Philippines Fun Wall Profile: Karl Roy
Karl Roy. In a word – rockstar!
And there goes on stories upon stories of the rockstar that was and is Karl Roy. I personally met Karl Roy in the early 90’s when Advent Call was just taking its first few steps. As a student in UP at that time, I was very active with student groups like UPJMA and my fraternity Upsilon Sigma Phi, and part of my role was to organize fund-raiser events, and mostly I threw free concerts at the UP Sunken Garden among other things. Of course, Advent Call was gaining popularity, and was an instant must-have in the roster of performers if the event was to ever become a success. And since I was one of the first (if not the first) to make use of Advent Call, then most of the other groups would ask me how to get in touch with them, and I ended up being a middleman-manager to their manager at that time Nitto Palacios. Needless to say, I was also a band groupie – forever devoting my free time to catch their gigs at Cabooze, Weekends Live and Club Dredd. And yes, Karl Roy and I became close friends.
When the Advent Call phenom took off, I sort of got left behind. Before I knew it, Karl Roy just went into different directions, and eventually there were just crazy stories about the behind-the-scenes of the rockstar life. We re-met again when he was with P.O.T., and then I saw him drop off the radar again, following a bad break up with the band. It was at that time that I actually got to know him much better again. We hung out more often. Somewhere there, he and Nathan Azarcon were considering to get me to manage their upcoming band – Karl Roy and The L.S.D. (Love, Surrender & Devotion). It was a weird time for all of us, and well… let’s just say they went on to become Kapatid.
You can’t talk about Karl Roy and not have to mention drugs in the same sentence. Yeah – he’s gone through how many heart procedures, and many have felt that he really destroyed his life and health by constantly getting high. Not just simple high, but rockstar high. Put it this way – if taking 7 drops of acid in your lifetime means that you’re clinically insane – well, let’s just say that was just all in one night’s fun.
For whatever they said about his habit, I admired him for the fact that he knew everything he was getting into, and taking into his system. Karl Roy knew the names of every magic mushroom out there, down to its scientific name. He also knew prescription drugs, and knew the difference between a Xanax and a Xanor, not just by definition on the box, but by actual experience. To me, Karl Roy was creative in the way he would take his drugs – in perfect timing, in perfect mixture – a mad scientist who concocted various combinations to bring the state of living to a higher – pardon the pun – state of life. Unlike most abusers who would seek escape from depression, Karl Roy used and abused in order to inch closer to Truth, seeking that perfect moment of clarity where Truth would be revealed – a rhythm, lyrics for a song, answers to the most basic question – what is Life?
And what he really found inside him was that he was full of love – always giving, never violent, always smiling, always welcoming, always wanting the best for the daughter he couldn’t spend much time with. We were the same that way.
At those alleged dark times (or so people would like to think), Karl Roy might not remember your name in the morning, but he’ll recognize your face, and he’ll put together the moments, and he’ll know the Truth of what it means because deep inside, he knows himself. He knows what the moment is about, and he’ll know that whatever it is, it must’ve been good, because in him – it was all good.
We’ve hung out together too many times to know what that means, and we both never really made excuses for the supposed fuck-ups “they” claimed we were making. One day – we both realized – who the fuck are “they” anyway? And just like that, we recognized the gods that we were. We would never be afraid again.
Without trying to outdo the stories said about Karl Roy, I won’t divulge the inside information on our little own adventures. That’ s between me and Karl.
I just feel he deserves to have a place in the Philippines Fun Wall because he is an icon in Pinoy rock, and if there was anyone who lived up to what it means to be a rockstar, then it was and is Karl Roy. The rockstar drama. The rockstar success. The rockstar rockstar.
Once upon a time – I wrote him a poem. Once upon a time – Karl said, “JJ, you gotta write my autobiography.”
I said, “Karl, if it’s an autobiography, you have to write it.”
In any case, I’ll write a little something… For now, this’ll have to do.