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Leftovers, anecdotes and the like

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Iva

I thought this would be a fun moment to share the first photo I have taken of John at the first of the three RHCP shows I was fortunate (the word is not an overstatement here, quite an understatement given the situation) to attend during the Stadium Arcadium tour.

The date was December 6th 2006, the country was Austria, the city was Vienna and the venue was Stadthalle.

I lost my friend whose name you might find on A LOT photos taken from 2003 to 2007 somewhere in the crowd and I made it to the front row, to its very edge on the right.

Sidestage area was right in front of me and the first thing I spotted was some very youthful-looking man in a white T-shirt putting tape on some cables on the floor. I thought he looked strangely familiar...

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...and yeah, it was John. And then I snapped this...err...abstract piece of art.

Do you keep any similarly bizarre/downright bad photos for sentimental reasons, too?

Iva

My amateur concert photos

Here are some of my concert photos, taken from 2006 on. The URLs in copyrights totally need to be updated, because only that .com works.

I have some more that I have not put online, such as those of Paradise Lost, Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde, Slash, The Cult, Faith no More and a bunch of locals. I'll eventually get around it.

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In the case of the below "model", it was hard to pick just one photo because he's great to take photos of, so I picked two...

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And because I know what you were hoping for...

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Iva

A little more than a decade ago, I was a 20-year-old university student taking a year-long-hiatus after realising that things are not going according to what my parents had set in stone for me. I was to turn 21, which meant I should have been a couple of months away from clearing the first three years of my four-year-program and become what was called an "apsolvent" in the old school system in then-Federation of Serbia and Montenegro. From that point on, in max. two years, I was to graduate and become a professor of Italian language and literature. With that degree, I could have worked in translation, on television or standing in a fancy dress suit behind mafioso politicians when they're visiting Belgrade.

The reality was different.

I lacked motivation and my then-undiagnosed Generalised Anxiety Disorder with about fifteen years of back history at that point was slowly introducing its evil sidekick to me - depressive episodes. Studies-wise, I was nowhere near my stellar elementary and high school years. I had passed only six out of possible eleven exams, and I had taken Italian language and literature eight times, which was the reason for every responsible adult around me to doubt my intelligence, abilities and assume I was, god forbid, housewife material.

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My friend, oogling at photos of Anthony...on my computer. Had to keep a storage of his photos for her >_<

On top of it all, my then only friend was getting way too obsessed with Anthony Kiedis, switching over from Johnny Depp. Later on, I would find out that her temporary obsessions with male celebs are nothing unusual and that she's constantly seeking playmates to fuel her inner fangirl. At that point, as 2003 was slowly fading, it was impossible to talk to her about anything other than Anthony and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And I did not know almost anything about them. I had no idea they had four albums before BloodSugarSexMagik, I had no idea about the "socks on cocks" atrocity, I only knew they liked to be shirtless. I was trying to avoid then-heavily rotated videos for Can't Stop and Fortune Faded because I could not stand the amount of times Anthony's hand would end down his pants and that #55676 time he'd flex his pecs. And I vaguely mentioned that whoever was playing guitar for them on BloodSugarSexMagik was cute, but that the one in the Californication and Road Trippin' videos was pretty delicate as well.

My friend then laughed out loud. To tears.

Then she proceeded to explain me that both of those guys, as well as the current guy and the 1999 guy (whose guitar solo on Scar Tissue I liked a lot) were, well, the same guy. With birthday two days after mine. And of Italian origin. With three solo albums under his belt, fourth to be released in February. Picture the adolescent me with her jaw dropping to the floor, her index finger going up to the air. She proclaimed "I need to find those albums!"

With dial-up at home constantly breaking if somebody would phone the family's landline, what I found first was the lyrics to all of three albums' songs. At that point, I was trying to finish a semi-fantastic novel and I had not written a poem in more than a year. Had anybody presented me with a bunch of lines disguised as verses, I would've believed they were poetry and lyrics were most certainly poetry. There was this beautiful song titled Running Away Into You, this even more beautiful one called Smile from the Street You Hold and that perfect one called Invisible Movement. I had no idea how that song sounded, but I learnt its lyrics out loud and I would quote the fourth verse beginning with "Every cry..." to everybody I knew.

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I wonder what state of insanity this was. Embarrassing and hilarious at the same time.

Early in 2004, I had signed up to the official Red Hot Chili Peppers message board, using the same username I was using on Formula One related boards, a horrible reference to the old Hockenheimring, which I also carried as a silver pendant on a necklace until late 2006. I was quick to make friends, though it was pretty hard to explain them where I was from. There was somebody opening a fan club for John and I joined that, too. Through some dodgy sharing tool, called iMesh, on my even dodgier 28.8 Kbps Internet connection, I managed to download a couple of songs from John's 2001 show in Paris. Then I won a copy of Niandra LaDes and Usually Just A T-Shirt in a draw at the fan club site. A new friend from the Silicone Valley had a spare copy of To Record Only Water for Ten Days and she was so kind to burn a tribute album and the Internet tracks to a couple of CD's for me as well. The community was incredible towards new fans.

But there was a bigger thing coming - the fourth solo album, with a name i considered to be somewhat stupid at first, most likely to how blunt it sounded translated, Shadows Collide With People. Songs named Carvel and Wednesday's Song were posted to John's official website, which was now blue and red, with puffy clouds animated on its header. Another one, called Song to Sing When I'm Lonely was sent out to radio stations. People were placing their pre-orders, a lot of them were super-excited because there was going to be a vinyl LP as well. Folks in USA could stream the entire album via AOL. John went to an interview-only tour around UK and Germany mostly, and some kids from the message boards were actually meeting him. One teenage boy even had a whole list of questions for John.

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Shadows Collide With People cover image

And I could not listen to any of that.

With 28.8. Kbps at home and LAN with all the cool stuff blocked at my mother's office, I could not even get a taste of what these songs were like. With Niandra, the Internet album and TROWFTD now regularly blasting out of my boombox, I couldn't even determine what was to come next. A quick run through all the possible stores in Belgrade has resulted in seeing the ugly-ish truth: nobody had any of John Frusciante's CDs in stock, nor they actually knew why they should have them.

Then there was Cristina, my wonderful new friend from Spain, who could order from Amazon and who promised me a copy of Shadows Collide with People for my 21st birthday. The CD arrived twelve days too late, but that did not lower my innocent enthusiasm a bit. According to this entry from my old Internet journal, however, not everybody was into it.

I finally have that CD! I have John's new album "Shadows Collide With People" !!! It arrived this morning, nicely packed. Mika, our postman, asked me what was it and when I explained, he was like: "What? What am I missing?" I was about to say: "A lot", but I was too busy running upstairs to our appartment and saying things such as: "Yippe, yippe, goody-goody, yayayayayayayay!" I love this album, though I really don't know why people praise "Carvel" as the best song. From the first listening, I didn't like it that much...but I really liked "Ricky", "Wednesday's Song" (OK, I knew that one before, I downloaded it off the internet, but still..), "Time Goes Back" , "In Relief", "Water" and, would you believe it, "Failure 33 Object"! John Frusciante is a genius! If you think opposite, I'm going to slap you. The guy is definitely one of the greatest musicians of this era, no matter if he's solo or with Red Hot Chili Peppers. Call him schizophrenic, call him mentally ill, he's not any of those, he's just a genius.

I showed the CD to my dad and he was like: "Mmmkay, it's that guy who plays guitar in the band of that muscular guy." I am surprised that he even knew that much. Then, I showed the CD to my mom and she opened the booklet instantly. She came accross the photo of John and Josh Klinghoffer in the middle and she was like: "For heaven's sake! Aaaaah! This guy is so ugly! Ewww! He looks like a complete freak." I said that I don't care how he looks like (now, that's a nice lie...but there's no use explaining). Then she said: "Grrr...you don't see the point. For example, I know that Luciano Pavarotti is a great singer with amazing voice, but that doesn't mean I have to fall in love with him because of his music." I pointed out that Pavarotti never wrote any music, he was just singing operas. Mom didn't know what to say for about 30 seconds and then she was like: "Come on, Iva...he's a freak and an ex-junkie! I do hope that such a crush won't ruin your opinion on guys. I want you to marry a pretty guy one day." Then she repeated a story of her friend who was in love with an alcoholic.

She still says things like this, by the way. About everybody.

After getting somewhat of an approval from my father, I made a cassette tape for his car, with the whole album on it. He went fishing the next day and came back, somewhat irritated that he had to "listen to a whiny man who sounded like a horny tomcat". Oh well. I tried.

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Yes, we photographed the TV with the crappiest digital camera ever. So oldschool.

My friend and I were listening Shadows together three days after I got the CD, trying to ignore a pogrom shown on TV, because we were also watching John's interview for German TV which she taped the evening before. You know, the one where he has his sweater inside out. Or upside down. Whatever.

A month later, John surprised all of us with acoustic and demo versions of most of the SCWP songs, as well as a fan interview, where a good two-digit number of people were asking him questions and he was responding in the comfort of his own home, using some sort of a handheld recorder.

...

Since then, a decade has gone by. My mom's still grumpy. My father passed away in October 2010. My friend and I aren't on such good terms anymore due to our complex personalities and the clash of my mood disorders and her personality disorder. I met so many new and wonderful friends, some of whom I'm really close to. I likely left the teacher/translator career for good and I've been making websites full-time for quite a while now. One of them, I do out of love for music. Guess whose music?

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For the end, here's a photo of my dog and my Shadows vinyl.

Iva

I was refraining from blogging on here for the first time, because I had no idea what to write about. How I got into John? What other music am into? What's my favourite band and why I still love them after nineteen years? Sharing ten thousand photos of my incredibly photogenic mixed breed dog? Shall I post my poetry photos and art?

Then I remembered that I like...start-starts. With fireworks, confetti and all.

So, I figured out I'd best start off with a survey. It's called 100 truths and it's lame.

001. Real Name: Iva (that rhymes with viva and diva)

002. Nickname: None, really.

003. Zodiac Sign: Pisces

004. Male Or Female: Female.

005. Elementary: http://www.osnovnaskolavukkaradzic.edu.rs/

006. Middle School: That does not exist here.

007. High School: http://www.vbeogradska.edu.rs/

008. Hair Color: Brown.

009. Long Or Short: Hair? Or what?

010. Loud Or Quiet: I'm pretty loud.

011. Sweats Or Jeans: Jeans.

012. Phone Or Camera: Camera. What a dumb question.

013. Health Freak: Not that much.

014. Drink Or Smoke: Neither.

015. Do You Have A Crush On Someone: No.

016. Political orientation: Common sense.

017. Piercings: None.

018. Tattoos: None.

HAVE YOU EVER [bEEN IN]:

019. Airplane : No. :(

020. Car Accident : Yes, nothing major.

021. Fist Fight: All kids do that, don't they?

FIRSTS:

022. First piercing: None.

023. First Best Friend: Not 100% sure, I probably had friends before school, but not necessarily a "best" friend.

024. First Instrument played: Once this happens, that will be the end of the world as we know it.

025. First award: In 1989/1990 school year for most books read.

026. First Crush: I liked our friends' son and he asked me to marry him...that was back in 1988. We were five.

027. First Language: My mother tongue, duh.

028. First Big Vacation: 1984, Crvena Luka, Croatia.

LASTS:

029. Last Person You Talked To: My mother

030. Last Person You Texted: My friend Marija

031. Last Person You Watched: Whaaa?

032. Last Food You Ate: Cauliflower mousaka

033. Last Movie You Watched: ID:A http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731998/

034. Last Song You listened To: Scratch

035. Last Thing You Bought: A bottle of yogurt.

036. Last Person You Hugged: Does my dog count? :)

FAVES:

037. Food: Tacos with marinated mixed meat, my mom's potato mousaka, Serbian way and her way, risotto alla milanese, Hawaii pizza, fennel-anything.

038. Drinks: Pepsi Max

039. Clothing: Jeans, T-shirts (long and short-sleeved), armwarmers, scarves.

040. Book: Just one? Probably one of Erich Maria Remarque's masterpieces.

041. Colour: Green

042. Flower: Dandelion

043: Music: A lot of it, look here: http://www.last.fm/user/RustlingRagazza

044. Movies: Strange Days, Amarcord, Birdman of Alcatraz, How to Train Your Dragon

045. Shoes: Just a pair of comfortable sneakers in the warmer part of the year, warmer shoes throughout the cold part of the year and slippers at home. Yes, I'm female and I don't care about shoes. :P

046. Subjects: Too old for this. But I used to like geography, languages and IT a lot.

IN THE PAST YEAR I ... :

047. [ ] Kissed In The Snow

048. [ ] Celebrated Halloween

049. [ ] Had Your Heart Broken

050. [x] Went Over The Minutes On Your Cell Phone

051. [x] Someone Questioned Your Sexual Orientation // they do that all the time and I never knew why

052. [ ] Came Outta The Closet

053. [ ] Gotten Pregnant // YES, I AM GIVING A BIRTH TO GIORGIO A. TSOUKALOS' ANCIENT ALIEN BABY1!11!

054. [ ] Had An Abortion

055. [ ] Done Something You've Regretted

056. [ ] Broke A Promise

057. [x] Kept A Secret

058. [x] Pretended To Be Happy

059. [ ] Met Someone Who Changed Your Life

060. [ ] Pretended To Be Sick

061. [x] Left The Country

062. [ ] Tried something you normally wouldn't like, and liked it.

063. [ ] Cried Over The Silliest Thing

064. [ ] Ran A Mile

065. [ ] Went To The Beach

066. [ ] Stayed Single

CURRENTLY:

067. Eating: Nothing

068. Drinking: Pepsi Max

069. Getting Ready To: Work.

070. Listening To: Scratch

071. Plans For Tomorrow/Today: Work and hopefully pay the bills. And meet a friend.

072. Waiting For: I don't know.

YOUR FUTURE:

073. Want Kids: Probably. But do they want a mother like me? Hehe.

074. Want To Get Married: That's so overrated nowadays. As long as I'm with the person I love, it doesn't matter if we signed a bloody paper or not.

075. Careers in mind: I already have a career as a web designer.

WHICH IS BETTER ON A BOY/GIRL:

076. Lips Or Eyes: All the guys I ever liked had both. But seriously, it does not matter.

077. Shorter Or Taller: Love matters, screw height.

078. Romantic Or Spontaneous: Those two are not the opposites.

079. Nice Stomach Or Nice Arms: Who cares.

080. Sensitive Or Loud: Sensitive, because I'm loud. But those two are not the opposites.

081. Hookup Or Relationship: Only the later and I mean it.

082. Troublemaker Or Hesitant: Does not matter.

HAVE YOU EVER:

083. Lost Glasses/Contacts: I never wore either.

084. Ran Away From Home: For an hour or so, as a teenager. Fun, fun times.

085. Held A Weapon, For Self Defense: No.

086. Killed Somebody: Yikes, no.

087. Broken Someone's Heart: I hope I didn't.

088. Been Arrested: No.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

090. Yourself: Yes.

091. Miracles: Yup.

092. Love At First Sight: I think there's only lust at first sight and as a person under the asexuality umbrella, I don't get it.

093. Heaven: I wish I did, but I don't.

094. Santa Claus: Come on.

096. Magic: Come on.

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY:

097. Is There One Person You Wanna Be With, Right Now: Nah.

098. Are You Seriously Happy With Where You Are, In Life: Could be better, but it's OK.

099. Do You Believe In God: No.

100. Post As 100 Truths: Yes.

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