“It should have been impossibly difficult, but it was as easy as could be. There was something about him that transcended being a typical fan, because he was a fan of many other musicians as well, we weren’t his primary focus. We were one of several bands and musicians that sparked his imagination in a big way that he had studied, but he had done the same with Frank Zappa and tons of others. The longer I knew him, the more I came to know how deep his wealth of knowledge about music was. He wasn’t alive long enough to learn all that stuff, but he learned it. The transition was we were very obnoxious individuals at that point in our life, just brash, young, stupid, rude, and self-centered.
We were crass little bastards to be honest, later we grew up, and thank goodness people didn’t write us off at that point. But he made it easy, he made it fun, he was such a student of music and arrangements. I just needed to show him the tiniest idea of a song, like I’ve got this verse, I’ve got this little melody, and he’d be like, ‘Great, come in the backyard and let’s finish it.’ Somehow that barrier of him being a fan of the band didn’t exist, it washed away the second we shook hands and went and played.”
“He was young, and beautiful, and talented, and suddenly had a few bucks in his pocket. I think that level of adoration is just difficult for human beings, I don’t think anybody receives a disproportionate amount of adoration and handles it gracefully. It’s awkward, you become too full of yourself, too egotistical, too self-centered, because everybody is flushing you with this attention. There’s no way anybody handles that well. Some people end up dying because of it, like child actors, ‘You’re the greatest thing ever. Oh – you went through puberty, next.’ That’s a hard thing to go through, and I think it was hard for John, I think it affected him in a rough way.
I don’t think he was built for that so much, so things got weird and changed quickly. We did a lot in a short amount of time, and it evaporated quickly, then he came back and we did a lot more. But as far as him being a fan, and us being the band, we were clearly meant to play music together, and to write songs together, and have the weird chaotic experiences that we had. I’ll always be grateful and consider myself so lucky to have met that other person that I can sit down and write music with so effortlessly.”