Imagine finding out two of your favorite bands are going on tour together. You run around the house screaming for a little bit, and then you buy tickets and feel really good about that for the rest of the day. Then you look forward to that night for weeks. No need to even put it in your calendar – that date is seared into your brain.
Imagine waking up the morning of the show, letting consciousness fully immerse you, and then realizing that the show is tonight. Your heart does that roller-coaster flip-flop and you kind of can’t stop smiling. You realize you’re feeling a little under the weather, your throat hurts and it’s the kind of day you’d spend laying on the couch, but no way are you missing motherfucking Chiodos and Emarosa. No fucking way.
Now, imagine being en route to the show. You’re maybe a mile into the drive when you start scrolling through Twitter (don’t worry – you’re the passenger). You’re flicking through the timeline at warped speed, mostly out of habit, mostly because it’s the same old shit. But then your eyes latch on to four simple words and no way, no how can they un-see what they just saw. It’s instant scarification to the retinas, worse than the Tazmanian Devil tattoo on your mom’s tit.
Jonny goes to Rehab.
Four simple words, but you know. You know with every fibre in your being that this is referencing Jonny Craig, the singer of Emarosa. So you click the link that the Absolute Punk twitter account provided, and sure enough, you quickly learn that that motherfucker has been shipped off, not exactly to rehab, but to detox. But then you think, “Maybe this is a joke. Maybe this is Jonny fucking with everyone. Maybe they got it all wrong.” But then you continue to read and see that the source is the reputable Alternative Press, and even though you’re reading this out loud to your boyfriend and laughing, there is bitterness entwined with it and your heart has been left crushed, festering and pecked by crows on the road a half mile behind you.
Part of you is glad you learned this ahead of time, that your anticipation of seeing one of your favorite singers is snuffed out now, in the car; you’ll have time to get over it, to sort through your emotions, to make sense of it. Except that even though he is your favorite singer, you hate his guts, so you spend all night ranting and punching your boyfriend in the stomach because you are so angry that he’s just another talented scumbag who cares more about the fucking high than his career, his band or his fans. So angry are you that you can’t stop shaking and yelling, “OH MY GOD I HATE HIM SO BAD!” and then doing that cold laughter thing that scares your boyfriend because he just knows that one day that laugh will be accompanied by the brandishing of a bloodied machete. And you realize you’re being selfish, that you should be happy he’s getting help, but you paid money to hear his fucking honey-dunked voice, because that’s YOUR crack. And imagine that you’re a parent now, and you work an evening shift, so the opportunities to go to shows have become few and far between, but when one arises you snatch it out of the air and hug it close to your chest. You have a right to be selfish. Because you know he’s not sorry. You check his twitter and see that all he’s doing is complaining that it’s cold in California, not apologizing to his band for being a fuck-up and leaving them in the lurch, or telling his fans that he’s sorry for letting them down. His latest shenanigans are one giant shit that he stood up to admire before flushing. And everyone he hurt in the process is the toilet bowl.
And then you realize that there might not be a “next time.” This notion is a detonator for your ire and you kick the wall. You’re pissed because this is typical Jonny Craig. Unreliable, inconsistent, a loose cannon. And perhaps that’s part of his appeal. You follow his career because he’s a sideshow, a trainwreck. You love to hate him.
But you love to love his music.
Imagine a few weeks ago, reading some fan’s account of buying a Macbook from Jonny and then never receiving it. And then seeing more scorned fans coming out of the woodwork in droves, saying that they too were scammed, most to the tune of $800. You don’t really believe this, even though Jonny is a ginger douchebag who you sometimes dream of punching in his circus peanut dick, he’s not that stupid to scam his fans on TWITTER, right? Well, apparently this was all true and the final straw for his record label, who shipped him off to California over the weekend to enter a detox facility and is now reimbursing everyone he robbed. He didn’t do this on his own accord – he was forced to get clean. So he’ll be in the place for as long as it takes to get the heroin and crack (awesome) cleaned out of his system and then he’ll be released into a world where he doesn’t know how to function, so he’ll find new ways to score the hard shit and the cycle will start all over again, because he doesn’t want to get clean, his record label wants him to get clean. And then you know what? You start to think about worst case scenarios. You think about this dumb fuck with the golden voice throwing it all away, holing up in some crack house, pulling out his teeth and fucking dying. And then you start to cry, even though you hate him, because all he is at this point is another example of wasted talent. That’s when you realize that the anger spewing from your pores is just a flimsy mask for what you’re really feeling: heartbreak.
In spite of the maelstrom of emotions chewing an ulcer into your gut, you go to this show, and when Emarosa takes the stage with a fill-in singer (Tilian Pearson, formerly of Tides of Man), you respect that they’re still there, and you ignore the proverbial egg on their faces because they don’t deserve this. And you applaud for them harder than you ever have before.
Please get your shit together, Jonny.