WTF of the Week: Rivers Cuomo's Change of Heart on Weezer's 'Pinkerton'
Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Let's just start by saying there's probably any number of aspects in Rivers Cuomo's life that would make good fodder for this weekly blog post: His one extended self-imposed celibacy, his choice to live for a stretch in an unfurnished apartment, his decision to put rock stardom on hold to get a degree in English at Harvard.
Yes, Cuomo dances to the beat of a different drum and is by no stretch the typical rock star. But of all the head-scratching quirks of this musically gifted man, his about-face on Weezer's 1995 album Pinkerton is a noodle scratcher. A work of pure inspiration, Cuomo trashed the LP to the media at a time when hard-core Weezer fans heralded it as if it were the next Pet Sounds.
More than 10 years after its release, Weezer will play the entire Pinkerton album beginning to end at the Gibson Amphitheater. So what gives?
The latest: Rolling Stone recently interviewed Cuomo about the upcoming Memories Tour. During the exchange, interviewer Andy Greene cited a quote Cuomo gave about Pinkerton in 2001. "The most painful thing in my life these days is the cult around Pinkerton. It's just a sick album, sick in a diseased sort of way. It's such a source of anxiety because all the fans we have right now have stuck around because of that album. But, honestly, I never want to play those songs again; I never want to hear them again."
Hmmmm. So what you're saying is that hordes of alterna-rockers love you for making a heartfelt album with songs about Japanese fan mail--songs like "Across the Sea" which feature the sweetest, most mournful piano intro followed by an epic, cascading, fuzz-guitar crescendo. But perhaps most confusing, you traded those awe-inspiring jams for songs about Timbaland and Beverly Hills.
Begging the question: Why the change of heart? Has Cuomo decided to stop running from his own legacy like Clint Eastwood in the film Unforgiven? Did he finally snap from incessant fan requests for Pinkerton songs and decide to appease their ravenous ears? Does it have to do with the fact that despite it's initial poor performance sales-wise, the album has garnered both critical and financial gains over the years (It was certified gold in 2001).
Perhaps Cuomo realizes there's lots of money to be made with a tour like this. It doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility when one considers Weezer named it's last album Hurley after recording their album in Costa Mesa at Hurley.
We'll never know the answer. The man is a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma stuffed inside a bottle floating across the sea. And to go to Harvard, you have to be either super smart or super rich. We're guessing he needs the money, and he knows how to get it.
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