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Boo my pal, wouldya?

Posted: March 31st, 2007, by Simon Minter

At a recent Red Hot Chili Peppers show in Oklahoma, support act Mickey Avalon was BOOED. Shocking. This led to the following message from John Frusciante to the world, and the also following response to it from, er, Mickey’s mom.

Is it fair to complain like this? Or is it diva stardom behaviour gone wild?

From: John
Sent: Mar 13, 2007 5:43 PM

To the Oklahoma audience,
I feel love for everyone who supports my band and our music. I play music to spread light around the world and those who are open to the light we spread are as much a part of our music as we are.

To the few of you who booed my friend Mickey Avalon, I must say that I agree with Flea that you were also booing my band and yourselves. Because in booing another man, in the first place, you show no regard for humanity. And you show that you have no concept of the amount of courage it takes to open up in front of anybody, much less 10,000 people. Because anyone who knows what it feels like to open up to even one person would never attempt to abuse a person who was doing so in front of a crowd. I happen to feel that Mickey is a great rapper, a great performer, and a natural born star. Though all my friends agree with me on this, it is obviously a matter of opinion, as with any artist, and I certainly don’t expect every member of my bands audience to agree with me, especially with such limited exposure to him. But imagine if you were 10 years old and you spent a year putting a play together, and charged 50 cents and you and your friends really decked the place out and worked hard to make it fun to come to, and you knew a five year old dancer who was great and asked her to dance before the play.If some people came and booed her, would you want to perform for them? Would that kind of abuse be what you had in mind when you were working so hard to create an environment where people could have fun, party and be entertained? Anybody who has the guts to get on stage and bear themselves deserves to be respected for having courage. Anyone watching is free to leave or go to the lobby. But by staying, though you don’t like it,and preferring to boo rather than leave, you are showing that you derive pleasure from attempting to hurt others, and that is always the result of dissatisfaction with yourself. Anyone who tries to make others feel bad, in an attempt to feel good themselves, will never feel true happiness as long as they do so. Not to mention, in the case of a great man such as Mickey Avalon, you only make him stronger, because he has actual self-belief, something which cannot be faked. And you who booed gave him the chance to demonstrate that he has that admirable quality. By the way, the Chili Peppers got booed opening for people in the early days, as have many of the all-time greats. Standing up to that shit is part of getting stronger when someone knows they are good, and it is just taking the world longer to catch on. In this sense I thank you for booing because you have served as a steppingstone for a strong performer to get even stronger.

And I also realize that those of you who booed have probably been spoken down to consistently by your parents, your teachers, your bosses, your older siblings, older kids, etc.I know that shit is frustrating and it probably feels good to take it out on someone who has confidence you wish you had. But the truth is we are all here together. One of us is here because all of us are here. If you don’t respect other peoples feelings you can’t expect to ever have others respect your feelings. As long as you attempt to humiliate someone who is opening up to you, you will never have the courage to truly open up to others.

I knew there was a chance that Mickey would get booed by those of you who resent what isn’t familiar, and I also knew that he is of strong enough character to stand up to it, and perform as great as he does in a club in L.A. where people absolutely love and adore him. There is very little I admire more than that ability, which last night he clearly showed he has. A strong sense of self is what we all want, and so we should respect those who have it. Whether we like what they are doing is beside the point. If I see a performer who I think is terrible, my heart bleeds for them. The thought of trying to humiliate them is unthinkable.

I am very grateful to be able to share the music that comes through me and my band with each and every person who attends our shows. It means a great deal to me. But when I see that some members of my audience enjoy hurting others, I must speak up and say what I feel is right. If you are using the arena we all rented together to attempt to hurt a mans feelings, I must use the microphone to get across that that is not why we are gathered there.

Thank you to all of you, including you who booed, and I honestly hope you got something out of the experience. I hope you who booed someday have the beginnings of true confidence, whereby you derive no pleasure from humiliating others, and can then have the courage to open up to the world and be yourself unashamedly.

What we share with music is a celebration of the infinite possibilites the universe has to offer. I love all who share in this celebration with us. I recommend that you use the experience to inspire you to be yourself, and to let it all hang out. What the fuck do you think is so cool about Flea and Anthony in the first place? Or Jimi Hendrix or David Bowie? Or Little Richard? They waved their freak flag high! We should all follow their lead! Have respect for those who do this(whether they’re famous or not)and you will develop the courage to do this yourself. Everyone of you is a star. Its just hiding inside of some of you. That part of you will come out if you treat others as you would like to be treated, and when you can’t find it in yourself to do so,if you just leave others alone.

All of you who we play to have given me so much and I write this in hopes that I can give help to some of you(who were clearly the minority) where you clearly showed yourself to be in need of help. If people try to push you down, don’t conform to their bullshit. Stand up to it, with courage. Make ’em threaten you with death before you even consider backing down. Be how you want to be. Fuck’em. Then you will develop inner character whereby you would always support those who have the guts to be themselves openly, for you would know that you and they are on the same team. We are actually all on the same team but some of us seem to know that and others do not. Thanks especially to the majority of you, who opened up to MA.I know he’s different. It always takes a second for us to comprehend things that are unfamiliar.

Lots of love to all of you. That’s what this is all about.

John Frusciante

PS. I know I don’t know you personally and couldn’t possibly know if you only buy and listen to what your force fed. I was so mad last night, when Fleas mention of MA received some boos, that my words were led by my emotions, and I am not used to verbally speaking to large crowds. I wrote this letter to make my position clear. Thank you for hearing me out.

A Letter of gratitude from Mickey Avalon’s mom

Dear John, Flea, and the rest of the Chilli Peppers

I want to thank you all for showing us a great time in Oklahoma City. Mickey had warned us that he would probably be booed, but the opportunity to open for your band was such a rush that it didn’t matter. Six of us met in Oklahoma for a family re-union. Before the show, John took aside Mickey’s daughter and gave her a private guitar lesson. Joy knows no bounds and the pictures from that experience are priceless.

Mickey gives his all whether it is 2 people or thousands. Oklahoma City is a long way from Hollywood and we were prepared for any negative reactions. We still loved Oklahoma , and his little girl had the best time of her life. She was rocking out to the Chilli Peppers with such unbridled joy that few in a lifetime have an opportunity to witness. You have won a fan for life.

The letter you wrote to your fans was beautiful. The booing we expected. Most of the people never even heard of Mickey Avalon, and he opened with a number that some might not find entertaining. Mickey would, of course much rather have you booing than acting bored. That would be much more painful. He is gifted with being able to focus on the fans that were cheering and for them he was going to give his all. I did however feel bad for the girls dancing. I thought some of those guys booing would at least give it up for them.

I’m glad you wrote about how everyone matters. We are all on the same team. If everyone could understand that, the world would change. And it is true, the people who have been treated disrespectfully, will treat others the same. If every one of your fans would spread that kind of love and start treating themselves more respectfully, they couldn’t help but treat others better.

I know you do a lot to better the condition of mankind. Flea has a conservatory in Echo Park . Every child who has a desire to learn music is given an opportunity. What a gift. I’ll be contributing to that cause in memory of Mickey’s sister, Tanya who lost the war on drugs 5 years ago and died from a heroin overdose. Having a place like the conservatory could inspire children and give them something more interesting to do than get high.

Thanks for everything. We have no bad feelings for Oklahoma . Sometimes people do stupid things because they just don’t know better. They just need to learn. I’m glad you are such a good teacher.

Much love and blessings

Mickey’s Mom

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


2 Responses to Boo my pal, wouldya?

  1. marceline

    Trust John Frusciante to use MS Word and mess up the formatting on diskant. Yet another reason to hate him.

  2. JGRAM

    good for him! lol