If I read anything from let's call it the "hardcore fanbase," they are stuck in '93. It's 17 years [later] and I don't know what they expect to have happen. It's sort of beautiful because what they are saying is, "You so touched me in that moment, I want more of that." But the thing that I find really insulting is there's a deeper message there which is "You'll never be better." To try to tell a man that he'll never improve beyond something he did when he was half-crocked on drugs or drama, that's just not right. When I look at Johnny Cash or Neil Young or Tom Waits, those guys have proven that by remaining vital to themselves, that at some point they are able to burst through with another period.
This is a tricky situation—he's taking a shot at the people who've been most loyal to him over the years, which just doesn't seem like a very nice thing to do, but also, he's right. It can't feel very good to be told your best days are behind you, and I respect him for continuing to try moving forward. A word to the wise, though, Billy? Let us decide when it's time to invoke Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Tom Waits.