There’s never a good way to say, “Goodbye”. Songs are written about how hard it is. Stories end, and people leave their trash in the theatre. There is literally hardly anything “good” about “goodbye”. After over 10 years, and hundreds of shows, this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
With that said… “Goodbye, Josh Damigo.”
A lifetime ago, my brother, committed a crime while drunk and dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Survivor’s Remorse. He then spent the next seven years in jail, a mental hospital, halfway home, and eventually, prison. Was any of this right or fair? I don’t think so. Is it right for our troops to come home after serving our country and not care for them? No. Is it right to commit a crime and expect to not have any punishment for that crime? No. Do I think what he received is what he deserved? No.
During that time that my brother was in prison, he got tied up in the wrong crowd… possibly the only crowd available to him. He started writing letters and saying things that you wouldn’t hear, normally. “Hitler wasn’t all that bad…” or “Jews made up a lot of things…” are things I would have never expected to hear from my little brother. I heard about the racist literature he was reading, and where these statements were coming from, and begged him to look at both sides of the issues. I failed.
I was raised to love others. I was raised with Christian values and still hold my faith, dearly. I believe in grace and that Christ’s blood is sufficient for my sins. I believe that we should treat others the way that Christ taught us, regardless of faith, nationality, sexual orientation, wealth, etc… and I believe that it is not my job to walk around like a Christian police officer or judge others, but to do my best to show love to everyone that I meet and in every situation possible.
Unfortunately, my brother’s choices and stance on all of this is completely different from mine. Through those choices, he has aligned himself with the likes of David Duke, Richard Spencer, and other white nationalists. He regularly preaches separation, and takes part in hate speech. He blogs, interviews, and has become a public figure within an organization that stands for all of the things that I have done everything in my power to live against.
I knew what he stood for and he knew what I stood for. I had hoped and still hope that he would grow out of, but it is pretty obvious that it’s only becoming more and more rooted in everything that he is.
I’ve decided that I no longer want to be associated with that name. It’s time for a new one.
There’s obviously a lot of opinions, and I’ve thought about them and weighed them, and it’s been the hardest thing that I’ve been through, other than seeing my brother in jail. Do I stick with a “name” that I’ve used all over San Diego and occasionally in a few cities on tour, or do I move on, grow up, end this chapter, and start something new?
My answer: “Goodbye, Josh Damigo”.
But there’s a funny thing about “goodbye”. It allows you to say, “Hello”. Many of you don’t know my story. You probably assumed that my name was Josh Damigo, my whole life. Goobers…
I was born, Joshua David Lodge, to Peter Lodge and Charilyn Haley. My parents divorced when I was four, and my brother was two, and my mother remarried a man that I love dearly, Mike Damigo. My name was changed when I was 5 or 6, and I became Josh Damigo and our new family began. I would spend the school year with my family in California and visit my relatives in Maine, every summer, and it was a beautiful childhood- I have nothing to be ungrateful for.
Well, there you have it…. “Goodbye, Josh Damigo… Hello, Joshua Lodge.” I’ll be working on writing new music, and I don’t have a release date or any plans with it, just yet. I’ve just decided and know that this is my next step… my next chapter. I honestly hope that you will come with me.
For anyone who has any questions, feel free to reach out. Please understand that this has been emotional, and It’s not something I want to spend my life talking about. It’s why I haven’t felt like playing many shows and why a lot of people have asked where I’ve been. It’s been the source of my depression, and a lot of tears.
Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your love. I have tried to write this over and over again. It’s not the most poetic. It’s not the most heroic. But it is the end of something special and beginning of something, new.
Still playing for your pocket change,