Eddie Van Fridgin
While the exact month and year escapes me, I distinctly remember beginning work on my Bedlam Nights album at 51 Lions Studio in Quincy, MA. The studio was run by a bunch of my old Boston pals (guys who had played in The Sharking, Kicked In The Head, The Street Dogs, Big D and The Kids Table and Random Acts of Violence) and I will jump at any chance to get out of my NYC element in order to buckle down and work - especially if it's a sweltering carriage house that nearly mandates nudity when tracking vocals.
Towards the end of my first day of tracking I met Hooker, the brilliant guitarist from Random Acts... who, at the time, looked like Zakk Wylde without a healthy diet of anabolic steroids. He and another housemate had just arrived on their Harleys and a third housemate said, "Hey, My friend Gina wants to ride with you guys... you'd like her! Real cool, killer body..."
"Nah," Hooker said, opening a beer. "I only like fat chicks with sloppy tits." And with that he walked out of the room without even acknowldeging my presence, leaving me to giggle about that exchange for the next few months. Hooker was A-fucking-OK in my book.
So thanks to the miracle that is FaceSpace, I realized that Hooker had moved down to North Carolina and had basically traded in shredding Gibsons for dabbling with oil painting. And while I was initially drawn in by a blog post about his Rising Sun shoulder-cap tattoo, what really caught my eye was his plan to turn the garage's beer fridge into an homage to Eddie Van Halen's 5150 Strat.
(So if that kind of DIY, psuedo-white-trash reportage photography doesn't inspire you to click through to a blog post, let me just inform you that it also contains the sentence "I went over to Food Lion to buy beer to eat for dinner." Eat your heart out, Bukowski.)
Yes, Virginia, this is what happens when people with an unhealthy obsession with 80s metal do in their spare time. And while I have no love whatsoever for the ouvre of Van Halen, I would be proud to walk to my garage to remove a beer from this piece of folk-art (or even just to have a separate fridge dedicated for beer in the first place).
Seriously, Hooker is one of those cats that I hate. He bucks the "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" title by, well, mastering nearly everything he lays his hands on (excluding sobriety and good manners, of course).
Definitely check out his blog and his oil paintings for sale, including a great series of "meat paintings" and, my favorite piece, the Tom Waits portrait pictured to the right.
Buy it quick before I do.
PS - for $50, he'll do this to your fridge in Randy Rhodes polka dots, a Zakk Wylde bulls-eye or the Stryper-style bee stripes.