Tag Archive | Testimonial

What If Your Birthday Was on September 11th?

911 Birthday Cake
Image Source

Confession: Most of the time, I can barely recall what Netflick I watched last night or what I ate for lunch earlier in the day, but ask me what it was like to be in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001, and I remember that day like it was still happening. I remember seeing the smoke from the first tower as I stood at the corner of 19th Street and 5th Avenue, walking to work that morning and thinking “Something’s on fire.” I can tell you what the weather was like (the most beautiful late summer Tuesday, ever).

I recall the most minute, bullshit details of numerous conversations I had with people that day. I can tell you what I made for lunch (pasta with chicken in red sauce). I even remember what I was wearing. It’s been ten years since that day and for me it’s like it was, as they say, just yesterday. I’m sure I’ll have the same clarity about September 11, 2001 for the rest of my life. If you were in NYC at the time, you can’t ever forget. But think about this: what is that day like for people whose birthday is on September 11th? That’s something I hadn’t really considered until I read this fantastic story in The Awl built around first-person testimonials from10 people who are unfortunate enough to have 9/11 as their birth date. Ten People Who Observe Birthdays on 9/11 is by far my favorite remembrance piece of the too-many-to-mention that I’ve already read over the past few days. It captures just the right balance of candor and uncomfortable humor that feel appropriate after a decade of 9/11 anniversaries. The piece starts out like this:

Jotham Sederstrom, 34, freelance reporter: On September 10th, my friends took me out for birthday drinks in Chicago. I was out until three or four, I think, at a place called “The Hideout,” among other places. I didn’t wake up until about noon, at which point everything had changed.

George Spyros, 44, executive producer: I got married the weekend before. We had a bunch of friends and family from out of town, and went out Monday night for dinner. My wife and I were supposed to fly out on September 11th for our honeymoon. On top of that, it’s my birthday.

Michael Wright, 44, editorial director: September 11th has always been the best day of the year for me — and then it all goes to shit.

Allison Spensley, 31, mid-career change: It was my 21st birthday, so of course I had plans to go out.

And it just gets more engaging. You can read the rest – and I strongly recommend that you do – Here.

Jana Peri, Singer/Songwriter & Guitarist

Jana at Stonehenge

Jana Peri at Stonehenge

“It seems kind of odd for me to be writing an endorsement for Gail, given that we live in the same neighborhood and have been friends for years; that is, unless you know why I met Gail in the first place.  It was because of her writing. I stumbled upon a piece she had written about publicists which was posted on the Internet, was immediately intrigued and sought her out. We started corresponding and finally met in person when we attended a film screening and rode the subway home together. Over time, we have become great pals and have seen countless bands together. When I needed someone to write a new bio for me tocoincide with the release of my CD, Catching Flies with Vinegar, it was a no-brainer. If you are looking for someone with a great reverence for music history, tempered with an irreverent sense of humor, Gail is your girl!”

Kurt Reil, Drums/Vocals, The Grip Weeds

The Grip Weeds

Kurt Reil, Far Left

“It was great to talk to Gail. I felt like I was having a conversation with an old friend, not a journalist I’ve never met; she put me at ease to open up and maybe say things I wouldn’t normally say to a writer who was not nearly as clued in. There is always the danger that what you said can be misrepresented or used in a way that you did not expect or intend, but I had a sense that Gail was ultimately trustworthy, which she earned in her obvious appreciation and understanding of music. Somehow, she managed to distill a lengthy, 90 minute interview into a tightly focused profile that I am very proud of. Let’s talk again soon, Gail!”

Robbie Z, Drummer, Black Halos

Gail has been a friend for a few years now. She has fantastic energy and is a pleasure to talk to and be around. Since the interviews she did with me for Modern Drummer and Metal Edge last year, I have had many compliments from friends, fans and industry folk still to this day. I very much appreciate her help in getting my name out there and hope that we can connect again in the near future. We should be thankful that she is a fan of the music and wants to write about people she cares about whether they are of mainstream success or from the underground. Thanks again Gail…keep up the great work!

Robbie Z, Drummer, The Black Halos

What can I say about Gail except for that she’s picked an obscure kid out of the underground and brought me to the forefront of the highly respected pages of Modern Drummer because she’s a fan of the music. She’s right in the front row of the pit, sweating it out with all the other misfits because she wants to be there experiencing the full impact of what a band can generate on stage! My interview with Gail was comfortable and fun and I can’t thank her enough for all the help and advice she’s given me. It’s because of her that my Mom can now look at the pages of Modern Drummer and think that I’m not a complete failure….thank you Gail!

John Tempesta, Drummer, The Cult, Helmet, White Zombie

I have to say my interview with Gail for Modern Drummer was by far my favorite ever! Our interview was so comfortable that I felt I could talk to her about anything. We had so many laughs…She’s like the sister I never had. It’s so refreshing to have a Rock Critic like Gail who has so much knowledge and love of music. All hail Gail Worley!

Paul Barker, Guitarist (formerly of Ministry)

As anyone involved in the arts knows, interviews are a drag/necessity. Why should you explain your art? Even if the interviewer thinks they know you, they don’t. So fuck off. Now consider hours of interviews over days, if on a press junket, or over months squeezed into tight schedules, if on tour. How many ways can you say the same thing? Get me a drink. There are a few interviewers I like talking with. Gail Worley is one of them. She knows how to get the interview to transform into interesting conversation — no mean feat considering the nature of interviews is to talk about yourself and whatever it is you’ve done… pretty boring stuff if you’re already working out the next challenge! She knows your history, has a pretty good grip on the effect of your work, and seems to have angles on why you create that even you haven’t thought of. All of which makes talking about your sorry ass easier. One last comment about Gail, who, by the way, has already slayed everyone– SHE IS INTERVIEWING THE ALICE COOPER BAND! They, with Sly and the Family Stone, were the most important American rock bands in the early 70’s!

Larry Dvoskin, Grammy Nominated Songwriter, Producer and Creator of American Pride

Gail is Rock & Roll personified: sexy, edgy, inspired, unpredictable, radical, hot and moving with the beat of the new generation. When approaching a story, she is a true artist: a craftswoman weaving words, feelings and images which are creative, sexually charged, inspired and touching.

Greg Lattimer, Vocals/Guitar, HotSocky

Gail Worley broke my journalistic cherry. She was the first writer to interview/write about my previous band, Thin Lizard Dawn. Although she has a vast knowledge of music, she manages to write from a true fan’s perspective. She even got me excited to listen to my own music! Never afraid to mince words or speak her mind, she is always honest in her critique of the music she reviews. What the industry needs is more writers like Gail.