Gerard Way ~ Truth, Mystery and Myth

a gerard-ap_cover-dec-09-I always knew that a posting like this was just around the corner for me, as Gerard Way / My Chemical Romance are yet again re~creating themselves.  Their career becomes an interesting journey to follow,  so don’t forget to check out the rest of my articles on MCR via the Category Cloud. Far too many bands these days are extremely predictable in their ‘progress’.  

This will stay as an ongoing ‘project’ I believe, as most of my articles tend to be updated from time to time.. Have posted it today, Friday 18th of January.  So lets  see how far it goes.

I tend to come across brilliant magazine  interviews from time to time, that I simply want to keep ‘stored’ here for other fans to read for perhaps the first time.  As a lot of these Mags’ are not available in Australia anyway..  Also I’ll be tracking down the numerous favorite video interviews,  that I may have seen over the years, which have since ‘vanished’ into one of my you tube playlists..

I swear, if I find the one that was filmed in Japan.. I will be absolutely stunned as it has ‘defied being found’ since I first watched it.  Hence the ‘idea’ to have my website here, devoted in part to collating some of these favorite Moments in MCR’s History.. Which is becoming quite substantial, now into their 2nd decade.. 

Since these articles on Gerard and My Chemical Romance were quite popular.. keep in mind that there will be a great deal more additional information, as the title suggests.  I will add more when I have the time.

Way is of Scottish (father Donald’s side) and Italian (Mother Donna’s side) descent. He first began singing in fourth grade, when he played the part of Peter Pan in a school production of the play. His grandmother Elena Lee Rush (who was known to friends as Helen), taught him to sing and made his costume, including traditional green tights. After this Way “turned his back” on singing, saying, “Well, I don’t want to be this weird singer kid, [I’m] into other things like comics and Iron Maiden”, although he started to play in bands when he was only eleven.  He then decided to pursue graphic arts. Way had always been interested in drawing and comics because his childhood house was a “dark and dingy gothic-looking” place in the town of Belleville, New Jersey

1 Gerard

After graduating from Belleville High School in 1995, he attended School of Visual Arts in New York City graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1999.  As a child, Gerard grew up in a dangerous, crime-ridden neighborhood and  has said that he was never really allowed to play outside when he was younger. Instead, he remained indoors and created his own imaginary worlds in his head. On their childhood garage, where the band started: “Fuck it was dark there.  We had just slivers of sunlight, we were like mole people, me and Mikey.  The neighborhood was kind of dangerous – you get a taste for using your imagination so you don’t have to go outside.”  This led to his love for artwork later in life. Gerard aspired to be a comic book artist (he loved comic books, and his favorite superhero was always Wolverine) before forming My Chemical Romance in 2001. He pitched a cartoon for Cartoon Network called “The Breakfast Monkey”, but it sadly didn’t work out. He has still designed the artwork for the My Chemical Romance albums and used to design merchandise for the band ‘Thursday’

Gerard Performing

The Formation of My Chemical Romance

 As high school ended, the band members were scattered in all different directions in a search to find out what they would become. This left some attending school, while others went instantly into full time jobs. Over the years, the guys stayed in contact with each other. “I was doing animation in New York City, living in my mother’s basement,” states Gerard, “and I was really starting to question the direction of my life. So I called Matt, who’d been asking himself a lot of the same questions. We decided we would get together and play some music.”

My Chemical Romance got started in the early 2000s, when lead singer Gerard Way and drummer Matt Pelissier decided to try writing some songs together. The first tune that Way and Pelissier came up with was called “Skylines and Turnstiles” (a title reflecting the fact that Way had been working in New York City, where he was in the animation field). Way and Pelissier both felt good about the song, and Way asked guitarist Ray Toto if he would be interested in working with them. My Chemical Romance’s five-man lineup was complete when Way, Pelissier, and Toro joined forces with bassist Mikey Way (Gerard Way’s brother) and guitarist Frank Iero. With that lineup in place, the band started playing all around the Northeast Corridor and made plans to begin working on its first album.

After writing a song, and getting together with Matt, Gerard decided it was time to move forward. “The song, ‘Skylines And Turnstiles,’ came out pretty good. So I decided to call Ray, who is the best guitarist I know.”
The three of them spent the next few months in what was considered “a constant state of seeing what would happen.” The result of this was another demo, recorded in an attic in the winter of 2001.

When the September 11 attacks occurred, Gerard was working in the comic industry in New York, and could see the horror occurring at the Twin Towers. This inspired him to “do something with his life”, and he formed the band My Chemical Romance. The song “Skylines and Turnstiles” is the first song ever written by My Chemical Romance, and it is based off of Way’s experience with the 9/11 incident. The band’s name, suggested by Mikey Way, came from a book written by Irvine Welsh, entitled Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. Gerard brought together Ray Toro, Matt Pelissier (later replaced by Bob Bryar), Frank Iero, and his brother Mikey to play gigs along the East Coast. The band soon released its first album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love in 2002 under the at that time obscure New Jersey label Eyeball Records. Music turned out to be an effective means for Way to deal with his longtime battle against depression, alcoholism, and prescription drug abuse, leading to the creation of deeply personal songs such as “Helena”, written after the death of his grandmother, Elena Lee Rush.

“Things started moving rather quickly after that,” explains Gerard. “Mikey heard about what we were up to and wanted to be a part of it. My brother didn’t really know much about being a bassist, but he knew that was what we needed, so he learned to play almost overnight. We are all very impressed.”

After being picked up by the New Jersey independent Eyeball Records, My Chemical Romance marched into a studio in upstate New York to record their debut album in May of 2002. Still feeling incomplete, the band recruited Frank to fill out their sound. Tracking the record in just over two week’s time, My Chemical Romance was all ready to go. What they never saw coming was that their ability to write songs would touch the hearts and souls of nearly everyone they came across.

I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love was released in July of 2003. With this album came an avalanche of interest in the band. Constant regional touring created a fan base that is loyal to no end. The next evolutional step was to expand the touring to a national level. Securing opening spots on high profile tours, they set out in a van for the next 14 months of their lives.

My Chemical Romance did not take these opportunities to appeal to more fans than they expected very lightly. From swaggering to leaping, the band set out to grab people by the throat, scream until they listened, than explode in their face with unprecedented energy and performance that would not be ignored. They have something to say and want you to listen. The cool darkness of Gerard’s lyrics & vocals may leave you to think of Nick Cave, Greg Dulli, or a young Reznor, while the wall of sound behind him will seal the coffin of what was. From “Demolition Lovers” and “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville,” to the big rock of “Headfirst For Halos” and “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” My Chemical Romance really does have something to say. They will prove that in music, is life. And this life is darker than any New Jersey shore could ever be. Just listen for yourself.

“My Chemical Romance is awesome in concert. I’ve seen them three times and all three times they have blown me away. Once they stopped in the middle of a song to tell people if their here to start a fight to get out is just amazing. At one of their shows somebody asked me what was the name of the band playing. If someone goes to a concert not knowing all the bands that are playing, but likes one of them enough to ask a total stranger the name of the band is Incredible. My Chemical Romance has so much energy with their shows and they sound amazing, too. You can tell they have real talent and didn’t have to do much editing on their album to make it sound the way it does. They are great guys too. I met them all and they are very nice and willing to talk to fans even when they are packing up their instruments. I’m a My Chemical Romance fan forever.”

In 2002, Eyeball Records (the New York-based indie that Thursday had recorded for) released My Chemical Romance’s debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. The album was often compared to Thursday — a comparison that, for various reasons, was inevitable and unavoidable. Both bands were from New Jersey, both had recorded for Eyeball, and both combined punk-pop’s musical aggression with introspective, confessional lyrics.

Lyrically, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love is as dark as it is introspective and cathartic; Way has been quoted as saying that the band’s lyrics were a great way for him to deal with the problems he had been going through (which included severe depression and a serious illness in his family). The 2002 release included Way and Pelissier’s first song, “Skylines and Turnstiles,” and many of the album’s other song titles were equally intriguing, including “Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us,” “Drowning Lessons,” “Headfirst for Halos,” “Our Lady of Sorrows,” and “Vampires Will Never Hurt You.” In 2003, My Chemical Romance signed with Reprise/Warner Bros. and released Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge one year later.

Despite his success as a musician, Way has not left his drawing behind: He drew all of the art on the band’s second album, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and has designed merchandise for his and other similar bands. He also has made efforts in order to raise money through his art for causes such as the fight against breast cancer. Other charity funds include working with The Used lead singer Bert McCracken to release a cover of the Queen and David Bowie single Under Pressure, on a Tsunami Relief charity CD.

Gerard talks about his Grandmother ~ Elena

We were really close. She was an artist and taught me pretty much everything I do today — how to sing and paint and how to perform. And she bought the band our first real van, because she just knew it would make me and [bassist/brother] Mikey happy. She spent all this money to get us the van, and we promised to pay her back and then she wouldn’t take the money. So the song (Helena) is about all that and celebrating her. I knew I wanted the video to be a funeral, because I remember so much about when she died. I remember the church service being extremely upsetting. And at the cemetery, we put her in the mausoleum, and when we came outside it was sunny, like everything had changed, and I was like, “Wow, I’m already starting to feel OK about this.”

The Way Bros

MTV: So obviously the video must be extremely personal.

Way: Yeah, I mean, it’s a funeral for a fictitious Helena. My grandmother’s birth name was Elena, but everyone called her Helen. I always thought of her as Helena. The video is very somber and very depressing — it’s about a girl in her 20’s who died young, about a tragic young death. And we kind of knew that only Marc Webb could direct it. Marc has a way of giving you exactly what you want. Like, for “Not Okay,” we said we wanted something that kind of reminded us of “Rushmore,” and he went out and researched what speed of film Wes Anderson shot the film at, and studied a whole bunch of camera angles in the film. For “Helena,” we were on the same page: something beautiful. It was emotional making it, so it was nice that so many of our fans could be a part of it too. Pretty much all the mourners at the funeral were our fans. We put out a call on the Web site, like ‘Be in our video,’ and we got a ton of responses. At the end of the shoot, the production people offered to pay the fans, and I heard they had to fight with [the fans] to take the money. The fans didn’t want to take the money. (More on this story)

In May 2005;

Andy Greenwald at Spin Magazine

Eight or nine years ago, mild-mannered comic-shop clerk Gerard Way couldn’t tell you much about rock’n’roll. Deathly pale, introverted, and adrift in the working-class suburb of Belleville, New Jersey (about ten miles west of Manhattan), he could, however, speak at length about role-playing games, horror flicks, and numbing monotony. Oh, and superheroes, of course. You see, Way has always known that the most essential element of any good superhero is a killer origin story.

Though not quite as cinematic as getting bitten by a radioactive spider, the transformation of  Gerard Way, 28, into a snarling, self-proclaimed rock’n’roll savior is still remarkable. Like many life changing stories of the 21st century, it all began on September 11, 2001. On that clear-blue-sky day, Way-who had graduated from New York’s School of Visual Arts to a sunlight-free existence drawing in his mom’s basement-was coming into Manhattan, unaware of the tragedy. “Something just clicked in my head that morning,” he says. “I literally said to myself, ‘Fuck art. I’ve gotta get out of the basement. I’ve gotta seethe world. I’ve gotta make a difference!'”

Inspired by the uplifting screamo anthems of fellow Garden Staters Thursday, Way had been playing guitar and trying to write songs in his room; he had dreams of starting a band named My Chemical Romance (after Irvine Welsh’s book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance). But unlike Thursday’s Geoff Rickly-who would help sign My Chem to indie label Eyeball Records-Way had no desire to sing about his mundane circumstances or surroundings. He wanted to inspire a movement and recast his fortress of solitude as a teeming, limitless Metropolis. His songs wrapped the anthemic community spirit of emo in the personal mythology of  70’s art rock and 90’s Brit pop. The world may have seen Way as a shy, failed comic artist, but in his head and in his songs, he was a vampire, a death-dealing badass, a lover, a fighter. He was a super hero. All he needed was a super team.

He recruited guitarist Ray Toro, 27, a film student from the neighborhood who grew up perfecting Joe Satriani and Led Zeppelin riffs on nights when his mother wouldn’t let him out of the house. Then came Way’s younger brother, Mikey, 24, a waifish Anglophile rock scenester and part-time college student who worked in a bookstore and could barely play his bass. Guitarist Frank Iero, 23, a tattooed punk who had suffered through a sickly childhood, was adopted by My Chem after his own group,Pencey Prep, dissolved. And last year, drummer Bob Bryar, a former soundman for the Used, joined after the band parted ways with original member Matt Pelissier.

On paper no one would mistake these motley Jersey kids with thick accents and scattered interests for rock stars-and no one would ever confuse them with sexy X-Men-like world conquerors, either. They flailed at the beginning. For their very first show, Gerard lathered his face with greasepaint and screamed curses at the crowd, Mikey drank heavily to mask his stage fright, and Toro soloed like he was in a Metallica tribute act. But Gerard saw potential-after all, his favorite comic-book team had always been the Doom Patrol, those bickering, suicidal misfits who succeeded despite being shunned by the outside world.

“We always had a vision,but we weren’t sure if it would translate or just come off as pretentious,” says Mikey. “We were playing basements, and Gerard would be like straight-up Ziggy Stardust. Kids would be horrified.”

A Kerrang Interview with Gerard and Mikey, from mid 2011

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Band members don’t get much closer than My Chemical Romance’s Gerard and Mikey Way. Hardly surprising, given everything the bros have been through together…
“If my brother hadn’t been in this band when I started it, I don’t know if I’d have got through it all.” Gerard Way is looking across the table at his brother Mikey and talking about how important their family connection is.
“He’s my best friend and he understands me like nobody else on earth,” replies Mikey.
They’re an odd pair, in some ways. If you didn’t know they were related, you might not initially guess. While some siblings wear their shared DNA in clear physical features, you have to peer closely to see the similarities between Gerard and Mikey.
But, look hard enough, and there they are: something around the eyes, a little about the mouth, mannerisms they both adopt and then, of course, there’s that broad New Jersey accent.
It is, though, not so much the way they talk as what they talk about that makes their family connection clear. With private jokes, remember whens and wow, I forgot thats, they reveal the moments that forged their bond: long car journeys sharing a Walkman, hours alone at home, musical tastes that developed a tandem, and lives that are intertwined with shared experience.
Three years younger, it was Mikey who first fanned the band flames when he took his brother to watch Smashing Pumpkins play at Madison Square Garden. And it was Gerard who took that inspiration and ran with it, eventually creating My Chemical Romance from the experience he had that day.
And since then, their paths have remained shared: music, ideas, drink and drug addiction, depression, celebration, sobriety and much more. And, today, they’re in the mood to talk about it.

CHILDHOOD
GERARD: “We wrestled a lot as kids but we didn’t fight. In fact, come to think of it, there was a lot of wrestling…”
MIKEY: “We watched a lot of WWF wrestling and copied that.”
GERARD: “We were pretty close – that’s probably why we still are now. “We brought each other up in certain ways: creatively and emotionally. We were very solitary together, if you see what I mean. We would entertain each other or talk nonsense for hours. That’s why we have such a dialogue today: we know what each other are thinking, what we’re going to say and we still enjoy it.”

MUSIC
MIKEY: “We were always into the same stuff. We both love Britpop and we used to listen to [Blur’s] Parklife together, reading all the Liam Gallagher vs Damon Albarn stuff in the music press. We discovered it all together through a friend.”
GERARD: “That friend gave me a cassette of the Best Of The Smiths once before we were going on a family holiday to Virginia. Those tapes saved our lives on that drive. Mikey and I would sit there in the back of the car, with one Walkman earpiece each, sharing The Smiths.”

SMASHING PUMPKINS
MIKEY: “We got super into The Smiths and then, after that, we got into the Smashing Pumpkins. We played hooky from school one day and took the subway to Madison Square Garden to watch them. That was the show that changed everything for us.”
GERARD: “Mikey bought me the ticket and so we hopped on a train. That was the show that started it all for this band. It got rid of that punk trap of ‘keep it real’. That one show taught us that you could play a huge fucking rock show and still have integrity.”

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS
GERARD: “That was a nickname we had for a time. It was probably because we had a really bad drug problem together.”
MIKEY: “We used to drink a lot and we used to do some drugs. It was the means to an end:  it was a way of getting from city to city. You had to build yourself up and then shut yourself off again. We got into a bad routine. I missed home and I was petrified to play, so I would get intoxicated. Then I had to find a way to wind down, so I’d take something to make that happen. Sometimes the drugs were like installing a shut-off switch in the back of my neck.”
GERARD: “The crazy thing is that it’s the same thing that killed Michael Jackson: he had to be put to sleep by one drug, then he had to be woken up by another. That’s what everyone in bands is doing; they’re just doing a cheaper, low-level version of it.”
MIKEY: “But we both broke it in the end. You see the damage it’s doing to you and the changes it’s making to you. Also, people I knew started to drop dead from mixing things and that’s a wake-up call. It’s only a matter of time before it happens to you – if you go to the barbershop enough times, eventually you’re gonna get your haircut.”

WAY SHIT
GERARD: “Are there times the band catch us doing something together and write it off as ‘just some Way shit’? There’s gotta be. We bitch about the same things in unison together.”
MIKEY: “We both hate flying. If you ask the other guys, I bet they would tell you there’s loads of other Way shit.”
GERARD: “We’re always in the lobby half an hour before we need to leave anywhere, having a coffee. We always show up to things at the same time and do the same thing.”
MIKEY: “We’re always super early for things, it’s weird.”

SUPPORT
GERARD: “Mikey’s always got my back. He’s one the most supportive people in my life alongside my wife. Anything I want to do, he’s there for me: from working on a drawing as a kid, to what we do now. And I’ve always tried to be there for him. Knowing there’s somebody out there who has so much trust in what you do is great.”
MIKEY: “There are times you look across the stage, see him, then think back to when you were kids. Back then, we’d joke about it: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if…’. We’d have ideas of what our band would look like, what it would sound like and what it would be like. We formulated fantasies in our heads about this mythical rock band.”
GERARD: “I always saw myself doing something with him and I always will. If we decided we weren’t doing My Chem anymore, I’d still do something with Mikey. I couldn’t not.”

01 Gerard and Mikey

By Gerard: 25th March 2013 from TwitLonger

A Vigil, On Birds and Glass.

I woke up this morning still dreaming, or not fully aware of myself just yet. The sun poked through the windows, touching my face, and then a deep sadness overcame me, immediately, bringing me to life and realization- My Chemical Romance had ended.
I walked downstairs to do the only thing I could think of to regain composure-
I made coffee.
As the drip began, in that kind of silence that only happens in the morning, and being the only one awake, I stepped outside my home, leaving the door open behind me. I looked around and began to breathe. Things looked to be about the same- a beautiful day.
As I turned to step back into the house I heard sound from within, a chirp and a rustle. And I noticed a small brown bird had flown into the library. Naturally, I panicked. I knew I had to see the bird to safety and I knew I had to retain the order of things in our home, and he very well couldn’t take up residency with us. I chased him (still assuming he was a he) into my office, where I have these very large windows.
Just then, and luckily, I heard Lindsey’s footsteps coming down the stairs, and naturally being composed as she is, she grabbed a blanket and stepped into the office. He was impossible to catch, and I began to open the windows, via Lindsey’s direction, only to find out they were screened. The bird began to fly into the glass, over and over and in all different directions.
Smack.
Smack.
Smack!
I heard another set of footsteps, Bandit’s, running down the stairs in anticipation of the new day. Her entrance into the situation caused just the right amount of chaos (she was very excited to meet the bird) and we found ourselves chasing the bird into the living room. Knowing that this where it could potentially get sticky, being the high ceilings and the beams to perch on, I opened the front door as Lindsey did her best to encourage our new friend out the door. After some coaxing, flying, chirping, a wrong turn back into the library and a short goodbye to Bandit, he simply hopped out the front door- taking off on the fifth leap.
We cheered.
I was no longer sad.
I didn’t realize it, but I stopped being sad the minute that bird had come into my life, because there was something that needed doing, a small vessel to aid and an order to keep. I closed the door. I decided to write the letter I always knew I would.

It is often my nature to be abstract, hidden in plain sight, or nowhere at all. I have always felt that the art I have made (alone or with friends) contains all of my intent when executed properly, and thus, no explanation required. It is simply not in my nature to excuse, explain, or justify any action I have taken as a result of thinking it through with a clear head, and in my truth.
I had always felt this situation involving the end of this band would be different, in the eventuality it happened. I would be cryptic in its existence, and open upon its death.

The clearest actions come from truth, not obligation. And the truth of the matter is that I love every one of you.
So, if this finds you well, and sheds some light on anything, or my personal account and feelings on the matter, then it is out of this love, mutual and shared, not duty.
Love.
This was always my intent.

My Chemical Romance: 2001-2013

We were spectacular.
Every show I knew this, every show I felt it with or without external confirmation.
There were some clunkers, sometimes our secondhand gear broke, sometimes I had no voice- we were still great. It is this belief that made us who we were, but also many other things, all of them vital-
And all of the things that made us great were the very things that were going to end us-

Fiction. Friction. Creation. Destruction. Opposition. Aggression. Ambition. Heart. Hate. Courage. Spite. Beauty. Desperation. LOVE. Fear. Glamour. Weakness. Hope.

Fatalism.

That last one is very important. My Chemical Romance had, built within its core, a fail-safe. A doomsday device, should certain events occur or cease occurring, would detonate. I shared knowledge of this “flaw” within weeks of its inception.
Personally, I embraced it because, again, it made us perfect. A perfect machine, beautiful, yet self aware of it’s system. Under directive to terminate before it becomes compromised. To protect the idea- at all costs. This probably sounds like something ripped from the pages of a four-color comic book, and that’s the point.
No compromise. No surrender. No fucking shit.

To me that’s rock and roll. And I believe in rock and roll.

I wasn’t shy about who I said this to, not the press, or a fan, or a relative. It’s in the lyrics, it’s in the banter. I often watched the journalists snicker at mention of it, assuming I was being sensational or melodramatic (in their defense I was most likely dressed as an apocalyptic marching-band leader with a tear-away hospital gown and a face covered in expressionist paint, so fair enough).
I’m still not sure if the mechanism worked correctly, because it wasn’t a bang but a much slower process. But still the same result, and still for the same reason-

When it’s time, we stop.

It is important to understand that for us, the opinion on whether or not it is in fact time does not transmit from the audience. Again, this is to protect the idea for the benefit of the audience. Many a band have waited for external confirmation that it is time to hang it up, via ticket sales, chart positioning, boos and bottles of urine- input that holds no sway for us, and often too late when it comes anyway.

You should know it in your being, if you listen to the truth inside you. And voice inside became louder than the music.

<At this point, I take a break to receive a visit from old friends, all of which were instrumental in some way to the beginnings of the band. We talk about the old days, and we talk about music, we talk about new things. We laugh and drink diet soda. We say goodbyes, I go to bed, to resume my letter in the morning, which is->

Now-
There are many reasons My Chemical Romance ended. The triggerman is unimportant, as was always the messengers- but the message, again as always, is the important thing. But to reiterate, this is my account, my reasons and my feelings. And I can assure you there was no divorce, argument, failure, accident, villain, or knife in the back that caused this, again this was no one’s fault, and it had been quietly in the works, whether we knew it or not, long before any sensationalism, scandal, or rumor.

There wasn’t even a blaze of glory in a hail of bullets…

I am backstage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It is Saturday, May 19th, 2012 and I am pacing behind a massive black curtain that leads to the stage. I feel the breeze from the ocean find its way around me and I look down at my arms, which are covered in fresh gauze due to a losing battle with a heat rash, which had been a mysterious problem in recent months. I am normally not nervous before a show but I am certainly filled with angry butterflies most of the time. This is different- a strange anxiety jetting through me that I can only imagine is the sixth sense one feels before their last moments alive. My pupils have zeroed-out and I have ceased blinking. My body temperature is icy.
We get the cue to hit the stage.

The show is… good. Not great, not bad, just good. The first thing I notice take me by surprise is not the enormous amount of people in front of us but off to my left- the shore and the vastness of the ocean. Much more blue than I remembered as a boy. The sky is just as vibrant. I perform, semi-automatically, and something is wrong.
I am acting. I never act on stage, even when it appears that I am, even when I’m hamming it up or delivering a soliloquy. Suddenly, I have become highly self-aware, almost as if waking from a dream. I began to move faster, more frantic, reckless- trying to shake it off- but all it began to create was silence. The amps, the cheers, all began to fade.

All that what left was the voice inside, and I could hear it clearly. It didn’t have to yell- it whispered, and said to me briefly, plainly, and kindly- what it had to say.

What it said is between me and the voice.

I ignored it, and the following months were full of suffering for me- I hollowed out, stopped listening to music, never picked up a pencil, started slipping into old habits. All of the vibrancy I used to see became de-saturated. Lost. I used to see art or magic in everything, especially the mundane- the ability was buried under wreckage.

Slowly, once I had done enough damage to myself, I began to climb out of the hole. Clean. When I made it out, the only thing left inside was the voice, and for the second time in my life, I no longer ignored it- because it was my own.

There are many roles for all of us to play in this ending. We can be well-wishers, ill-wishers, sympathizers, vilifiers, comedians, rain clouds, victims-

That last one, again, is important. I have never thought myself a victim, nor my comrades, nor the fans- especially not the fans. For us to adopt that role right now would legitimize everything the tabloids have tried to name us. More importantly, it completely misses the point of the band. And then what have we learned?

With honor, integrity, closure, and on no one’s terms but our own- the door closes.

And another opens-

This morning I awoke early. I quickly brushed my teeth, threw on some baggy jeans, and hopped in my car. I gently sped down the 405 through the morning fog to a random parking lot in Palo Verde, where I was to meet a nice gentleman named Norm. He was older, and a self-proclaimed “hippie” but he also had the energy of Sixteen year old in a garage-rock band. The purpose of the meeting was the delivery of an amplifier into my possession. I had recently purchased the amp from him and we both agreed that shipping would jostle the tubes- so he was kind enough to meet me in the middle.
A Fender Princeton Amp from 1965, non reverb. A beautiful little device.

He showed me the finer points, the speaker, the non-grounded plug, the original label and the chalk mark of the man or woman who built it-

“This amp talks.” he said.
I smiled.
We got coffee, talked about gold-foil pickups and life. We sat in the car and played each other music we had made. We parted ways, promising to stay in touch, I drove home.

When I wanted to start My Chemical Romance, I began by sitting in my parent’s basement, picking up an instrument I had long abandoned for the brush- a guitar. It was a 90’s Fender Mexican Stratocaster, Lake Placid Blue, but in my youth I had decided it was too clean and pretty so I beat it up, exposing some of the red paint underneath the blue- the color it was meant to be. Adding a piece of duct tape on the pick guard, it felt acceptable. I plugged this into a baby Crate Amp with built in distortion and began the first chords of Skylines and Turnstiles.

I still have that guitar, and it’s sitting next to The Princeton.
He has a voice, and I would like to hear what it has to say.

In closing, I want to thank every single fan. I have learned from you, maybe more than you think you’ve learned from me. My only regret is that I am awful with names and bad with goodbyes. But I never forget a face, or a feeling- and that is what I have left from all of you.
I feel Love.

I feel love for you, for our crew, our team, and for every single human being I have shared the band and stage with-

Ray. Mikey. Frank. Matt. Bob. James. Todd. Cortez. Tucker. Pete. Michael. Jarrod.

Since I am bad with goodbyes. I refuse to let this be one. But I will leave you with one last thing-

My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die.
It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you.
I always knew that, and I think you did too.

Because it is not a band-
it is an idea.

Love,
Gerard

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2 thoughts on “Gerard Way ~ Truth, Mystery and Myth

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