Music

In anticipation of his new record, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, we’ve invited Ariel Pink to take over HERO online. Over the coming days, watch out for exclusive content and insights into the prolific LA-based musician’s influences, experiences and obsessions.

Who is Bobby Jameson? Born in Geneva, Illinois, Jameson was a forgotten singer-songwriter who released one record in the 60s which bombed. Rough breaks and bad business dealings led to substance abuse and mental health issues and he spent much of the 70s in institutions or living on the streets. Long presumed dead, Jameson resurfaced in 2007 – after 35 reclusive years – via a blog and a series of YouTube rants in which he painstakingly described his tragic tale.

It is Bobby Jameson who Ariel Pink dedicates his latest record too.“His book and life resonated with me to such a degree that I felt a need to dedicate my latest record to him,” the musician explains. Here, Ariel selects his favourite of Jameson’s blog posts, the one that resonates him the most.

Ariel: “How often does an artist get to design their own story – the way they’re going to be perceived and fated to be perceived? If he hadn’t told the story, nobody would know it – he wouldn’t have had a life. That’s what is so cool about it. In the end, the history, the Wikipedia page – as far as the history books are concerned… he is the one who basically told the story.

I found myself completely engrossed in his story, how well his memory served him. Of course I identify with him in many ways.[Bobby Jameson’s story] is a triumph, and the irony behind it is that he lived just long enough to set in stone his version of the events”

Building And Towers’ March 2009

I don’t climb up on buildings or towers any more to rant, rave, and yell, or even scream about the things that bother me. I don’t go to bars and get into fist-fights or brawls over anything. I don’t go to people’s houses and get into arguments with them. I don’t take drugs or drink and go through suicidal overdoses, I just come to my blog and yell instead. But even though I consider this a remarkable achievement for me, taking all that acting-out, and transforming it into mere words, for the purpose of blowing off steam, there are still so many who refuse to see what I do as anything other than negative and extreme. What you may consider negative or extreme, I consider art. It is the ability to capsulize my frustrations into poems, stories, and writings, and post them on this site. This is therapy for me. To write what I feel and think when I want, because I want to. This blog is my digital tower and building. Everyday I climb up here and scream and yell, so I don’t have to live with all of it penned up inside me, and end up like I did before. Be that as it may, some of you can find nothing better to do than to complain about my life-saving process, as if it were something you have decided that you must do, based upon your impression of what I say here. You would stifle the creative process, if I let you, under the guise of good taste and rationality, according to your moral compass. At times, I feel as though this is a lost cause for me, but this morning I woke up early, and realized the importance of what I am doing here for myself. If I were to abandon this blog, because of some disapproval of what I say, or may say, then I would cut myself off from the very outlet I created for the very purpose some find objectionable. Writing is a freedom. To write, unedited, is an art I understand and use. Editing myself, my feelings, and thoughts, for another’s comfort will not occur here. If you don’t understand this, don’t come here and read what I write. I am serious about this, don’t come here to see if I have violated some absurd moral position you hold, because I either have, or will. This is not an internet discussion forum for being for or against anything, it is my blog. I am angry, so what? Are you so incredibly fragile that you cannot bear my anger? Don’t come here. I am intense, so what? So what if I’m intense, why are you so threatened by intensity and anger? What happens to you when you read me? What great threat to you am I, that my words cause you such consternation? I know who I am, and I accept who I am. I am that pissed off guy, Bobby Jameson, who hates the music business and all it stands for, and all that it doesn’t protect. I come here to say that, over and over again, because it needs to be said by someone. If you work for the music business, what I say probably bothers you. Good, you need some bothering. If I make you uncomfortable, good, you probably need to be knocked out of your chicken-shit comfort zone. But when you bring that zone of comfort here, expecting it to be appreciated, you are living in a state of unrealistic demands that I have no plans to abide by, ever. I could limit comments made here by some if I chose to, but I don’t. You can say whatever you want, but when you come here anonymously and complain, I reserve the right to treat you like the chicken-shit you are. If you want to take up an issue with me, be my guest, but why don’t you get the courage to complain and tell me who the hell you are? There are so many anonymous comments, I am continually forced to try and figure out who’s commenting at any given time. Why is it so important to you to say something, while at the same time concealing who it is saying it? There are people who say things I don’t agree with, but at least they have the consideration of telling me who they are. I do not take the position that I am right, or the position I am wrong, I just take a position and post it here on my blog. I may come back later and think I was completely full of shit, but I leave it, because that’s what I thought at that moment. If I were concerned about being right, or moral, or justified, or any of those pathetic kinds of positions, I would not come here at all, for fear of making a mistake. I am a mistake. My whole life has been a series of mistakes, and I own that fact. After all I have told you about me, you cannot possibly think that I believe what I did was justified, nor do I. It’s just what I did at the time. I post it for public consumption. I post my own foolishness, so I don’t have to live my own foolishness. I paint it into words. I did not punch anybody out today, I just wrote about it. I did not attempt suicide today, I wrote about it. Why would some of you seek to quash my right of self expression, particularly, since that right, answers the dilemma of human beings, “What do I do with all this shit?” I write on line, which means, in this case, you can read my thoughts, because I am not hiding them. I have invited you into my mind, to some degree, and allowed you to be part of the constant hurricane that I live in. But to have to endure complaints about my thinking, simply because I let you in on it, has started to become counter productive, to say the least. It might help if you came here thinking, “Well let’s go see what that crazy bastard Jameson is thinking today.” My mental health is based on my ability to take bad actions and transform them into words, thereby freeing myself from the necessity of taking the bad action. Everything I do here is to free myself from the need to suppress my thoughts and feelings. I come here for the exact reason some of you complain about, which is to “get crazy.” You ought to try it sometime, because from where I sit, some of you would greatly benefit from the therapy of writing about your feelings instead of hiding from them. In years past, I would sit and think about the things that were driving me crazy, and after awhile, I’d run out of space to keep all those thoughts and feelings inside. Then they’d get transformed into actions, tragic actions. Now I think about the same things as I did then, but I have a place to put them; here. I have the Bobby Jameson blog, where I get to be Bobby Jameson all the time, because I am Bobby Jameson all the time. I will not give up this place, where I can be myself for your comfort, praise, or dissatisfaction. Some of you demand things from me, which I do not possess, such as peace and happiness, and a better outlook on life. I will be 33 years clean and sober on the 1st of April, so what I have, is I am alive and growing. I’ve come a long way from where I started, and I didn’t get much help from human beings or god, so I am stuck with me, the one thing on this earth that I can count on. Not AA or NA, or a church, or the state or federal government, just me,  my 90-year-old mother, and mentally-ill brother, that’s it! Oh yeah, and this blog….

Ariel Pink’s Dedicated to Bobby James is out now via Mexican Summer.
Stay tuned for more from Ariel Pink’s HERO takeover.