I originally wrote the following for the All Things Weezer blog a year and a half ago. However, ATW recently went through a redesign and the blog is no longer available. So I’m reposting it here, in one part (it was originally broken up into three on ATW). This was written before Death to False Metal, Mikey’s Facebook posts and the release of the Pinkerton Diaries. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
“…and tomorrow we go to LA to make our new record”
Rivers Cuomo spoke these words to a Boston audience on January 14, 1998. With Pat Wilson manning the drums, Weezer’s fans, both those in attendance and those who would later hear the show through tapes and MP3s had reason to be optimistic. Sure, Pinkerton wasn’t a commercial success, but for the band’s fanbase, it was the perfect album. There was some discord among the band during the post-release promotion and tour schedule, but here, in Boston, half of the band was on the same stage, playing together once again. And while Rivers slowly began to distance himself from the Pinkerton material, fans were pleased with these new songs.
Indeed, Weezer was off to Los Angeles to make a new record. But Weezer’s third record wouldn’t hit stores for another three years, during which time the band lost and gained a bassist, the fanbase would swell thanks to filesharing and Rivers Cuomo and his music would each undergo dramatic changes.
This is not the story of the third album, 2001’s Weezer (The Green Album). Rather, this is the story of Rivers’ final months in Boston through the time the band ceased recording in the fall of 1998. Just as information from this time period is sparse, so is the musical output. As Karl Koch put it, the band “refused to let their management even hear what they were doing for the most part, and shared only a small fraction of the music then or since.” Pat calls the time period “one of indecision and abandoning the past.” This is an attempt to explore the time period using the little available news from the era, along with the words of the band and their friends, and to shed some light on one of the most fascinating (if only because little is known about it) periods in Weezer history.
In August 1997, Weezer returned to the United States after supporting No Doubt and headlining their own shows overseas. The band had been through a heavy period of emotional turmoil; dealing with the reaction to Pinkerton, members wanting to focus on their side bands and the deaths of fanclub founders (and some of the band’s earliest supporters), sisters Mykel and Carli Allan and their sister Trysta.