(Provincetown, MA 1990) There's a kind of magnetism to this town. The raw promise of decadence, the bleached-out remains of a sixties counter culture strewn about like driftwood on the dunes, The queer-friendly atmosphere and psychic vampirism displayed unabashedly in a brief glance from within the confines of the famous Meat Rack. Celebrity names and faces, parlayed up and down Commercial Street amid the busy hum and whir of speculation: Cyndi Lauper spotted buying hardware and John Waters with his scandalous entourage of nubile Adonises flanking him like an uncharacteristically polychromatic GAP ad. Edward Gorey with his hearse-like Rolls and GORE vanity plate, Rosie O'Donnell biker gear for the dog, and a lingering spectre of Anthony Perkins fading in and out of focus, no, he isn't looking well.
At the tender age of 18 a young man can easily be led astray in an environment such as this and I found myself doing just that that summer. I was splitting my time between jobs to pay my share for a return to school in the fall, and a less traditional arrangement that enabled my illicit experimentation with various states of consciousness.
After wrapping up my "straight" jobs for the day, I would invariably wander over to Daddy Rabbit's, a comic book store deriving it's name from prison slang for the big man on the cell block. Here I had a working understanding with a gentleman (?) by the name of Chuck White.
An artful dodger of sorts, Chuck was (and presumably still is) a fast talking, slick sonuvabitch, Rock-n-Roll historian, concert promoter, and veteran producer at Green Street and BunRatty's (sp?) night clubs across the bay in Boston. I told him a hill of lies about how old and cool I was and he gave me a gig (along with a host of other youthful and equally wayward punks and skate rats) running the register and locking up the shop, while he escaped to chase skirts in the bars. Payment rendered in exchange for these services typically came in the form of a cubicle fridge full of Milwaukee's Best and whatever miracles of modern chemistry the "rabbits" in attendance had managed to forage that day.
The shop lacked only one key element necessary to become a legitimate "scene", and that was that of the resident acid-casualty guru, no easy role in a gang of cynical and apathetic gen.x-ers.
Enter Freddy K.
His relationship with Chuck had begun on the day he walked into Chuck's Green Street office with a sizable cash settlement from a R.V. accident (the newspaper documentation of which preceded his arrival on the wall at Daddy Rabbit's), plunked the entire sum on his desk and asked Chuck to take over the management of his faltering musical career. Chuck, stunned, had declined the money, but had joined him in an evening of debauchery ending in bloody violence in a closed bar and a lasting manager/client friendship.
Once he arrived in P-town, in a rented car with his surly black dog Rebound, Freddy wasted no time clothing himself in Rabbit Wear - or the promotional Movie T-shirts and fluorescent WWF sunglasses Chuck had acquired from god-knows-where. We were all in the habit of digging into a giant box of this gear for lack of clean laundry, and would wear the torn-off t-shirt sleeves as headbands. Thusly attired, and looking like a tweaked-out combination of Randy Savage and Van Dyke Parks, he was off to give the local psychos a run for their money.
We immediately began giving away copies of Random Enforcement (on vinyl and cassette) with any purchase, and although no feedback was forthcoming, many bewildered children, spending their vacation savings on Usagi Yo Jimbo titles and their ilk, certainly were in store for a strange treat when they got home to their parents' Hi-Fi.
Freddy was delighted by a sticker on the register of Freddy Kreuger with the caption "Do the Freddy K.". He slept on an army cot in the store, drank Bacardi Breezers like nobody's business; "What? Nobody wants one? Good, more for me! HeHeHe", ignored the bawling phone calls from his wife in New Orleans; "Fuck you! I wanna talk ta my Freddy, I know he's theyah ya little shit, put 'im on!" He laughed like Snydely and he talked like, well, like he sings, which you can hear for yourself.
The Breeze, he explained, was the lineup that "breezes" in when you need 'em, for a gig or for a session and then "breezes" out, likely due to Freddy's unpredictable moods and actions.
One afternoon he burst into the shop with a four pack of Breezers and presented us with an enormous tuna melt "Feed The rabbits! Feed the rabbits!" He cackled in his raspy ruined voice like a Muppet hungover from a cocaine binge. Pausing to slug down the sugary malt beverage, he wiped his mouth and mused "Hmmm, what drugs we gonna do tonight?" Someone produced five hits of a potent blotter, and before they could withdraw or even object, Freddy had snatched them up and gulped them down, vanishing through the door, sniggering like a peepshow pervert, and calling back over his shoulder "What're YOU gonna do tonight? HeHeHe."
Later Chuck and I saw him across Commercial Street from the steps of the shop. He was making his way through the crowd at sunset with a breast stroke motion of his arms, as though swimming up the street.
Chuck shook his head with a grin and called out to him: "Hey, Freddy!"
"Heeeyy, boyyzz!" He called back from the crowd his head bobbing in a psychedelic haze, not pausing in mid-stroke.
"What're ya doing?" I asked.
"I'm TR-R-RIPPIN', man." He shouted and continued past us toward the East End of town.
He sure was.
Soon after that he clocked an out-of-town kid with his guitar. The poor jack-off had been treating him like a nut at a keg party campfire on Snail Road in the dunes, and ignoring his songs altogether. That much was O.K., but then he ruined the big finale when he tried to take the flag Freddy had removed from over his shoulders and was dangling in the fire, playfully pantomiming with it before it ignited. This kid was some ROTC Weekend Warrior and got all patriotic, and well, Freddy got all Pete Townsend on his ass. His buddies hauled him off to get stitches in his head and I honestly don't recall what became of him.