By Fieldy. I began sending my friends and family text messages like the one above shortly after my father died in Losing Dad was my wake-up call to see that I had to change the way I lived or I was going to die, too. By the time my father fell ill, he had become a total Holy Roller, completely into Jesus. But he never once made me feel like the way I was living was wrong—even when he knew I had fallen pretty far off the right track. I had spent the last twenty years of my life popping pills, drinking beer, smoking weed, and throwing wild parties at my house.
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By Fieldy. I began sending my friends and family text messages like the one above shortly after my father died in Losing Dad was my wake-up call to see that I had to change the way I lived or I was going to die, too. By the time my father fell ill, he had become a total Holy Roller, completely into Jesus. But he never once made me feel like the way I was living was wrong—even when he knew I had fallen pretty far off the right track.
I had spent the last twenty years of my life popping pills, drinking beer, smoking weed, and throwing wild parties at my house. I was living the life I thought I was supposed to be living as a rock star. Dad often came to visit and hang out, but he never once said a negative word or made me feel judged for my actions.
I was oblivious that I was on a path of destruction. Long before I was born, Dad made his living as a musician. He was in a band called Reggie and Alex—Dad being the Reggie in the name. They were one of the hottest bands around, packing in sold-out venues all throughout Southern California.
He played guitar, the bass pedals, and keyboard and sang while Alex played drums. Dad was an extremely talented and gifted musician. We shared a common bond from the day I was born—literally—which was our love of music. I was born in Los Angeles in Back in the day, Mom traveled with Dad and the band all the time.
But, the stress and transient lifestyle of being on the road became too hard for her toward the end of her pregnancy so she just stayed at home until the big day. When she went into labor, every musician Dad knew in L. Our first stop was Aspen. The band set up while I slept onstage in my infant seat. Since they made the choice to start a family, Dad would have to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure I had a good stable life.
By the time I was around three or four years old, my family was living in Bakersfield. We were the only white family on our street. I vividly remember the day we moved in because I never thought I was white until I took a good look around the neighborhood, which was primarily black and Hispanic. If I had to, I could easily pass for Mexican. I got my looks from my dad. His complexion was so dark that he looked half black and half Mexican.
He had a big thick handlebar mustache that made him look extremely ethnic. Dad was the epitome of s cool. He wore button-up T-shirts with funky designs on them, shirts with big wide collars, opened halfway down his chest, and those crazy s platform boots with a zipper on the side. He was always dressed in style—or at least what he thought was in style. But that was hip at the time, so to the rest of the world, he looked cool. On the day we moved into our new home, neighbors stood outside their homes, staring at us as my folks tried to get us settled in.
When I woke up the next morning, I looked out my bedroom window to see if all of those strange faces were still there. I was really scared. I had never experienced racism or prejudice, and my mind was too young to understand why anyone would want to hurt us. I would have been very content staying inside forever. I was a pretty shy kid anyway, so making friends was hard enough.
Trying to fit in as the only white boy in a neighborhood of Hispanics and blacks scared me to death. Dad told me I could say I was Mexican or white—whichever I wanted. Maybe he was joking, but at the time, I felt confused. Reggie and Alex continued to play gigs primarily in Bakersfield for most of my childhood. By the time I was eight or nine, Dad would sometimes let me come to a sound check at whatever club they were playing. I thought it was awesome to hang out at the bar like I was one of the guys.
I know that most kids think their dad is the coolest dude, but to me, my dad was the real deal because he played in a band. I grew up spending many nights watching Dad play, learning from him, and wanting to be just like him.
The band often kicked it in our garage, jamming out s rock-and-roll tunes with an edge. Their music choices influenced my own tastes, which were as varied as theirs. I always had my stereo blaring when I was a kid. I had a love for all types of music.
For most of their marriage, my mother was pretty much a stay-at-home mom. She was a typical suburban housewife with blond hair and an innocence that made her appear soft and not edgy at all. She was really skinny, always wore hot pants and big oversized sunglasses, and was definitely sexier than all the other moms. Maybe Mom thought she had to dress like a diva because Dad was a musician.
It was clear that she wanted to stay young and attractive. My sisters and I were kind of embarrassed by her appearance and often pleaded with her to dress more her age. Looking back, she was young and probably very appropriate, but at the time it seemed too over the top. To make some extra money, Mom started a babysitting service, sometimes taking in as many as ten or fifteen kids during the day.
She was really good with kids. She liked having them around, and it was a pretty lucrative way for her to earn some extra money without having to work outside the home. I have three sisters—Candi, who is seven years older than me and has a different dad; Mandi, who is seven years younger than me; and Robin, who is slightly younger than Mandi. Our life was one big party growing up. There were always people at our house, partying, playing music, and having a good time.
Reggie and Alex had broken up, but Dad kept right on playing music with another group of guys. The wives and girlfriends all hung out while the band jammed. I spent countless nights sitting in the garage on an opened-up lawn chair listening to their music, carefully watching as I daydreamed about someday becoming a big rock star. Dad kept a refrigerator in the garage that was always stocked full of Budweiser. I thought it was cool to hang out and pop open beers for the guys. Eventually I began taking tiny sips off the top of a freshly cracked can before handing it over.
A sip here and there quickly turned into a lot more drinking than a twelve-year-old boy should be doing. Eventually, I began sneaking beers out of the garage and into my room until I had four or more hidden under my bed.
I drank them warm, until I could feel the buzz—which I liked, so I kept drinking more. I liked the way drinking alcohol made me feel. Looking back, they were nasty, but at the time they got me really drunk, really fast.
I saw Mom drink alone plenty of times. I thought that was normal. Unfortunately, I was too young to realize there are limits. I vividly remember throwing up from drinking too many coolers one night. Chunks of half-digested hot dogs I ate for dinner got stuck in my throat. It took me a while to eat hot dogs again after that—but I was right back to drinking the very next day.
Even though the parties were always fun around the house, too much drinking usually resulted in some type of altercation between Mom and Dad toward the end of the night. There were many evenings they got into a quarrel, and sometimes an all-out brawl. I vividly recall hearing my mother scream out to me one night when I was around eight years old. She was yelling that my father was trying to kill her. Reggie, Reggie. Come get me. Help me!
I could hear my mother pleading for my help. When I walked into the living room, I saw Dad on top of Mom, choking her. They were screaming at each other until I finally yelled back, Get off her! I pushed Dad, my hero, until he let go. After I pushed him off, Dad took a step back, looked right at me, glanced at Mom, who was crying and lying on the ground and then he just walked away without saying a word.
I was scared and confused. I began to cry as my mother scooped me up and held me for what seemed like hours. It took me a while to finally catch my breath. We never spoke about that night, though it left a pretty vivid impression on me. I had really severe seasonal allergies when I was a kid.
I always had a very hard time breathing, but they got especially bad during allergy season.
Got the Life: My Journey of Addiction, Faith, Recovery, and Korn
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It was released on March 10, The book details Arvizu's life; from his childhood, to his stardom in Korn, to the death of his father, to his conversion to Christianity and, ultimately, to becoming sober. Before his father's death, Arvizu was an alcoholic and a marijuana user. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.