Stu Savage & The Band Of Destiny (personal)
It seems that every rock star these days has put out an autobiography. Nikki Sixx has. Vince Neil has. Slash has. Even Sebastian Bach has. All of those autobiographies are the same. They had hard childhoods. They went to the Sunset Strip at an early age and worked hard in the bars for little pay. They were broke but they partied hard and fucked lots of groupies. They were rock studs and everyone wanted to be them and to live the dream. Soon, the record companies came calling and overnight they became rock gods selling platinum records and selling out arenas. Their lives were one long Saturday night. Only every night was in a different town with different groupies and different drug dealers. Then, just as quickly as it started, their dreams were over. The record company money and the drugs and the groupies all dried up. Then came rehab clinics and the lawsuits by their record companies and the alimony and child support suits. The downward spiral of the has-beens, whose lives can never be the same. Nor can they truly ever embrace a normal life after drinking from that chalice of fame.
And do you know something else? That is my life story too. Only you have never read my autobiography because that middle part about multi-platinum records and sold out arenas was denied to me by the wicked hand of fate. It was my destiny to be a rock god. And right now my autobiography should be on the new selections display at Border's Books. I should be getting ready for my book signing tour. I should be on VH1 as a guest on That Metal Show to announce my triumphant reunion tour. That is what is happening right now for all of these washed-up metal musicians who I shared the gutters with on the Strip back in the day. But I never hear any of them mention the name "Stu Savage" when they are talking with Eddie Trunk.
No matter. I shall not be denied my destiny any longer. I was born to be a rock star. I moved to Los Angeles when I was just seventeen in 1989. I paid my dues. I earned my stripes and my record contract. Then Smells Like Teen Spirit hit MTV and just like that the record company turned on me. All the tracks for my ten song debut album were recorded, mastered and in the can. I was ready for my first nationwide tour opening for Whitesnake with Faster Pussycat and Trixter. But the record pigs wouldn’t release the album or give me support to tour. David Coverdale's people dropped us from the gig and took Firehouse instead! I tried to take the album to another label but they threatened to sue me for breach of my three album contract. So you know what I did? I hit them first in a pre-emptive strike suing for a release of my songs and my obligation. I used the remainder of my record advance to sue them! That's right, I sued them with their own money!
Today, I have learned to turn over my resentments because they only hurt me, but those pigs took everything from me. The judge sided with the label and to this day they will not release my music or release me from my contract. I took my grievances to the media but the label sued me again. Now I cannot even perform or record under my own name without getting slapped with another suit. I have been black listed and gagged. I cannot even print the label’s name here without fear of reprisals.
I tried to keep the dream alive. I even went out on the road singing for one of the versions of L.A. Guns, but the tour got canceled because of lack of ticket sales. The market dried up for real Rock N’ Roll because everyone wanted to listen to that whiney Kurt Cobain and wear their flannel shirts and work boots. I did not have any Hollywood Hills mansion for the bank to foreclose on. I certainly did not have any Ferrari’s to sell or Rolex watches to pawn. My ex-girlfriend, Tiffany, she sued me for child support for our beautiful little angel Celeste. But the record company had already taken my every dime and garnished the wages that I could not earn because they refused to let me sing. The judge told me to cut my hair! He told me to give up my dreams and to get a real job. But Rock N’ Roll is all I was ever good for and all I was ever good at. So I told him to, “suck my dick, Your Honor. Stu Savage is nobody's fool!" Well, I spent 90 days in jail for contempt of court and then another 120 days in jail for failure to pay child support. When I got out, I blew California even though it broke my heart. My Mom paid for a one-way ticket back to Orland Park, Illinois and I was back in the Midwest for Thanksgiving of 1994.
Man, it just went downhill from there. I stayed with Mom for a few months but her husband is a real dick so I had to split. I crashed from one old friend’s couch to another, even stayed a weekend with my Dad. That was a big mistake. I have learned to turn over all my resentments today, but that guy is still the biggest asshole. I borrowed a friend’s car one night and I totaled it. Pleaded guilty to the DUI but I couldn’t pay the fines, so eventually I had to spend some more time in jail. After serving THAT time, I got extradited back to California to spend some MORE time in jail for non-payment of child support thanks to Tiffany, again.
After I got out of jail in California, wouldn't you know it, but I got another girl knocked up. I wound up living with her and her old man who owns a pizza franchise. They put me to work making pizzas and every night I worked until they closed the kitchen. Then they drove me home and every morning was the same boring gig. Thank God they had a liquor license there or I would have gone crazy! Again, no resentments, but that bitch, Megan, and her asshole old man kept me like a bull with a ring through my nose. I have to admit that they kept a roof over my head and kept me fed and kept me out of jail by paying my child support to Tiffany. But they never let me keep any of my money. They never gave a shit about my dreams and I had no life of my own. So you know what? After eleven years of that bullshit, I had enough! I stole Megan’s car and went down to the Strip and to party!
Well, I guess that I wrecked the car because I woke up in jail again with another DUI. Her Dad wouldn’t even pay for my bail. He came to see me and he told me that I was a no good drunk and that I could rot in jail. He told me that I could forget about ever seeing Megan or my boy Robyn ever again and if I came back that he would kill me himself. Even though I still miss my boy, you can bet that I would never go back to being their slaves! I tried to hook back up with Tiffany, seeing how Celeste was fifteen or so by then. But they didn’t want anything to do with me. Celeste said that she hated my guts, which broke my heart. But I guess I deserved it because I hadn’t even been to any of her birthdays in God knows how long. Tiffany told me that I could stop sending her the checks as long as she never would see my face ever again. For the first time is so long, I was a free man!
I begged my Mom for bus money again and she sent it. So, I stayed with her for some years, as she had kicked her ex to the curb. But I guess that I really did have a problem with the drinking and the drugs because I wrecked her car and got my third DUI in two states. So I found myself in jail again on a 30 month sentence. But I got out on probation early on the condition that I go to AA meetings for, like, the rest of my natural life, or something. But do you know something else? AA really turned my life around, just like the lives of all of those rock stars that I shared groupies with. Only my rehab was in county, not some $1,000 a day resort. But AA taught me to turn over my resentments to a higher power and it really helped because I was really mad at the whole world. My mom never threw my bail and after I got out would she not let me back into her house. I guess that as I wrecked her car that is fair enough. So my sister let me move in with her kids and husband on the condition that I got a job and that I go to AA meetings and stay sober. So I have been doing both, working at Burger King and getting rides to the AA meetings and turning in the signatures to my probation officer.
But my sister’s husband says that I have to get out by the end of June. The other day I realized that I have been sober for almost a whole year and that I don’t have any chains around my feet literally or metaphorically. I am nearly 40 and for the first time in years I feel like I am in control of my own destiny. God wants me to fulfill my destiny. And you know what? It always has been my destiny to be a rock star! I saw that Anvil documentary about a week ago on my sister’s computer. If you have not seen it you should watch it! That band of has-been is just like me. Fate dealt them a cruel hand just like me and they work shitty jobs and all but they kept the dream alive! And just look at them, after their movie came out, they were earning their just rewards for never saying die! That is going to be me! I don’t care about the record label, they can go to hell! I have got till the end of June to get a band together: Stu Savage & The Band of Destiny.
I am going to write the songs and the band will get a practice space in the city. I figure I can just crash there because my stay in Chicago shall be short. I am a veteran and I am a survivor of a golden age of Rock N’ Roll in the 80’s. I will work hard, just like I did on The Sunset Strip. I will take the clubs of Chicago by storm: The Vic and The Metro and the Congress Theatre. I will get big and I will go on tour and I shall return, triumphantly, to Los Angeles. Look out Troubadour! Look out Whiskey! Look out Roxy! Lookout Cathouse and Rikki Rachmann, you better have the money you owe me! I am coming back! I will win back my rights to record from the record company. I don’t know how, and I need to maintain a low profile until I am ready to strike back, but I will. I will record my album and it will at least go gold and I will finally have the recognition that I deserve and fulfill the destiny that was robbed from me and denied to me for so many years!