I think it’s a little bit redundant to mention the ‘letter’ bit in the title, considering most of these have been letters anyways. But on to the point,
Dear Patrick Stumph, Joseph Trohman, Andrew Hurley and Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz III,
You four, above all the other talented and illustrious musicians of our time, have proven time and time again that, no matter what happens, you will always provide the answers, whether it be lyrically, emotionally or in some other obscure way. I’ve admitted many a time that it’s not healthy to love and adore a band (or anything else for that matter) to such a high degree, mainly because it’s almost definite that the band in question will most likely never love you back in the slightest. All your time and dedication to the utmost degree will go unrewarded, without point and without purpose. You, however, remain the only exception, because even at my lowest ebb, you’ve truly been my support system, my foster home and my pride as a lover of music since the very beginning.
I’m not going to waste this time trying to prove that I’m your ‘biggest fan’, or earn any ‘scene points’ by relaying a story to make me seem cooler than anyone else, because that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about when I discovered you, or how close I may or may not be to you, or what merch I may own. It’s not about the style, the mantra, the trends, the idolatry, the logistics, how many songs I know, what obscure trivia I can conjure up, when I bought the albums, how many times I’ve seen you or anything like that. Those are all sorry excuses for people with no shame or semblance to rise up and attempt to cash in some sort of pretentious worth that never existed in the first place. In the end, the only thing it’s about is the music, and the connection of artistry. In both those categories, you have certainly made a fan of me, and have easily molded a young mind for many years to come. Your music has touched me in a way unlike any other artist, and as an avid music fan, it took quite awhile for me to take a stand and respond to the inevitable ‘Who’s your favorite band?’ question.
For the longest time, I didn’t have a ‘favorite’. I didn’t have one particular artist that made me want to say ‘Yes. Them. Absolutely.’. I mean, after all, of the other potential candidates, one was an 80’s hair metal band, one was probably the most ‘emo’ band of their time, one was so obscure nobody knew them and one received most of their gratification from the community of comic-nerds who read the lead-singer’s online adventure-tie-in to the music. Whereas now I’ve matured to the point where I can easily admit all of these bands by name, in the beginning it wasn’t ‘cool’ to be a music fan. It wasn’t ‘cool’ to say ‘Yeah, my favorite band is Motley Crue’, or any of the others. It was a time that being ‘cool’ and having friends meant everything. At that age, being liked and wanted meant more than standing up for what I believed in, having dreams, taking chances and living an infinite life. Every ideal I had fell wayside to image, and the second I began listening to Fall Out Boy, that mindset melted away, and eventually changed me into the person I am today.
Being a Fall Out Boy fan to me has always meant standing up for yourself and showing the world your true colors. Once I started to grow a pair and told people that FOB was my number one musical choice, I inevitably got spat on for my ‘crappy taste’. Still, to this day, I’ll find people who think that my favorite band is a terrible one. But really, they wouldn’t call it opinion if everyone had the same one, now would they? Once I started listening, I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t let other people’s opinions mold mine, and being cool fell wayside to being me. That, above all else, is easily the best thing Fall Out Boy has ever done for me, and no one, not classmates, co-workers, acquaintances, critics, girlfriends, parents, can take that lesson away.
Yeah, the songs have been there through some tough times, but they’ve also been there for some of the greatest. From ‘Honorable Mention’ being one of my first cover-songs, to ‘Tell That Mick’ showing me the ropes with pop-punk guitar stylings, to ‘Dance Dance’ being the soundtrack to my 8th grade year, to bonding to ‘What A Catch, Donnie’ with my Mom, to meeting Chris, a true inspiration, all because of ‘Grenade Jumper’, to ‘Beat It’ connecting my childhood with my present, to starting the mosh to ‘I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy’ with my best friends at the 3rd-to-last show you may ever play again, to starting out every New Year of the last 3 years to ‘Thriller’, to all the mixtapes I’ve thrown ‘Grand Theft Autumn’ and ‘Lullabye’ on, to reaffirming my punk roots with ‘Growing Up’ and ‘Parker Lewis Can’t Lose’, to getting me over my Grandma’s death, saving me from a stupid prepubescent excuse of a suicide attempt, moving me across the country, confronting my fears, making friends with my demons, teaching me to love, learn and live life to the fullest. The songs are the core, the soundtrack, the fall-back, lather, rinse and repeat. But it’s you, the artists, that I must directly thank. For it was you who brought me this, this pavement education of my youth, and it was you who acted like older siblings in a way that no one else could. For that, the above and so much more, I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You don’t have to ever truly know me. You don’t have to ever ‘give back’ to me in any way. I’m past that childish-phase in my life. That’s not what it’s about. All I ask is that you keep going with your artistry, whether in be in Fall Out Boy or beyond. I ask that you live the dream, so that others like me will continue to have someone to believe in, as I do. I owe you all so much, and can only wish to be 1/8 the inspiration to someone else that you are to me. I’m proud to call myself a Fall Out Boy fan, and I’m proud to say that your body of work is my favorite. I’m proud to say that you’ve changed my life for the better, and most of all, I’m proud to hold you as the standard for which I wish to push my artistry.
If you decide to make this ‘hiatus’ permanent, I wouldn’t be sad in the slightest. True, I would miss the shows, the camraderie, the boardies (who’ve long since disbanded anyways), the Order, the anticipation and the excitement of it all (especially the possibility of a future TTTYG small club tour). But if this was the best decision for all, then I can’t say I couldn’t accept it. You’ve made your mark. You’ve made this boy a fan. Nothing can take that away. I can only wish you the very best of futures, and the very best of luck. After all, if you can’t live an infinite life, then what’s the common thread? What’s our purpose.
You’ve made me friends, you’ve made me enemies. You’ve made me strong, and you’ve made me true. You’ve made me an artist, and you’ve made me Thomas Dale McPhail.
Thank you from the very lowest depths of my heart.
Never lose faith, never lose sight.
Believers Never Die.
I’m good to go, and I’m going nowhere fast. It could be worse. It could be taking you there with me. I’m good to go. But it looks like I’m still on my own. I’m good to go for something golden. Though the motions I’ve been going through have failed. And I’m coasting on potential towards a wall at a 100 miles an hour. When I say two more weeks My foot is in the door (yeah) I can’t sleep in the wake of Saturday. Saturday. When these open doors were open-ended. Saturday-Fall Out Boy, ‘Saturday’ (because you have no how hard it is to pick one song, much less one key lyric. Too many of them mean too much to me, but this one has always stood out.)
When these open doors were open-ended. I read about the afterlife, but I never really lived. I read about the afterlife, but I never really lived.
Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today - Fall Out Boy (cover).
Just a new arrangement I put together while working on some other stuff. A far cry from the original, but I like what I did with it.
Yule Shoot Your Eye Out - Fall Out Boy
Merry Christmas, Tumblr!
I’ve been meaning to get the original Batheart on my left calf for a very long time. An homage to the band that got me into music itself, I always knew this would be my first one.
Done by Amanda at All For One Tattoo, Richmond VA. Go see her. She rules.