The painful tale of Bronson Arroyo’s musical sideline has been mentioned before, but never in such excruiciating detail. From the Boston Globe’s Robert Carrol.
”It was 1992 and I was 15 years old when I heard the Stone Temple Pilots,” said Arroyo. ”I heard ‘Plush’ and it got me going on music.”
Slowly, Arroyo built a music collection around bands such as STP, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam — groups that zeroed in on teenage angst. ”It’s funny that I enjoy listening to songs that are, well, depressing,” he said, ”because I have nothing to complain about in my life.”
”Things changed the day I was in the studio working on a Stone Temple Pilots song when this sound tech that used to work for the band comes over to me and says, ‘Man, you sound just like Scott,’ ” referring to the band’s lead singer, Scott Weiland (above). ”That gave me a boost.”
Says Sam Frank, “I’m assuming you skipped this softball because Weiland sent you flowers?”
(Bronson pleads with his engineer to “make it sound a little less like Stickfigure”)
The truth is, I missed the following item because upon opening today’s NY Times, I never got past Ben Ratliff’s review of Sonic Youth at the Hiro Ballroom. Which, by the way, sounded like a hot show, but who do Endless Boogie and Chain Gang have to fuck to catch a break from the Times’ Arts section?
From Jack Curry in Wednesday’s NY Times :
Bronson Arroyo popped a CD of his vocals into the stereo in the Boston Red Sox’ weight room about two months ago, turned up the volume and waited anxiously for a reaction. This was Arroyo’s anonymous audition for his teammates.
No one noticed. No one asked Arroyo to change the disc. As his covers of Pearl Jam, Goo Goo Dolls and Stone Temple Pilots songs filled the room, the Red Sox were oblivious to the fact that one of their pitchers had done a slick job of morphing into Eddie Vedder, Johnny Rzeznik and Scott Weiland.
Arroyo watched his teammates lift weights, tease each other and even bop their heads to the music – his music – over the next hour. For Arroyo, the silence was as rewarding as getting a standing ovation at Fenway Park.
“If you listen to tunes that you’ve heard your whole life and nobody says anything, it usually sounds good or sounds similar to the people who sang them,” Arroyo said. “If it sounded really bad, I’m sure they would have said: ‘What is this? Get it off.’ “
I don’t wanna burst Bronson’s bubble, but being able to mimmick the manly-moody-moanings of Vedder, Rzeznik & Weiland isn’t exactly covering a wide stylistic swath. I mean, why not throw Shannon Hoon in there as well. Whether or not Arroyo’s teammates were just being polite, I can’t say for sure, but for all of Sammy Sosa’s clubhouse sins, no one ever accused him of passing his own singing off as music.