Dear Weezer, Please Break Up

Aug 28, 2009 By Aaron Passman
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Having once been declared Kansas City's biggest Weezer fan (no bullshit!), it gives me great pain to write the following: Weezer, please break up. I know, it hurts to hear it from someone you love, but I mean it this time. I used to hate those people that said "I only like old Weezer" the way some people say "I prefer old Modest Mouse" or "The Cure haven't done anything good since the '80s." But I can only be an apologist for so long.

It's been widely reported by now that your next album will be released on October 27th, and the first single is slated to be released within the next week or so. How about pulling a Grandaddy on this one and breaking up in advance of the release; just let the album quietly come out and speak for itself, with no tour or promotion to back it up. It'd be a more dignified way to go. I mean for fuck's sake, you've spent the summer sharing a bill with Blink-182. It's not like you can sink much lower, so quit while you're still (somewhat) ahead.

Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? I was there at those first shows in 2000 when you started playing live again after nearly a half-decade hiatus. It was great. Mind-blowing, even. Like taking a cast off a broken leg and realizing not only can you still walk, but you're actually a pretty fucking good runner, too. And so, on that wave of goodwill, you made an album2001's self-titled offering, or The Green Album, as it's known. It was good. Not great, but good. Nothing on there to the level of "Buddy Holly" or "Only in Dreams," of course, but I don't hear anybody turning off the radio when "Island in the Sun" or "Hash Pipe" comes on, either. There's a dud or two, but all in all it's pretty solid stuff—basic, four-chord pop-rockers with strong hooks and melodies that go down easy. Granted, if it was some other band or somebody's debut it probably wouldn't have been worth noting, but because it was Weezer people paid attention. Hell, they came out in droves for it.

And then a year later Maladroit came out-a step up from The Green Album, for sure. It showed the kind of band you always seemed to want to be but hadn't found an outlet for yet. It was bigger and louder and more hard rockin' than anything you'd ever done and even had flares of your old self, particularly on tracks like "Slob," which—gasp!—actually felt like a real, honest-to-God Weezer song. Again, even if it wasn't perfect, it still felt familiar and right.

And then there was the Make Believe fiasco of 2005. There's really nothing positive to say about the record and I'll mostly skip over it.  Suffice to say that, aside from "Perfect Situation"—which once again teasingly glimpsed how good you can be when you actually put some heart into it—there's nary a positive moment to be found.

So I came to the conclusion—long since reached by so many others—that you should break up. And, with Make Believe as justification, I basically did my best to forget that you were a still an active band.

But then last year's Red Album was like a revelation in some ways. Granted, "Pork & Beans" was your best song in a decade, even if the whole point of the song was venting frustration at people wanting you to be something you're not anymore. Even "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived"—despite unfortunately revisiting the mock-white-boy rap of "Beverly Hills"—had its moments, if only for the sheer scope of the song, something you hadn't really explored since "Only in Dreams" 14 years earlier.

As for the rest of the album, well, there are some strong moments, but it peters out midway through. And as for sharing some of the vocal duties, you of all people, Rivers, should have learned from the KISS solo albums how much that lowers your batting average. But, oh, "Pork & Beans"—finally something more than just the rock-by-numbers that made up so much of the rest of the record and its predecessor.

I heard the new single and, while it's not the worst thing you've ever done, it's not exactly first-rate, either. Ten years ago this might have been acceptable from somebody else, but not anymore.

In a box somewhere I've still got (some of) my old Weezer t-shirts and the flag from your early tours that used to hang above my bed. I've got piles of CDs and tapes compiling demo tracks posted on line and bootlegged live shows. Somewhere I've probably even got the Weezer sheets my mom made for me when I was in college, festooned with flying Ws. And I might even pull some of that stuff out of retirement if you gave me good enough reason to. But I'm not terribly optimistic, and come October 27, I expect I'll be proven right again.

Look at Stephen Malkmus or Jarvis Cocker.  Those dudes know how to do it—break up the old band and just be yourself.  It's not like those dudes aren't selling out shows, and they get away with doing entire tours without "Range Life" or "Common People." Hell, people even go to see them wanting to hear the new songs. How many times has that happened to you in recent years, Weezer?

Let's just admit it, fellas: we've both grown up and moved on. If you wanna put out a record and call it "The Rivers Cuomo Project" or something of that sort, that's fine. Be my guest. I'll probably buy it—I won't even steal it off the Internet, I promise—and maybe there might be a couple noteworthy songs on there. But the idea of more and more "Weezer" albums...I just don't think I can take that kind of disappointment anymore.



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Gary Knight
September 1st 2009
4:19pm

Aaron, it’s almost like you were in my head when you wrote this. As an old fan, their demise has been ultra painful to watch (confounding, even). Your summation of their post-Pink career is pretty much in line with mine, even if I liked Make Believe a little more than most.

Still, I think I’d rather have them around than break up. If they’re happy (and making new fans happy), all the power to them, and if old fans like us get a “Pork & Beans” every once in a while, great.

Thanks.

Agata
September 5th 2009
10:42pm

Franky speaking I don’t understand Aaron. I’m a music-lover and know much about various bands and singers. Having read this article I decided to investigate the works of Weezer.

Kim
October 6th 2009
12:30am

Agreed.

This was the most well-written Dear John I’ve ever read.

not a self-involved douche like u
October 27th 2009
4:20am

aaron,

please let us know where we can hear the music you have created. from the way you tell it it must be the voice of some strange god that would be a gift to humankind. get over it. if you don’t like it fuck off. the guys in weezer probably would not give you the time of day even though you would beg to suck their cocks i’m sure.

Bsauce
November 3rd 2009
6:44pm

Seriously man, you hit the nail on the head. It’s almost creepy how accurately you expressed my feelings about weezer’s demise. I was even there for their comeback shows of 2000 too, and they were the best concerts of my life. Although i never even bothered to give Red Album a chance, so i don’t know much about pork and beans. It’s nice to not feel alone on this, thanks!

h to the eather
November 13th 2009
5:30pm

it’s like i wrote this…couldn’t agree more…
and i’m one of those shitheads who does prefer the OLD modest mouse…i know, i know…

Blowfish
February 4th 2010
12:48pm

Seriously man, you hit the nail on the head. It’s almost creepy how accurately you expressed my feelings about weezer’s demise. I was even there for their comeback shows of 2000 too, and they were the best concerts of my life. Although i never even bothered to give Red Album a chance, so i don’t know much about pork and beans. It’s nice to not feel alone on this, thanks!

Matt Schellenberg
April 21st 2010
9:38pm

Thank you,

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band start so high and fall as far as Weezer. Can the world bear to watch them fall further?

Ryan
June 17th 2010
10:37am

Rivers isn’t our son - we don’t have to love him unconditionally.  I don’t get why people don’t get that.  People grow, people change; bands do the same.  You’re not necessarily going to like the way an artist develops or changes over time.  Blind love of a band doesn’t make much sense.

Gary Trimarchi
September 18th 2010
3:54am

Instead of them breaking up, why don’t you move on?

You don’t have to buy their albums. Simple as that.

eric
November 26th 2010
7:34pm

Haha 1 year later and it seems like they didn’t pay any attention to you nor any of the other angry nerd raging “Fans”.  I’m surprised you didn’t offer 10 million dollars, that seems to be the cool bandwagon remark as if you nerds really have 10 million dollars.  Go listen to some other rock band please, you don’t deserve to have their music anywhere around you.

Ginault Rolex
December 18th 2010
7:29am

I cannot ignore Weezer. The fact that I can’t stand this band, but know the names of their last several singles, what their best album is supposedly and what their goofy fucking albums look like prove that their influence on popular culture is much too pervasive.

Markus
February 26th 2011
1:27am

LOL, what a nice story!
Nice writing, thanks for this!
Greetings from Germany

funny quotes
June 21st 2011
5:53am

he is hell of a boxer, simply love his style.

tecsamfil
August 30th 2011
4:33am

But then last year’s Red Album was like a revelation in some ways. Granted, “Pork & Beans” was your best song in a decade, even if the whole point of the song was venting frustration at people wanting you to be something

scott
June 4th 2013
9:54am

Stop listening ten. I still think they are great. They have evolved. People do that.