michael's communiqué #20|
My Favorite is History
Friends, fans & colleagues,
This correspondence is to announce the end of a pop group.
Andrea Vaughn has left My Favorite.
And thus, by all rights, that chapter should be closed.
"With Love Despite Fierce Resistance"
That is a long time for dancers to hold a pose, in the illumination of golden lights, in the wilderness of feedback. It is also more or less my whole life post junior prom. It shall take some getting used to.
The whole unbelievable truth will perhaps be revealed someday in the form of book either I, or a couple others, might threaten to write. Or perhaps it will stay where it's always been—just beneath the surface of the stormy waters, swimming towards Atlantis.
After more than a decade of making music and memories together, life suggests (or demands) changes. And in the cracks that faith won't fill, fractures will occur. You can't build palaces upon rubble. Few things live forever. And that which does—never dies. Thus mourn judiciously, and celebrate what you can.
We end this band the way most great cult bands end, with a combination of frustration and regret, pride and fulfillment. But mostly we part as friends, and brethren.
I have had the great fortune to have my songs come to life alongside some remarkably talented and dedicated musicians and people, who fought the good fight alongside me with great passion. Lads with the remarkable ability to find a link to my haunted imagination, in their own. My Favorite was truly the golden chain we all formed together. You have not seen the last fruits of that collaboration.
Andrea gave me and our music nearly half her life. She gave this band her labor & her love. She was a uniquely talented artist, the kind of popstar Jane Austen would have created. She gave my words a courageous vulnerability, and a kind of dignity, which no one will ever be able to rid them of. I will be indebted to her personally and artistically for all we shared, in so many different ways.
She was the Anna Karina to my Jean-Luc Godard, the poetry in my Alphaville.
We wish her nothing but happiness.
That leaves us with a partially recorded could-be masterpiece, one that never truly felt much like a My Favorite record to me in the end anyway. It is also an album which Andrea ended up not recording very much for. An unfinished novel missing a main character.
During the last two years of this band's shaky solidarity, I began to plan—sadly—for this moment. I wrote the name of an imaginary band called The Secret History in the margins of my New York Times. I thought of what I would do, what I could do, if I had to start again. In the next couple months, this will all begin to take shape; a new project, old faces, a new website and diary, a resurrection of the record, a search for a new Nico, a crime to end all crimes. The last battle.
You will hear more about all this soon...I promise. But what is definite now, is that there is no more My Favorite. There couldn't be for me (and probably for you) without Andi.
The last "performance" by My Favorite was during an episode of the CBS soap opera 'The Bold & The Beautiful' which aired at the end of August: windows | quicktime
It was a hilarious, yet strangely affecting thing for me to watch; the ghost of a teenage bride swirling about on stage. The audience clapping like we were giving some kind of metaphysical encore. The one line of dialogue: "Maybe there will be a miracle today." In fiction, we get happy endings. In life we ask only for second chances. For a band that truly was a soap opera, well the good lord's sense of humor, and empathy, never ceases to amaze.
To all of you: The true BOLD and BEAUTIFUL
To all of you who have cared about My Favorite for any part of the decade plus since we crawled out of the toxic waste of Long Island together—I thank you from the bottom of my heart. From Peter Green to a shy pop kid in Sweden; it took every one of you to make us what we were.
There were amazing moments. Too many to number or describe. Someday I'll get around to doing it.
Speaking on behalf of the band, I know the whole gang deeply appreciated all that we have shared together, and all the support that we have received over the years from the aforementioned friends, fans and colleagues. No matter what personal or professional frustrations or heartbreaks we endured, there was always an email or letter waiting to inspire us when we got home, a story about how we were part of the soundtrack of your lives, and how we gave you strength and comfort. I hope you realize that YOU did the same for us. Very few people, who pick up a microphone in their parents' garage, get to be told that they are in a band that profoundly MATTERS by a few thousand of the smartest, best looking people in the world. As much as the music industry marginalized us, YOU championed us, and given the choice...I would choose YOU a million times in a row. You are My Favorite, and I believe in...well...you.
Speaking on behalf of myself, my life has been truly changed, and blessed, by those of you who walked in that downpour of grey glitter alongside me. With a song in our hearts (or headphones), we never walked alone. Thank you dears.
When I started down this road, all those years ago... a tender teenager in horn rimmed glasses and a second hand Fred Perry, surrounded by misfits and prophets, glue sniffers and geniuses... all I hoped to do was share something of the urgent loveliness and sadness of our lives, surrounded as we were by a plainness of architecture, and ugliness of spirit which defined the suburbs, and (sadly) much of America itself. There was almost something glamorous in defying it, in defining it, as we did. I was consumed with being that dark star, that obscure saint. I wanted to make an art that was as rainy and lush and real and spectral as the coastal towns that comforted us at twilight. I wanted to be a sword swallower, and nostalgia was to be my sword. I wanted to do something courageous.
Sadly it was always much easier for me to do that in my art, than in my life. But I'm working on that. If I had known then, just how much loveliness and sadness this band would bring to me personally, I don't think I would have believed it. And I'm not sure I would have ever stepped on a stage. But I did, and I had company. We were glorious failures. But we were glorious.
So that's that. Sitting here on a park bench underneath the elevated subway line, in horn rimmed glasses and a Fred Perry, the world appears to me still a divine creation; a place of great turmoil, and great possibility. A place where each cross we bear brings us closer to that which is unbreakable within us. I hope I've earned enough of your trust that you will follow me to what comes next. If I've learned anything from all this, it is that one should never hold back, or be frightened of, that which is in one's heart. Die with your boots on. Live with your boots on. The spaces around us are our sacred battlefield. Strike boldly, but strike only for Love. That's what The Secret History will be.
Michael Grace Jr.
Faculty & Alumni
School Of The Hearts
State University of Nowhere