Kim Kardashian. G Cameo in the top right corner.
In case you needed more proof that I am a modern day Zelig, who is always at the right place at the right time, here’s another one for ya! Yesterday I was out and about in SoHo with a friend when all of a sudden, we saw a TON of paparazzi on the street about to strike. As I am no stranger to these types of scenes, we decided to see who it was. It turned out to be Kim Kardashian. What a let down!!!! I thought it was going to be someone really good. You can see the look of disappointment in my face in these paparazzi shots that ended up on the interweb. Pretty funny.
Kim Kardashian. G looks on in horror on the right
It’s no secret that I think Kim Kardashian has absolutely ZERO talent and should not be famous AT ALL, let alone be the subject of international headlines every day, but I will say this – being subjected to that much paparazzi is almost as vile as her being famous enough to warrant that much. There is no doubt in my mind that these kinds of scum of the earth (and those that enable this behavior by reading gossip sites and supporting these people are equally as guilty) will be responsible for someone’s death just for a picture. These paparazzi were SCREAMING at passersby on the street to move out of the way with profanity and when Kim K. walked out of the building, it felt unsafe because there was so much chaos going on, a wise criminal could easily slip in and slip out after causing some sort of damage.
It’s a matter of time. You can quote me on that.
Photos by G.
World Trade Center Version 2.0
Let’s face it, when there’s a tragedy, the city it happened in commemorates it with a museum. It’s tasteless, but it’s just a fact of life. So with that thinking, it was just a matter of time before New York built a 9/11 Museum. Curiosity got the better of me and a friend so we visited the museum on Memorial Day. What I will say is that the museum is high-tech and well laid out. There are hundreds of artifacts from the worst day in modern history on display. From horrifying photos of people jumping off the building to their death to miscellaneous items of clothing that were charred and rescued from the building collapses, even the blackest heart will probably shed a tear or two. It’s sort of strange to think that for every closeup photo you see from “ground zero,” that represents a person who whipped out a camera to capture a tragic moment instead of helping, but as we all know this is the day that changed everything!
I wasn’t living in New York on 9/11/01, and knowing what I know now from living here, reliving the events of this day seem more horrific than ever. Days like 9/11 remind you of the awesomeness of New York and how when it sucks here, it sucks more than you can even imagine. New Yorkers get a bad rap as being rude and blunt, but when tragedy strikes, seeing the community come together gives you a kernel of hope for humanity. To think of all the courageous people that risked their own lives to try and save others, the amount of people that didn’t live to tell the tale and the people that have suffered effects of the aftermath is almost too much to take. The museum will definitely give you a new appreciation for the people that were at the Trade Towers when tragedy struck and it will take your mind on a trip when you think of how many thousands of lives were permanently affected and how many of those stories were never told.
The 9/11 Museum sure does its best to take your wounds of that day, rip them right open again and throw a bunch of salt in it. From the second you’ve paid your $25 entrance fee, you have to go through airport security and it makes one wish they had a “before 9/11 airport security monitor” as well as an “after 9/11 airport security monitor” just to show the youth of what the world was like before the government decided to scare us all into submission. To think of all the hassle the world goes through to get onto an airplane now and how many times “the bad guys” have still managed to sneak weapons onto planes makes you think “Let’s have less security. We’ll take the risk!” But we don’t have a choice, do we? There’s also a ton of “America, Fuck Yeah!” propaganda peppered throughout the museum and NOT ONCE is there even the slightest mention that 9/11 “could possibly have been” an inside job. I’m not here to try and convince anyone of anything – but there is a ton of research out there that if even one out of every one hundred facts are true, it’s enough to make you question everything! If you are not questioning things, you are sheep and I ask that you please wake up OR move the hell out of my way!
The most tasteless part of the museum, of course, is the gift shop and here are 11 items you DON’T need from the 9/11 Museum gift shop.
The Dogs of 9/11
1. A Tribute to the Dogs of 9/11. There are also doggie costumes (isn’t that animal abuse?) for sale.
9/11 Coffee Mugs
2. 9/11 Coffee mugs. I don’t know about you, but I do not need to be reminded of death when I am trying to wake up in the morning.
9/11 Charm Bracelets.
3. Charm Bracelets. No comment needed.
4. Earrings. The commemorative trees at the bottom sort of make sense, but 9/11 earrings?!
9/11 iPhone covers
5. 9/11 iPhone cases. Doesn’t the cover on the right look like a burnt flag to you? Yikes.
New York Skyline Scarf and plate
6. The scarf and plate make perfect sense to be sold in the million “I Love New York” tchotchke shops throughout the city, but in a 9/11 memorial museum, it’s very tacky.
9/11 Stuffed Animal
7. 9/11 Search and Rescue stuffed animals. File this one under “creepy toys for kids.”
World Trade Center Scarves!
8. 9/11 Handbags and Scarves. Upscale and yet, TASTELESS!!!
9. 9/11 Totebags. On your daily travels these bags will remind you and everyone you run across with one of the most horrific days in recent memory. Super size it!
American Flag Coasters.
10. American Flag Coasters. America… FUCK YEAH!
9/11 Key-chains, Lanyards
11. Last and certainly not least – 9/11 Keychains and Lanyards.
Also for sale are coffee table books filled with horrifying photos of the 9/11 events, T-shirts galore and DVDs. Many of these other items literally baffle me that people would want them, but during our visit to the museum, people were taking selfies in front of building wreckage, so I guess we can go out on a limb and say that the world has officially been ruined and nothing is sacred anymore.
911 Gift Shop (Partial View)
Apparently the America cheese plate has already been discontinued. Maybe there is hope for humanity?
Exit through the gift shop.
Born on the same day: Grace Jones and According2g.com. Photo taken by a complete stranger.
5 years ago on this very day, I launched the website According2g.com. The impetus for this site was simple – I was sick of seeing so many corporate sites not give you the “real” scoop on the hottest art events and concerts. I was tired of watching countless websites kiss celebrity ass or hate on them not based on in person experiences but instead based solely on following the pack instead of leading the way by copying popular internet opinion. In short, it was “Us vs. Them” and I decided to be an alternative for US so we didn’t have to support THEM to get our information. They say to be the change you want to see in the world, so that’s exactly what I did and have continued to do 5 years on.
With that thought process, in 5 years, I’ve written:
over 6,600 posts (which averages to over 3 posts a day, 7 days a week)
posted 365 concert videos
written about 830 celebrity “Encounters with G”
reviewed 900 Art exhibits
reviewed 825 concerts
and wrote essays about 225 social observations, all the while posting over 13,000 world exclusive photos that I took! I typically only write about events where I could find something positive to say. I’d estimate that less than 2% of all the blogs I’ve written are based in negativity – occasionally, doing my “job” as a journalist, I felt it was my duty to call out a celebrity on their bullshit, but overall if I had nothing nice to say, I just chose not to write about it. Can you say the same about your other favorite sites on the internet? DOUBTFUL!
In those 5 years, I’ve clocked several million page views, certain artists/bands/websites/celebrities that I admired from afar are now my friends and either my words have been quoted, my picture has appeared or my videos have been reposted on nearly every website and music magazine that I’ve spent most of my life being a fan of (from New Music Express to Rolling Stone to The Daily Mail!). I’ve heard more times than I can count that my images in a Google search or story I’ve posted made a positive impact in someone’s life – that’s always been the goal, so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I get stopped in the street occasionally with people wanting to take MY photo; I was recruited by MTV to host an episode of their show “Weird Vibes” and to those who know what a huge fan of MTV I’ve been for the majority of my life, that a major life accomplishment! Also, the statistics I posted above (which are not easy to accomplish) are not matters of opinion. Quite the opposite, they are facts and these are facts that you will not find on nearly ANY other blog on the entire internet. Trust me, I’ve looked! For that and more, I express my deepest gratitude! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
It’s not all wine and roses, as they say, and I’ve experienced a lot of really bad stuff too. Sadly, as it turns out, many of the people that at the beginning of this quest that I thought were “US” have turned out to be “THEM,” and again, this applies from the people behind the scenes in publicity and marketing all the way up to the artists (in all genres) themselves. If you’ve learned nothing else from this site, you should know that plenty of A-listers have reached the top and are also nice people, so I’d like to remind you that it CAN be done! I’d also like to remind everyone that these communities are not necessarily mainstream all across the world, so here’s two of the golden rules that I live by: One - you can catch flies easier by using honey instead of vinegar. Two – get over yourselves!!! You could have it so much worse, so be grateful that anyone even cares about you and your art.
Since According2g.com came into being 5 years ago, the way people consume news has changed dramatically (whereby anything longer than paragraph is now considered a “think piece”), everyone seems to just want a disposable photo (that they probably didn’t take themselves), focusing on a negative story instead of something positive is championed and Google and
anti-social media sites such as Facebook want you to pay them to reach your followers that you grew organically (brilliant for them, but really crappy for people like me as this model makes it impossible to make a living off blogging), so what is the alternative? I’m an artist in my own right – composing song lyrics, writing books of poetry, making abstract paintings and I’m currently working on a coffee table book. These types of projects (and I’m open to collaboration, so please hit me up!) are going to be taking precedence and I can’t tell you where the next stop on the journey is, but each day and each step of the way fills me with excitement.
To those that have gone on this journey with me and are still with me, I thank you unconditionally for your love and support. It means the world to me.
PS. The photo above is me with Grace Jones, taken backstage after her show at the now defunct Roseland Ballroom in 2012. She invited me backstage after she picked me out of 3,000 people in the crowd to dance on stage with her! It was not only one of my “signature” and essential New York moments (which once again proves that if you put yourself out there, ANYTHING can happen), but Miss Grace Jones and According2g.com share the same birthday. So happy birthday to us both!
Photo and words by G.
A few weeks ago, Prince announced a surprise partnership with his former enemy – Warner Bros. Records. Prince finally achieved all the things he so famously ruined his career for (by changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol in the mid-1990s) due to his unhappiness with having signed an alleged $100 million deal. He will have ownership of master recordings going forward and as of press time, “new music” has been announced in addition to a “remastered with unreleased music” 30th Anniversary Edition of the “Purple Rain” soundtrack. Prince fans far and wide are salivating at the prospect of what will be included in this new package, and before I speculate, let me tell you some things you probably don’t know about one of the most famous faces in rock and roll history.
In a 35+ year career in music, Prince has released over 30 studio albums (plus countless internet-only and one off songs) and has penned the lyrics & music or produced entire albums for dozens of artists and in the meanwhile has toured the world consistently, often playing multiple shows (with different set lists) in the same day. These statistics alone make him one of the most prolific musicians of all time, but this is merely just the Prince that the mainstream world knows about (and many of these projects were not commercially successful so even a lot of these impressive career statistics are only known amongst his die-hard fans). For every “Manic Monday,” that the world knows about, there are gems like Jill Jones’ 1987 self-titled debut, which only lives amongst die hard fans as a cult classic due to the record being criminally out of print for almost as long as it has existed.
What people also don’t know about Prince is that it’s rumored that he has recorded a song a day for the majority of his career which would equate to approximately 13,000 recorded songs in total (thinking this started when his first album was released in 1978). 13,000 songs! Having every song the Beatles ever recorded on my iPod, I have 500 songs by them in my library. The music of the 30 year plus career of Madonna’s music numbers around 325 songs and Pet Shop Boys (who’ve actually released almost twice as many B-sides as Prince has) have around 660 songs in my music library. None of these numbers come close to 13,000 recorded songs. (Note: I only have slightly over 2,000 songs by Prince on my iPod – this is not including live recordings). You can see that even with what I have, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of recordings Prince has allegedly made. He has literally careers of unreleased music and he’s still making new stuff! It’s mind-blowing!
So what’s the story on these unreleased recordings? Even if the number 13,000 is exaggerated, there are definitely thousands (which again is many times over the total number of songs your favorite prolific musician has recorded) that exist in the hands of die-hard fans and ex-associates. How have the songs leaked out? That’s been subject to rumour for decades, but some of the most popular theories include:
- Prince didn’t pay the studio technicians properly and in retaliation, they made copies of what was recorded and sold them to bootleggers.
- Prince made copies of the tapes for ex-associates of what they were working on and those tapes were either lost, stolen or passed around with the proviso that “you can’t share these with anyone!”
- Prince leaked the songs himself knowing that he is too prolific for record labels to keep up with his creativity.
Whatever the case may be, every time you think you “know” Prince, an unreleased song surfaces and you suddenly see a completely new side to our beloved Gemini. He has songs that he wrote for females, (singing lines like “I even bought a new dress but when I put it on, I could still feel your touch” with great conviction), epic and utterly bizarre tracks such as “Crystal Ball” that is 10 minutes of meandering funk (that has since been released officially, years after the fact, though in edited form), unreleased jazz and fusion jams such as a side project called The Flesh (where – as of press time – only one song is available in wide circulation – the jam “U Gotta Shake Something” which is over 14 minutes in length and bares no resemblance to the later released song “Shake” which he gave to The Time), tracks like “Witness 4 The Prosecution” that fuse funk and rock so seamlessly that the song could be recorded by James Brown or The Rolling Stones and have been a hit and rehearsal recordings of things such as an hour long track called “Soul Psychodelicide” (and no less than 5 completely different studio recordings exist in the hands of die-hards). I could go on for days listing out some of the unreleased fan favorites because for every great song Prince has released, there are probably 10 great ones that never saw the light of day.
Prince, who notoriously does not like to look back (despite playing ‘greatest hits’ shows for the greater part of the last decade after swearing he was not going to play the hits anymore in several “final” tours) has revisited a handful of unreleased tracks over the years, most recently stripping the funk and soul out of beloved tracks to reflect his religious beliefs (Prince is a Jehovah’s Witness now) on songs such as “In a Large Room With No Light” and “Extra Lovable,” changing ‘dirty’ and ‘in your face’ lyrics like “….not as hard as what’s behind door… door number pants” to “ooh, I like it” making fans wonder why he would commit such a sin. But that comes with being a Prince fan.
For all the great music he’s given us over the years, it comes with a price – failed ‘membership only’ fan clubs that fail to come through on the promises they make, the announcement of last minute shows where anything can (and does) happen, making fans have to drop everything to make it to his concerts. You could see him perform 5 nights in a row and each time see a completely different set list where he pulls songs he’s never played live before into the set list and/or scorching guitar solos where he takes you with him to another planet and you’ll be reliving the moment either in your mind (or on bootleg, should one surface) as one of the best nights of your existence for the rest of your life. He announces projects that get fans salivating and they never get released (remember ‘Crystal Ball 2′ anyone?) and there’s the other douchey stuff like suing fans, shutting down fan sites, sending cease and desist letters to artists that are paying loving tribute to him in their works and going after YouTube for the removal of all content that he is featured in (does he not realize that like it or not, the way new fans discover music is via the internet?!).
His music was so influential to my life from literally the age of 4, when I felt “different” but couldn’t figure out what to do and Prince’s lyrics (and look) were completely unapologetic and always championed being unique at all costs, which helped my life (and obviously the lives of so many people worldwide) and then Prince’s current religious beliefs found him going against all that he used to stand for. It makes me sick to see someone once so progressive and open minded literally become closed off and preachy about his beliefs. I’m all for finding yourself and being happy about it, but just don’t shove it down my throat if I choose to believe differently. For some of the public complaining I’ve done, if you didn’t know me, you’d think I was a hater. On the contrary, I am a concerned fan who does not enjoy watching someone regress and you do not need to be a rocket scientist to see that this is the case.
Back to the music…
So when the vaults are finally opened, what is going to happen? Though lots of sexual innuendo is implied in the lyrics of some of the Purple Rain songs (most famously, the lyric from “Darling Nikki” about meeting a girl “in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine”), there are no “curse words” per se, so will these recordings stay in tact as they were or will he try and rewrite his history with lyrics that reflect who he is today? I picked out the songs on a greatest hits compilation called “Ultimate Prince” and after he forced the label to remove the 12″ version of “Erotic City,” every review of the album says “it could have been a great collection if only “Erotic City” were included). Will he finally embrace his past when he looks back on this era and realizes that when he was 26 years old (in 1984 when Purple Rain was released) that his creativity knew no limits and he was literally changing the world? He’d just filmed his first feature film, had recorded an album with no bad moments on it (and a handful of equally killer b-sides), wrote, recorded and produced albums for The Time and Apollonia 6, was touring (and changing the set list nightly) and recorded countless songs that didn’t even make the cut because there is only so much music the world can handle in the span of a year.
The world can still not handle that much music (and if anything, the iPod generation has made our musical attention spans even shorter), so what will be included on the re-release? Is he going to fill it with songs by Apollonia 6 and The Time that were in the movie, but never acknowledged on the soundtrack? Live tracks such as the song “Electric Intercourse” which was taken out of the film in favor of “The Beautiful Ones”? Speaking of “The Beautiful Ones,” in fan circulation, there is a version that has an extra verse and there is also a 14 minute version of “Computer Blue” which shreds the officially released version (and is 10 minutes shorter). An extra verse of the song “Purple Rain” was also cut as were songs such as “Traffic Jam,” “Wonderful Ass,” “Possessed,” “Father’s Song” and the list goes on and on. No less than 25 songs that never saw the light of day are known to exist from the era (and surely there are plenty more that nobody has ever heard) and even if those songs were rescued from the vault, that would more than fill all of the allotted room dedicated to extra material.
This is not even including B-sides (like “Erotic City” and “17 Days”), the 12″ versions (like the 10+ minute version of “I Would Die 4 U”), the potential for a live concert release from the era, which again found Prince at 26 years old, out-performing legends who’d been around for decades longer. Also never released was the legendary August 3, 1983 First Avenue concert, which found Prince debuting the classic lineup of The Revolution with Wendy Melvoin on guitar and vocals as well as the first live performance of “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Computer Blue,” “I Would Die 4 U” “Purple Rain,” and was the only time “Electric Intercourse” was ever played in front of an audience. The Purple Rain score, for which Prince received an Academy Award was also never officially released, so there’s a chance that could finally come out in part or in full as well.
We live in a digital world now, so what that could mean for us is that the casual fans could buy a 2-disc physical set and be super content and for those who want to dig a little deeper, digital only releases of some of the above mentioned tracks and projects could make their way into the hands of the people that so desperately want it. What’s the point of letting it rot away in a vault, never to be appreciated while the creator of it is alive? Seems kind of silly. It’s crazy to think of the possibilities that have kept fans like me, who are not into the current direction Prince has taken musically (or religiously), hanging around in hopes that one day, the person I know that still exists inside of him will finally come outside and play with us again.
I don’t care if he swears anymore or humps the stage like he used to, I just want him to return to acknowledging the reason we all fell in love with him in the first place – because he gave us an alternative to being “ordinary.” He gave us a reason to celebrate our differences and most of all, he told us “it was ok to do our own thing and if the world didn’t like it, that’s THEIR PROBLEM, NOT OURS!” He basically helped form my strong work ethic and he made me seek out people that try and set the trend rather than follow them and for all of those things (and I have told him so in person), THANK YOU, PRINCE!!!!! If nothing, I hope the world who can barely see past “1999″ and this album, come to realize, appreciate and celebrate, while he is still alive, that Prince was and is one of the most prolific musicians to ever walk among us and we should cherish it while we still can.
Prince, this is your big chance to convince the non-believers and to reward those of us who have stuck by your side through name changes and religious epiphanies. You’ve always been at the forefront of setting the trend, forcing everyone to follow in your footsteps, so you are being presented with a golden opportunity that could change the way other artists release their own vault material. PLEASE DON’T FUCK THIS UP!
I would be more than happy to assist, Prince. Give me a call!
Photo by G.
“Sketches of Verbal Alchemy” and “Unfinished Lyrics” by Geoffrey Dicker. OUT NOW!
Great news! My 2nd book “Unfinished Lyrics” is NOW AVAILABLE!
It’s only $4.99 for your Kindle and $9.99 if you are old school like me and want a hard copy for your book shelf. It can be yours via Amazon.com at this link (which will open in a new window).
My first book “Sketches of Verbal Alchemy” is also available on Amazon.com at this link (which will open in a new window).
The support and love you all give me is so appreciated and I reciprocate.
Lyrics from “The First Time” as featured in “Unfinished Lyrics”
“Unfinished Lyrics” features song lyrics I’ve written as well as a challenge to you, my dear readers – if you feel inspired by the words you read, record them and let’s make a million bucks! Everyone else is doing it, so why not you and me?
Unfinished Lyrics by Geoffrey Dicker – out now!
Thanks again for your loyalty and support!