Saturday, October 20, 2012

(I'm from) Western Mass: shooting the video- day 1

What up y'all!  Sorry for the lapse in blogging.  Suffice it to say, my summer on Block Island led me astray from most worldly duties.  Man!  That is a great place to hide out for a summer.  I HIGHLY recommend!

So now I'm back and I've just released the follow up to the "413" music video.  All in all, I couldn't be happier with the way "(I'm from) Western Mass" came out.  We had a great time putting it together and I think we put to rest the controversy surrounding the fact that we didn't venture far enough away from the greater Springfield area in the first video.

We shot "(I'm from) Western Mass" over the course of three days.  Rhode Island-based videographer Trevor Holden was behind the lens once again for the first two consecutive days of filming which began on Wednesday September 26th.   The forecast looked iffy so we were a bit concerned as we stopped off at my friend Dave's house to pick up the General Lee.

Dave and I have been friends since I was 13 years old.  A lifelong Dukes of Hazzard fan, he bought the 69' Dodge Charger you see in the video in 1987.  With a little TLC, the car was up and running. At the time it was painted a deep maroon and was our passport to ditch many a boring day at Agawam High School and drive to Lake Mark or Misquamicut.  I haven't been in the car since the early 90's so when I first sat in the car after so many years, my olfactories triggered an amazing sense-memory experience.  Trippy man.

After filming the opening sequence where the car pulls out of the garage, we bee lined it for Stockbridge.  Luckily, the weather held out and we got the very nice footage you see around town.  I spotted an older couple standing underneath a tree.  As the gentleman stood waiting to have his picture taken, he bent down picked up a hand full of leaves and tossed them in the air as his wife snapped away with the camera.  I asked if he minded if I stole his idea.  Thus the "I don't even care cuz' it's the Berkshires" shot.

We banged out Tanglewood, Kripalu Yoga, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Red Lion and Alice's Restaurant pretty quickly.  Back down through Beckett to get Jacob's Pillow and we were off to the Channel 22 to shoot a cameo with the infamous Sy Becker.

Sy was as warm and gracious as you could imagine.  Talk about a W. Mass icon.  When I was a kid, you didn't go see a movie unless Sy said it was ok.  His famous tagline, "I'm Sy Becker and this is another llllllllllllllllllllllllllooooook at the movies!" is up there with Bob Barker's "Please help control the pet population.  Have your pets spayed or neutered" in the pantheon of on-air sign offs.  Got a great cameo with Sy giving us his best.  Unfortunately TV 22's parent company didn't think the idea was so great and in the end we weren't allowed to include it in the video much to our (and Sy's) disappointment.  But we pressed on...

The Big E parade was next.  We pulled in and met up with DJ Hot Mess who was ready to take the wheel.  As we pulled on to the parade route I was amazed at how many people were shouting to me.  "Hey!  We LOVE your video!" or "Hey!  413!" or "Hey!  You're the 413 guy!".  When someone would yell out "Dr. Westchesterson", I made sure to throw them some extra love for knowing my name.  Couldn't believe it when Trevor showed me the footage.  Especially cool was the fact that he was in perfect position as we passed the Army reserve members who saluted us as we rolled by.  Love that shot.  At the end of the parade a guy walked up in a blue, crushed velvet sports jacket and sporting a pipe.  He introduced himself as Eric.  He had come to represent.  My first super-fan.  Obviously he made it into the video.

After stopping by to chat with Dave Madsen and Shannon Hegy (meow!) at the TV 40 news tent, we made our way to the Big Mamou for some major Cajun food.  I'd been in touch with Chef Wayne a couple of weeks earlier to ask if it was ok to include his restaurant in the video.  Apparently he had no clue about the "413" video and it seemed his only concern was that I wasn't trying to hustle him into buying advertising.  After I explained my mission and emailed him a link to "413", he said it was cool to shoot there.  When I told him I wanted him to be in the video his response was, "I'll be there".  I tried to reach Wayne a few times leading up to the video but couldn't get in touch.  When we showed up, the staff couldn't have cared less about what we were doing- which is a good thing.

Unfortunately I forgot that it's BYOB at the Big Mamou so I walked up the block to the nearest package store to grab a bottle of cheap wine.  Upon emerging unscathed from the underpass near the Hippodrome I ran smack into Teresa, owner of Teresa's Soul Food Kitchen standing outside of her joint.  Teresa made her first appearance in the "413" video after a chance encounter.  Awkwardness ensued...

"Hey Dr. what are you doin' round' here?!"
"Oh hey Teresa!  What's up girl?  I'm grabbin' a bottle of wine.  Having dinner at Wayne's place."
"Oh yeah?  You puttin' him in one of your videos?"
"Uh...yeah.  That's what we're doing."
"When you gonna come back and put me in a video?"
"Well- you were in the first one, remember?"
"Yeah- but that was only for a second.  Where's the love?"

What could I do?  I promised to come back and do something else at Teresa's Soul Food Kitchen.  So I guess as a man of my word, at some point- the general public can expect something from the Dr. involving Teresa's restaurant.  Not sure when...but a promise is a promise.

When I got back to the Big Mamou, I called Wayne to see if he was coming down.  After a couple of rings he picked up.

"Hey Wayne.  It's Dr. Westchesterson."
"The guy who's been talking to you about shooting a music video at your place."
- momentary silence-
"Oh yeah!  Hey what's up man?"
"Not much, we're here now and I'm wondering if you're planning on coming down."
"Aw shit man, I'm out gettin' my mack on."
"OK-'re not coming down?"
"Naw man- like I said, I'm out."
"OK- is it still cool if we shoot here?"
"Yeah man, that's cool."

Luckily, Chef Wayne bottles his own hot sauce the label for which has his picture on it.  So Wayne made the video after all.

After a fabulous meal we went back to the safe house and crashed.   Day two of shooting was only 12 hours away...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

An Old-School Beach Party

Scotch Beach is where the locals hang out.  When we arrive, a massive bonfire made from wooden pallets boosted from the ferry dock throws flames fifteen feet into the air.  Big, lifted F-250's and tricked out Jeeps with diamond plate panels and winches bolted to the bumpers are haphazardly parked in a semi-circle around the fire.  Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" blasts from one of the truck's open windows.

The people are a motley, shaggy-looking crew decked out in de rigueur surf wear and flip flops.  They clutch Coronas, pass joints and play fetch with happy go lucky dogs all free from leashes.  A group of pretty, young waitresses fresh from work wear t-shirts that say, "Mohegan Cafe, The National Hotel and Finn's Seafood". They smoke cigarettes while huddled around a keg half buried in the sand.  The buzz of a dirt bike engine rips over the din as a scraggly-looking guy in dirty jeans, no shirt and a leather cap tears off down the beach into the darkness.  Seconds later, he turns the bike around and guns it towards a small ramp made of packed sand and a piece of washed up plywood.  He hits the jump at full speed and clears a seven foot sea kayak set lengthwise.  The party goers erupt in a chorus of, "Whoohoos!" before chanting, "Josie! Josie! Josie!".

I turn to Boomer who has just come back from the keg with fresh beers. "So I take it his name is Josie".

"Ha!  Yeah!  That dude's crazy.  He's the moped mechanic at the shop I run.  He basically lives on Budweiser and cigarettes."

"So that's what you do?  You run a moped shop?"

"Yeah. Well...during the summer.", says Boomer.

"And what about the rest of the year?", I'm intrigued.

"I carry sticks around".

"You're a landscaper?", I ask confusedly.

"Nah man- I'm a caddy.  You know, like- Golf?"

"So let me get this straight.  During the summer you rent mopeds.  During the winter you're a golf caddy?  That's what you do?"

Boomer takes a gulp of beer, wipes the runoff from his chin then shrugs, "Beat's workin'..."

Teddy, the lighthouse keeper, approaches with a small group of friends.  "Boomer- I keep trying to tell these guys that the Doc here is that rapper everyone's been talking about but no one believes me."

"Yeah- this is the guy", reassures Boomer.

"This guy?!", pipes up a long-haired kid wearing a Pabst t-shirt.  "He looks like a history professor or some shit!".  The group erupts in laughter.  "Yeah- if this guy's a rapper then I'm Kelly Slater", mocks a tatted up kid in a Rip Curl hoodie.  More laughter...

Boomer and I exchange looks.  My gaze turns steely.  Boomer gives me a slight nod before turning back to the group.  "Well if you monkeys want a show- you came to the right place".

I stand up and brush the sand from my amazing brown polyester pants and sports jacket before adjusting my orange tie.  "Any of you Point Break rejects got an iPod adapter in your rig?"

"Yeah.  I do.", says Pabst boy.

I produce my iPhone from my pocket and cue up my groundbreaking track, "413".  "Put this on and crank your shit to eleven.  If you think you can handle that."

The kid in the Pabst t-shirt scoffs, takes my iPhone and obediently plugs it in.  Moments later the beat drops as I jump on the hood of his jeep as heads turn and a crowd gathers.  As the first verse kicks in, the entire beach party has surrounded the makeshift stage.  Heads bob up and down as I launch into the first verse...

"Yeah yeah I'm from the 413 off of 91 south of Chicopee
Across the river from the C-I-T-Y the city of Springfield I drop dope beats
With a signature flow that I call my own it rings true like a solid gold telephone
Dr. Westchesterson ringin' your bell, I'm doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well..."

It take the kids a minute to catch the chorus but once they do, the entire beach party has their hands in the air chanting, "413! 413! 413! 413!".

Per usual, I've just rocked another muthafuckin' party.  But that's what the Dr. does so you big.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lighthouses Rule

The moped coughs back through town and up past the Spring House Hotel.  The road winds down and around following the rocky shoreline.  It's absolutely beautiful out here.  A few minutes later, the beacon of the Southeast Lighthouse emerges from behind a rise in the hill like a Leviathan Cyclops.

"Whoah. That's cool".

"Pretty sweet eh?", replies Boomer.

We bump up the dirt driveway towards the brick structure which sits atop a high bluff overlooking the waters of Long Island and Block Island sounds.

A beat up, white delivery truck sits in the driveway of the lighthouse keeper's house.  Boomer parks the moped and we dismount.  As we approach the truck, a string bean of a guy with buggy eyes and some sort of weird afro pops out of the back of the truck like a spring.

"Hey Teddy!  What's good?", shout's Boomer as we approach.

"Boom Boom!  What's happenin' my man?", waves Teddy with an enormous smile.

I'm introduced.  "Teddy, this is the Dr.  He's gonna be over at Captain Nick's this summer."

"Hey!  Nice ta meetcha man!"  With both hands Teddy grabs my hand and pumps it up and down vigorously.  "I heard about you!  You're the guy with the videos right?  Love your stuff!"

"Thanks man- nice to meet you too.  This is some lighthouse you've got here".

"What?  This old thing?", Teddy waves his arm dismissively at the glorious landmark.  "Ha!  Yeah she's pretty cool I guess.  Wanna go inside?"

Boomer interrupts and winks, "Teddy- I was thinking we'd take a little hike up to the lantern room, if you catch my drift.  The Dr. here is a specialist in remedies of an...herbal nature".

"Ooooh!  Abso-friggin'-lootely!", exclaims Teddy- his eyes widening. He sweeps his hand dramatically towards the lighthouse's porch.  "Right this way gentlemen".

Moments later Teddy opens the creaky old door and we're blasted by a musty rush of air.  Words can not describe how cool this place is.  It looks like nobody has touched the place since it was built.  An old dressmaker's dummy sits in a corner amongst various other brick-a-brack and antiques.

Teddy begins the tour as we walk up flights of stairs. "She was built in 1874 in the Victorian style.  The 67 foot-tall light tower is connected to a two and a half story residence that is split into two halves.  Back in the day there were two lighthouse keepers who lived here with their families.  They'd work in twelve hour shifts.  Both sides of the residence are mirror images of each other.  The lighthouse itself was at one point closer to the bluffs. In 1993 they dragged it back 360 feet because the eroding bluffs threatened to send it tumbling into the ocean."

"How the hell do you move a lighthouse 360 feet?", I ask.  Teddy stops and turns to me...

"Very carefully..."

A few moments later we arrive at the final flight of old iron stairs that wind up along the cavernous wall of the tower towards the lantern room.

"Whatever you do- don't look down", warns Boomer.

"Yeah. Thanks", I smirk.  I should've listened to Boomer because looking down through the wrought iron staircase brings on Vertigo like you read about.  I white-knuckle the iron railing all the way up until...

We emerge into the soft green glow of the lantern room.  Surrounded by glass 258 feet above the ocean, the sun has begun to set on the other side of the island.  The clouds burst with pinks, purples, yellows and reds as a lone lobster boat bobs up and down in the distance.

"Holy fuckin' shit", is all I can manage.

"Pretty nice huh?", says Teddy.

For a couple of minutes we walk around the lens.  Looking out at the panorama. 

"Hey- is this a first order Fresnel lens with a focal plane?, I ask.

Teddy looks at Boomer impressed, "The Dr. knows his lighthouses".

I'm a little embarrassed, "Yeah- I'm kind of a lighthouse geek".

"Hey- that's cool man.  Me too.", answers Teddy.  "How do you think I got this gig?"

Boomer- getting a little bored with lighthouse talk interrupts.  "Hey Doc.  Ya know what's even cooler than being in the lantern room of a lighthouse?  Being really REALLY baked while you're in the lantern room of a lighthouse".

"Oh shit.  Right.  I almost forgot why we were here."  I reach into my jacket's breast pocket and produce my trusty pipe.  I crumble a little of the Nor-Cal Cheese in and pack it down with my thumb handing it to Teddy first.  "Bottom's up".

"Whoah.  This smells AMAZING!", Teddy laughs.

For the next half hour as the sun sets I chat with Boomer and Teddy- filling them in on my recent rise to fame as a regional superstar in Western Massachusetts.  Although I've just met these guys, I can tell that they're very nice.  Very genuine.  The conversation is lively and peppered with outbursts of stoned laughter.

Apparently, there's a beach party about to start on Scotch Beach.  Sort of a locals "start of the season" thing.  We bid the lantern room adieu and descend the treacherous staircases.  Leaving Boomer's moped behind we pile into Teddy's truck and drive off to begin the night's adventure...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Never Trust a Trustafarian...

I'm running down the dock with my suitcase clutched to my chest.  I'm also praying that the gun-toting trustafarian hasn't completely snapped and isn't aiming his AK at my shoulder blades.  I mean- can't a guy just attend a nice, normal, civilized dope deal anymore?

I've been on this island less than an hour at this point.  Why do I always end up in these situations?

The rattling of Boomer's moped approaches from behind with him yelling, "Whoah!  Doc!  Hold on! Where ya goin' man?"  He pulls up along side me as I continue to run- "Bro- where are you running to? Brian's cool- he just wanted to show you his gun collection".

I scream at Boomer, "Really?  That's all?  He was just showing me his gun collection?  What kind of sick fuck pulls out that kind of heat at a buy just to show it off?"

Boomer chuckles, "You actually kind of hurt his feelings running out of there like that.  You should go back and apologize".

"Apologize?  You want me to apologize to that nut-job?  And for the record, I fuckin' hate the Allman Brothers man!".  I stop running as Boomer cuts in front of me.

"Alright alright bro.  Easy does it man.  Look- I can see where Brian comes off a little weird but trust me- he's a good guy.", Boomer reasures me.

"Oh really?  If he's such a good guy then why did he just sell you twenty dollars worth of brown frown for a C-note?"

Boomer pulls out the little plastic pill bottle, unscrews the lid and sticks his beak in deep- sniffing.  "Nah.  This is good shit man!  Brian wouldn't do me like that!".

"Wait here.", I say to Boomer then duck into a nearby public restroom.  I go into one of the stalls, open my suitcase and break off a nugget of extremely pungent Northern California Cheese.  I return to Boomer and hand him the bud- his eyes grow wide as his mouth drops open.  Again, he lifts the ganja to his nose but this time when he sniffs, his head jerks back as though he's received an uppercut.

"WHOAH!  Now that is some REALLY good weed!"  Realizing he's been had, Boomer looks back at Brian's Daddy's yacht.  "That little motherfucker!  I'm gonna kick his dready little ass!"  Boomer makes a move to turn his moped around but before he can, I grab the front handbrake causing him to lurch forward, his chest hitting the handlebars.

"You sure you wanna confront Brian and his two friends over a lousy dime bag?  I mean- I'm guessing he's got those AK's for a reason.  Wouldn't you?"

Boomer considers this as his shoulders drop.  "Fuck.  That little bitch."

"Forget about it man.", I say.  "Let's go somewhere and smoke some of the Dr's special private reserve." I grab the helmet and hop on the back of Boomer's moped.  As we pull away down the dock, Boomer tosses the vial of Brian's dirt-weed into the harbor. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meeting New Friends

Boomer's moped struggles down the neck past cedar shake cottages- spewing grey smoke and sputtering.  His visor beak keeps smacking me in the face with each bump or swerve (which is often).  Over the engine I yell...

"Where are we going?  Is this the way to Captain Nick's?"

"Hang on!", he screams as we bank hard left- cutting off a huge work truck filled with hay and bearing the words, "Sprague Farm" on the doors.  The truck honks as it's front bumper nearly clips my leg.

"Jesus man!  You almost killed us!"

"No worries, dog.  I had that by a mile", Boomer drawls back nonchalantly.  "We're heading to Nick's later.  I gotta make a couple of stops first."

As we approach a stop sign, I look left as in comes to view the Block Island Police Station.  A clean-cut, well groomed, rock-jawed police officer stands out front holding a cup of coffee cup emblazoned with an American flag.  Boomer waves excitedly like a kindergardener...

"Hey Chief! How's it goin' man?!?"

The Chief of Police stares down at Boomer and shakes his head with maximum disapproval before fixing his steely gaze on me.  We lock eyes- his narrowing into slits.

The moment is frozen in time...

I clutch my suitcase to my chest and swallow hard just as the moped lurches forward then banks down the road to the right away from the suspicious cop.

"So where are we going then if we're not going to Captain Nick's"?

Tired of explaining everything Boomer blurts out, "I gotta make a stop at my buddy Brian's.  I gotta...pick something up"

A minute or two later we pull into a marina overlooking the Great Salt Pond.  Dozens of pleasure craft are either lashed to docks or bobbing lazily in the harbor.  Ignoring a sign that reads, "No bikes or mopeds on the dock", Boomer blazes by a family cooking hotdogs on a small camp-style propane grill- almost taking out the grill.  He stops the moped at the end of the dock before a 40-something foot house boat which seems nicely appointed.  I hop off as Boomer tosses the bucket of bolts on it's center-stand and yells out...

"Brian!  Hey Brian- you in there man?!?!"

Brian, the dread-head trustafarian wearing the obligatory Phish t-shirt emerges rubbing his red, sleepy eyes and yawning.  "Oh hey maaaaaaaaan!  Welcome aboard bro!"

I'm not introduced as we follow Brian below deck to a plush living room full of highly glossed teak wood, comfortable seating and a 70-inch plasma displaying an Allman Brothers concert from the 70's.

Brian presses mute on a remote control, preempting the signature guitar lick from "Jessica" then turns to Boomer...

 "So what can I do ya for man?"

"Oh you know bro- the usual", says Boomer running a hand through his mop.

Brian's dopey grin turns hard as he notices me for possibly the first time.  "Who's this guy"?

"Oh...this is the Doctor.  He's the guy I was telling you about."

It takes a full seven seconds for the synapses to fire, " mean that hip-hop guy?  You're the guy with that Western Mass music video?  SWEET man!  Nice to meet you, brah!"  Brian offers an awkward bro-hug which I accept before he turns back to Boomer...

"And you're sure he's cool?"

Boomer looks me up and down.  "Well- we just met.  But I think he's alright".

"You're not a cop are you man?  Cuz' you know if you are, and I ask you?  You have to tell me or else it's...uh...uh..."

"Entrapment", I reply.

"Yeah!!!  Entrapment!  That's it!", Brian grins.

"Don't worry man- I'm no cop".

"Well alright then!  Let's get down to business!"

Brian ducks through a door and returns with an ornate wooden box. He opens it revealing little plastic containers full of dried-out looking buds. 

Boomer chooses one and hands Brian a $100 dollar bill.  Brian takes the bill, stuffs it in his pocket and suddenly remembers, "Oh!  Hey!  I gotta show you guys something!"

He ducks back through the door and returns moments later strapped with a gigantic smile on his face and two AK-47's attached to either arm- full rounds loaded and ready to rock.

"Whaddya dudes think of my new girlfriends?", laughs Brian maniacally.  He turns and un-mutes the Allman Bros DVD unleashing Dickey Betts in his full, unbridled glory then begins dancing...

I get myself the fuck outta there.  And fast.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Land, ho.

I had one of my regs drop me off at the ferry dock the other day.  She didn't seem happy that I had to borrow $20 from her for a ferry ticket.  Now that you mention it- I might already owe her a couple hundred but I can't be sure.

Got on the ferry at Pt. Judith and made the one hour passage in just sixty minutes.  It could have been the enormous spliff I inhaled while hidden between the life preserver box and the trash can but I think I saw a shark from the top deck.  A guy next to me said it was a Sunfish.  That was no sunfish.

Pulled into the Old Harbor in the town of New Shoreham, Rhode Island.  It's a sleepy little place featuring a nice main street lined with little hotels, t-shirt shops and other quaint crap you'd expect to see on the coastline of New England.  It's all tourists in flip flops buzzing by on mopeds and college girls in bikinis licking ice cream cones.  You know- the usual.

I'll have to scope out the medical scene around here before I can even think of opening up another practice. Is there a hospital out here?  What do they do when someone gets sick or hurt?  They've probably got some Norman Rockwell-style doctor with a beat up black leather bag named Doc Higgins paying house calls to Ma and Pa Kettle.  That's the vibe I'm getting just stepping off the boat.

"Hey Fuck-O!  Watch where you're goin'!", screams the douchebag in a White Mercedes SUV with New York plates; his Dolce and Gabanas glistening in the sun.

"Yeah fuck you too man..."

He snorts and keeps driving.  So...they have those out here I guess.

I weave through the crowd and head towards a parking lot as a rickety old moped putts into the lot.  The guy on it looks almost as beat up as his moped.  His skin is orange, wrinkled leather that makes him look like something Wilt Chamberlin used to dunk.  A faded t-shirt bearing the words, "Eat Fish" flaps in the breeze where he's cut the sleeves off making it almost a tank top- but not really. His volleyball visor on upside-down and backwards forces his sun-bleached blond shag to the top of his head.  It looks like Laird Hamilton had sex with a Cocker Spaniel and the baby got a job as a toupe.  As he gets closer- some kid with a surfboard yells out to him, "Hey Boomer- you get out today"?

"Not yet grom- had some shit to take care of this mornin'.  See ya at Black Rock for sunset."

"Yeah.  Right", snarfs the grom.

As if he knew I was there, he turns and looks right at me.  I can't see his eyes behind the mirrored Oakley knock-offs but it's like a laser locking on a target.  He twists the throttle and heads straight for me, sliding in a patch of sand as the breaks screech.  He looks at the suitcase in my hand then lifts his shades.

"You the Dr."?


He shakes his head and smirks as his Spicoli-brogue intones , "Look man- either you're him or you're not.  If you're not then I'm looking for another guy.  If you're him you'd better be sure about it bro cuz' there are people looking for you".

I stare him down for a good ten seconds in complete silence. He turns around and unstraps a helmet hanging off his empty surfboard rack then tosses the brain bucket at my chest...

"Get on.  Scortino sent me"...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fresh Block Island Red Herring

Wow- it's crazy how life can get even weirder than when it was just kind of weird.  As I write this, the 413 music video is a mere 190 views away from 150,000.  Incredible...

So I'm going about my business per usual- then out of the blue, I get this Facebook message from a guy I haven't seen since high school.  Well- it wasn't exactly out of the blue.  We've been FB friends for about a year now. He's the kind of person you get a friend request from only because you've both been circling in the same waters for a while.  You've been pretending not to notice each other in the "people you may know" list.  It's the classic social networking Mexican standoff bred of pure male arrogance.  "I'm not gonna friend him.  Let him friend me. Who the fuck's this guy think is?"  And then it happens. One of you is feeling nostalgic or maybe one of you needs something from the other.  A friend request is sent, an olive branch extended.  

Let me back up...

A few hours after I appeared on the Baxx and O'Brien morning show on Rock 102.1 FM...

No.  The first time.  Not this past Thursday.  That was my second appearance.

...anyway, a few hours after my first Baxx and O'Brien show, I'm forwarded a link to a Portland, OR television news website featuring an article about my video takeover of the 413.  The article ran with a photo of me standing in front of the giant yellow slide at the Big E.  For those of you who've been keeping score at home, you know that Portland is a city that the Dr. knows and is also a city that knows the Dr.  At the risk of repeating myself, I'll assume you know what I'm talking about.  If not- read my blog profile.  Anyway- I had to leave Portland.

Because I may or may not still have a sheet there, I had to murky up the waters a little.  Y'know- put a couple feet between myself and any overzealous gumshoes or bounty hunters  representing certain interested parties with bees in their bonnets over my bail "skip-age".  What I did was not by all accounts "moral" however it was necessary to introduce some disinformation into the feedback loop and see what came back.

Back to the Facebook friend I was telling you about.  His name is Marc Scortino.  Nice enough guy from what I remember.  In high school, people used to confuse us for each other.  Apparently we had similar facial features- whatever.  I'm far better-looking.  But I started creeping through his photo albums and we actually still do look alike I suppose.  So I did something I shouldn't have done...

On Monday, April 30th- the Springfield Republican planned on running a front page story on yours truly.  Since there had been speculation floating around my "real identity", I decided to run with it.  I told the reporter that my real name was Marc Scortino.  They printed it, I sat back and waited to see if this Scortino guy got a visit from any "friends from Portland".  A few days went by.  Then one morning I hop on Facebook and...

There's a scathing message from Marc Scortino.  Apparently he'd read the article.  The dipshit had his cellphone number listed on his profile so I gave him a call to work things out.  Boy- was this dude pissed!  I guess I couldn't blame him.  After he calmed down we started catching up.  Turns out this guy owns some sort of entertainment agency on Block Island.  He runs a nightclub and produces a music festival.

So we talk some more...yada yada yada...and I'm moving to Block Island for the summer.  Scortino's going to hook me up with an apartment above his nightclub (Captain Nick's - and book a couple of shows for me (June 15th and September 2nd).  He said he's got some "other work" for me to do to.  Not sure on exactly what that is exactly but he mentioned something about a cigarette boat and overnight runs to a Columbian freighter named "El Caballito" somewhere out near the Canyons.  But I digress...

He's also agreed to act as my manager.  Starting last week he's already got calls out to venues around W. Mass and has started lining up the fall tour.  This frees me up to work on the sequel to the 413 video and go to the beach.  After all of this hoopla surrounding my meteoric rise to regional superstardom, I'd say I deserve a little beach action.  So see you soon Western Massachusetts.  I won't be back until after Labor Day.  But don't worry- I'll be back in time for the Big E.  And of course- I'll be keeping in touch via the usual avenues.  In the meantime - keep it green.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What can ya say about MCA?

OK- things are definitely back to normal.  Well, as normal as it ever is around here which I think is probably not all that normal.  "413" is still getting a steady 1K or 2K new views every day.  Today it's up to 142,000 plus.  And one of my other music videos, "High School Girls" has found a new life of its own wracking up a few thousand new views over the past week as well.  While I'm thrilled about all of this I keep coming back to the fact that...

MCA is gone.  This is a loss that shakes the good Dr. to his core.  There would be no Dr. Westchesterson were there no Beastie Boys.  This is a fact.  The Beasties are the entire foundation of what it is I do.  Hell- I steal everything from them.  Even the drumbreaks from Paul's Boutique which I not so stealthily inserted into my soon-to-be megahit, "Hot 16" (available on as a free download).

The Beastie Boys made it ok for white guys like me to attempt hip hop.  And while their Judeo-American probascises now make up a good chunk of the Mt. Rushmore for hip hop artists, they took their share of flack for crossing the great racial divide back in the day, treading on hallowed ground and usurping an art form that didn't "belong to them".  Yet they made their own way and they proved that if one's intentions are pure- the rest will take care of itself.  And what's more pure than a Beastie Boys' track?  It's the perfect combination of youthful fire, snark, humor, cool, innovation and groove.  Their music is a litmus test of sorts.  If you don't like the Beastie Boys, we're probably not going to get along.

I shudder to think how many other suburban sixth grade boys wore out "License to Ill" cassettes by the lunchbox-full in bright yellow Sony Sports Walkmens while spitting from the windows on the back of the bus.  I woke up late for school many times- I didn't want to go.  I asked my Mom, "please" but she still said, "no".  Living at home wasn't exactly a drag (we had basic cable and three squares a day) and although my Mom never threw away my best porno mag (we hid them in the woods, buried in trash bags)- I was constantly ready to fight for my right to party despite the fact that the closest thing to a real party I'd been to up to that point was in my friend Sarah's parents' basement where we got crazy with the Kool-Aid and pizza.

But there they were- whenever you needed them.  The Beastie Boys.  All you had to do was push play and you could do it like this OR like that.  Shit- you could even do it with a Whiffle Ball bat.

But now they're gone.  The Beastie Boys are gone forever.  With all due respect to Ad-Rock and Mike D the B-boys are three strong; a classic example of the whole being mightier than the sum of its parts.  Once Lennon was gone, the Beatles would never be able to reunite.  Ditto that for Bonham and Zeppelin, Morrison and the Doors- you get the idea.  Sorry to say but it's a lesson the Who should've learned after Keith Moon went for a late night swim and never resurfaced.  It's a reality that all of us gen-X thirty and forty-somethings are going to have a tough time coming to grips with.  Even Kurt Cobain wasn't a huge surprise was it?  I mean- that made sense in some tragic way.  But MCA's passing makes NO sense.

Here's a guy who flipped the bird to the world while rockin' the mic, then got offstage and embraced the world via his philanthropy.  Is that to say that MCA's persona was purely an act?  Hellz no.  You can't bring it like MCA without that irreverence that comes from a pure and real place.  Adam Yauch stood for a lot more though than just egging cars and waxin' and milkin'.  He fought for peace and made no bones about it yet he never came off like some stupid hippie or self-righteous superstar looking to bolster his public image.  He stood for something.  He mattered.  He did it his way and he didn't give a fuck; all the while showing us that we should give a fuck.

So I don't know about all y'all but Adam Yauch's passing is a tough one.  I can live knowing I'll never get to hear a new INXS tune or an album by the original line up of Guns N' Roses.  But there's something very unsettling about waking up each day knowing that there's no more Beastie Boys.  It makes me feel old.  And mortal.  And that sucks.  The Beastie Boys make me feel like I'm sixteen again.  They make me realize that it's perfectly ok to go smokin' and drinkin' on a Tuesday night.  I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded of that.  I think the world needs to be reminded of that.

But it could be worse.  At least I know I can always put on Paul's Boutique or Check Your Head and be instantaneously transported to a time where the only thing that mattered was getting someone to buy you beer or give you a lift to the mall.  That's the only saving grace about this whole thing.  They put it all on tape.  So we can always go back.

We'll miss you MCA.  Thanks for years of the illest communication known to man.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

After the Gold Rush

(WARNING: This blog contains EXTREME movie references. was that kind of morning.)

There comes a point in every fame junkie's career where they realize that sooner or later the roller coaster pulls back on to the landing pad from whence it launched.  It's then up to said junkie whether or not to purchase another ticket, get back in line and give it another go.  The ride itself though is absolutely intoxicating.  It's a drug much wilder and incoherent than any known to mortal man.  It's the kind of drug that knows no bounds nor limits and is unable to be contained nor controlled.  It's the deep breath before the first kiss.  It's the last thing you see before the bullet leaves the barrel. It's the sound and feel of wild wind rushing by your face before the dull thud at the bottom of the empty well.  All of these things at the same fuckin' time...maaaan.

So what does one do when their "viral" video starts sputtering like a weed whacker with a bad spark plug?  Sure- you're still looking at a couple of thousand new views each day but that's nothing compared to the rush of those first thirty or forty thousand.  You're like a crackhead at this point.  Anything for one more bump.  Just a little kick up in the numbers.  Like Leonardo DiCaprio turning tricks in the Basketball Diaries.  Something just to get you to a buck and a half.  One hundred fifty thousand views.  C'mon baby...come to papa.  You're soooooo close now.  Just another fifteen grand.  But if you get to one-fifty, next it'll be two hunny.  And so on...

Greed.  Pure, unadulterated, bad to the bone, raw, unchained greed.  That's all it is.  As Marcellus Wallace put it so eloquently in Pulp Fiction, "That's just pride...fuckin' with you".

And you can't control it.  It eats away at you like a tiny little bug that crawls into your brain as you sleep (like the thing Ricardo Montalban put in that dude's ear in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn) and plants silly ideas in your head like, "Hey- at this time next year you'll be in a limo at the Grammys".  Fer sure.  No bout' a doubt it.

And then you wake up. choose to stay dreaming.  I'm gonna opt for the latter if that's okay with you.

Because quite honestly, I can't tell the difference at this point.  It's all the same to me- reality/dreamworld.  Whatever.  I fell like I've eaten the red AND the blue pill.  As long as I can believe that there's something over the next hill.  Something better or more exciting or different than everything I see every day of my normal, boring life.  To quote Patrick Swayze in Point Break, "Some guys snort for it, some people jab a vein for it, all you gotta do is rap for it."  Or something like that...

People keep asking me, "What's next for the Dr."?  Here's what's next.  The Dr.'s going to pop his head out in Western Massachusetts one last time over the next couple of weeks.  He's gonna go drink at a few of his favorite joints.  He's gonna spend some time with his friends and cut loose a little bit.  He's gonna do what he's been doing since day one.  He's gonna take a good, long look around and soak in the "413".  All of the bustling restaurants in Northampton at 8 o'clock on a Friday night and the empty diners in Westside at 3am on a Wednesday.  All of the country clubs and all of the dive bars.  The McMansions in Longmeadow and the flats in Holyoke.

Then I'm going to lay low this summer.  I'm going to go to the beach, write lyrics, work a day job, continue to keep all y'all informed of my situation via this blog.  Y'know- keep it real.

And then I'm gonna come back.  Bigger.  Deffer.  Badder.  And this's personal.

September- back in the studio to record a few new tracks.  October- start work on the follow-up to the "413" music video.  Late October/November go on tour ONLY in Western Mass.  Sometime in November, drop the sequel music video to "413".  End up the year with a HUGE New Year's Eve show somewhere in W. Mass (assuming the end of the Mayan Calendar on 12/21/12 doesn't spell "curtains" for us all).  Then re-asses things for 2013, rinse and repeat.

So those are the plans for now.  But you know what they say about "plans".  Either way, hang on to your hats W. Mass.  It's gonna be a hell of a ride.  And you're all coming along...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Even Keel/Takin' Care of Bidness

Phew!  Okay- things are starting to slow down a bit.  I've had time to cross some t's and dot some i's.  You know, the brass tacks- the nuts and bolts of what makes a gargantuan enterprise like Westchesterson Worldwide tick.

I've conference called with my lawyer and accountant both of whom assure me that at the rate I'm going, I should be a millionaire within the next 50-60 years.  Sweet.  Almost there.  We've got the Dr. Westchesterson name and logo trademarked and copyrighted so if some slime bag tries selling knock-off Dr. W tees in the parking lot of Six Flags this summer- I'll be able to sue the shit out of him and probably get his 1987 Oldsmobile and the futon he's been sleeping on in his parents' basement.  The accountant is looking into which of my shell corps I'm going to be funneling the cha-ching through.  I've already got multiple accounts in the Caymans and Switzerland.  All that's left to do is call Juan in Columbia and make sure the packages get re-routed through Juarez first to put another few thousand miles of distance between me and my contacts in Atlanta.

I've called an old friend from my jamband days- Oops!  Did I just let it slip that I used to be in a jamband?  Well- more on that some other time- maybe.  Anyway, my old friend Chris is a merchandise guy.  He's the one responsible for those interstate sign stickers that say "420" on them.  You  know them.  You've seen em' on the back of every street sign, bathroom stall, barroom wall, and skateboard or snowboard from here to Vancouver and back again.  Chris handles a lot of the merchandise for that band from Vermont, Phish.  You know- they play jazz or some shit like that.  So I think I'm in good hands.  We've got Dr. W logo tees in red, light yellow and white as well as white ladies' tank tops printing as we speak.  And the piece of merchandise I'm MOST excited about...the infamous, "Vacationing On Bondi's Island" tee shirt featured in the 413 music video.  Lots of requests for that particular item.

The online store at will be up and running tomorrow (Saturday April 28)- most likely a little later in the day.  Dan is the man there and he handles the merchandise for a number of great bands/musicians and artists like Ryan Montbleau who is a very close friend.  Ryan is a Boston singer/songwriter with a band that rivals some of the best I've ever seen.  He is a true rock star in his own right and has been wonderful on the phone the past 48 hrs entertaining my frantic calls and hair-brained ideas with his trademark calm and cool demeanor.  Did I mention he's from Boston?  And just for the record although his heart bleeds 617 (Boston has embraced him in much the same manner that W. Mass has embraced the Dr.) he's got much love for the 413 as well.

Anyway- Ryan put me in touch w/ Dan who's been helping me get things set up in a hurry.  From what I understand the Village Produce online store is more of a boutique deal.  The artists' merchandise is carefully and lovingly packaged and shipped in a nicely presented manner so that when the fans receive their gear- it's not just like getting a package from UPS that's left on the doorstep in the rain.  From what I gather- it's a pretty cool thing he's got going.  We'll find out.  Let me know.  Keep me posted after you've just emptied your bank account on a limited edition $50 Dr. Westchesterson first edition, old-stock tour poster from his first show ever.  But they're signed and numbered!!!  Totally worth it!!!

So yeah- yesterday was nice.  Still racking up the views.  Another 12,000 in a 24 hour period.  That brings us up to 112,000.  Woke up this morning to 116,000 which tells me there are a lot of people in W. Mass either on drugs or with insomnia.  Either way- I love you.  But for the love of Pete- get some sleep!

Had a couple of beers last night with Chris Conway who produced the "Showbiz/Sexy Party/High School Girls/Asian Stripper/Make It Rain/Bitches On The Reg videos.  He was the one patting me on the head saying, "It's ok Doc.  Don't worry.  People will start watching your videos someday.", when my view counts were in the hundreds.  He's a partner at a cool production company called Killer Minnow in New London, CT.  They're the coolest bunch of sci-fi nerds I've ever met.  Another partner, Rob King, drew the Dr. Westchesterson penis in the Bitches on the Reg video.

I don't really know where I'm going with this blog.  I'm just rambling I guess.  Just so much going on that I don't know what's important to talk about or not talk about any more.

Oh!  Here's something.  I got an email last night from the host committee that's bringing the Massachusetts Democratic Convention to Springfield's Mass Mutual Center on June 2nd.  They want to use the video at the convention where Elizabeth Warren is going to almost 100% surely be elected as our Democratic Senator nominee.  Now- Dr. W is NOT a political guy by nature.  I'll be honest- I'm not well read.  BUT- I do know that Elizabeth was the one who warned the country about the trouble we were headed for with the mortgage crisis.  She told those fucksticks Bernanke, Paulsen and Greenspan all about what was happening.  But the good ol' boys patted her on the head and said, "That's nice Lizzy- go play with your Barbies".  So we ended up in the greatest economic downturn since the depression.  Ok- who knows, maybe even if they listened, the giant vampire squid (to quote Matt Taibbi) would still have found a way to wrap it's giant sucker beak around the nation and suck it dry...

Stop me!  Stop me now!!!

Anyway- they want to know if I can come up with a "clean" version of the song that doesn't include the word, "bitches" or the phrase, "suck my cock-a-doodle-dee-doo".  Normally, I wouldn't even consider such a request but for Elizabeth- maybe.  But I may demand that I get a photo/video op with here where she has to say the phrase, "Dr. Westchesterson sir, I would like to invite you to suck my cock-a-doodle-dee-doo".

OK- I gotta go.  Coffee's getting cold.  I'm making a run to NYC tonight.  Gotta "take care of some business" with a nasty troupe of low-lifes who like to drink whiskey and play country music.  Don't's a long story.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Proper care and feeding of the monster you've created...

Whoah.  So...

100,000 views.  Check.  Media/press junket.  Check.  Successful evasion of law enforcement.  Check.

It's becoming apparent that the "413" music video has instilled a sense of long overdue and much-deserved pride in Western Massachusetts.  Boston media outlets have taken up the story and reaction is mixed.  There are lovers and haters on both sides.  That probably comes as no surprise.  It's time for a reality check...

As a wise man once said, "Only a Sith Lord deals in extremes".  I couldn't agree more.  Good people of W. Massachusetts- I'm here to tell you that although we in the 413 have lived in the shadow of Beantown since the inception of the Commonwealth we have proven ourselves a hearty, resilient people capable of great things.  Things such as Basketball, Volleyball and the Lorax.

Let's take a look at these things...

Basketball.  It's a game.  It's fun.  Lot's of people watch it and play it.

Volleyball.  It's also a game and it's also fun.  It's a great excuse to get to the beach (even though you do in fact have to go to E. Mass for that).

The Lorax- a peaceful creature who spoke for the trees.  We have trees here in W. Mass.  Lots of them.  They provide shade and oxygen.  We need oxygen to breathe.  So let's all take a deep breath.



Good.  Better.

I've witnessed a few sour apples spoil the whole bunch in my day and I'm making it my mission to not let that happen here.  I've never had a mission in life.  Now I do.

I'm reading some disturbing posts from both residents of Eastern AND Western Massachusetts who are using the surge in popularity of the "413" music video to bash either end of the state.  I certainly thank for re-posting the video, I was not happy with the hostility shown in the comments from both sides.

I won't stand for it.  The Dr. will not stand for this aggression.  This aggression will not

When I wrote the song, "413" and conceptualized and created the music video- my intention was simple.  Remind people about the things we all love and have in common.  I was happy when people in W. Mass rallied around the song and video, finding a rekindled joy in their commonalities.  I understand that this sounds rather hippy-dippy.  So let's get another thing straight- I'm not a huge fan of hippies.  They don't smell very good and they can be very passive-aggressive when it comes to things like paying for gas, inviting you to the movies and bogarting the 3 footer.

But I digress...

Dr. Westchesterson is no lilly-livered, fancy-dandy, limp-noodled peacenik.  I'll step to any mothafucka' who brings the noise up in my grill an' shit.  However, the truth of the matter is that I choose to walk in the footsteps of Gahndi and King.  I roundly reject violence as a means to solving problems and I will stand my ground to defend what I hold dearest to me.  That being the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.  The foundation of such a method... love.

I love Boston.  Those duck boats are a fuckin' trip!  And guess what?  I love Worcester too and I'm not afraid to say it!  I used to shop at Spag's.  And DON'T tell me you didn't because I KNOW you benefitted at one time or another from their reasonably priced line of home goods and various sundries located along the bargain basement priced and infamous "back wall".

Just because Boston was kind of there first (I mean- it's not Boston's fault they're on the coast) and just because they have all the sports teams which means we have to schlep our asses down the pike to watch Tom Brady prance around in his cleats mugging for the cameras, it's no reason to lower ourselves to starting wars where there need be none.

So I am taking up the cause.  My cause is not to prove we in Western Massachusetts are better than other regions of this great land but rather to let the rest of the country and the world know that the 413 stands proudly shoulder to shoulder with other more seemingly "prominent" area codes.  Whether you're 508 or 617 or even 666, W. Mass shall stand boldly, lower it's steely gaze into the eyes of it's neighbors and extend an open hand.  If that hand should be slapped away, we'll extend our left hand- now holding an olive branch.  Should that olive branch be crushed.  We'll stand with our hands by our side and our heads held high, confident and proud to be...

from the 413, bitches.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Like A Rolling Stone...

It's true- a rolling stone may gather no moss.  But a stone that is hurtling down the face of a cliff at a million miles an hour gathers attention as it whizzes by.  I'm feeling like the later at this point.  Here's something you may have guessed about Dr. Westchesterson.  He doesn't mind attention.  He likes it.  It makes him feel good.  Like a Basset Hound getting it's belly rubbed.

As I type, the little music video that could is approaching 100,000 views.  I wondered if it would happen. Now I know it's going to happen.  Unless YouTube implodes upon itself under the weight of dreams of Pajer's grinders, Mrs. Murphy's donuts, White Hut cheeseburgers and Huke Lau Pu Pu Platters.

Yeah- that's what I dreamt of as I finally got some shut eye.

Sleep deprivation got the best of me yesterday and I nose dived around 2pm.  Complete system shutdown.  Eyelids slammed shut around 2pm.  But not before a call came in from Bo Sullivan at WHYN  560 AM radio.  That's right...I said AM.  It seems we've come close to exhausting opportunities on the FM band to get the word out that the 4-1-3 is a force to be reckoned with.  Bo's bombastic baritone beckoned me to the Clear Channel studios (again) at 7:30am Wednesday morning.

Wait...what day is today?

Anyway- slept like the dead for at least a couple of hours until my phone rang precisely at 4pm when Mike Dobbs called to interview me for the Chicopee Herald.  Like any good journalist, Mike was after the truth.  He was gracious and respectful as I playfully hid in the shadows, avoiding the piercing light emitted from his mighty writer's pen.  We went off the record for a bit.  Then back on.  He got the scoop he was after.

Well...more or less.

Things got even weirder when I received a call from Jim Madigan.  He's over at Public Television WGBY Channel 57.  He was interested in having me join them for an episode of their show, "Connecting Point".  Immediately my mind flashed to an image of me, sitting on a log next to Kermit the Frog duetting on "It Ain't Easy Bein' Green".  I'm not sure if Kermit is going to be there but if he is- I'm looking forward to meeting him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deconstructing The Blur

As I type this, it's 8:17am on Tuesday April 24.  It's been exactly 24 hours since my press junket began.  Here's the rundown...

4/23- Monday

8:00am-  Almost miss my on-air interview with Zito and Karen at 93.1 MIX FM.  Apparently there's something called "rush hour".  I wouldn't know.  I'm not much of a commuter.  Anyway- Karen meets me at the door after I park in front of a fire hydrant w/ my flashers on.  We run upstairs (via the elevator) and I sit for my first ever on-air interview.  This was the first time anyone has heard Dr. Westchesterson speak.  Zito and Karen were great.  Had a few laughs- I think I didn't make a complete ass of myself.  It must've gone well because after finishing with Zito and Karen, I was whisked next door to the country affiliate 100.9 KIX FM to chat with Mike & Kira.  I was surprised that a country station wanted to hear from a hip hop artist.  Apparently the country fans were hip to the "413" video and wanted answers.  Didn't have the heart to tell them contemporary country makes me want to barf.

8:26am-  After finishing with Mike & Kira, I find out the local NBC affiliate Channel 22 WWLP is next door with Zito & Karen talking with local news anchor Barry Krieger who has just recovered from a nasty car accident in Mexico.  The TV 22 producer is prepping Mike & Kira for their interview with Barry then turns to me and says, "...and we want to talk to YOU next".  OK- so within a half hour I've done two radio stations and a TV interview.  Barry Krieger, by the way, is one of the nicest guys in the world.  And he's a crazy extreme sport, hang gliding, squirrel suit-wearing, BASE jumping style adrenaline junkie!  Who would've known?!?!  I offered to "prescribe" something for any pain or discomfort he may be feeling.  "What do you have in mind?", he asks.  Without missing a beat- "Meet me in the parking lot in 20 minutes".  Everyone laughs.  I just offered to get Barry Krieger high.

9:13am-  In the car.  Cell phone rings.  It's Bruno calling from Parrotta's Auto (he's the guy in the babushka smoking my pipe in the video).  He's practically crying because he's laughing so hard at the ridiculousness that is happening.  Bruno let me live at his house back in 97' when I was homeless.  We used to hang out in his garage, get bombed and build motorcycles.  He's got a wonderful family.  My old room in his house belongs to one of his kids now.  He puts Mike on the phone.  Mike and I graduated  AHS together in 91'.  We make plans to meet up at his house that night to watch the news and have cocktails.

9:35am-  I get back to makeshift Dr. W headquarters (my parents' kitchen) and bum my Dad's MacBook Air to check stats.  We're up to 34,000 plus views.  I check FB.  I check my email.  There are multiple requests for interviews and well-wishings from old friends and new fans.  Last week I had reached out to an old schoolmate who freelances for asking her if she might do a story on the release of the video.  After brainstorming how to approach the piece we set a tentative interview date of Thursday April 26- two days from today.  She needs to push the interview to Friday.

9:54am-  A FB post alerts me that local ABC affiliate Channel 40 WGGB has posted "413" on their website.  I make a pot of coffee.  I start responding to FB posts thanking people for their kind words.  I exchange txts with Peter Cowles who operates an internet radio show out of his basement near Barnes airport in Westfield.  He'd contacted me the night before via FB to book me at 7pm.  We confirm our interview.

10:47am-  I realize that previously when typing "Dr. Westchesterson" into the YouTube search window you needed to type the entire name in then hit enter.  Now, when you get to the first "s" in Westchesterson, the name "Dr. Westchesterson" appears as the fourth option automatically.  YouTube itself has become aware.

11:32am-  Dad takes a break from steam-cleaning the carpet upstairs and starts asking questions.  He seems a little confused as to what exactly is happening.  Mom's in Eastern Mass visiting Sis and the kids.  They may be the only two people in E. Mass that are aware we are plotting a takeover of the Commonwealth.

11:46am-  My friend Jon O'Neil txts to congratulate.  He wants to get together for coffee.  More coffee...  That's a good idea.  We make plans to meet at Starbucks in the Holyoke Mall at 2pm.  Maybe while I'm there I'll pick up some new Adidas.

12:26pm-  Steve Nagle from WAQY 102.1 FM calls to arrange an interview on the Baxx and O'Brien morning show at 7:00am tomorrow morning.  I'm going to be on fucking Baxx and O'Brien talking about my music.  On the frequency that has been my default station since I popped out of the chute.  I used to call and harass the DJ's to play KISS songs when I was 7 years old.

12:27pm-  I realize that I've made it.

12:28pm-  Dad leaves the house to return the steam cleaner he'd rented.

12:29pm-  I go on the back deck and get incredibly, retardedly high and sit quietly for about five minutes.

12:34pm-  Approaching 37,000 views.

2:00pm-  Arrive at mall Starbucks to find Jon and his wife Kim waiting.  We catch up and talk about the craziness.  People are looking at me funny.  Must be the brown polyester suit, pipe and custom brown and orange shell-top Adidas.  This one guy at a table about ten feet away points and says, "Hey.  I saw you in that music video".  His name is John too (but with an "h").  I give him a sticker and tell him he's the first to recognize Dr. Westchesterson in public.

2:35pm-  Jon O'Neil and I wander around the mall.  Stop into the skate shop.  Cool Adidas there.  I left my wallet in the car.  Shit.  Stop into Hot Topic.  Why?  I don't know.  Still a little high I guess.

3:15pm-  Back at Dr. W headquarters we've hit 40,000 views.

4-ish pm:  My parents' landline rings.  It's WGGB TV 40 looking for an interview.  The nice girl on the phone, Jessica, asks if when I'm available.  "Well- I've got this internet thing at 7pm.  I can do it between now and then."  She says she'll get a camera guy lined up and call me back.

5-ish pm:  Jessica calls back and asks where I'd like to meet for the interview.  I think of what locations I'd meant to put in the music video but either forgot or didn't have time to get to.  Almost instantly I tell Jessica to have the camera meet me in front of Bruno's Pizza (no relation to Bruno Parrotta) on Springfield St. in Agawam.  As we're choosing a time my cell phone rings.  It's TV 3 the CBS affiliate.  I ask Jessica to hold on.  I ask CBS to hold on.  I tell Jessica six o'clock and hang up.  CBS wants me at 7pm in the studio downtown.  I say ok then realize I'm about to double book myself against Peter's internet radio show.  I weigh things.  I decide I'll be a little late to Peter's house.  I call Peter and let him know.  He's cool with it.  Tragedy averted.

5:45pm:  I arrive in front of Bruno's Pizza and call my Mom.  She's freaking out.

6:00 pm:  Channel 40 arrives.  A tall, guy named Tom emerges with a big smile, takes a camera from the trunk and sets it up on a tripod.  He begins to interview me with the Bruno's Pizza sign in the background.  A red Mercedes station wagon creeps by as the driver stares.  The Mercedes parks about 30 ft. away and watches.  Tom forgets some of the questions he wanted to ask.  He appears more nervous about this than I am.  We both laugh, easing the tension.  A guy gets out of the Mercedes and walks towards us.  It's Tony Suffritti.  He graduated from Agawam a year ahead of me.  I graduated with his sister, Lisa.  He shakes my hand and we bro-hug.  He congratulates me sincerely and I'm again amazed at how it seems like everyone I know is claiming this phenomenon as a victory for us all.  I experience a warm sense of community.

6:10 pm:  Realizing I haven't eaten all day, I go inside Bruno's Pizza and order a cold cut grinder from Earl Hollister.  I played baseball with Earl's son, Brian.  Earl tells the guys behind the counter about when I played the piano at his house during a party about 20 years ago.  Earl was at the Headquarters show last month.  He explains Dr. Westchesterson to the guys.  I try to pay for my grinder but they won't let me.

6:25 pm:  I'm going to be early for Channel 3.  I stop off at Lattitudes restaurant in West Springfield, sit at the bar and order a Maker's on the rocks.  Jessica from TV 40 calls and asks if I'd like to do the morning show with Dan & Kim at 7am.  I tell her I have Baxx and O'Brien at 7am.  I feel like a big shot.  She asks if I can do it earlier.  When I ask how much earlier she replies, "5:30".  "I'll be there", says the Dr.   I take about three sips and realize I still haven't eaten the grinder that's sitting on the front seat of my car.  I decide not to finish the cocktail but rather go get some gum at a gas station so the interviewer at Channel 3 won't think I'm a booze-bag.

6:32 pm:  Pass the giant yellow slide at the Big E.

6:33 pm:  Pass the White Hut.

6:35 pm:  Buy gum.

6:45 pm:  Park in front of City Hall downtown and realize I never wrote down the address for the CBS studios.  I walk around aimlessly.  I start to panic.  I'm going to be late AGAIN!  This time because I'm an idiot.  I call Jessica at TV 40 and ask her if she can guide me to her station's competitor.  She graciously obliges after kind of chuckling at what a dope I am.

7:00 pm:  Channel 3- the guy interviewing me (why can't I remember his name?) is enormously tall.  I look like a dwarf next to him.  Weather guy Nick Morganelli busts my balls and offers to get me a stool to stand on.   He has a bag of ties his Dad gave him to bring to Goodwill.  I politely decline his offer of a tie that features the cartoon character "Dilbert" on it.  For some reason, he has two of the exact same tie.  I like these guys.  Interview is short but sweet.

7:24 pm:  Arrive at Peter Cowles' home near Barnes Airport and am welcomed by his wife, Stefanie and their son, Timmy.  Peter leads me into the basement where he's got a bank of computer monitors set up on a desk in front of a green screen.  Looks pretty Mickey Mouse after having been in a real TV studio.  The set up actually ends up to be rather impressive.  Peter has watched all of my videos, has studied them, has them cued up and is ready to dissect each one for his listeners.  I realize I'm in Wayne's World as during the interview Stefanie yells comments down the cellar stairs.  Viewers IM us with questions.  My friends txt me throughout the show to let me know they're watching.  I'm so tired that I'm loosening up.  After five minutes with Peter, I realize I'm having a great time.

9:04 pm:  I thank Peter, Stefanie and Timmy and get in the car to go over Mike's house.  My cold cut grinder still sits uneaten.

9:24 pm:  I arrive at Mike's house in W. Springfield.  I have a glass of lemonade and we laugh about the craziness.  Then we stop talking about Dr. Westchesterson for a bit and catch up on every day life stuff.  The break is nice.

10:00 pm:  We tune into FOX 6 Springfield (which apparently is the same as Channel 40?) to catch the news.  The Dr. is teased at the top of the show.  After a couple of depressing stories in which a guy falls off a cliff and another guy dies in a motorcycle accident, my music video appears.  It's a great piece.  They did the Dr. right.  Mike and I watch and when the piece is over we look at each other and start cracking the fuck up.

10:47 pm:  I arrive back at Dr. W headquarters to find my Dad shredding documents on the couch.  He jokes that he's getting rid of my birth certificate and any paper trails that could tie me to the family.  (He's really just getting rid of old junk papers).  He DVR's channel 22 and channel 40.  We go in the guest bedroom and turn on channel 3.

11:17 pm:  Channel 3's piece airs.  Like the interview, it's short but sweet.

11:18 pm:  We watch the DVR'd TV 22 piece.  They mention that Dr. Westchesterson was once a teacher in the Agawam School district.  My blood freezes.  How could they make such an error?  (ahem...)

11:20 pm:  We watch the DVR'd TV 40 piece.  It's the same one that aired at 10 on Channel 6.

11:24 pm:  Say goodnight to Dad and drop to the bed- exhausted.

12:24 am:  Still awake.

1: 24 am:  Still awake.

2: 24 am:  Abandon hope of sleep.  Check YouTube.  56,000 views.

4:45 am:  Duck quack alarm goes off on my iPhone.

5:30 am:  TV 40 with Dan and Kim.  Nice little interview.  I give Dan and Kim Dr. W t-shirts and take a photo op with them, news chick- Julia Dunn and weather dude- Dan Brown.  I tell Dan Brown how much I enjoyed the DaVinci Code.  He chuckles politely as if he's heard that one before- like a million times.

6:00 am:  Drive past remains of the McDuffy school en route to 102.1 FM studios.  Arrive early and recline in the parking lot.

7:00 am:  Steve Nagle walks me down to the studio where Baxx is on the mic.  We chat about things and stuff.  Laid back dudes.  I'm at ease.  Have the BEST time talking to Steve and Baxx (although I'm a little bummed that O'Brien's out getting treatment for skin cancer.  How dare he miss the Dr.'s debut).  I could go on and on about this interview but I won't.  Steve's sending me an audio file of it which I'll post eventually.  It was a REALLY good interview.  We make plans to meet again in the future...

8:05 am:  Arrive back at Dr. W headquarters.  58,000 views.

8:17 am:  Log onto Blogspot and start typing...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Hey everyone-

I haven't been blogging lately because well, quite frankly, not too many people have been following my blogs.  But that may be about to change as the music video for my single, "413", has just gone VIRAL in Western Massachusetts.  I am humbled and amazed by the outpouring of sentiment shown by the good people of W. Mass.  It's been an incredible 48 hours since dropping the video this past Friday (April 20th- my birthday).  Watching the views go up and up and having more and more people drop messages on my FB page saying how much they enjoyed the video has thus far been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  If it all ends after this puff of smoke dissipates and the Dr. fades into everyone's memories as a quirky little internet distraction from their Spring 2012 then I'll be okay with it.

But I ain't goin' out like that...

When I read comments on my YouTube channel that certain people in Pittsfield and Greenfield and Holyoke were a little dissapointed that their particular little corners of W. Mass weren't represented in the video- it made me want to do one thing and one thing only.

Make another video that includes even MORE gems and hidden treasures of the 413.  Like the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke.  And the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne.  And the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge.  And the inside of the womens'only dorms at each of the seven sister schools.  ;)

Which I will do in due time.  As of now, I've had two radio stations, one newspaper and one television station reach out to me for interviews.  It's going to be a tough balancing act- being a Doctor tending to the few patients I still consult with on a regular basis, tending to my greenhouses and being a small-mid size market media personality.  But I'm up to the challenge.  With the good people of W. Mass behind me, I make it my pledge to let the world know that our corner of the world is filled with good, decent, honest, hard-working people.  For here dwell salt of the earth folks who make up the backbone of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  I mean- let's face it...  Who's going to defend our state should New York try to cross our Western-most border and invade?  The dandies on the hill in Beantown?  Methinks not.

So let's do this W. Mass.  Let's not be afraid to kick a little ass and get the respect we've deserved for a long time now.  We owe it to ourselves.  We owe it to each other.  We owe it to...

the 4-1-3.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

In Like A Lion Tour: March, 2011

Greetings fans-

My first tour of the northeast is in full effect and I'm as excited as DEA agent at a Phish concert!  Shows are as follows more hopefully to come soon!

March 3: Nectar's (Burlington, VT)
March 10: Bishop's Lounge (Northampton, MA)
March 17: The Spot Underground (Providence, RI)
March 23: Headquarter's (Agawam, MA)

Keep it green-
Dr. W