As announced last month, legendary Anthrax guitarist, author and television personality Scott Ian is taking his highly successful “Speaking Words” tour on the road in North America, beginning in Chicago, IL on February 20th. “Speaking Words” isn’t just a hilariously raucous story-telling experience, but an honest look at the insane life that Scott Ian has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. During each show, Scott Ian will take part in a special Q&A session with the audience. Fans also have the opportunity to take part in a unique VIP Pack experience. See below for tour dates and VIP Pack information.
Based on the resounding success of the UK leg of the tour, as mentioned above, not only was the decision made to continue the tour here, but also to create a DVD of Scott Ian’s Glasgow performance. The footage has been captured, but now comes the tough part—editing it all together and turning it into a high-quality product. Putting together a DVD like this requires funding, and Scott is asking his loyal fans around the world to help finance the project, by way of a Pledge Music campaign.
Visit the “Speaking Words in Glasgow” Pledge Music page and donate to make this DVD a reality, here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/scottian. Also, learn about the truly awesome pledge points ranging from $10-$25,000: like $1,000 for an LA-area vinyl shopping trip, $2,500 to catch a NY Yankees game with Scott, $5,000 for Scott to play on your band’s next record, $12,500 for Scott’s Custom “Zombie Killer” signed guitar, and beyond! The possibilities are endless!
Read a detailed, personal note from Scott Ian on how the tour and DVD came about, and how your personal pledge will help benefit the project, below:
“I’ve always loved musicians like Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins, who have the balls to do spoken word performances. It’s just them and the mike. There’s no band to make them look good or cover up their mistakes. They’re alone, naked. It’s seemed like a really cool thing to do, but I’m not especially political and while I’m interested in a lot of different subjects from good food to great comic books, I’m not enough of an expert in any one area to get onstage and talk about it like I know any more than anyone else.
Then over the past five years or so I’ve been lucky enough to become really good friends with some great comedians, like Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt. We’d sit around and swap stories, and I realized they were as interested in the stories I have about my bands Anthrax and S.O.D., the people I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with -- like Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead, Gene Simmons from KISS, the late Dimebag Darrell from Pantera and cutting my teeth alongside the guys in Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth – as I was in their jokes.
The thought of doing spoken word still terrified me, but they helped convince me that I’ve had a bunch of really stupid, funny, tragic and triumphant experiences over the last 10 years or so and that if I could write them all down or at least put them into some sort of order, I’d have at least a couple hours’ worth of material that Anthrax fans, and anyone who likes nerdy (nerdy meaning cool) shit like Star Wars, Stephen King, drinking and sports might want to hear.
Still, being able to sit with my friends in a bar and tell entertaining stories was a long way from standing in front of a paying crowd telling stories that would hopefully entertain them. And, I had no idea how to go about actually booking a show. I just had this big idea that I could do speaking shows and eventually it’d happen.
And it did.
One day my agent came to me and said, “Hello, Scott, I talked to a concert promoter in London and they’re interested in having you come over there and perform. “You mean the band,” I said. “No, he responded, “They’re interested in seeing your solo show.” I paused a couple seconds. “I don’t do a solo acoustic show. I play rhythm guitar and I don’t sing.” He laughed. “No, you idiot. Your spoken word thing. It’s a show called Rock Stars Say The Funniest Things and they want to hear you talk. Anyone who’s ever watched any metal documentary knows you can do that.”
I said yes without even thinking about it. I had four months until the date and I figured that would give me all the time in the world to prepare a killer show. I had all these grand plans to write my show and then invite my aforementioned comedian friends over to my house where I would do the show for them and have them give me notes. I’d be crafting my show, honing into the sharpest, funniest material I had in my brain. Well, four months flew by and I did none of that. Nothing. Not a word written down, not one rehearsal, zero preparation. It had become a nightmare case of be-careful-what-you-ask-for.
The night before the show I was in my hotel room sweating like a maniac trying to figure out a way to get out of doing the show. I said to my wife Pearl, “I can’t do this, I’ve got nothing. Nobody is going to care about anything I have to say. Who did I think I was saying yes to this? I’m going to tell my agent I’ve got the flu and I can’t do it.” Pearl looked at me calmly and said, “No, you’re not going to do that. Your brain is filled with all these great stories that you have told over and over again to your friends in bars all over the world. You know these stories, they’re your life and all you have to do is get on stage and talk to your friends in the bar.” She always has a way of un-confusing me. It really was that simple. Just go talk to the people.
I was nervous as Hell the next day. Pearl’s advice was the right advice but I still had to get up and do it, just me with no guitar or band to hide behind. When the house lights went down and they announced me it took everything I had to put one foot in front of the other and walk onto the stage. I was so nervous I was shaking. I looked out at the crowd, all sitting and waiting to hear what I had to say and using my inside voice I said “fuck it, let’s do this” and I dove in head first.
Once I got over my jitters and latched into a groove I felt like I was performing at Madison Square Garden. The euphoria of being onstage telling stories about my life and getting an immediate reaction from the crowd was better than crystal meth… not that I’ve ever tried crystal meth, but I’ve watched enough episodes of “Breaking Bad” to know it gets you really fucking high. I was making contact, they were intently listening, empathizing and laughing, not at me, but with me. Some stories were better than others, but overall the pace, the flow, the interaction felt amazing. And while I know I’m a long way from guys like Rollins and Biafra, I felt like I had been doing this for years and I couldn’t wait to do it again. I immediately told my agent to book more shows.
A UK and Ireland tour was put together for me and I couldn’t have been more excited. I knew I had something to offer people and that my show would get better night after night, honing it through the experience of actually doing it. Anyway, I figured that while I was doing these shows I might as well bring along a good friend of mine named Mark Johnson to tour manage, drive, and I’d have someone to drink with in cities where I didn’t know anybody. So with a little preparation, a few props and a head full of shit to talk about, I flew overseas and I did my speaking words bit for a couple hundred people a night in small venues. And I called it my Speaking Words tour because that’s what I do. Calling it spoken word was way to fancy-pants. This ain’t no poetry recital.
Things were going well and after each show, I checked with Mark to see if I wasn’t just high on the fumes coming from the rusted, cracked English heating system. No, he said, I was actually entertaining. Mark is not an ass-kisser, he really could give less of a shit and would tell me if I sucked.
With that endorsement I realized I needed to document the tour by shooting a show. It had to be done.
The shows were getting better and better each night so I decided I would film towards the end of the run in Glasgow. Scotland has always been great for Anthrax and I just had a feeling that that show would be a special one and I would be at the top of my game for sure. We looked back at the footage of the show and it really felt like my stories were coming across great and the Q&A session at the end of the show was a hilarious fucking free-for-all with people asking anything they wanted which would then open the door to so many other stories. I got home and I decided to ask my editor from my Blood & Guts web series to edit it into a full stand-up show for a DVD. We had the footage, now we just needed to put it all together etc etc. Of course, doing a show and turning it into a high-quality DVD requires funding.
Anthrax fans have always been loyal and supportive and that has allowed me to act like a rock star for more than 30 years. So, I wanted to reach out first to my fans to help finance this one-of-a-kind DVD that reveals more about me, my sense of humor and my bizarre career than anything you’ve ever read or seen.”
As mentioned above, a special opportunity to join a VIP meet & greet at each date is available now via Scott Ian’s webstore. This unique and limited event will allow you to spend time with Scott like never before. It’s a veritable post show hangout with a metal legend— one that’s sure to enrich your knowledge of not only all-things Scott Ian, but Anthrax and metal history in general. The VIP meet & greet also includes a special VIP laminate, banner, and other goodies. Learn more and get your passes here:
SCOTT IAN “Speaking Words” North American Tour Dates:
2/20 - Chicago, IL @ Mayne Stage
2/21 - Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge
2/22 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
2/24 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
2/25 - Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo Club
2/26 - Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
2/27 - Ottowa, ON @ Ritual
2/28 - Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
3/01 - Baltimore, MD @ The Ramshead Live: Power Plant Live
3/02 - Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
3/04 - Boston, MA @ Hard Rock Cafe
3/05 - New York, NY @ BB Kings
3/06 - Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
3/07 - West Warwick, RI @ Manchester 65
3/08 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
Please consider a small donation to continue the running of the site
Global Metal Apocalypse