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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Faces | July 1990

A Day In The Life Of Faith No More

Omaha, Nebraska. Maybe not the most glamorous spot in the world, but to the 20 to 25 Faith No More fans hanging outside the Ranch Bowl, it's home. For the members of Faith No More, it was the last in a series of American dates before a string of European festivals. This particular week marked the one-year anniversary of the release of their third album, The Real Thing, which had just begun to kick in with major radio and video airplay. That's also about the same length of time the band — keyboardist Roddy Bottum, guitarist Jim Martin, vocalist Mike Patton, bassist Billy Gould and drummer Mike Bordin (who, to avoid confusion, will be called by his nickname "Puffy" for the rest of this road report) - has been on the road. And they say there's no end until Christmas.

Back at the hotel, the boys slowly make their way onto the bus for the ride to the concert venue. In keeping with the summer's heat, all are dressed in loose-fitting T-shirts, shorts or jams - except for Jim who appears wearing jeans, boots and a leather jacket. The bus is well kept except for the faint odor from last night's deli-tray, a keepsake from the previous gig in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

It's quickly disposed of before we depart. Quite a far cry from the Filthathon a few of these guys dared a few years back.

“That was between Mike Roddy and Bill," Jim explains. "It was a contest when they were living together. Roddy lived in a closet with all his dirty clothes which he didn't wash for a year. He had a mouse living with him. I went over to their house one time and was afraid to sit down!"

"It's true," grins Puffy, munching on a Ritz cracker as they all laugh. "I had short hair and said 'the hell with it. I'm not gonna wash or comb it, or do anything to it. "

En route to the sound-check, Billy subjects us all to his new CD, Golden Throats, a collection of rock classics from the likes of the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, covered by old-time actors like William Shatner, Sebastian Cabot and Jim Nabors (ask. your parents who they are. kids.) "Bill seems to be into shitty stuff, just 'cause he thinks it's funny, Jim confides later. "Frank Sinatra, Elvis … He amuses himself that way."

One also has to notice the very-cool Red Hot Chili Peppers tour shirt Mike Patton is wearing, despite some rather nasty remarks the Chilis made about him in a British magazine. Something about wanting to shave Mike's head and saw off one of his feet because he acts too much like Chilis vocalist Anthony Kiedis…

"Oh, that," laughs Patton. "That was really funny."

"Maybe when you interview us later, we could say some bad things about them," Bill offers.

That way we can start a press war and get some extra publicity.

The concert venue turns out to be an actual bowling alley with a small club and stage built within. The many fans awaiting FNM's arrival are not permitted in the “bar" wing so the sound-check could run uninterrupted. The band goes through “Epic" twice, with vocals and without, so Patton can get an idea of how the sound is. All wear earplugs (the gross wax-like variety), as they are quite aware of the deafening volume they will be playing.

Afterwards, Roddy, Bill and Mike go for a quick bite the local Warner Bros. Records rep, Bruce, as Jim, Puffy and I dine with the road crew. It's the best time as ever for that inevitable "formal"' interview, an unavoidable task for any band with an album on the edge of gold, a band all over the MTV airwaves, and especially a band whose vocalist is rumored to be leaving .

"The English press were really hot on that," states Puffy. "They had it all set up; we were kicking him out, no, he was quitting, no, we were kicking him out and all this."

"The thing is, they all missed the point, cause Bill is the one that's leaving," Jim deadpans.

He doesn't think he could continue his heroin addiction and the band at the same time. He feels obligated to finish up these dates ..

Come on, Jim, you're lying...

"I'm lying," he retorts.

"That's a hell of a thing to say to a stranger …

Er, moving on to the subject of success, has a hit album changed their views on the music industry? On music in general?

"In my opinion," starts Puffy, "it's bound to in some ways, just because you know that it's not so ideal and a beautiful thing. You find that it's just music, Just people.

Some bands are nice, some bands are not so nice. Some bands can play their instruments onstage and some bands cannot. Some sound better on record … the whole thing like that."

"But it's always been like that," Jim interjects, "for the good bands. But to the bad bands, it's all social success and money. They're just going to do what's fu**in' happening to make fu* *in' money. I feel gipped at that kind of shot. Our chat is often interrupted with cannon-like thunderclaps and bursts of lightning coming through the rain-soaked windows. We learn that a tornado watch has been posted but this does not discourage the 600 or so kids lined-up outside. With a few hours to showtime.

all take advantage of the venue's games: Mike, Puffy, and Jim bowl, happily autographing anything placed in front of them in between frames; Bill takes on all comers at the pinball machines, while Roddy looks as if he's conquering world peace at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game. We best not disturb him.

Minutes before hitting the stage, the quintet is presented with a cake to celebrate The Real Thing's first birth-day. (Betcha know where it ends up!)

Utter chaos explodes as the five musicians walk onstage and break into "From Out Of Nowhere." The four security thugs upfront try to control the crowd from the pit, painfully throwing those who try to stage dive, constantly getting hit by fans punching the air with their fists. As predicted, the cake is thrown to the adoring crowd who return the favor by chucking it back. The band's set is fixed on the latest album; natch, yet there is still room for oldies such as "We Care A Lot" and "Introduce Your-self." Mike slips a bit of a Public Enemy rap into "The Real Thing" while the Nestle's Alpine White Chocolate commercial theme (a FNM tradition in concert) precedes “Surprise You're Dead." And, of course, "Epic" is met with mass hysteria.

They encore with "War Pigs," during which Mike back-flips into the arms of the crowd up front, bringing the show to an unforgettable conclusion.

After the gig, there's more bowling, more pinball and more autographs before heading back to the hotel. It's a late night with much beer consumed despite an early wake-up call to catch an 11 a.m. flight. Bleary-eyed but awake, they all make it 'cept for Jim who's already an hour late; they leave for the airport without him. Yet as the airport shuttle whisked them away, I waved wondering … they still never told me, is Mike leaving, or what?

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