only rage can break the cycle of the bad relationship

this bit is not NEARLY as violent as the title would imply…

…for some reason one of my feeds on friday was topped with the announcement from rage against the machine drummer, brad wilks, that they would be breaking up for the third time. this makes almost one break-up for every time i saw them live back in the 90’s.

but what’s weird is looking up the statement he made it almost six months ago in january.

i saw them live four times, they’ve broken up three. all four times were prior to the first break-up. all four were gratis (i.e. “free”) thanks to various connections (epic records, star tickets, 101x, and my buddy steve garcia, in case you’re curious).

all four break-ups were in the 2000’s. the last time i saw them was on the “battle of los angeles” tour on december 14th, 1999, at the alamodome in san antonio with gangstarr opening. (lest my memory seem scary i knew the tour and venue and googled the rest). i used to get steven star comps and he would reciprocate with ticketmaster seats, and this was a payback for the four i got for his birthday for us to catch the double headliner of lenny kravits and the black crowes.

that was the second time i’d caught rage in san antonio, with the prior one being at sunken gardens back in october of 1996 (again, googled based on venue and band and i went with james courtesy of my former, and his current employer at the time, 101X). in between i’d seen them at southpark meadows in austin with wu-tang clan AND atari teenage riot courtesy of my future employer, star tickets, in september of 1996.

just to round out the list, the first time i saw them i was comped in by their record label because i played so many of their “unplayable” tracks on my uncensored radio show in college back when they were an opening band…

that one i went alone because i found out last minute so i gave my extra ticket away to some skater kid outside the venue who was by himself after helping him stash his board (which i saw him skating down the road after the show so i know we picked a good stash spot!)

for anyone curious, as this all took place twenty-five plus years ago, i just texted steven on his birthday (may 1) and he still texts me on mine. james and i just had lunch last week. pick your friends well and they last.

but back to their break-up…

the first one was zach and the typical differences. then they reformed briefly in the mid-2000’s (i missed those shows but DID get a shirt courtesy of my ex, alexandra and did work one of their shows during their in between incarnation, audioslave) and then came the most recent tour in 2022 where they were supposed to play in el paso with run the jewels, but they cancelled. we had TALKED about breaking my streak and me actually paying to see them as tickets were pretty reasonable when we first looked, but adding in flights to el paso, plus hotel, plus rental car and it got astronomical pretty fast and we bailed. as the tour ultimately cancelled, which would have gotten us a refund on the show but we’d have lost various amounts on the other various costs i am SO glad cooler head prevailed and nik talked me out of that one.

i’m still not sure why the story hit my feed six months after the fact, but i’d actually seen the statement already as i follow brad on insta, and i had pretty much assumed it already because, well, that’s just the way things go. i wonder if this means we’ll get a re-hash of the other in between project, prophets of rage?

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