Sunday, August 29, 2010

What's the true spin on Soundgarden's bassist's living situation?

Keith Andrew (whom I've mentioned before, in relation to Edward Anatolevich Hill) posted something that alerted me to a story about Soundgarden's bass player, Ben Shepherd. The story appeared in SPIN Magazine, and opened with the following teaser:

One guy's homeless, one likes sleeping all day, one's in Pearl Jam, and one's Chris Cornell. Beloved '90s titans Soundgarden are back, but where are they going?

The quote that SPIN, and everyone else, focused on is this one:

After dinner, Shepherd, Thayil, and I cross the street to the bar at the Palace Kitchen. Shepherd buys me a beer, and I ask him where he lives.

"Nowhere," he says. "Literally. I've been sleeping on studio couches and at friends' houses. I'm totally broke." Shepherd is part owner of a bar 15 minutes from here called Hazlewood, but he says he sinks any money from it into the solo album he's been working on since last fall. Six months ago, he split with his girlfriend and moved out of their house. "This is my home now," he says, holding up the sides of his slightly gamey overcoat.

There was a ton of reaction to it...and eventually there was reaction from Ben Shepherd himself:

Ben responds to SPIN
Syndicate content August 24, 2010 - 6:58pm

I feel the banner saying that I am homeless was merely a sensationalizing stunt done by workers at SPIN magazine to sell their story, or make it seem more exciting than it actually is. It makes me feel embarrassed for the truly homeless people to be associated at all in any way with the likes of me. I seem to have been lucky, as most of you, in never having to survive day to day (on the streets) anyway.

Furthermore, my friends and family have always been by my side so I have never gone without love, care, food, compassion, and understanding. I would actually like to thank whatever editor that played this hand for helping once again bring to light the subject of the homeless and uncared for human beings of this dangerously bleak world. I humbly ask for whoever reads this to realize we are all in this together, and try to just remember that once in a while and not only at some convenient time.

I in no way refute what was written in the article, I say what I mean with someone else's alphabet, so it is no wonder to me that my blathering can be so easily 'shined up' or misinterpreted to whatever purpose, especially to a stranger who has no idea of my horrible humor, or my delusional ideas. There I was thinking i was on top of the world, doing what i love and GET to do- (music I mean)- sure I've been couch surfing but that's a far cry from the plight of many many millions of good people worldwide. I just don't want our loyal and most badderasser fans to be mislead, or a bad light to be shone upon my family or friends who have helped me and tried to help me get along. It would be wholly unfair of me after all this to not stand up for them. Now feck auf, thanks.


So if we believe Shepherd, either (a) David Peisner or (b) Peisner's editor was either (a) too dim to realize that Shepherd was exaggerating/joking, or (b) knew that Peisner was joshing, but figured that SPIN would sell more copies if the words were taken at face value.

But regardless of how we interpret the spin (or the SPIN), it's undeniable that Shepherd has had some tough times since Soundgarden broke up. But in a way that's understandable. Before I found Ben's side of the story, I had written the following at Keith Andrews' original item:

To be fair to the musicians - and, for that matter, to sports figures - a lot of them reach dizzyingly high levels of fame when they are relatively young - in their early 20s, or even in their late teens. You probably have a better insight on this than I do, but I shudder to think what could have happened to me if by some quirk I had achieved great fame and adulation at age 17, or even age 21.

For the record, Shepherd was approximately 22 years old when he joined Soundgarden, and approximately 29 when Soundgarden broke up. (And no, I don't know how old Keith Andrew was when Dryve came together in 1993.)

And, although I DON'T think this was the band's intent (or SPIN's), but the whole affair does bring publicity to Soundgarden in advance of its forthcoming album.

But forget all that. Here's the video.

But that isn't what you really want to hear. You really want to hear some Edward Anatolevich Hill, don't you?

Although the bass part in Hill's hit is pretty weak.
blog comments powered by Disqus