Image: Some artwork by Lord Jules of Hadder and his friends on the day that changed his life.
Good morning. It’s the last Friday of march. The first and the last... well not really. I’ll explain. Todays message will be very deep, I’ll warn you now in case you’re not in the mood.
This week I finished the last track for the record. It’s called “The Ballad of the Dead Rabbit”. Took a while but I suppose that’s life sometimes. Might be a little fix during the week but I think this version is good enough to post. It was the first track I started back before the fires, at least a portion of it anyway. Some vocals were actually tracked then in that home that’s gone now… and some vocals were done yesterday. It’s a little eerie in that way. It’s a very fitting end to this part of my life. A beautiful capsule of grief, loss survival, hope, determination, and despair all bottled up now in a song. I lost some friends along the way and even lost myself a bit.
Somewhere in the middle of this track is the record I made. Every other song was written about things and moments that fell in between the writing of this song. They each have a tale to tell during that time. So, you could say it all started here with the Ballad of the Dead Rabbit. These are the words and the story of why there’s a thing called Diamonds Hadder.
Someone once asked me, what is Diamonds Hadder. Maybe I didn’t even fully know, until now. Now that this record is done, I can finally reflect on the experience of making it. Why did I wake up in the city wearing a mask and calling myself John Evermore? Well, I had a mask long before that… you see my name is Mizzy Pacheco. That’s really me. You would have to walk in my shoes to understand the grief I felt and the loss I experienced to perhaps understand what drives a man to hide away from himself. 200 North is the place where John Hadder was born. What’s become clear to me now, only after finishing this record, is that John Hadder in some way was an idea that I embodied for arts sake. Call it a possession of sorts.. but not really that dramatic. More of a willingness on my part to just obey what I feel at all costs regardless of what it looks like. I’ve done this before in my life. Changed my name for music projects. That’s all this ever was. I’ve always been great at adapting to my surroundings for arts sake. Believe me I was as confused as you.. I had no choice in the matter, the idea of Diamonds Hadder, the story of it, appeared to me vividly at that time in my life.. the year of the fire and beyond..… as I was breaking down… I think simply because it wanted to exist. I’m not really crazy but I do listen to the wind and sometimes it takes me places far away. I thought it first appeared then, just before the fire… but now I look back and see the mask showing up in my life long before that. In Blessed Electric photoshoots, in Against All Will music videos, in “12 Moons Over Paradise” a documentary I did.. and in my home footage… I think I was always supposed to write this book called Diamonds Hadder. The making of this record will mark an interesting time of my life, a confusing time of prolonged healing and deep depression and grief and ultimately hope. A blurred time of reality. A time when I abandoned the real person I was for a moment because I was too lost and broken to care to remember who I was. And so I created something. Having said that, things do matter, there actually is an end to the race. For me, that day is now. I think I finally understand who John Hadder is, where he came from and who I am. I think I’m ready to just be me again on the music side of things… and also ready now to just let Hadder have his book and his story to tell how he wishes moving forward. Thanks Johnny. I’m sure we’ll see you on the road in the future. You may notice some changes to the site in the coming months as I reclaim my own spirit.
To Lord Jules, my good friend from so far away… who has created so much art for me along this incredible journey of a record. You have no idea what this image means to me, thank you so much for capturing this moment of my life. When I look at it.. my eyes drift down to that hillside… and the home that was there… and the man on that porch under the rising moons and fog surrounded by hummingbirds and love as he watched the world spiral out of control and burn away. What a place that was. Thank you sir.
So what now… well. I’ll release it all officially and continue writing. Look for a music video for this Ballad of the Dead Rabbit track coming soon, or at least before I leave for my winter pilgrimages. I’m working on the video now. The rest of the Hadder tale is still coming to me… I can’t wait to see what mess he gets himself into next. For now, enjoy the release of the first 16 stories as they get narrated on the Diamonds Hadder youtube channel each week by various characters from the story. I’ll be around building the next level of this tower. Enjoy the spring. I think I’ll go sit on that hill this week and sip a nice IPA. Forecast is for fog on Sunday. Should be pretty up there. If you’ve come this far, thank you. I can only hope something I’ve created might inspire you in some way.. to stay your own course when the road is hard… and to keep hopeful for better days.
Video: A video narration of the 4th field note, "Red River and the Luna Moth".