dean of scream
2003-12-09 @ 4:17 p.m.
Curtiss A to me at 18 had a mythos that was hard not to buy into. He did an annual John Lennon tribute each year on Dec. 8th, and it was something me and the beagle had anticipated going to for years prior to our actually being bar age. Besides that he was this strange Mickey Rourke-lookin' local legend, a guy who behaved larger than life. Trust me, I'm not alone in this characterization.
One of the features of Hunk o' Junk was called Curt Revues, where we -hungry for access to live music of any kind- stood outside the big window in front of the Uptown bar on Ladies' Night and watched part of Curt's weekly set. (circa 1986). We eventually branched into reviews of times we actually saw Curt on the street or at work, usually acting strangely, like the Martin Scorcese character he seemed to be.
So that was how we got to know Curt. I was usually making fun of him, because he often was as ridiculous as he was mysterious. Eventually we got to run a feature interview with him, and hung out with him often. I got to know him even better when I dated his guitar player. Curt was extremely endearing, talented, and led a completely fucked-up and dramatic life. When he was a stay at home dad after his youngest daughter was born, I hung out with him a lot. He was probably my best friend. I've never known someone as well as I know Curt and yet had them remain such a romantic figure to me. I guess it's because his life contained true drama and true tragedy instead of ill-concieved hyperbole, although that's certainly been elemental in his life as well.
He's an original, and one of the only musicians I have ever met who I consider to be an actual artist.
He also was the person who got me into comic books, for which I'll always be grateful.
His second marriage ended by his wife leaving him and taking their baby daughter (age 1.5) who he spent every day with away. Nothing could have hurt him more than being removed from his daughter that way. When I had Elizabeth I unconsciously distanced myself from our friendship because I was worried that my profound love for my infant daughter would only remind him of not being able to see his youngest child. I had also spent less time with him when I started falling for Sal because I felt being Curt's friend was somehow a conflict of interest. His sexuality was too similar to Sal's or something..I guess I was worried that our natural affinity for each other somehow threatened what I was hoping to have with Sal.
In this world I count him as one of the few people who truly gets me. Since there are only a handful, I feel like I should make an effort to make him a part of my life again.
At the going away party for my friend Ralph, Curt met the girls. The mina had a toy microphone headset on and sang the line "I'm gonna ma-ake you love me..." and he was entranced.
So that's a resolution I'm trying to figure out. I realize that Curt has lost a lot of friends in his life, and I want to make sure he finds me again.
Twin/Tone's website has more info about Curtiss A. I can't directly link to a page about him, but you can find him under the music link. There are even MP3's to sample songs. I would recommend from Courtesy "To Be Happy Too", "Sinister Forces" and "Humans as Art, Art as Human"
from almost anything from The Damage is Done "Open Up Your Eyes" and "Mizarus, Mikazaru, Mazrub (Monkey See: Monkey Do)" especially, and from A Scarlet Letter "Pearls of Wisdom" and "(I Feel Just Like George Jones When He was a)Heel to Tammy"
It's worth the effort.