The road so far…


Somebody found me interesting enough to interview for a web radio show today. Actually, that person is my friend Lawrence, who also happens to be a close personal friend of Goth Robot.

At any rate, you can listen to it here.

I found myself in the unique position of reliving the past 20 years in about 20 minutes, as I went over the various projects I’d been involved in since 1992, when I came back to Boston to go to graduate school. And I realized that as I was recounting all of these projects and all of these experiences, mine has been a pretty interesting “adulthood,” as far as those go, despite the many years I spent avoiding responsibility and being a raging alcoholic.

I didn’t go into that. It didn’t even occur to me, really. As I talked, I found myself flashing back to so many different clubs, so many different stages (physical and otherwise). At one point Lawrence asked me, “How did you find yourself involved in all of that?” And I’m paraphrasing myself here, but basically I said that I’ve encountered people along my path who I just figured I’d tag along with for a while…to see where they took me. For the most part, that’s worked out in my favor.

Since I was a kid, I have been able to recognize the other members of my “tribe,” so to speak. I’ve just known, instinctively, that certain people are going to go along with me for as long as the road stretches. Everybody has these people. If you’re lucky, you meet them really early on. They see you at your absolute worst and most awkward, and they love you, anyway.

I am where I am because I’ve made decisions and landed in the right bars and had my heart broken by exactly the people who were supposed to break it. And so I’ve played heroin-addicted housewives and played drums on songs about giant space pussies and read Ally Sheedy’s poetry aloud wearing nothing but my underthings and shared my high school diaries with total strangers all because of being in the right place at the right time. And that all led to puttin’ on a play about UFOs and boys and the Virgin Mary, and having Goth Robot turn up in the audience one night. And Goth Robot introduced me to Lawrence, who as it turns out knows my brother. Crazy. Awesome.

And then I also get to do this a lot, because of that whole “recognize your fellow wayfarers” thing:

Think I’ll keep trudging that road to happy destiny and see who else shows up along the way.

Wanna Be The Nicest Guy On Earth?


So, after weeks and weeks of practicing, after numerous blisters from relentless hitting of various percussion instruments, I get to live out my fantasy of being a B-52 on Friday night.

A pretty fantastic chain of events led up to this. It started when I posted this video to my Facebook page:

I jokingly asked of the Universe at that point: “Hey – who wants to do a B-52s tribute with me just so we can do this song?” And at first, the Universe responded in the form of several people clicking “like” to denote their approval of my choice of videos.

But the Universe had much more in store for me.

About a week later, I was at a Varsity Drag show when Varsity Drag’s drummer (my friend Josh) approached me and asked, “Hey – were you serious about that B-52s thing? Because we’re putting something together, but the girl we had playing Cindy had to drop out.” One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was sitting in a living room in Cambridge, listening to the first two albums and making out possible playlists, alongside Josh and my new friend Ashley, who would be playing Kate to my Cindy.

“We still don’t have a Fred,” Josh said.

“I know exactly who to ask,” I replied.

Fast-forward yet another week or so, at my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party. My bestie from high school, Michael (who’s a long-suffering bestie and Supreme Good Sport at that, as anyone who’s watched me read at a Mortified show knows) was there, and before he could even wish my parents a happy what-have-you, I had dragged him over to the other side of the reception hall. “I need to ask you something, and you CAN SAY NO, okay?”


“So, I’m in this B-52s tribute thingy and we need a Fred. Would you be our Fred?”

“Oh my God.”

“You can say no.”

“Oh my God. Oh my God. Yes.”

Michael’s name was added to the rapid-fire exchange of emails as we continued to discuss song choices (No “Love Shack,” but we really should do “Love Shack” if it’s a TRIBUTE and people are going to WANT to hear it, but…okay…”Love Shack,” but only if we do it FIRST). It was looking good. And then our bass player had to drop out.

Houseboy to the rescue!

We had our first full band practice (at our guitarist’s house) in early September. My God – it was MAGIC. All the shuffling around and last-second replacements yielded an absolutely perfect mix of people playing these insane, wonderful songs. I won’t say we sound EXACTLY like the B’s, but we’re pretty damn close. We’ve come at this with all the love and respect and admiration for the REAL B’s, and it shows. We all grew up with this stuff. We all remember seeing and hearing them for the first time and thinking, “These people are FREAKS. I am NOT ALONE.” We are channeling that joy in all its bewigged glory. We are dancing this mess around. We are Bikini Whale.