nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    interview with Drew Martin 

    drew in front of a painting he created

    Of the Murderers Row at the Daily Nexus in the late 80s, early 90s, our secret weapon was the Art Desk. Led by your boy Todd Francis, no fewer than a dozen artists could be seen in the award winning college newspaper’s pages during any given week. Any one of them would have been stars on their own on any other paper, but at the Nexus they were just another great reason to smile.

    color blind boyDrew Martin was tall, quiet, sensitive, insightful, with a spirituality of an Indian shaman mixed with the calm of a 747 pilot.

    While his peers donned thrift store chic and mismatched socks, Drew was impeccably dapper, with ironed shirts and GQ style. He was clearly a cop.

    But his cartoons were out of this world.

    The one I remember most was a series about a tall skinny young man who had many questions for the universe.

    Obviously autobiographical, but not at all narcissistic, in one episode the hero strips down nude and climbs the Career Resource Building on campus at night and stares into the stars and eventually falls asleep, fragile, innocent, and open to answers.

    I believe some watercolors were involved, lots of lines, and some backwards lettering. Not at all the type of juvenile frat boy / sorority chick nonsense you’d see in papers around the country, this was deep, inspiring shit.

    And like I said before, it was just one of the long line of illustrative genius within the pages that many took for granted from the Nexus because it came at you every damn day. Each day beefier than the next. Each page more fascinating. Each week a cacophony of creativity.

    Because Drew was sent from another planet to keep an eye on our friends, he accepted Matt Welch and Ben Sullivan’s invitation to join English language newspaper in Prague they’d started after we were all done at UCSB. Beers were fifty cents and rent was $50 and instead of being another forgotten intern at some dusty weekly, these revolutionaries got to continue to blaze new journalistic paths on their own terms with the spirit of the world’s greatest college rag as their compass.

    While many of the staff dressed and looked like this:

    layne and whalen

    Drew looked like this:

    drew martin in prague
     photos by Karen Broome

    I only remember working personally with Drew one time at the Daily Nexus. (A nod to the saying about Woodstock: if you remember it, you weren’t there) I was putting together Friday Magazine which had always been a comedy publication but because I didn’t think I could pull of 8 pages of yucks, I turned it into a druggie thing called Fryday Magazine in hopes of quickly being relieved of my duties. My wish was to edit something I felt confident about: the arts and music section.

    So the plan was to fill every page with different ways to do drugs on campus and in neighboring Isla Vista. And who better to exploit than our huge stable of artists. Instead of page numbers I had the talented Moish draw a variety of mushrooms. So on page two there would be two mushrooms, page three would have three… On the cover was a drawing of a student reading the issue they were holding in their hand while his mind was exploding with all sorts of psychedelia and clip art. Inside there was a map with tips on where to do what and where not to do the other.

    Of course I wanted Drew to contribute and I’m not sure if he did or not but I do remember one moment of clarity. After I explained the theme, Drew said a friend of his was going to try LSD for the first time and he asked if I had any advice. That question inspired me to ask a different artist to create some art that we would put in squares on the paper and deem “do it yourself blotter: just add acid” so the readers could literally get high off their school’s newspaper.

    I looked Drew right in the eye and very slowly said, “before one takes any hallucinogens, one should clean one’s room.”

    Yesterday, a million years after we ruled the world beneath Storke Tower, Drew asked for and received an interview with me and I was very honored to participate. You can read it here on his long running blog The Museum of Peripheral Art.

  2. Saturday, January 30, 2016

    millions of years ago dinosaurs rocked the earth 

    daily nexusi was recently told that things are different for the kids today who get to put out the news at what once was the greatest party school in america.

    and it’s true things are different than when i was there.

    first of all there was no internet.

    imagine that. imagine having to communicate, research, write, record, and arrange


    pretty much by hand

    with the help of some very slow and expensive computers and photography equipment.

    the phones were landlines and i dont recall there even being an answering machine in the office.

    all the lines you see on that page were pasted up by hand. each one has a size.

    we used rulers and pens and pencils and paper and we always got the paper out. on time. the photographers used film that they had to develop and then print, and yet if there was a large gathering on DP after a big basketball game, where couches were lit on fire and the fire was lit on fire, the story was reported, edited, and published, and the photos were too.

    you bet your ass things are different today.

    today, if they worked together, the college community along with the paper could take the pictures and report and opine and review and video and sneak over some tips and share it on facebook and and and

    but just like the 100th monkey said, you gotta lead by example

    if i was back in IV writing for the paper, id set up IV Hall Monitors. a few people on each block whose “job” it was to do simple things like take pictures of the block each week, and be available when and if anything went down of note. id have them all share a group twitter account. you wouldnt have to pay these kind souls.

    if you love IV it should be an honor to simply report back on your magical block.

    id also be all over periscope in a huge way.

    not to mention snapchat.

  3. Tuesday, November 10, 2015

    you know what, maybe the kids of today aren’t ready for this jelly 

    breakup party

    if you recall, a couple of weeks ago i got upset that the kids of UCSB and the staff at the Daily Nexus were ruining their lives because they are neither fighting for their right to party, nor are they properly partying.

    the Nexus was kind enough to repost my screed and once it was up there some of the kids replied and called me names. i fought back, as i normally do. but after awhile i got it.

    these youngsters were doomed.

    they have been raised all wrong, they don’t understand rock music, courage, or life without cell phones: how could they understand Isla Vista?

    in my day when a man in I.V. broke up with a woman that he had dated for 2 years, we’d throw a party and invite our three favorite bands (pictured, above). how could they relate to that? they arent even allowed to have one band at their break up party.


    and theyre ok with that.

    whatever it is that they see when they see us they dont want. and i can understand that. they dont know why we are happy. they dont know how we got here. they dont know how many paths are available to them, and because their role models are former Disney stars and EDM DJs, they rightfully think life is a bunch of baloney.

    omg swipe left, bruh!

    they say things skip a generation. maybe thats the case for IV too. maybe these kids really do want to study, but they dont want to learn. we wanted to learn. we wanted to live. we wanted to date a different girl every day for a week. we wanted to ingest one different thing a night every day for a month. we wanted to see Janes Addiction and then be them. We wanted to see the Grateful Dead and then be hippies.

    we wanted to start newspapers and make poetry books and fight anyone and everyone and dance and kiss and dance and kiss and dance.

    these kids want to graduate.

    i cannot judge. even though im full of judgement.

    they are living in a world we could have never imagined when we were there.

    and we lived in one that they dont believe.

    it’s ok.

    we should have a break up party.

  4. Monday, September 28, 2015

    the nexus chilled with the nexus yesterday and all was well 


    several eras of the daily nexus ate pizza, drank, and chatted with each other. some of us gave advice.


    my advice to the kids: stop going to classes, break up with your boyfriends and girlfriends, quit your jobs and devote the rest of your college life to the Nexus. they laughed, but i wasnt kidding.



    barb and elspeth were there with hugs for me to give to jeanine which was very nice. barb let us know that the desks that were still in the office were rejects from AS from the 70s.


    current EIC Emile, former EIC Amy and Barb posed while Todd Francis did his best Grumpy Cat


    the Babes of the Nexus posed in front of all of the bound editions that told our whole story


    the UCen was open and had some weird propaganda poster AS IF the kids dont know where the bookstore is


    Michelle and Doug hadn’t seen each other in decades someone told me, but that cant be true, but maybe it can be since Dougie has been in Prague since the 90s and Michelle has been in Mexico, FLA, Minnesota and now back in Cali.


    i told the current Nexus editors that i wasnt kidding: quit everything, dedicate your life to rock n roll and you too can wind up a bald man with clashing plaids and the greatest friends in the world. i also told them they need to be Periscoping the F outta DP and UCSB and that little bit of advice i have a feeling they might actually accept.


    in summary, even though it was delightful turnout, dont you think Nexus reunions should be about 50x more people? am i the only one who was touched forever by this amazing newspaper? if this was a football school we would have shown up for the dumb football team, but it’s a newspaper school. the best in all the land. yes it was fantastic that my era showed up in big numbers but what about all the other eras? have they all forgotten about where they came from? it’s a mystery to me.

    storke tower

    afterwards i went to the bookstore to get some ucsb swag and i got a text that joe kovach was on the phone at the office and wanted to talk to me. so i dropped everything and ran back across Storke Plaza and wow, i hadnt talked to him in a verrrry long time. he told me kudos for this and that and i told him kudos right back joe. i feel like we should buy a coke machine that dispenses little 10 oz bottles so he can keep it stocked. seeing him do that back in the day was one of my favorite memories.

    later the kids told me about some of the party games that they play now and it made me very happy.

  5. Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    took a train yesterday to ucsb to say hey to the daily nexus 


    in the middle of the greatest school in the world is the greatest college paper in the world

    and yesterday i was invited to speak to them after their first year being primarily digital

    i took the train because the thesis of the hour was do shit differently

    and id never taken the train to ucsb before


    when it was all over, they cracked up a special bottle of scotch, we drank for a little while

    and then i was sped off to the train station by the beautiful outgoing EIC and her personal driver


    then i took the train home as the sun set over the pacific

    and i wondered if i hit all the themes i wanted to hit


    i told them to work twice as hard as they did last year for the next four years.

    i told them the truth, which is, most of the people they are peers with are easily beat if they did one thing:

    produce twice as much stuff, master social media, and if you can’t do that: just use social media, omg.

    somehow the details as to how i got fired and banned from the daily nexus were divulged

    which provided some nice comic relief

    but the main point i had was just work your ass off for the years youre in college

    and the first couple years out of college and you’ll be shot out of a cannon.

    i think that sunk in.


    it was very nice to be in that magical office again


    and strangely, super nice to hang out downtown santa barbara for an hour.

    might have to do it again sometime.

  6. Monday, February 16, 2015

    seana said hey we are in town, lets have a drink, do you know any pizza places for the kids? 

    the fitt wagners

    at first i thought chuck e cheese, but i realized her boys are big now (both in high school) and seana was a hair metal rock fan back in school

    so i suggested the Rainbow on the fabulous Sunset Strip

    it was surprisingly empty so we got the best table in the joint right next to the fireplace

    which was slightly unnecessary since it was 75 degrees outside

    but we ate pizza and pasta, drank beers, talked about Napa and Isla Vista and how her boys dont watch tv or sports

    and they listen to EDM instead of classic rock

    we all said a little prayer that they will grow out of it

    and generally had a spectacular time in a little slice of rock n roll history.

    from now on this is where i will eat pizza with people when they say they wanna buy me some beers.

    screw tacos.

    for those of you who dont know Seana, she is the one on with her arms around me on the far right of this pic.

    for some reason i thought she and i took a road trip from santa barbara to hollywood back in college

    for a Rolling Stones press announcement, in which no Stones attended

    but we didnt care: road trip to Hollywood.

    anyhow, Seana hasnt changed a bit. she’s still super fun and her family is awesome.

    party on!

  7. Monday, December 29, 2014

    the boys wanted to meet for breakfast on sunday 

    christopher scheer, ben sullivan, tony pierce

    normally im against such things, but i never get to hang with chris and ben

    i was at CJ’s soul food at 9am on the dot, the fellas were too.

    we sat in a booth in the back and discussed all the good things three bachelors would:

    motorboats, journalism, jeff solomon.

    as i drove home i realized that even though we chatted for two hours, we never talked about sports

    even though we all love sports.

    for some reason i considered that a backhanded success.

  8. Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    when i got back from chicago the xbi had destroyed my apartment 

    10320523_10152713911683057_3237534527771076360_nthe internet doesnt work, my tv doesnt work

    they took the wires out of my house and patched up the holes but im pretty sure they just reinstalled new bugs and video cameras.

    it was a little stressy but fortunately i had an appointment to meet with this years editors of the UCSB Daily Nexus

    so i drove up to Isla Vista and i thought, why don’t i do this more often? it’s so close. and pretty.

    we talked for an hour. i was hyper. i always get charged up when im around them.

    the Nexus is only a weekly now, which makes me sad, but maybe they will focus more on digital and online more

    which are the jobs they will get when they get out of college, lets be honest. the first ones at least.

    walked around the campus. was inspired. a little depressed.

    then drove home. and began cleaning up the xbi mess.

    thinking about going minimalist with my place. started throwing things out.

    i know they want me to move out but i like to do the opposite of what they want.

    last night amber was sweet and spent the night even though i live in a disaster area.

    we had no tv so we just talked to each other.

    like the indians did back in the day.

  9. Friday, July 5, 2013

    jeffrey mcmanus died on the fourth of july, he was my age 

    jeffrey mcmanus

    a former writer and editor at the world famous ucsb daily nexus,

    jeff catapulted to success with big time gigs at Yahoo, eBay and some of his own companies.

    but besides his beautiful wife and children, it seemed that he was most excited about honoring the Nexus.

    he was the biggest organizer of our annual reunions, the man behind dailynexus.org, @DailyNexusAlums,

    and the Daily Nexus Alumns Facebook group whose header shows him doing a shot with the current EIC.

    jeff was always full of life and energy and bad jokes and laughter.

    you may not have agreed with his humor, but his heart was always in the right place.

    just like all of us, he wanted life to be about fun and joy and kicking major ass.

    and now he’s dead because of something to do with his health.

    but mostly because life isn’t fair,

    and death arrives like a thief in the night

    so rock while you can.

  10. Thursday, May 30, 2013

    totally drank with your boy jason ross last night 


    i had about three margaritas and a beer and a taco and im just now mostly recovered


    took the subway and saw a guy get a ticket for not buying a ticket. twas sad.


    i asked Jason where you wanna drink? he said, take me somewhere you love. we went to La Cita and he loved it too.


    after a few there we walked over to seven grand and saw a guy walk from outside to inside and puke. twas gross.973756_10151618133193057_1444231123_n

    not even the artwork wanted to see the literal yuppie scum


    it was nice hanging out with the former nexus editor & chief and walking around DTLA with him


    when i got home i saw this note on the ground and im still trying to figure out how it was used


    decided i need to make some new art


    and maybe get a band formed, as ben suggested

    crazy thing about Jason, he looks exactly the same as he did a zillion years ago

    and is just as funny.


    makes you wanna puke.