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, "Oh...wait...you 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 - www.captainnicks.com) 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 www.soundcloud.com as a free download).   http://soundcloud.com/dr-westchesterson/04-a-hot-16-radio-edit

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.  Sorry...it 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.  Or...you 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 time...it'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...