Friday, March 25, 2011

Of Eddie and the Cruisers and the Random Tapestry of Life

It is okay to dance in one's office to some blue eyed soul seasoned music, no?

Friday is here and there is lots of good ghetto nerdness to be had this weekend. I was going to see De La Soul in concert but slept on buying the tickets. Thus my having to find other (mis)adventures. The world is indeed small. While looking at Aint It Cool News for information on Sucker Punch (a movie that seems damned to either brilliance or inane tomfoolery pretentiousness), I came across an interview with Michael Pare, who is in the current movie Lincoln Lawyer, but most important to my purposes also appeared in the 1980s B classic flick Eddie and the Cruisers--a film that was an anchor of my childhood and teen years.

What is a little factoid that is one more kernel to help those so inclined figure out who the man behind the kayfabe mask that is "Chauncey DeVega" really is.

[What a sentence that was. It was almost as joyous and smooth as Eros lube on a plastic sheet wrapped around 3 curvaceous sisters exhausted by my mix of vigorous yet tender, empowered by yohimbe root and ginseng thrusting.]

Eddie and the Cruisers was the reason that my father finally gave in and purchased a VCR from Crazy Eddie's electronics store (if you are not from the tri-state area I cannot even begin to describe the sheer madness that was the Crazy Eddie experience). Apparently, one of his closest friends and fellow travelers in the world of almost famous, yet highly respected musicians, was Mr. Michael Antunes: he was the featured sax player in The John Cafferty and Beaver Brown Band, which was in turn the actual group Eddie and the Cruisers.

Lord have mercy. I was dragged to the theater more times than I can count to see this movie. Mr. Antunes would call the house and update my father on his adventures. My father would repeat them to me...again and again. In fact, I can recall him being no happier than when he would go see The John Cafferty and Beaver Brown Band live and sit in on a set or two (as this was his one degree of separation from Hollywood "fame.")

The world is funny. Without Eddie and the Cruisers I would not have been able to watch Star Wars hundreds if not thousands of times. Without Eddie and the Cruisers I would not have stopped playing guitar (at which I was horrible) and picked up the alto saxophone, which I in turn dropped for two Technic 1200s and a mixer. Without Eddie and the Cruisers I would not have gotten serious about hip hop and popular culture. And for better of for worse I would not have gotten into radio, studied the things that I did, and have the life I do at present.

Now my life is quite far from perfect and there are many hurdles still to be overcome. But I follow the Captain Picard rule from the great TNG episode "Tapestry," in which he chooses to fight the Nausicaans and live with the consequences of that impetuous choice, rather than play it safe and end up a dull, pitiable man.

Pray tell my respectable friends and co-travelers on these Internets, what seemingly innocuous event or random choice made during your early years was in hindsight out-sized in its impact on who you became (or are becoming) as an adult?


Abstentus said...

Chauncey, my man. I can't relate an honest Bever Brown story, but I did work at CBS's Corp HQ back in the day (85-86.) I did get a pair of tix not for Beaver Brown, but The Outfield, pressed in my hands, the one day (sold the one for face price, got my beer money for the show/night, life was good.)

Anyway, my big choice moment was not pursuing a musical education. I should have gone to the the Manhatan School of Music (for drums and percussion -- applied at least) but instead I went to U. Vermont. My degree is officially Theatre, but unofficially in WASP Yankee Culture, and Ruling Class Studies. Word! That part of my life I do nt regret.

Going to Law School, and in doing so, abandoning a decent career in back stage NYC show biz? Ya. I regret that shit!

dr. becky said...

CDV the more I read your blog, the more I absolutely love you. I remember that movie so well. But the one that always sticks in my head from childhood is a god awful musical flick with Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton entitled "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." Lots of silly sexual scenarios - picture Three's Company if it were turned into a musical. It's also the film in which Dolly Parton sings "I Will Always Love You" (she plays the whorehouse Madame who is having a secret affair with Reynolds, the town Sherrif).

Well, before there was HBO there was something called "The Movie Channel" on cable in the 80's and this was a movie on almost every other day. The turning point moment for me was one Sunday after church when my (ultra religious) Aunt asked my younger sister and I what we had done on the weekend. I told her we watched my favourite movie. She asked what it was. When I told her the title I remember cringing - but also being proud. This was the beginning of me rejecting the conservative christian upbringing my extended family was trying to indoctrinate us into, in favour of my parents' more liberal hippie ways (that and the time my Uncle went ballistic and wouldn't let us watch the sitcom "One Day at a Time" because someone said "oh, my god" and took the Lord's name in vain). Viva pop culture, I say!

chaunceydevega said...

Absentus. "My degree is officially Theatre, but unofficially in WASP Yankee Culture, and Ruling Class Studies. Word! That part of my life I do not regret." That degree will never serve your poorly!

Dr. Becky. Dolly Parton would love you. I have many masturbatory dreams and moments where that movie was a prop for my bed humping. A future Churchill will quote it fondly.