Ode to the King!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Exactly 12 years ago my life was a picture of lameness. My family had finally splintered and morphed into an episode of the Jerry Springer Show. I was living in a mobile home in the Ocala forest with my stepdad (I had moved to be nearer the punk band I was in). I had no girlfriend (it was slim pickins in Altoona--my lowest moment was watching the bouncing beauties training in their cute riding outfits at a nearby horse ranch) and, not able to find a viable art gig, I was depressed and destitute. I found myself working the night shift in a metal factory nearly an hour from home. Every night I spent 8 soul-strangling hours arranging thousands of tiny metal pieces for processing--for a sweet, sweet $6 per hour.
My boss was a googly-eyed close talker who would drape his veiny arm around my shoulder and deliver my assignments in an intense machine gun burst of words (ahhh cocaine). In the station next to me was a plump Latina with doughy cheeks and an upper lip forested with thick sprouts of dark hair. She was a delight. I considered her my cellmate. Each night, despite my attempts to ignore her with my headphones she would regale me with tale after tale about her no account, abusive boyfriend (ironically for us both because she was keeping me from hearing the stories of no account abusive boyfriends from the callers on Loveline). I couldn't always hear her to catch the details, but I always enjoyed her warm, thick clouds of dragon breath that melted the air.
My only joy at the time was the two hours of Loveline each night that crackled and faded in an out of my dilapidated headphones. Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew entertained and informed millions of lost souls between 10PM and midnight. I tuned in religiously. Each night Adam would rant about whatever beastly thoughts would dare to cross into the traffic of his mind. Like a broken slot machine he just poured out a steady jackpot of comedy gold. Offering both sage, real world advice and ridiculously innovative solutions (attack crows, crotch-sniffing STD dogs, Recylarolla, etc.) Adam preached the gospel of common sense without a hint of sanctimony or latent hypocrisy. Love him or hate him he is as honest and refreshingly authentic as a human can get--which is especially rare in Hollywood.
What meant most to me were Adam's stories about his early life. We had a lot in common. Wacky, wandering family (check) depression (check) miserable, demeaning jobs (double check) and the burning frustration of being young, smart and rudderless. His advice of "get a job and fight to keep it" was about as close as I was going to get to career advice.
Since then I've worked countless hours building and painting and struggling and exploring whatever artistic jungle paths I could carve out. All the while there has been one voice heating up my headphones while I toiled--Adam Carolla (aka Ace Rockolla). Recently he celebrated the 1 year anniversary of his pirate radio style Podcast . I sent him this portrait I painted of him as a thank you for being literally the "voice in the wilderness" for me, and for his general, overwhelming awesomeness. It is stuffed with personal jokes and references that only his fans would appreciate.

I got the idea of painting him as a knightly king after hearing him joke about it on an episode of Loveline with Jay Mohr. You can see a slideshow with the original clip HERE
for a better explanation.
Admittedly I went a little crazy with the gold-leaf, but I think it worked out pretty nicely. To see the full portrait just click HERE Now that he has children of his own I hope it comes in handy for them to ward off the nightmares that come galloping up in the darkness. Or at least he finds it a funny addition to his garage.
Either way, I say with the deepest respect to the shimmering warrior-poet of the airwaves Thank you and...MAHALO!

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