Jughead's Basement Podcast

Monday, March 30, 2020

This is for us.  This is for you.  This is for each other.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


 Recently, my backpack fell off.

And now I’ll tell you why that is important. Since I have been in Japan for the past 5 months I have used the same backpack. Of course that isn’t a long time, but I use the shit out of everything I own, and I don’t replace anything until it is beyond replaceable. And this one literally fell off my back when I was in Kamakura, Japan. I had safety pinned it together a few weeks earlier but even that mending was beginning to sag. I could not deny that I had been refusing to get rid of it, because it was still young. And beyond that, in such a short time it had become... It's own thing.

I took this bag yesterday to my favorite place to hike. I took pictures of it with an unopened can of Suntory Highball. After a few hours, I finally placed it next to another discarded object that was so creepy and weird and beautiful that this seemed the only place designated for me to leave this backpack. So you can look at these pictures and see it as a goodbye to the things we use until they become uniquely unusable yet fully unique and completely distinguishable unto themselves. We want to give them a happy home. They are used by us until they become part of us, until they become important like people. People that we have to let go.

You can also read further and realize that this was the bag that I “stole” from a friend, a roommate, a kind soul. It wasn’t technically stealing because he was dead at the time. His name was Mike Ditto Wilkins, (Michael Ditto Wilkins) and he was a bag full of uniqueness that was forced to leave this earth, due to cancer, before I believe it should have been his time.

So, since you have read on you can see that this is an object that represents the irreplaceability of our friends, of our family, of our connections to what makes us all human and lovable. You must want to know a little more about the story.

I saw him die in front of me, surrounded by his family. I had my hands placed on his shoulder as his eyes went vacant, as he went dead.

We always try to move on, and anyone who has experienced death knows that that is a ridiculous thing we tell ourselves. We don’t move on, we just figure out a way to continue, until someone else we love passes and we are forced to do it again. But this is what we do, because what other option do we have? Life is beautiful, life is for the living, and it is inspiring, it is inspiring and painful.

I want this to be about the joy of life, and it is, but sometimes you have to see the joy of life through the pain, through the loss, that at least for now, while we remain mortal, we all have to deal with over and over again the older we get.

The problem with collecting an enormous amount of amazing friends is that many of them will die before you do. And you may find yourself with one of their belongings climbing a mountain in half the time you did last time because you need to get pictures of this objet in multiple memorable places before leaving it to decay in a remote forgotten place of a forrest before it gets dark, and before you get lost and perhaps die yourself.

The faster I moved the faster I started breathing, I moved quickly, like a god, and then at one point, my breathe was so stressed that I stopped, to breathe, and realized it wasn’t breathing I needed to do. It was crying. I cried for all the friends and family I had lost. I was alone in a dense, steep, forrest. Ditto's bag had became a vehicle for me to break down in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nobody, to place my hands on my knees and lean over like I was going to throw up, and just start crying for everyone I had lost so far. Not only people but events, patches of life changing moments, and hard decisions, and the loss not from death but from indifference and disagreement of people, of ideas. I thought about everything and nothing at once, emotions became the thoughts, and we all know emotions have very much disregard for reality, for sensibility. For this I cried. But then I moved on.

I completed my task before dusk. I said goodbye to my stolen bag from a dead friend. Me and the bag drank whiskey and Chuhais together, like Mike and I used to do in the dead of night. Now we do it again, but the dead of night is replaced with moments before dusk and my friend is replaced with the absence of my friend.

Mike, I leave you here in front of my favorite abandoned, bizarre, creepy, television in the middle of a forrest. I leave you here because I think that is a thing you would have found funny, pointless, full of horror, and lovely.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Lillingtons start off my paid journalist career!

I now work for an online musical journal called Rock And Roll Globe.  I am actually a paid music journalist for the first time in my life!  Unbelievable, right?  Once I was offered the position I knew I had to start with an article about The Lillingtons.  It turned into two articles.  Here are links to part I and II.

Punk Rock Nuptials Part I

Punk rock Nuptials Part II

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Welcome to Jughead’s Basement Episode 28 Featuring Pansy Division's record Absurd Pop Song Romance, released on September 8, 1998, 20 years to the date of the release of this podcast. It was their last record on the label Lookout Records. This podcast features interviews with all the band members performing on Absurd Pop Song Romance, including Jon Ginoli, Chris Freeman, Luis Illades, and Patrick Goodwin plus later member Joel Reader, and lastly engineer Steve Albini.

 Editing: John Jughead, Paul Joseph, Jason Brow, and David DeFault.

 Please support Jughead's Basement by becoming a patron at Patreon 

Or a one time donation at (a book project that also funds the podcast):
Go Fund Me


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Real Kitchen - Fake Prison

This is my mother and my father. My sister Jeannie found these pictures. My mom is in a real kitchen. My dad is in a fake prison.

Last night I was trying to convince my mom that she needs to see people, get out of the house, do something that will take the place of the job she no longer has. Her memory is going quick, and I feel she needs to keep her brain active. She pointed her face towards the ground and spoke quietly under her breathe, as if to herself, but I was listening, and I heard her words.

She said, “I’d love to write a book, maybe about my life, but it’s not so interesting. I wouldn’t know what to write.”

I said, “Mom your life is definitely worth writing down, just start making a list of things you’ve done and you and I can hash them out later.

She restated that there really isn’t anything to say.

Mom, I would love to know more about your life before your kids were born, just your experiences alone before you were a mother would, I’m sure, make a fascinating story. But take that out of the equation and just remember the things you have done since, for others, at the sacrifice of your own wants or needs:

1. Dad left you with 5 kids to raise on your own. You had to go out and find yourself a new career on your own, to keep us fed and clothed. How did that feel?

2. Dad was married and divorced prior to you and he married two more times after you, and you never remarried. You barely even dated. Why was that?

3. Our house and lives were chaos, and you kept it together, even while two angry sons, going through their own personal hells, were taking drugs, beating each other up, and bashing down walls, and breaking doors. You had a teenage daughter too. She was lost and trying to find herself. The arguments with her were less violent but just as epic. We are stubborn and proud. And on top of that you had two younger children that you had to keep close and keep safe. You remained calm and loved us all. And even invited some of our friends to live with us, to keep them safe from their own fucked up situations and families. Many of those friends STILL ask about you and visit you, and think of you as their mother. What do you suppose that is all about?

4. Years and years later when dad got sick you took him back into the house and you nursed him until his death. That couldn’t have been easy. He lost his mind and could barely change his own clothes. You helped him to keep his dignity in the last days. Why did you do that?

5. Dad had three other wives, why didn't they do what you did?

6. You befriended Dad’s first wife. You two became best friends. That alone is a story in itself. What did you two talk about? What brought you together?

7. You not only became her best friend, but you were put in charge of her finances and legal affairs when she started to shows signs of Alzheimers. You were there as she slowly became a shell, and didn't know who you were anymore. You had to take care of the bills afterwards and helped to put her to rest with her only daughter.

8. Her only daughter, Nancy, died right when she was getting sick. You helped to take care of Nancy before your own children were born. Her death alone was hard on both of you. But having to deal with your best friend, her mother, losing her memory and asking you constantly when Nancy was going to visit. That couldn’t have been easy.

9. You visited her every day, as your own health declined. And now your best friend is gone and your own memory is fading. Mom? That has to hurt.

10. You have lived an important life, Mom. And you didn’t have to be famous or controversial to have lived a life worth writing down. You are more important than that.

This is my short story of my mom’s more detailed story. I did not say all of this as eloquently, to her, in real life, but I think the feeling was there. Maybe someone, maybe even me, will read it to her, for the full affect.