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 "If I don't get some time off, then there's going to be an implosion." ...



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 "This girl gave me this note, and it said 'Meet me in the bathroom.' " ...



Page 3


 "I have to be very careful about who I let into my life." ...





Fall Out Boy:   Through The Years   (So Far...)


Inside Pete   Wentz's Mom &   Dad's House





  Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz Comments On ... You Know, Those Photos



  Fall Out Boy Working On Their Grammy Acceptance Speech





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Wentz has always been one for dramatics. As a teenager, he took piano lessons and played soccer before he succumbed to his inner misanthrope and realized that he wanted to be in a punk band. He started fooling around on the guitar and gave himself a pen-and-India-ink tattoo. ("It's like the worst thing ever," he laughs, pointing to the tiny X on his right ankle. "Kids, do not do this.") He cut off his shoulder-length hair and transformed himself from a sweetly na´ve suburban kid into a socially aware (and slightly goofy) straight-edge. He logged time in Chicago acts like xfirstbornx and 7 Angels of the Apocalypse, bringing the rage of suburbia to the big city.

It was all hugely embarrassing. And luckily for us, it's all on display in the Wentz household, a three-story brick charmer with a wrought-iron fence, white window frames and two Portuguese water dogs playing in the yard.

Inside, the fireplace mantle is packed with framed photos of Wentz in various forms of revolt: here he is with his grandparents, wearing a smirk and an ill-fitting suit; a bit further down the row, we see him with long hair and baggy shorts, smiling and holding a portable CD player. Nearby, there's the piano he grew up playing ("Schirmer's Library of Musical Classics: Sonatina Album for Piano" lies unopened on top of the bench). Next to it sit two gold records, commemorating sales of Panic! at the Disco's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, the debut release on Wentz's Decaydence Records.

The entire house follows this mixture of family mementos and Fall Out Boy memorabilia. This is because unlike most rock stars (and most 26-year-olds, one hopes), Pete Wentz still lives at home.

At the moment, he's recovering from the previous night's festivities. It was the final show of the Underdogs tour, so in addition to his DJing gig, he spent most of the evening patrolling the hallways of the UIC Pavilion in a pair of swim trunks (don't ask). He's sitting in his childhood bedroom, on one of his two twin beds, surrounded by soccer trophies and "Return of the Jedi" tumblers and fiddling with a totally sweet ThunderCats Lair.

But given that Wentz doesn't drink, his damage isn't alcohol based. Rather, he's suffering from an acute mental hangover. Normally a mile-a-minute motormouth, he now speaks in slow, deliberate tones, glancing at the floor and rubbing his heavily tattooed arms gently as he recalls the previous night ... which was pretty much like every single night of the past 13 months.

"It's so draining to have to interact with people on two levels, but that's what I have to do," he sighs. "Like, sometimes I'll do things — like that DJ thing last night — and I just feel completely put on display, and I feel like the majority of the people there are only there to get something from me. Like, last night, this girl came up to me and gave me this note, and I read it later and it said 'Meet me in the bathroom.' That's something that would happen to, like, Nikki Sixx. I'm not that way, but I think a lot of people think I am."

To be fair, they might have reason to. After all, Wentz gave fans a peek at his Motley side earlier this year, when a series of, er, extremely personal self-portraits he took on his Sidekick found their way onto the Internet. But he swears he's the last guy who'd ever to take advantage of his female fans' affection. He freely admits to still feeling like a confused teenager at heart, not some emo-punk poet laureate. Which is probably one reason why he has no intention of leaving his parents' house any time soon: It's his secret inner sanctum, the only place he feels completely safe.

And now he's taking an MTV News reporter and camera crew on a tour of it.

"This is the one place in my entire life that doesn't change anymore. It's the only place I can call my own. Everything is exactly as it was when I was 14, and I think about this place all the time because I have this crazy Peter Pan complex going on," he laughs. "I feel emotionally sheltered, because at the end of the day, when things are going really wrong in my life, this is the only place I want to go. I want to talk to my mom or lie on my old bed. I mean, I'd like to try and move out of here, but I don't necessarily think that I should."


NEXT: 'I have to be very careful about who I let into my life.' ...
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Photo: MTV News

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