Brody & Tim: The Story of The Failed Marriage..
The following information was obtained from an issue of The Face magazine, in which Brody was interviewed about her failed marriage to Rancid frontman, Tim Armstrong.
OHSERENAOHSERENA™ for this artical..!
Everyone wonders what happened to Brody and Tim’s marriage. To loyal fans, they seemed like the ultimate punk rock couple and were simply meant to be.
A little background first. Brody first met Tim at a festival in Australia on New Year’s Eve of 1995. Brody was on the bill to play with her band at the time, Sourpuss. Tim was 31, and a recovering, clean drug/alcohol addict. Tim and Brody talked after the show “and it was boom”, she says, “when you can actually look right into someone.” Rancid weren’t big in Australia at the time. Brody owned “one seven inch single”. Tim went home, called Brody 4 months later and paid for her to tour with him on Lollapalooza for 2 weeks.
Back in Australia, this time Tim stayed in contact, calling Brody in September 1996 and saying he was flying down that day. He didn’t turn up until January 1997. “I was going fuckiinggg…craaaazzzyyyy”, she says. “How d’you call and say you’re gonna make a commitment to someone and then disappear off the face of the planet? A 17-year old girl? That was my worst drug period to be honest with you. He broke my fucking heart in two pieces. My mom haaaated him. I guess he just fell off the wagon and disappeared.”
Brody attempted suicide by slitting her wrists, and had to be hospitalized. When Tim finally showed up, he asked her to move to the States with him. She’d never been out of Australia. She said yes, moving in April of 1997 to be with a man she’d spent a total of 3 weeks with. “I was intensely, intensely in love.”
Brody arrived in LA and, through Tim’s influence, stabilized and got sober and clean. The pair bonded through troubled, self-destructive backgrounds. Seven months later they were married in the mountains of Las Vegas; a wicca wedding-just Brody, Tim, and a white witch. Brody knew literally no one, and was surrounded by his label, his band, his fans. “People were very wary of me,” she notes, “I didn’t know anybody and he’s a giant rockstar and women are throwing themselves at him. A lotta people didn’t like me.” They were opposite personalities. “He’s 14 years older than me,” she says, “but emotionally a child. He had a horrible relationship with his parents. I’m not gonna say what happened. But a very sensitive, very damaged man. And he happened to like the power of having a young woman at his pedestal 24/7. And I didn’t know any different. To me, his word was God.”
Brody and Tim fought every single day. Brody still kept the lights on at night—“We’d have giant fights about that.” Financially, he supported her. He was a millionaire rockstar and she was a musician without a band. “He sat around the house all day and wrote. Lucky him.” Eventually, she began her first incarnation of The Distillers, signed (at Tim’s demand) to the “family business” —his label, Hellcat. They released their first album in late 1998.
If there’s one thing Brody can’t stand, it’s rules. Rules are what kept Tim Armstrong together. He didn’t drink, or do drugs and therefore, neither could Brody, for years, not even alone with friends. On The Distillers’ first tour through Canada, she broke free, and drank for two days solid. “But I was desperate! I was, “I’m going fucking crazy!”” Tim’s people told him. “And Tim forced me to get on a plane and come home,” she says, “by threatening me. By yelling at me. I was 20 years old. By getting my booking agent—who was his booking agent—to call me up and say that she was never gonna book my band again. That I had really fucked up. Like a child being reprimanded, constantly, for being in trouble. He’d threaten me with divorce. I was constantly humiliated in public.”
All over the lyrics to Coral Fang, there are clues to her life in the next 4 years. “I wasn’t physically abused,” says Brody, “but he was a very, very, very controlling man. Because he can’t control the pain that eats him up every day. So, where to go? Right here. On my head. After a while you just shut down. You’re drained. Drained. I didn’t have a life. I became a fucking hermit. The band was my only escape. That sounds terrible, but that’s how I got outta there. I went on tour and saw the world. He didn’t like it. He made sure that when I went out, I was with his people. So I was constantly being watched. The way he runs his business is very mafioso. I didn’t like being married to the mob. I didn’t just marry Tim, I married all of them.
Tim’s a spook himself. A different kind—unable to socialize with people outside of his circle, where he has no control or no authority.
Brody talks about her mom and stepdad’s wedding; they finally married four years ago in Tasmania.
After the teenage traumas, Brody came to adore her parents. “Tim stayed in the hotel the entire time,” she says, “wouldn’t come out. Never hung out with my family. Not even…tried. They didn’t know who I was married to. For six years, My parent’s spent…a week with the man…my entire marriage! Y’know?”
Brody knows there’s always two sides to every story. She wasn’t an angel, either. I’d be, “Fuck you, I’m gonna do what I want!” Tim was always generous, but there was a price. For the last 3 years of their marriage, they were in counseling, and for the last year, Brody was prescribed antidepressants, and was popping them like candy, resulting in the brain seizure reaction in summer 2002. She ditched the pills.
“I felt dead,” she says, “Tim was miserable. We didn’t make love anymore. I was, “What do you want me to do? Stay at home and be a housewife? I wanna play music, love you, I’m your wife, but I gotta go play music.” In January 2003, Brody went home, to her parents in Australia. She knew she was about to divorce him. “Without a doubt I knew.” She was so terrified on the plane she was shaking, took four Xanax sleeping pills, pounded the champagne, then landed in Australia and bawled her eyes out in front of her parents. After days of family discussions, she phoned Tim.
“And I told him that I couldn’t do it anymore. That it was over. The hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever done. And it was…the most…liberating feeling…I have ever experienced in my life.”
The first time Brody met Josh Homme she was 17 years old, back on the Lollapalooza tour with Tim. He was there with his previous band, Kyuss. “I saw Josh sitting on a bench reading a book,” she remembers, “I loved his band. So I went over and we talked. For two hours.” Can you remember how you felt about him? Brody nods, wary. “And so does he.”
Divorce proceedings weren’t easy. Brody has Tim’s lawyer and was “contractually bound to Tim through Hellcat.” She found her own divorce lawyer, and entertainment lawyer.
“I changed my entire life in one day,” she says, “and he could not…believe it. ‘Cause here’s me. This is what it looks like when I take control of my life. He was fucking irate.”
Ever since, Tim’s pressed his case anyway, hinged on her overnight disappearance. “Yes,” Brody nods, “And he was also telling people that I was a junkie.”
Since then, Brody and her band mates have had the largest line drawn in the sand because of the divorce. “I lost everybody. Everybody. The only people that I could go to were my boys, my band.”
Brody is much happier with Josh Homme, and even claims that he is her male equivalent.
Things with Tim have gotten worse. Recently, he turned up at someone’s show in LA, saw a friend of Brody’s, the band’s album-sleeve artwork, and went ballistic. “And this guy, our friend, is tiny,” fumes Brody, “a genuine sweetheart, and Tim yelled and screamed in his face: “You talk to Brody? Give her a message for me. Tell that bitch she’s a fucking cunt and I fucking hate her” in front of everybody. When I heard, I felt sick. I felt like how I used to feel. ‘Uh-oh, I’m in trouble again.’
Ever since, Brody’s had a restraining order put in place. “He can come a certain distance but he can’t say anything nasty or he’ll literally get thrown in jail.”
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