Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Rocker: A Homage To A Local Character
For several years now in the decaying industrial town next to the town I work in there's been a character who floats up and down the streets all day long that my friend and former co-worker John nicknamed "The Rocker". He's a white guy probably in his 40's-50's, a massive man who's got a shock Sammy Haggar-ish blond hair and is never without his Ray Bans and a cigarette in hand or mouth. His attire is exclusively black. I think I first noticed him in the summer when he had on a black suit jacket with the sleeves rolled up, a turquoise t-shirt, black jeans and black cowboy boots with silver metal tips. Sometimes he'll have on a beret or a cowboy hat or a stingy brim, but they're always black, everything he wears save his shirts are black. We've surmised that he doesn't have a job, probably lives at home and might've had a band once (it was reputed he was once seen walking up the street blowing a harp). But he's mostly known for just strutting the sidewalks in the 1-2 mile radius of this shitty little town on the river in his rock n' roll gear. This morning I was running very late but had to check my P.O. Box and there he was outside the Post Office pulling on a Marlboro (he had a carton under his arm) in his black leather rattlesnakeskin print, black jeans, a magenta shirt with dice printed on it and dig this, silver Beatle boots! I pulled in next to the Post Office blasting Freddie Roach. I was wearing an off white mac, a pink/white/black plaid Ben Sherman, conservative grey flannel trousers and a pair of brogues. He said to me as I got out of the car "McGriff or Smith?", stunned it took me a minute to comprehend and I said "Freddie Roach". He then proceeded to comment on my attire: "You've got this great 60's Ivy League thing going man, if your hair wasn't so long I'd take you for a mod" (my hair is sort of between haircuts and as long as, say Steve Marriott in late 1966, only it won't center part because well, I'm too lazy to train it). I was pretty well blown away, before I could speak he offered his hand and said "My name's Dan but folks around here call me The Rocker", it was with all my strength that I withheld my laughter and reciprocated and bid him good day and as I walked into the Post Office he said "Be cool baby".
This one's for you Dan........