Saturday, June 9, 2012

Influences 13: Vincent Crowley

I have been pretty lucky in my life so far. Having gotten the opportunity to meet some amazing people of which I have received some pretty good advice from. Take for example, Bruce Willis, who told me once in a conversation after a chance meeting, “Don’t take things so personal. There will always be supporters and detractors. Some are going to love you and others will despise you.”

Then there is Rick Springfield, who said, “Do what you are compelled to do. What drives you. Everybody has a driving force. Use your frustrations and pain to accentuate that drive.”

And finally, there was Ozzy Osbourne who said, while backstage at an Oz Fest concert, “Mumibula babuubba contricterous nejumjee, hehehe.” - Yeah, I don’t know what he said exactly, but it sounded inspiring at the time. Thanks, Ozzy.

Then there is my long time friend, Vincent Crowley. His influence came from out of friendship more than from his work. I was in the neutral zone where my writing was concerned at the time he and I met. He had already long been accomplished in his world of writing, and music. He and his band, Acheron, had put out over ten albums by the time we met. He had been on many tours, had many interviews, been on TV, radio, you name it.

Of course, not as many may know him here in the states as well as he is known in other parts of the world. (namely, Europe) His brand of music isn’t exactly mainstream. In fact, I never even heard of him until I met him. Had I … I may not have wanted to meet him. He is very intimidating standing over six feet two inches tall. His bald cranium shines like a full moon. (And Mr. Clean) LOL

Still, to meet him after listening to some of his music, you wouldn’t think he would be too intellectual. But he is. He is very knowledgeable in many areas of life. He stands tall on his beliefs. And where people are concerned, many like to “switch” gears in their beliefs, trading them in for new ones that are popular for the times. Not Vinny. He is as true as true gets, and then some.

Even in my position at the time of our meeting, he said something early on to me that I have never forgotten. He said, “All you can do is the work. Once you do it, do whatever it takes to get that work out there to the world. Once you do that, let them decide where your work stands in their society. Your job is to move onto the next project, and don’t worry about it.”

He also said other things that remain with me to this day also. Things like, “Don’t do something for the sake of doing it. Make sure that what you put out there is how you want the people to perceive you as. Stand by your work. Don’t make excuses.” This came about on the heels of a Christina Aguilera interview where she said that what she did early in her career wasn’t the real her. That she was forced to sing those songs and do those videos and present herself in a manner that didn’t exactly mesh with who she really was. My contention was, you signed the deal with the record label, you did so because you wanted to be “famous” and you sold out. Don’t make excuses for what you did. Stand behind it.

Too often, people will do something they don’t want to do all for the sake of the wrong reasons. For fame, fortune, whatever. They sell out. Vincent Crowley never did. Nor shall I. Despite the fact that he showed me a contract he got one time from Geffen Records. They wanted him to sign a deal with them back in the early to mid 90’s. They wanted to make him the next ’Marilyn Manson’. It was million dollar offer. One that 99.9 percent of the population would have signed in a nanosecond. But not Vincent.

Thing is, they wanted him to water down his lyrics. This is simply something that Vincent cannot do. He cannot pretend to be someone he isn’t. He can’t sell out. It didn’t take him long to realize that he did not want to become the next ’Marilyn Manson’, but rather, he wanted to maintain his identity as the one and only Vincent Crowley.

You have to admire character like that. And I do. Stick to what you are all about and never bend for anyone or anything. The moment you sell out and do something you don’t want to do or that isn’t who you are, you lose yourself forever and your career becomes a laughing stock until you’re another ’has been’. To survive in anything and to be known for being a true contributor in whatever you do, you have to remain true to yourself. This is what Vincent taught me. This way, no matter what happens down the road, you will have no regrets. Ever!

Our friendship was based mostly around writing and the Tampa bay Buccaneers football team. At one time, in his more younger days, he worked for Donald trump. And he used to get letters on an almost regular basis from Charles Manson himself, straight from his prison cell. Even though, Vincent never responded back. The man has an interesting history in his travels, more so than my own. We were brought together by the force of the universe and his purpose was that of teaching me the ropes of the music industry and how heartless and cruel it can be, but still, should not be a reason for me not to do what I wanted to do. Which was to write books and songs. It was this kind of encouragement that I lacked by my family and friends at that time in my life. His words motivated me to explore my art and, when all seemed hopeless, to forge through and find a way to get things done.

He is also the inspiration behind my vampire book “The Wolfen Society” which I plan to release next year.

Founded in 1988 by vocalist/bassist/songwriter Vincent Crowley (formerly of Nocturnus, and leader of the satanic youth group "Order of the Evil Eye"), Acheron's musical output is almost exclusively Satanic and anti-Christian in content. Early albums featured interludes by Peter H. Gilmore. Crowley was appointed a priest in the Church of Satan by its founder, Anton Szandor LaVey, and began spending a lot of his time debating local televangelists, limiting Acheron's output for a time. He later disassociated himself from the church to act independently.

In 2003, the band released an album of cover versions, “Tribute To The devil’s Music” including songs originally recorded by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Kreator, and Celtic Frost.

On 04/26/10, Vincent Crowley announced that the band was calling it quits. On December 27, 2010, eight months later, it was announced that Acheron have reunited.

“Acheron” is an American black/death metal band, originally based in Tampa, Florida.

I doubt I would have ever gotten anything published had it not been for me meeting, and becoming very close friends with Vincent Crowley. Proving yet again that the universe works in mysterious ways. It never would have happened either if he (or I) would have been too quick to judge based on appearances alone. They truly are very deceiving. I am proud to call him my friend.

Oh, the stories I could tell you guys of his and my adventures from just hanging out together. LOL

It was Vincent Crowley who told me, "Stop thinking about doing it and just go out and do it."

Source: Vincent Crowley

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