Johnny Ciggs - Paradise

This album is dedicated to the memory of Bill Briggs. You showed me a new life. It’s impossible to express how thankful I am for that. It was an honor to have you as a friend.

Special thanks to all of the Wednesday night squad, I don’t know how I ever got by without you all. Black Liquid, thanks for answering the phone when I was losing my shit. I was at my worst and you gave me some hope. It was a nice time. Thanks for jumping on the album too. Shout to St. James, and anyone who has been riding with me on this road to being a better person. I love all of you. Fan Ran & John Canada, I keep trying to figure out how to write out the appreciation I have for you guys and it just doesn’t do it justice. Thank you. Y’all were right there with me when I was really going through it. I’ll never forget that. Rah Scrilla, you were the first person to call me out on half assing my promise to quit drinking. That’s the type of shit only the truest of friends do. I appreciate you. To the rest of my Gritty City family, I love you all and thank you for riding with me through my bullshit. Binck, you were one of the only people who saw how much I was losing it. Thanks for being a great friend and listening to me talk crazy for hours on end while we were up at work. When I told you I was cleaning up, all you did was support me. You’ve always been one of the best dudes ever. Love ya buddy. Harry, our conversations have been amazing. Glad I finally came around and decided to trust you. You have helped make my life worth living and you are a great friend. Thank you. “It’s hard to live in reality when you spend all of your time running from it”. My head almost exploded when you told me that.

Last but extremely far from least. Mom & Dad. Thank you all for everything. Not just the giving me life part, but also, the dealing with my crazy ass for 36 years part too. Love you guys.

I wrote this album in the last couple weeks of my drinking and the first couple months of my sobriety (except for Moonlight Pt. 6, which was written at one year sober. The night I wrote that song is actually the last time I craved a drink). When I was writing these songs I was under the impression that my pain, misery, loneliness and alcoholic insanity were some sort of achievement, or perhaps a badge of honor, or maybe even my greatest accomplishment. Some type of fucked up “life’s work” if you will. When I made these songs I did so in order to document this way of life I supposedly loved so much. Somehow I was still blind to the fact that none of what I was going through would have been happening if I didn’t absolutely hate everything about myself. I wanted to show you all how amazing my alcoholic downfall was. I had worked my whole life for it. Nonsense was all I knew so nonsense was all I had to be proud of I guess. But, in a weird way it actually was my greatest accomplishment. After 18 years of insanity, I had made it to rock bottom, and for a drunk like me, rock bottom ain’t actually too bad of a place to be if you play your cards right.
Even though I originally wrote this album “for me” I have decided to release it for a completely different reason. The reasons behind why I originally wrote this album are no longer of much concern to me, but I still absolutely love these songs. Also, I realize now, that just how I needed to hear others talk about their own alcoholism to make sense out of mine, someone may need to hear this album to make sense out of theirs. These songs are for the person who is still out there struggling and still under the impression that no one could possibly understand what they’re going through. I found out 3 years ago that tons of people knew exactly what I had been going through. I honestly didn’t want to believe it at first. It was almost like I wanted to cling to the pain, and the fact that my pain was less unique than I led myself to believe kinda stung. I learned that there is a feeling that is shared among bottomed out alcoholics that no one has ever really been able to quite describe in words, but we all know it very well. I watch people go from being an absolute fucking mess, to being great people. I watch people go from suicidal to loving life, drunk to sober, and I see this all the time. It’s incredible. So if you are one of those people who feels like life is hopeless, I just want you to know that I’ve been there, I get it, and most importantly, IT DON’T GOTTA BE LIKE THAT. Life is beautiful these days. Join me.

-Ciggs

Wtitten and performed by Johnny Ciggs.
Track 1 produced by Profound 79.
Tracks 2,3,4 & 7 produced by Fan Ran.
Tracks 5,6,8 & 9 produced by John Canada.
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Michael Millions.
Art by Max Lowtide.
Layout by Escalera Studios.
2021 Gritty City Records.
www.grittycityrecords.com

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