The “L’Via L’Viaquez”/Mars Volta Appreciation Post That Became A John Frusciante Appreciation Post Too

I was going to write a long post about one of my favorite songs “L’Via L’Viaquez” by The Mars Volta (it’s off the Frances the Mute album, which my then fetal archnemesis-that-doesn’t-know-I-exist Pitchfork gave only a 2 out of 10 [this is really criminal, PF]).

I don’t have a vast knowledge of The Mars Volta catalog and was doing some digging. They have been on my mind lately because of Juan Alderete’s TBI and the beautiful Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s run in with Scientologists. I revisited the song after needing a taste of something different, and when that guitar hits, it makes the hairs on my arms and neck stand up.

I’ve posted the short version with awkward mid-aughts video above, but the entire version can be found here.

My post came to a screeching halt when I found out, for the first time in the 14 years I have been listening to this song, that John Frusciante performed the guitar solo in the song. I find myself constantly circling John Frusciante’s solo work. It’s annoying because at some point years ago, I heard he was a huge asshole (though as I write this now, I cannot remember why). I went out of my way to avoid his works, but I am kind of an asshole magnet anyway. Here we are now.

On the same day I had a taste for “L’via”, I heard a John Frusciante song I had never heard before that gave my heart a little tug.

Maybe he’s an asshole (this is not confirmed), but I appreciate the tenderness of this song.

Anyway, there will be a Pt. 2 (or retroactive Pt. 1) to this post dedicated solely to The Mars Volta and parent/sibling bands and members. Stay tuned.

Author: Keelin Billue

Chicago-based writer by way of Alabama, New Orleans, and Nashville. Writes primarily about music, sports (sort of), and the topics that piss people off at work and family holidays.

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