she was born in 1969.
me and gwen go way back.
most people dont know this, but no doubt struggled for the better part of their early career.
while i was the Arts editor at the daily nexus i got a lot of requests for bands who wanted to be mentioned in our paper.
while i was there bands like toad the wet sprocket got no love because they were on a major label and i was trying to keep it real by only stoking the indie acts. so the dudes from toad came into the office – all of them – and said tony we know, but still, we love you and the nexus, just talk to us for a few minutes and you’ll see…
so i interviewd them and whattya know, they were cool kids. super cool. i told them that i wasnt really into their music and they were all, yeah we understand. at the time i was listening to a lot of janes addiction and nwa. toad didnt really fit into my rotation.
because they were bros we broed them and they got in the paper.
my phone started ringing off the hook cuz the word was out: tonys a softie.
the good news was i was getting shipments of cds like crazy which i distributed among the writers, but i kept a few for myself and the leftovers made their way to Morninglory Records who were more than happy to give me $4 a disc which they would sell to the students for $7.99. the circle of life was all good.
but the bad news was i had to start answering the phone, “fuck off.” which my momma didnt appreciate no matter how many times i told her the story of toad the wet sprocket.
one day miss gwen stefani came bopping into the office all flatchested and shit asking who was the entertainment editor cuz she had a ska band that we would love.
without even getting up i said
she was all, excuse me mister?
i went, fuck ska and fuck white people playing ska.
her hair turned red right there in front of us.
she was all but
and i was all look the police ripped off reggae but how many sting/stewart copeland/andy summers’s are there in the world?
she was like, none. popping her gum sadly.
i said, good now leave and dont come back until you play some rock music.
but gwen was all what about madness what about general public what about
i was all i’ll give you madness but gp and all the rest have black people in their bands but still its white stealing from blacks its a horrible cycle that will end in misery for everyone. if you can sing, sing. but quit ripping off the brothas. play rock music like bad brains play rock music like the boredoms play rock music so that the Lord above will look down from the heavens and elbow an angel and say see thats what im talking about.
and she got it and she left and i never heard from her again.
until, true story, until tsar was discovered by gwens best friend
i think her name was debra.
and debra knew some people and they got tsar signed to hollywood records and when i got to meet debra she said that she was a fashion designer who had dressed marilyn manson and no doubt and i was all how did you get with gwen and she was all we jog together and i told her the story and she was all omg ive heard that story!
and fortunately gwen had totally ignored everything that i had said to her because she seems to be doing ok without my brilliant advice.
but because the Lord has a funny sense of humor he tossed ashley into my world, pretty much the number one nd + gwen stefani fan in the universe so not only did i have to eat my words with gwens success, but i had to listen to those records constantly and watch her dress up like the girl who i threw out of the nexus way back when.
which only goes to show you: interview everyone, keep your mouth shut, keep the tape rolling, and when youre in college take pictures of everyone who crosses your path.