On Wednesday night, the Rock N Roll Book Club hosted a Small Victories and Faith No More night at the cosy and charming and historic Dublin Castle venue in Camden, London.
Around 50 Faith No More fans turned up for an evening of music and books. First up, Rock N Roll Book Club’s Julie Hamill interviewed Adrian Harte, author of Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More about the book and the band. Julie, herself an esteemed author and an experienced host and presenter, expertly orchestrated the deep dive into the book. The interview was a mixture of short readings, probing questions and humorous insights, culminating in a series of questions from the audience.
The discussion and subsequent book signing by the author was followed by what can only be described as a rip-roaring set by the ultimate Faith No More tribute act, Faith No Man. Opening their set with a Faith No More-ified version of “Paperback Writer”, the band got the crowd onto their feet and rocking with a hits-laden set that was eerily reminiscent of Faith No More themselves. Indeed, if you closed your eyes, one could almost imagine that they were The Real Thing.
Thanks to a wonderful concept, the best possible venue, an enthusiastic audience, a brilliant band, an accomplished host, tuned-in staff, and a grateful author, the night was a huge success.
I would like to thank to Julie (and Tony) from the Rock N Roll Book Club, Bugbear, Dublin Castle, Troy, the two Matts, Steve and all of Faith No Man (go see this band!), Tom from Jawbone Press, Darrell, Nessie, Allen, Matt, Jimmy and everyone who attended.
Chuck Mosley passed away on 9 November 2017 at the age of just 57.
Chuck was the voice of Faith No More for most of the 1980s, and on their first two albums, and in many ways the personification of the the raw, untamed and brash band spirit of that era. Embed from Getty Images
The band summed up their loss and his contribution with a poignant tribute last year:
It’s with a heavy, heavy heart we acknowledge the passing of our friend and bandmate, Chuck Mosley. He was a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction and helped set us on a track of uniqueness and originality that would not have developed the way it had had he not been a part. How fortunate we are to have been able to perform with him last year in a reunion style when we re-released our very first record. His enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his style and his bravado will be missed by so many. We were a family, an odd and dysfunctional family, and we’ll be forever grateful for the time we shared with Chuck.
In writing the Faith No More biography, Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More, I was keen to make sure Chuck’s contribution was placed in its correct context.
Here are some extra quotes not used in the final version of the book that further help in this regard.
Paul Wims [who played with Chuck and Bill Gould in The Animated]:
“Chuck Mosely was classically trained. He was an excellent keyboard and piano player. Chuck composed classical pieces when he as around ten years old. Chuck was also a very good song writer and wrote songs with intricate chord changes.”
“I believe he was really, really talented. I think without Chuck, we wouldn’t have had a Faith No More. I think he established the essential boiler plate. Chuck had a genuine attitude. He had the attitude coming from a place of a feeling of lacking: like he couldn’t really step up to the plate. He was really propelled by this sense of “I’m not good enough to do this.””
“He was really close to me on tour, we had a sense of humour together. We found the same things funny. That’s a hard thing to lose. Laughing through it was always helpful.”
“There’s an authenticity about Chuck. He wasn’t faking his dysfunction. He had this kind of cigarette grit to him that you can’t fake. And when he was on, he was on … I mean, we did a lot of shows with him, and half the shows we did, especially in places that didn’t matter, he was a great front person.”
Rock in peace. Rest in power.
(This perfect tribute video was put together by Jim and Faith No More Followers last year)
Tobias/Cardinal/Papa has previously kept his Faith No More admiration close to his chest. However, in an interview with The Quietusin 2013 in which he gave a track-by-track commentary on the band’s covers EP If You Have Ghost, recorded and produced by Dave Grohl, he said of opening track, Abba cover ‘I’m A Marionette’:
“Let’s face it, ABBA are an important part of pop culture everywhere, and in Sweden they completely overshadow everyone else. I grew up liking them for sure, but we didn’t choose to cover this song because it was written and recorded by Abba, we just wanted to do this particular track – it works well with the concept of Ghost.
“Plus, we felt we could rebuild it in a more percussive way – you could say we put a Faith No More angle on the track, and because of this approach, it made sense for Dave to lay down the drums. Obviously, we wanted him to be able to shine – it made more sense for him to play on a track like this than, say, an AC/DC song with a much straighter rhythm.”
In association with the brilliant Rock N’ Roll Book Club, I’ll be holding an official UK launch and signing for Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More on Wednesday, 14 November in the iconic Dublin Castle venue in Camden, London.
Despite now being eligible for the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame since 2010, Faith No More were once again overlooked when the 2018 nominees were announced earlier this week.
In 2017, Mike Patton responded to a query about the Hall of Fame from Full Metal Jackie (via Loudwire): “I have no clue. I don’t know. If that happens, wonderful, if not, fine. It never crossed my mind until you just said it. I mean, we’re old enough I guess, right?”
A website dedicated to tracking Hall of Fame eligibility previously predictedthat FNM would be inducted in 2018.
Mike Patton to play David Lynch festival this weekend
Mike Patton will perform with Q-Bert at David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption this Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles. Last month, Patton told Rolling Stone that their performance for Disruption will be a “Lynch-heavy” set, including re-imaginations of some of the director’s iconic, melancholy themes.
“When we played together, before, basically, it’s just been mostly improvised sort of stuff. So, I let him do his thing, I do my thing and then somehow we meet in the middle. For this one, might be a little different just ’cause I think it’s … scripted.”
Roddy Bottum film trailer
You can now watch Roddy in the trailer for his film-acting debut, Tyrel (via FNM Followers). The film is released in the US on 5 December.
Roddy previously told us: “I just finished two weeks shooting a film called Tyrel by director Sebastian Silva. He’s a good friend of mine and asked me to be in his new movie. It is sort of an ensemble piece about a group of guys that go on a birthday weekend trip up to the Catskills in a cabin. Michael Cera, Caleb Landry Jones [Get Out], Jason Mitchell [Straight Outta Compton] and Chris Abbott also star.”
Introduce Yourself in Albums of the 1987 list
Good to see the often overlooked and criminally under-rated Introduce Yourself included in Loud Than Sound/Metal Hammer’s albums of 1987 feature. They say: “Making their major-label debut, Faith No More stamped their brand of funk rock firmly on an unsuspecting audience. Although it’s the last record to feature the vocal talents of Chuck Mosley’s vocals, you can hear where the FNM sound is heading with Big Jim Martin’s guitar pushed firmly to the fore.
The Mike Patton Bootlegs YouTube account has been posting some excellent 1989 and 1990 audio offerings over the past month or so. I know someone you would have loved to have had this at his disposal this time last year when he was researching a book…
Bill Gould and MC50
Bill Gould is enjoying a very short break at the minute before the MC50 tour resumes. The shows have been earning rave reviews and have attracted some great guest performers.
Here’s Bill, Wayne Kramer and co with Duff McKagan in Los Angeles.
The Quietus and the Irish Independent both gave Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More feature reviews last Saturday.
The book was selected as Pick of the Week by the Irish Independent. Their review stated that “this detailed study of their life and times felt like the opening of a brand new musical world”.
The article adds: “There’s plenty for Faith No More devotees and newcomers to get their teeth into. And as with any good music book, you find yourself wanting to discover more about a band whose music has largely defied categorisation.”
Meanwhile, Jeremy Allen in The Quietus, arguably the best music and culture website in the world, said that “Harte has a beautiful turn of phrase, and he’s not afraid to throw in a bit of Hericlitian analysis or namedrop Adorno without sounding too much like a bellend. The text kicks in with a neat coffee metaphor and ends on some tantalising possibilities, and in between there’s pretty much everything you could ever possibly hope to know about Faith No More within its pages.”
The review also states: “Beautifully captures the bellicosity, the vitality, the surreptitious virtuosity and the inveterate internal hostility that permeated Faith No More.”
Meanwhile, Douglas Esper in the Domain Clevelandsaid: “Adrian Harte has given us the best glimpse of the true band, zits and all” and called the book “the inside look at one of the most interesting rock bands ever.”
Christopher Owens in the Pensive Quill said: “What Harte does brilliantly is convey just what misfits the band were in their own scenes.”
Leading French rock writer Christophe Darras called the book “the bio of the year” in his extensive review. He wrote: “Small Victories, no doubt the result of meticulous and titanic work, is as gripping as a novel and reads like a thriller.”
Here’s a round-up of the latest book reviews for Small Victories
Reviews of Small Victories
Classic Rock magazine
“Harte’s eye for detail coupled with bullseye analysis and a breezy prose style illuminates the band’s dramatic and chaotic trajectory with authoritative calm…Moreish quotes and anecdotes further sugar the ride, and ultimately steer the book into the category marked “Essential”.”
Planet Rock magazine (UK)
“Genuinely insightful, Harte’s focus on the quintet’s punk attitude and thrillingly eclectic, forward-thinking music does a great service to both.”
“Harte’s work probes every cranny and crevice with the zeal of a hungry aye-aye looking for grubs…Small Victories delivers the goods on musical insights and in-fights.”
“A fascinating insight into one of the greatest bands ever to capture – and perhaps fracture – the public imagination.”
“Harte’s prose manages to describe the music as well as the delicate and challenging writing process that brought five very different egos together to create the quintessential Faith No More sound. Despite the band’s penchant for pissing off audiences (and each other), Harte recounts just how driven the band were for success and how that drive often conflicted with their need to be artistically true to themselves. Where a band like the Replacements acted out to satisfy some deep-seated need to sabotage themselves, Harte asserts Faith No More acted out to stave off boredom.”
“Small Victories is a joy to read. Faith No More has an impossibly complex history and a habit of deliberately obfuscating the truth, and Harte has managed to streamline all of it into a cohesive and compelling narrative.”
“Harte’s narrative is so engaging, one does not want the band’s tale to end. For the Faith No More enthusiast, there is much to dig into here. But perhaps more tellingly and to the book’s great credit, even the Faith No More newbie will be entranced and enrapt by the tale.”
“Adrian Harte’s extraordinarily dense biography presents a strong case for the band’s multfacetedness…A notoriously volatile group of individuals, each member is portrayed as both flawed and virtuous; in other words, human. This tells a story their well documented public snipes at one another cannot. There’s some acute analysis from Harte regarding Mike Patton.”
“Harte, the curator behind Faith No More 2.0, infuses a collection of interviews with band members, managers, and key figures. These first-hand testimonies are cunningly interwoven with an empirical narrative that serves as an encyclopedia for every triumph and struggle the band has faced.”
“Small Victories answers all of your burning questions along with insight even the most faithful FNM devotee may not know. Where did Mike Bordin get the nickname “Puffy”? How does Cliff Burton fit into all of this madness? Was Courtney Love actually a one-time FNM vocalist? Did the band really reach out to Chris Cornell when Chuck Mosley was ousted?
“The most comprehensive Faith No More book you’ll ever get your hands on, hands down, and a must own for fans of the band or of the evolution of rock music.”