By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Could you support someone as an artist who once beat RCA out of more cash than McLaren ever squeezed from A&M for the Pistols (somebody over at RCA thought Bob might've been the Dylan of the '80s) if you thought he was a good songwriter? 'Course you would.
Could you get with a guy who emotes about living with John Frusciante during the darkest hours of the latter's hellacious "Your Pussy's Glued to a Building on Fire" period, some of which is captured in Johnny Depp's movie short Stuff, just before the young Chili Pepper burned down his Hollywood Hills digs? Rather than calling 911, the composer of "Under the Bridge" once stood over Bob, who was writhing on the floor while plummeting into a major OD, and said in a soothing, reassuring voice, "Just go with it, man . . . it's okay."
The same Bob who survived that little kick in the head was soon able to howl at the moon with laughter following his humiliating brush with the ultimate in Big Top Geek shame: getting booed out at a Clippers game while singing the national anthem wasted on smack and booze.
THE HELLION MYTHS AND LEGENDS ON Bob's way-after-midnight exploits abound ad infinitum, and on his new record Bob once again writes about what he knows best: the agony and the ecstasy, the many near-death experiences, and the dark side of fame. When Bob transcends his pain, sometimes you, the listener, get to go with it.
"I accept that my music doesn't necessarily have mass appeal. I used to blame drugs and alcohol for not getting over, but I've learned to live with the awareness that my music may not be for everybody. And you know what? So what! My music is for the type of people who want to know if life is worth living, and I'm here to report that, sadly, it is very much so. Life without drugs and alcohol is all about battling with your kid over schoolwork, playing with your dog and telling your mom you love her."
AS A LATE TEEN, BOB FORREST CAME TO punk rock after listening to Rodney's Sunday-night KROQ show: "I bought an import single by the Pistols and went to see the Go-Go's and the Plugz at the Fleetwood in 1980, and was shocked to see older jocks from my high school there with shaven heads smashing each other up. But I knew instinctively punk rock was about so much more than that.
"I started reading Slash and saw there was an intelligent, literary side to it, too, which appealed to me as a compulsive reader. I was going to Golden West College in H.B., and, later on, LACC, with the idea of majoring in journalism. I knew something was happening, but didn't know what it was . . . like Mr. Jones in the Dylan song."
While attending LACC circa 1983, Bob hung out at the Cathay de Grande, ã where he befriended local blues legend Top Jimmy and got to know Michael Brennan, the club's owner. Bob talked Brennan into hiring him as a between-band DJ: "For $15 a night and all the booze I could drink, I lamely ditched school. I also drifted into a bit of booking and did some Sunday-afternoon shows at the Cathay and other places, with the Minutemen and Black Flag and others . . ."
Another inspiration was seeing the Replacements in '83.
"Paul Westerberg seemed a geeky-outsider kind of guy like me, who was really into punk rock but who could also write songs that had some meaning and passion -- like Dylan and John Lennon, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, or some of my other favorites. Westerberg was a sensitive, introspective lyricist, which I thought was so cool because you weren't allowed to be sensitive or reflective in punk, and there he was pulling it off without being a sap. Wow, now I was really stoked to try and do something."
Thelonious Monster lasted 11 years, on and off, and made four albums and an EP, and will probably convene for sporadic reunions forever.
"While at LACC I met Pete Weiss, Chris Handsone and Jon Huck, who wanted to start a band but had no singer, and we found we jammed well together. The intent wasn't to get rich and famous. It was just for love of music, but soon it got like 'If we're going to perform drunk, why not rehearse drunk to know what it feels like?' 'Just play music and it'll all fall into place' was our naiveté."
A Fan on Today's Music:
"Freddie Durst [Limp Bizkit] and his ilk amaze the shit out of me. They have literally been able to get dollar signs down on tape, and now Fred's a record exec at Interscope, too. He's my rock icon for the millennium, the ultimate combination of rock boorishness, dollars and pop culture turned to shit . . ."
"Call me precious if you want, because music is my religion, and I think of it as life-affirming and soul-supportive and the best thing ever on a Saturday night, but what do I know about it ever since jocks, ignoramuses and other idiots became part of the market share of punk rock and its splintered aftermath?"