If you don't know who they are, it's your loss!
Shannon - She's my best friend and my wife. She has put up with my shit for 17 years and still says "I love you" and I'm pretty sure she actually means it! She's seen me poop and still wants to hang around me. I mean, who can top that? I knew from the very first day I met her that she would be mine and I never let her go... although once or twice it was because she grabbed me by the balls and held on when I almost dropped her...
Brett - He's my "brother from another mother". We've been best friends since we met, about 19 years ago. We've played in the same bands together for most of the years we've known each other. He plays bass, I play the drums, we're an unstoppable rhythm section from hell! We've been in 2 amazing bands together. We've never had one fight or argument. He's the nicest guy I know and I'll always have his back, no matter what.
Stryder - One of the most talented musicians I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and making music with. I've known Streaky since he was a young whipper-snapper in high school. We started Los Cochinos together and took our little band all over the state. We've seen a few thousand faces... and we ROCKED THEM ALL! He's the guy that makes me wish I still played the drums... and the reason I will again soon. "What's that clickin?"
Kenny - Everybody needs a friend who will drop everything and drive 80 miles out to I-5 with a tow chain to tow your broke-down car back into town without asking for anything more than gas money and some Taco Bell in return. Who will help you move and do more of the work than you do, and only ask for gas money and some Taco Bell in return. Who will mow your lawn in the middle of a summer afternoon for you and only ask for gas money and some Taco Bell in return... Kenny is a true homey, a guy who is always there when you need him.
Mike - Everybody also needs a guy who will randomly walk out of your bathroom with just a sock on his dick and a beanie on and yell "Let's get this fucking party STARTED!" Mike also happens to be an amazing musician and songwriter and a good friend. We've been through a lot together. The very first time I ever played a drum, it was to back up Mikey on the guitar. He started me down the road of playing music, we started our first band together and kicked ass!
Shawn - Many of my best friends are the friends that have been your friend since the first day you met them, you know what I mean? Like, as long as you knew that person, you were friends, an instant and lasting connection. Shawn is one of those friends for me. We were inseparable through school and after graduation, and terrorized the mailboxes of every country resident in the rural Riverdale/Caruthers area - until I moved away and Shawn got married and started a family. Thankfully, with the power of the internets, I have re-connected with one of my oldest and best friends and his wonderful wife (who's coming up next), and his beautiful family. Also, not for nothing, but Shawn looks like Jesus, if Jesus was a tattooed freak who loved death metal and grind core! In my opinion, a far superior look for the lamb of God.
Kristin - One of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out. She's been my friend since the 6th grade. She has a style and personality that is wonderfully unique and impossibly cool. She's also one of the most gifted artists I've ever met. Also, she is tatted down just like her husband and everyone knows good tats on a girl are sexy as hell. She also thinks I'm way smarter than I really am, which is good for my self-esteem, so I don't correct her. She and Shawn are a perfect couple and they make beautiful kids and it makes me happy to see them together.
Alan - Also known as "The Goat". Alan is my oldest friend. We have been friends since we were 4 years old. We went to every grade together, save for a few years when we lived in different towns. Next to Brett, I've seen Al's naked penis more than any of my other guy friends, just saying. He's one of the craziest fuckers I've ever had the pleasure of being friends with. We've fought, argued, competed for the same girls, cock-blocked and been total dicks to each other, but yet we still keep finding a way to work it out and be friends again. We're like brothers, and I'll always look out for good ol' Al.
James - Another friend I've had since I was in high school. Along with Brett and Mike, we played in the greatest death metal band you never heard of - Sunday Silence - together. James and I didn't start out as friends right away, but we grew on each other and I consider him a great friend today. We share a common love of hardcore punk, crust, grind, death metal, thrash metal... basically anything that makes you want to get all pumped up and smash shit. I'll always support all my music family, no matter what.
Tana - I've known Tana also since high school (I'm detecting a pattern here...) Like just about every guy with a functioning penis, I use to have a huge crush on her. I mean, who wouldn't? She's tall, blonde, outspoken and aggressive, but not to the point of being intimidating, funny and cool to hang out with and she has two of the most amazing boobs God ever created. Seriously, those things helped get me through puberty. She's always down to party, is a terrific and gracious hostess and still has those amazing boobs. She married my friend James, which has made me aware of another pattern - all my guy friends and I ended up with girls WAY better than we deserved, and somehow the ladies never caught on! Hey, I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth!
Tracie - The first time I met Tracie, I was in love with her. I had a ridiculous crush on her from 13 until... Ok, I still have a little bit of a crush on her, but I can say that about all my best female friends. I mean, come on, liking me in spite of all my faults is a quite attractive feature on a girl! Tracie though... omg... she was a post-mod girl back before they started calling it "goth" and ruining it all with pretentiousness and bad emo music. She introduced me to The Cure, The Smiths, Siouxie and the Banshees, The Sugarcubes, Depeche Mode and Peter Murphy, just to name a few. She caused me to realize that there is nothing sexier on this planet than a girl wearing all black, heavy eyeliner, steel-toed boots, dyed hair, tattoos and listening to industrial music on headphones and dancing around to it like a shaman.
Lori - I first met Lori because she is Shannon's cousin. We've known each other almost as long as I've known Shannon. We've lived together briefly a couple times and always been close friends, pretty much from the beginning. I can think of two arguments we ever got into and they were both over some stupid shit. She's intelligent, laid-back, cool, beautiful and a great cook. She's always fun to get drunk with. In fact, I often wish I was kicking back and having a vodka tonic with Lori, getting all buzzed and talking shit to make her laugh. She's one of my best friends, not just because we're family, but because we choose to be.
Mark - "We've been dancin with Mr. Brownstone..." I've known Mark since I was a wee lad as well. We grew up across the street from each other and were always getting into trouble together. We build copious club houses and secret forts all over his backyard and the huge field near our neighborhood. We always used to ride bikes all over town together. He was the first person I ever rode out of town on my bike with. We rode about 2 miles out of town to the King's River and swam around for a bit then rode back home. I think I was about 7 or 8 then? That's the kind of stuff we did, riding bikes as far as we could before we got worried about getting in trouble and rode back, or shooting stuff with our bb guns, or blowing things up with firecrackers. We don't do (most of) that stuff anymore, but we still hang out, knock back a few drinks and have good times together. He's in a relationship with Lori, so when we get together, there's always guaranteed good food, strong drinks and a lot of funny conversation.
Bill - Back in the day, Bill and I were like Butch and Sundance. I would get up in the morning, jump in my car, drive down the street and around the corner, and Bill would be waiting outside to hop in the passenger seat and away we'd go. I can honestly say Bill was one of my truest and best friends ever. He had my back and I had his and we saw and did some pretty insane crazy shit together. We lost Billy over 10 years ago and I still think about him every day. Everyone who got to know him was blessed by his friendship and I'm proud to still call him my friend.
I'm sure I'm forgetting some people here, and I apologize. I don't mean to exclude any of my friends, but I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge some of my best and closest friends who helped me become the guy I am today (for whatever that's worth!). We all have those people in our lives who are closer than family, stronger than blood and who are there for us through thick and thin. When I look back on my life, I may have never been a wealthy man, but I'm exceedingly rich in friendship. I have the best friends in the world and I'm proud of that. Wherever I end up on this journey through life, these are the guys and girls who will be right there with me to either congratulate me when I do good or call me out when I'm screwing up. I love my friends, every single one of those crazy bastards.