By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
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Re: George Fryer's "Hey Mom, I'm a Rock Star" (Feedback, July 23):
As someone who has known both George Fryer and all members of Sugar Ray since at least the early 1980s, I read George's diary of his brief stint with the band with much sadness. To have a set of friends who have "made it" and a friend who wants to make it in the music business can be at the same time fun and upsetting. I am sorry George felt so let down by his, apparently, now ex-friends.
I don't think there was any one incident that set George off, but what I do know is this: George was never invited to be a member of Sugar Ray. He was a backing musician. The band could have hired some recommended studio musician, but they chose a friend instead. The band thought they were doing George a favor by putting him in a position to make contacts and perhaps to take his band, Peace Corp., to the next level. If George didn't feel so bitter about Sugar Ray's success, maybe he would have spent his time trying to make connections rather than worrying about who's on the guest list and how many beers are assigned to what bands.
I would also like to relate some experiences with Sugar Ray. A former co-worker got wind that I knew the band and asked if I could put her and her husband on the complimentary list for the MTV show at Big Bear. I told her I would try but made no guarantees because the band is constantly bombarded by requests. I called drummer Stan Frazier, and he immediately added them to the list. When they got to the show, Stan took the time to introduce them to the band and saw to it that they got all of the beer and soft drinks they could handle.
KROQ's Acoustic Christmas is a whole new ball game. I know this is just about the hardest ticket to get, so I don't even bother asking the band for a pass. And I am sure they appreciate my understanding.
I have also been able to get several friends on the list in other cities. They have all called me, usually the day after the show, to express how surprised they were that the band took the time to meet them and give them backstage passes even though they had never met before.
As far as The Tonight Show With Jay Leno is concerned, let's face it: Sugar Ray worked for years to get on that stage and earned it through countless tours, bad club gigs and the usual grind. To have George get on that stage with them and show off a sticker of his band is pretty pathetic and leaves me wondering if George knows the boundaries of proper respect.
And if George doubts Mark McGrath's dedication to the deceased singer from the band Snot, maybe he should investigate a well-placed tattoo on Mark's arm in his memory, or maybe he missed the show I saw in Washington, D.C., where Mark dedicated a song to him. I don't think he was looking for sympathy.
There are plenty more instances I could rebut in George's diatribe, but why go on? No matter what, there will be those who "make it" and those who don't.—Paul Nordlund, Costa Mesa
Shakespeare hit it dead-on: fortune is outrageous. Does it really matter in the great scheme of things whether some characters that compose a band are (or are not) wankers that gain more recompense for their time than most? Or how much talent they have? George Fryer accepted a job doing what, we assume, he loves. He also would appear to have a supportive wife as an added bonus. Not bad. Count your blessings, George Boy: it could have been you who got mangled on the 405 last week.—Auntie, Laguna Beach George Fryer responds:Kudos to you both for being loyal to your friends. After the overwhelmingly positive response to the story from friends and strangers alike, I was worried there wasn't anyone left in the country whose toes the band hadn't stepped on. Paul, I hope we're still friends, and Auntie, bless you for being positive. YOU'LL LAUGH, YOU'LL CRY
Thank you for the hilarious article "Virtual Pansy Road Game" by Pansy Division (Feedback, July 23). My wife and I were laughing so hard we cried. I had to pass it on to my band mates, since we're setting up our fall tour of the Southwest. As for Pansy Division's humor, I'm checking out their next show.—Doug Metzgar, Dynamo Hum LAMENTING LOCALS
It seems as if the OC Weekly has the most out-of-the-loop musical editorial I have ever read. None of what Rich Kane writes about ever makes any sense. I feel the only thing he does is discredit the music and the people who keep it alive.