


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