In the late 1980s I lived in New York City. My apartment was in Greenwich Village, in keeping with my basic philosophy of NYC. My philosphy is this; if you’re going to live in New York City, live in Manhattan. If you’re going to live in Manhattan, live in the Village. In my case, the apartment was on Bleecker St. Specifically, 177 Bleecker St. Three members of my band lived in the same small, roach-infested apartment, where our Super, a well-worn Jamaican named Johnny referred to my roommates and me collectively as, “Beeeeeaaatlessssss.” His voice was low and rough from years of smoking things he really shouldn’t have been smoking. It dragged on forever it seemed. “Beeeaaatles,” he’d say every time he saw one of us in the hall or on the street. For all I knew the Fab Four were the only band he knew. I’m not aware of him ever seeing us perform, either. But still, Johnny religiously referred to each of the three of us, individually or in a group as, “Beeeeaaatles.”
It was kind of flattering in a weird, not particularly productive kind of way. Still, flattery is almost always appreciated on some level, and we did appreciate the humor of Johnny’s perspective on who he thought we were, or who we might be in the future.
To be clear, my band never made the former Beatles sweat about their legacy. Not for a moment. Although we were pretty good. But that’s another story altogether.
The New York City memory I cling to most had nothing to do with music, or live performance, or much of what I was up to in those days. No, my favorite memory has a literary twist to it. Read More →