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Nov 1, 04 10:28 AM

Xing Your Nuts Off.


I was horking songs off a friend's iPod and came across a dreadful artifact:

I guess it's pretty widely distributed: an mp3 of me performing with the Dave Matthews at Madison Square Garden. I haven't listened to it yet. I'm scared to hear it. Because at the time, I was crazy high on E and completely out of my head.

Soul Coughing was opening for him. It was a two-night stand, and I guested both nights: one night I was a maniac on E, the other night I was baked on weed. I know this is the E night, this mp3, because I was told a couple details of the performance that I don't have the guts to get into here.

I had all these E's I had gotten in the UK, where I was living at the time. There was a legendary MDMA drought going on over there. These were the only good E's in Britain, I think: every time I was high in a club, streams of people would come up to me, astonished, and begging to know: WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR PILLS?!

I put the pill in a plastic cup and had it onstage while we played our set. Before the third-to-last song, I went back to my amp, gulped the pill, and finished the show. By the time I was walking offstage, I was coming up.

Our product manager from Warner Bros. was in the dressing room when I came offstage. I had to talk to him for awhile and pretend to not be high. That was excruciating.

So I did the guest spot with Dave, out of my fucking skull.

I haven't touched a pill, or anything else, since 2000. And of course, the prospect of this recording out there in general circulation fills me with dread and loathing.

I saw Dave at Bonnaroo this year; I bumped into his wife around the tents backstage, and she invited me back for a post-show get together. In the course of the conversation, I remarked that at the time I was opening for him I was abstaining from alcohol.

Dave said, "Yeah, but half the time you were XING YOUR NUTS OFF."

Posted by Mike at November 1, 2004 10:28 AM

I think its so funny ( well, and really sad) how people who are fucked up all the time, doin' drugs at work, school, when they go to the store, socialize, etc... think they are being so fuckin' smug that no one notices that they're high. Its even worse when they go out of their way to try and cover it up, because its always either overdone to the point of parody, or they are so completely stiff and rigid they are in a state of partial paralysis. I think its an opportunity for you to be extremely grateful that you managed to escape having to escape. That you were so blessed to realize your peril and really get well. Not everyone who wanders the same path is so lucky.

Posted by: Lauren at November 1, 2004 11:21 AM

Um... you were able to do all this and still keep your nuts intact too, I hope.

Posted by: Lauren at November 1, 2004 11:24 AM

Is the recording from the 12/3/96 or 12/4/96 show? I was at the 12/4 show and you cracked me up!

Posted by: Eric at November 1, 2004 11:28 AM

whoa, december 3rd is my birthday.


grats on the sobriety, if that's your thing. i wish you luck in your listening to said recording (as i search for it myself); c'mon, it cant be *that* frightening. =)


Posted by: pete at November 1, 2004 11:56 AM

wow, who would've thought the rockmaster mike would have been one of the last to hear his own recorded performance?

that in itself is trippy.

we love.


Posted by: marie at November 1, 2004 12:38 PM

wow thats great doughty, coulda fooled me

Posted by: Paul at November 1, 2004 12:42 PM

Mikey, give it a listen, man, you could be pleasantly surprised! My S.O and I met as actors in "Ten Little Indians". Someone videotaped one of our performances and we dug it out a few nights ago and watched it. I remembered it being hideously bad, but ya know, it was actually pretty good (I was even able to keep a straight face when that paper mache bear bounced up and down, up and down, like some wretched bored porn thing, on our supposedly dead friend's belly; the audience laughed their tushes off). Besides, we've all done things we're REALLY embarrassed about, usually involving alcohol and the opposite sex, so how bad can your mp3 be, really...?

Posted by: Deb at November 1, 2004 1:17 PM

hey man...we all know you've had your shit to go through. i've had mine, and she's had hers too. we've al had this shit. and it sucks that there's this reminder of your "hey days" floatin' around the intarweb...!!

nothing more to say...i just like seeing my comments to your kick ass entries. muchas amoras, amigo.

Posted by: james the s at November 1, 2004 2:26 PM

So last night was a party holiday, one where people elaboratly disguise themselves. In the days before Hallmark and tootsie rolls, the wearing of a frightening costumes was done to keep the disenfranchised spirits from taking over the body. Since becoming an adult, my only notion of Halloween has been a celebration to welcome the spirits (aka booze) to take over. I used to go all out for Halloween, but last night I locked myself in my apartment with a few rented movies. I read your post from time to time, and am always struck when I come across a passage where you talk about not using drugs and your choice to no longer drink. I want you to know how much I appreciate your sharing this with us. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I find it encouraging, and I'll glean hope from almost any source at this point. I'm at the coss road of the place that all my fears originate. It's the place where you can no longer use gin to make yourself feel less invisible, the place where the people who once wanted your company stop calling. The "Hey what are you doing tonight" is a thing of the past when your best friends (mine are mostly actors) are uneasy of my not drinking. It's obvious to me now that my "I'll just have a diet Coke please" reminds them of how sick they are. I miss them, and the new healthier people I meet, well they just don't get it (at least not the way I hoped they would). The life of a drunk is disconnected from everything, and I know I want something more, but I'm not sure if I know what that looks like. Sometimes my sobriety brings an epiphany, but then other times the feelings of isolation (usually brought on by staying at home to read a book on Saturday night)can at times be overwhelming. I guess I feel lucky to have so many obvious reminders of why not to turn around and go back to my old life. Today it was simply looking in the mirror at the numerous crowned and root canaled teeth, all victims of the E induced jaw death clench. I think that the MP3 of you and Dave is the perfect Halloween gift, enjoy it. You're a brave man. Cheers.

Posted by: Another Seattle Fan at November 1, 2004 4:28 PM

some musicians start up, get good, get on the junk, get better or think they get better, then get off, get worse, or die.

i love your music now, mike.

just wanted to say that.

Posted by: a fan at November 1, 2004 5:44 PM

thankfully no one cared enough to record anything i ever did whilst i partook of various substances years back. although, i have many writings from those days which perhaps can be even more eye opening. i dig that today i am on the path to awareness. mike is an extremely gifted person and it is such a joy to see others begin the process of waking up. the music has gotten nothing but better.

memories are but thoughts. they vanish as quickly as they arise. the meaning they contain is equal to the meaning we give them. to let go of the ego-self is the most liberating and beautiful thing one can do for themselves. for then, there is no more suffering.

Posted by: none at November 1, 2004 7:05 PM

Part of living with self inflicted sobriety is reliving all the stupid shit you didn't actually grasp the first time around. It's always great running into old friends. They have a whole new batch of stories to remind you what an ass you were. My big thing was getting drunk and videotaping. Anything. Messages to my friends, fake commercials, news programs, sex, all of it, somewhere, on all these tapes,just waiting to be horrifying. Depanding on how bad you got, it's almost not worth staying sober to re-deal with but the idea that you aren't activly creating NEW ones can keep you going... Circles.

Posted by: liz at November 1, 2004 8:39 PM

I've got that recording. It was actually the first time I'd ever heard you. While I'm definitely glad you're sober now, I'm not even gonna lie - the recording is fucking ridiculously hilarious.

Take it easy, Mike.

Posted by: Sarah at November 2, 2004 3:58 AM