Tuesday, June 30, 2009


With his eyes bushed and heavy, Bill parked his flipside on a dourly looking chair next to the fireplace. The heat from the nearby flames gently nuzzled his soul as he slowly elevated his feet to an equally dourly looking ottoman. As a babe-in-arms his mother and nana would take turns imparting the young Bill with yarns of his esteemed father in that same chair. Pictures though show the chair was much better for the wear in those days.

Fredrik, the mounted water buffalo purchased one inebriated night hung above the fireplace. Perhaps his biggest critic, Fredrik looked on with a smirk swathed over his visage. Bill had been here before, tuckered and stretched tight, wasted from another days work, but this felt different. Almost final even. Even Fredrik looked tired.

Nobody ever told him the life he chose would be an easy one, but that could quite possibly be because nobody had ever come up with such a peculiar walk through their days. A cowboy by day, a hip-hop recording artist by night. While not quite as stirring as a faceless vigilante valiantly struggling with the scum of sullied comic book conurbations, Bill would argue that his pseudo artistic persona, waxing poetic on such forces as ecological devastation, famine quandaries in various pitiable countries, and the insatiable voracity of crooked non-profit organizations was of greater consequence. I’m not sure just what Fredrik would have thought, but alas, he could not speak, so Bill would never know. Now, it should also be noted that at the time a British band who called themselves The Beatles had just played the Johnny Carson show so nobody even knew what the fuck hip hop was. Not even Bill.

So, how did Bill, with dirt in his finger nails and a love for rhymes, turn out to be one of the biggest musical inspirations of all time? Well, it was mostly all, if not entirely all, because 2,403 miles away in the concrete and glass playpen known as New York, the boss’s daughter had a pretty face.


Lewis, the long-limbed greenhorn, probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to the tape if it hadn’t just left the clutches of Jane’s right hand. Lewis studied the tape like a child, reading and re-reading the scribbled phrase “Lonesome Cowboy Bill” over and over again. Finally, after his vision blurred in an attempt to locate just one of Jane’s fingerprints he decided to give his ears a few minutes with it. Sad, weird, and terrible. Lewis couldn’t last more than a song before hitting eject and going on with the rest of his day (i.e. daydreaming about Jane’s naked body).

Unlike the tape, but much like the right hand that left it, Jane was rather perfect looking. A nubile nineteen year old, she was born and raised in The City, to which Lewis, an outsider via Freeport, always fantasized about. Being from New York and being from Freeport just weren’t the same thing, certainly not to Lewis. After meeting her in the elevator, he quickly memorized her bio in the new employee handbook and later that night, in the comfort of his bedchamber, tried on no fewer than sixteen different wardrobe mishmashes with the sole aspiration of getting her attention the next day.

Dauntless enough with his attire choice, Lewis, accompanied by dark eye liner, navy blue mascara, and his new shiny wardrobe, fingered his guitar and whispered a melody.

{Cm}{Cm}{F}{F} (You got to see him in the rodeo)
{A#}{A#}{D#}{Dm} (When he's riddin', going too darn fast)
{Cm}{Cm}{F}{F} (You got to here the people ...)
{A#}{D#}{A#}{D#} (Lonesome Cowboy Bill, he's a ...)
{A}{A} (Oh)

Those chords, those words, roused for whatever reason from that god awful tape, from a stranger 2, 403 miles away in Elko, Nevada (which wasn’t at all megalopolitan boomtown of New York, or even Freeport for that matter), would go on to change Lewis’s life forever. It even changed his name.

Soon after, he wrote a song for Jane, and not much longer after that Lewis traveled up and down the eastern seaboard playing shows in dingy clubs and making nice with famous artists. He named a band with a gent named John after a clothing texture, painted bananas with his friend Drella, and after that, released his own solo record, but not before changing his name to Lou, because quite simply, Lewis was a name unbecoming of someone who walked on the wild side. All of the New Sensations and perfect days to follow, as farfetched as they were, traced right back to that pretty girl’s right hand and the tape dropped from it.

By the time all of this had transpired though Bill had flown up past the clouds. By all accounts all that was left of the lonesome cowboy was a ramshackle hut atop his promontory ranch, still occupied by Fredrik, but whose smirk was replaced with a frown. His only company was a half drank bottle of poor man’s whisky, an empty pill box case, and the quiet solitude brought on by a wrangler’s dreams unrealized.