The day before my 33rd birthday, I smoked 14 packs of cigarettes. Then, the next morning, I got up and ran 3 miles non stop. It was the farthest I’d run in over 15 years . . . It took some real planning to kick that vice. You can’t kill off your best friend and constant companion without a solid game plan and I knew if I was really going to quit, I had to do something extreme, and mark it on a major date. It was a real change in directions, a turning point in my life. I don’t know for sure how many packs I really did smoke that day. I know I went through a whole carton and then went out that evening, to buy more. It was one long sick day. I threw up several times that night, and had trouble breathing, while I continued to chain smoke one after another right up until midnight. I’ve never touched another cigarette since.
A year later Ed Kuepper released Honey Steel’s Gold. King of Vice kicks off the record with a 9 minute masterpiece of swirling, marching guitar, piano, and drums that brilliantly capture the sense of fortitude and solitude I experienced that night. It is followed up by the beautifully perverse remake of the Hart/Rodgers classic Everything I’ve Got Belongs to you a tribute to the dark side and negative spaces that occupy even the strongest of relationships between a man and a woman.
This entire album is packed, and like Bob Mould’s Work Book or Morrissey’s Viva Hate, it marks a critical turning point for me, a life changing milestone. Enjoy.