Monday, April 09, 2007

And the band(s) played on....

I received a call on 'Good Friday'.

"I can't believe the news today...
Oh, I can't close my eyes
And make it go away..."

Whenever you pick up a phone and hear, "Well, I got somethin' to tell you", your lungs expand, your heart quickens a beat, and your butt clenches tight. Then, you take a breath, pause the movie you're watching and focus your full attention on the next words coming from the other end of the line.

If the news isn't a death, then you have a moment of clarity, where you know the news isn't as bad as your over-active brain has ginned it up to be.

After that brief reprieve you then have to deal with the actual news at hand.

DBT and Jason Isbell have parted ways.

"I heard the news on Friday, oh boy...."

It's fucking sad, isn't it....

As a fan, you know? As a fan of something that keeps you entertained through the drudgery. Keeps you sane through the insanity... Keeps you safe when you're too alone.... Makes you thrilled when you're already a pig in shit... Makes you comfortable knowing that it's there for you whenever you need... Makes you think "It's fucking great to be alive!"

You don't want that special something to change. You want it to be that loud, whiskey-scented, joyous rock (literal) that, no matter what else happens, it's always there for you. Perfect in its composition.

But life ain't like that. Things change. For better or for worse... things change.

So what about this change. Is it for the better or for the worse?

That's the question that's been bouncing around the various boards since the news broke on Friday. I have to say, that on the whole, I'm quite proud of the world wide DBT fandom's reaction to the news. I don't see the formation of a 'DBT camp' and a 'Jason Isbell camp' itching to have the pissiest piss contest the world has ever seen. There have been some less than reasonable remarks... speculation as to why, but on the whole, a very adult, supportive, though dreary and sad, reaction to the parting.

"How long...
How long must we sing this song?"

To those who like to speculate that it is drugs, or ego, or a split before the split, I say this:

This band may be a family, but this band is not a marriage and we (the fans) are not the children, deserving of a realistic answer as to 'Why?'.

"We can work it out
Life is very short and there's no time
for fussing and fighting, my friend"

Patterson's note to us tells me everything that I need to know. Jason's current posts on his MySpace page tell me everything I need to know.

I know that regardless of 'any bad shit that went down' that love remains first. That's good enough for me.

To be honest, there's a part of me that wanted the fan explanation to be a HUGE lie in the vain of a DBT song. Crystal meth in the bathtub, Blood splattered in the sink.... Cooley pulling a gun on Jason, then Patterson pulling two guns on them both. Good old Mexican stand-off that ends with a game of reaux-cham-beaux to see who has to leave the band.

But that's the evil, twisted, bastard part of me that I keep locked in the cellar chained to the wall. The real me is very content to know that 'love and support' rule this break-up and it's a damn fine lesson for the rest of us.

"'cause tonight...we can be as one

So throw in that DBT CD with a glass full. Call that person you been needing to call for a while. Grab somebody near and tell them you love them. Take a moment. Embrace that all things change, for better or for worse. The good times end way too quick the bad times last way too long but both do end. Appreciate the moment, raise a glass to the past, turn your ass around and start looking at what's to come.....

DBT with Neff stage left. Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit. DBT collaborating with some special guests in the future. Same with Jason. This site becoming Alabama Ass Sirens when Jason releases his solo album... then Alabama Ass Oscar (or Murdering... both are funny... haven't decided yet). Tons of great music. More shows to go to. More people to get to know and support and love.

So where will you be when DBT is on the stage and Jason Isbell joins them stage left for a reunion gig or two?

Things change for better or for worse....

And the band(s) played on....


P.S. Check out the cool new TDU posters!


erniehorton said...

Jay, you always seem to come up with the right words to express how most of us fans feel about any given topic. The way you have summed up the recent split within the group is dead on where all of our heads should be right now. It's all about what is best for them individually and collectively and not at all about our understandable curiosity. Life ain't nothing but a blending together of all the ups and downs.

Ernie In Atlanta

JPW said...

Thanks, Ernie. Great quote, too:

Life ain't nothing but a blending together of all the ups and downs.

Parasites & Sycophants said...

Nice way to sum up the situation. DBT will go on and so will Jason. I want be surprised if DBT doesn't somehow become even stronger.

JPW said...

Thanks, P&S. Guess you saw one of the final DBT/Isbell shows!

DBT is gonna be DBT... Badass.

Jason Isbell is gonna be Jason Isbell... Badass.

Lots to look forward too.

Jez said...

I think it will be good to have 2 good bands now. I can't help but think Jason was surprised by the news, or at least that's the way he comes off in that blog on myspace.

I thought this day would come though, basically the way he said something I saw in an interview. The tone was something to the effect, that "Right now I play in the Drive-By Truckers."

Maybe it's just the way he writes or comes off. I just can't stand it when you never know the real reason people leave bands or the other thing that always puzzled me, when DJs leave. They're just gone. And nobody talks about it.

JPW said...

Jez, you know you can't believe a word that is written in an interview. Hell, most of the time they're lucky to get the band members name's correct. Recently someone wrote about "Preston Hood".

Shit happened... things are good now... We have another band to support. 'Nuff said.

jitter said...

Well put.

Jez said...

As long as we're posting opinions...

And that's all I got to say about that.

JPW said...

Jez says, "I don't mean to stir shit up"

JPW says, "Then don't"