1996 - 1997: pleasure is no fun
“You can’t hurt my
feelings/ You can’t scratch my itch/Look now I’m
bleeding/Ain’t life a BITCH BITCH BITCH”
“Give Yourself to the Devil”
completion of the EP and back in NYC I realized that it would
be necessary to form a band that could play the new songs live.
I asked my friend John
DeVries, the leader of the band Agitpop
and at the time in a band called Cellophane, if he wanted to
be the lead guitarist. The two of us had been introduced by
mutual friends in Mercury Rev and became friends when we were
playing together on the road with David Baker's short-lived
Shady project. John even performed with St. Johnny on Lollapalooza
1995. I also recruited Thomas P. Goss, who had also been in
that final incarnation of the band, on drums, and Phil Schuster
on bass. We gigged around the city and I began writing more
songs and before long we were back in Fredonia making another
record for No.6.
Around this same time
I was invited to play guitar on a recording session that would
Lives of Charles Douglas, produced
by Mo Tucker. She also played drums. It seems impossible to
me that I actually played on a recording with Mo Tucker…and
that I even shared a meal with her and got to ask her questions
about VU. The one question that I remember asking her was:
“Is it true that
Jimi Hendrix jammed with the Velvets?”
Her answer was “No”.
We opened for Helmet
in Providence, RI around this time. Following the gig I remember
puking on John Devries van in the middle of an unseasonable
April snowstorm. This period was pretty much the low point of
my life. I recoil in horror at some of the unmentionable memories.
But there were more hijinks to come.