“Doesn’t it just break your heart… I mean, you want to make it. I mean really, really make it. But let’s see – how many people come to NYC every week, trying to be rock stars? 100 easy. They’re pouring off the buses at Port Authority. 100 a week, that’s 5,000 a year. Another 5,000 go out to LA, another 5 kick around Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, working it there, that’s 15,000 a year? Shit, that’s conservative – it’s probably more like 50,000…
My point is… how many are going to make it? 45,000 a year never get anywhere. They never get a break, they knock up some girl, take a job driving some bakery truck – maybe 4,000 become professional musicians playing a hotel lounge near some airport. The cream, the top 1,000 get to be in a Zeppelin tribute band, make middle class money, or be 18th runner up on American Idle – but to really make a name, to be a star: maybe 10. 10 people yearly. Worldwide. 10 people out of 50,000 make it. Jonah. You think you’re going to be one of them?”
Jonah Gunn: “I don’t know. I’m not sure… I mean, I’m used to being a winner, you know, from playing sports and shit, but this is grown up life… like, I know Im good, but I guess at this point I just don’t think about that. I’m just following my interests, exploring what I love so life can be bearable. Maybe I’d kill to progress, depends on the circumstance. I ain’t gonna wind up playing no hotels, or in no Kiss cover band or whatever, but I’m not gonna turn my back on MY DREAMS. My dreams, they are me.”
Music by Zambia Greene
Produced by Mod Alien, Zambia Greene, Rey Miranda
Recorded by Mod Alien, Jacob Johnson, Edward Rawls and Jim McKell
Mixed by John Agnello and Francisco Botero
Mastered by Steve Fallone
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Facing a decision that will effect everyone he loves most, Peter Palermo must choose between doing the right thing, and following his life’s dream.
RBG Issue 2 has been a tremendous effort from all those involved. We tried to challenge ourselves, and push the story and artwork to unexpected places. It may not be perfect, but neither are our characters. We feel it’s a good read and the artwork top-notch.
Issue 2 is now available on the ComicsPlus app from iVerse Media.
Writer: Rey Miranda
Artists: Meredith McClaren, Irene Strychalski
Cover: Irene Strychalski, Tone Ellis
Several years ago I had left the big, important relationship of my life up to that point, my band. Toward the end we were a traveling band, and my friend Rey Miranda used to travel with us sometimes, whenever he could, taking pictures, hanging out. So he knew those guys, he knew the music around us at that time, and he knew something of my relationship to my band and that life. That lifestyle.
When I attempted to put together a new band a few years later, I had asked Rey for suggestions on a band name. He had just returned from a family trip to the Philippines, and he offered, without hesitation, “Run By The Gun.”
“Jesus,” I remember saying, “that’s like the greatest band name I’ve ever heard! Why do you just have that name living at the edge of your finger-tips like that?”
“That’s life, man,” he said. “motherfuckers are living under the gun out here – most everywhere in the world but here. The majority of earth’s population since the beginning of life on this rock. You want to tap into that. Holiday in Cambodia. Sunday, Bloody Sunday. You can’t use either of those…”
“Damn,” I said admiringly. Then he bah-ed out that infuriating Hunter Thompson-esque laugh of his that always seemed to say to me, ‘Bitch, I know everything, don’t ask for explanations. You don’t need that. Take what I’m giving…”
Well, I never used that name for a band. But when it came time for Rey and I to get started on this project, after years of nebulous threatening, for me there was never any question. Run By The Gun. It was perfect. Sure, these kids would never know the endless pressure or fear of daily life at the business end of a fine German weapon procured by a government spook from a disappeared military delivery – they’d never even feel a real hunger pang. And that was what made it work, for me. Our privileged North American lives, spurred on, in those days, by the camaraderie of our New York / Eastcoast hardcore scene, punk and metal, though not quite pretending, and not intentionally disrespectfully appropriating the real suffering of others, or even likening ourselves to those who were actually suffering from birth to the all to early grave – were about simply, naturally testing ourselves. Expressing ourselves and pushing the boundaries of what we’d been told we could question. We weren’t stupid (most of us), we came from middle class homes and went to good schools, but we were fucking angry. What the fuck could we possibly have to be angry about. The normal angst and alienation, separation and status within multiple unattractive systems of control. We were angry about shit we couldn’t prove we had a right to be angry about. Which is even more laden with frustration. and there’s the Spinal Tapian grip:
The best way to honor, glorify, spoof and pay tribute to the ghost-pain that had shaped us was through the world over’s most classic satirical vehicles: comic books and punk rock music.
Anyway, we’ve been at this for a few years now, and I have to say I really am beginning to love our characters. They’re mostly clueless, but they come by it honestly. They’re people, just like us, and they’re trying. Trying to understand, trying to figure it all out, they’re in the midst of setting lofty goals for their young selves while grappling with the urgencies of real life and important questions. Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?
It’s that last one that’s the doozy. If you’ve ever asked yourself the same question – if you love music and you believe in the power of art and love to shape lives, to help you answer those big, big questions, then you’re in the right place. Listen, laugh, don’t judge, and challenge yourself to see if you can’t find even a little bit of yourself in these young characters looking for their way in a world that’s given them TOO MUCH FUCKING FREEDOM. They may not live under the gun, but is being left to their own devices any better? Who, in the end, can truly say.
We hope you enjoy the music of Run By The Gun.