Imagining being at the forefront of a musical genre. Imagine having your video played in heavy rotation on MTV. Imagine how people would treat you and what you would have access to. Imagine the parties, the money, the women…… the drugs. Then in the blink of an eye, it’s GONE!
Maybe it would be easier if it was all gone, but it’s not. Can you guess what’s still there? The one thing that can help right? Yup, the drugs.
I am fortunate enough to have Met Chuck Mosley and his tour mate and right hand man Doug Esper on two occasions, the last being this past summer. I got to sit and talk with him for awhile before his Mostly Acoustic set at Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, CT.
If you don’t recognize the name Chuck Mosley you will certainly recognize his work. Mosley sang on the first two Faith No More albums, 1985’s We Care A Lot and 1987’s Introduce Yourself before exiting the band in 1988. Following those two records, Mosley sang for Bad Brains from 1990 to 1992, going on to form Cement, releasing two albums: Cement and Man With The Action Hair.
Chuck was an open book, genuine, full of pride in his work, counter balanced by a clear insecurity. As we sat on the ground he told me he just wrote 11 songs, something he had not done in quite some time. When I asked him about the process, he was excited at how easily it came to him. I for one was very excited for him to lay down these new tracks and unleash them to the world.
Let’s backtrack for a moment, Faith No More was a giant band. They played big shows! Bad Brains was one of the most influential punk bands of all time. Being part of BOTH of those bands, that’s absolutely incredible.
Now let’s fast forward to present day. I’m talking to Chuck sitting outside a small club, on a weekday, before he plays to maybe 30 people. The time before that, a hair salon. Now, it was a real cool hair salon, The Angry Chair in Newington, CT. He was on an acoustic run with label mates Opus Lawrence and Rob Royfrom Dead by Wednesday, and Marc Rizzo (Soulfly). Psychologically, that must do something to you. Being on the road, writing, surrounded by your work keeps you sane. But knowing that you may never reach the heights you were once at might always hang over you. Another problem, you’re not always on the road, you’re not always working on your art. Chuck told me, “I only know how to do two things, this, and cook.”
Chuck would have told you that he would have a few drinks while on the road, just to keep level, take the edge off. The problem was when he was not on the road. That’s where the struggle is, that’s where the addiction fights to come out. When you’re young it’s the party on the road, but at some point that changes. You realize you need to keep it together while on the road. In order to put on a good show every night and stay healthy the entire tour, the partying needs to stay in check. It becomes the downtime that haunts you. Maybe you’re trying to keep that high going, bury the void missing from the road. I don’t know for sure, maybe Chuck was hiding from the pain of what he lost. Starting at the top like that, comparing everything you do to the old days … again, I don’t know if that was the case, but I know it would eat at me.
At this point you may be thinking, is this an article about Chuck Mosley or addiction? Well, it’s both. If you want a bunch of facts and statists about Chuck’s career, ask Alexa or do a google search. Chuck’s family wanted people to know that he lost his battle with addiction in order to hopefully help others. That is why I wrote this. I wanted to share my small piece of the puzzle of Chuck’s life. Another very important piece of that puzzle was Doug Esper. Doug seemed to bring out the best of Chuck. Whether it be performing or just hanging out, they always had smiles on their faces. The fact that Chuck had Doug these last years brings me some comfort. Knowing that Doug always had his back, his best interest in mind, also comforting. From what I understand Doug was working on a Chuck Mosley book. Although we all know the ending will be tragic, I hope he does. Chuck’s life needs to be remembered, and celebrated.
Chuck was a kind, caring soul. He was an artist, a father, and a lover. I am grateful for my minor interactions with him.
As a final thought, I’d like to leave you with this: if you know someone struggling with addiction, you cannot save them. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s up to them. You can encourage them, not support their habit, try and find them help, be there for them. You cannot make them quit. They must want to quit and take the step. It’s easy to blame yourself for not doing more, and guilt can ruin you. Remember it’s not your fault.
(Originally Published at www.theindustry.rocks on November 13th, 2017)