Monthly Archives: January 2019

Writing For Rodney – Day 17

continued from yesterday…

The Diaz fights proved a lot about McGregor. That he could lose, and suffer defeat with humility. He didn’t make excuses. He said Diaz was the greater man and congratulated him on his victory, said he needed to go back and work ons on holes in his game, and that’s exactly what he did. But more importantly, he took the fight in the first place. He was supposed to fight Raphael Dos Anos, and he fell out with an injury a week before the fight. Conor agreed to face Diaz, a hugely dangerous opponent, on very little notice, when most fighters would have just opted to sit it out and wait for their original opponent to heal and come back. But Conor knew that literally thousands off Irish had booked flights and hotels for Vegas to come and see him fight, and he refused to let them down. That’s what areal mahfukken G does.

Conor came back and fought Diaz in their rematch and beat him in a vicious five round fight,. Both men were badly beaten and battered, and Conor suffered some incredibly hard shots, but never gave up. He showed the true spirit of a champion in the match, and we will very likely see a rubber match between the two. But that erased any doubts most people had about his ability to fight, and preserver in tough conditions. He hung in there and geeked out a victory and was moderately gracious in that victory.

His next fight came against Eddie Alvarez, the lightweight champion, and it was to make history in so many ways. It was the first ever UFC card in NYC, at the world’s most famous area, MSG, and if Conor won he was going to become the first ever guy to be the simultaneous champion in 2 different weight classes. For this fight Conor was in tip top promo shape. He came to the press conference wearing a white fur coat… he swiped Alvarez’s belt off the table of the press conference (a truck he debuted against Jose Aldo), during the open workouts at MSG he grabbed a basketball off of the court and nailed a shot from the top of the key… he was on fire!  And he once again had a nation backing him. Buy this point, every fight must feel like a hometown fight for Conor, as literally thousands of Irish make the trip from his motherland, and thousands more Irish Americans flood the areas for his fights. NYC was no exception.  I’ve been to so many UFC fights… Ive been in Newark and the Meadowlands multiple times, and flown to Vegas twice just for big fights, and also been to the O2 in London.

I’d seen some incredible moments inside the Octogaon. I watched Shane Carwin dismantle Frank Mir with a vicious body shot that I could her from my middle section seats. I saw Georges St Pirre almost break Matt Whatever’s arm. I saw Jon Jones become the youngest cha[ion in UFC history by delivering. Aviocous knockout to Shogun Hua, and oddly it happened on the same day he also chased down and subdued a purse snatcher who interrupted his meditation session that afternoon in a Newark Park. I Saw Jones defeat Chael Sonnen with a big toe that was so badly broken that the bones was sticking out of the skin. I saw Anderson Silva think he had knocked out Michael Bisping in London and he jumped up onto the top of the cage to celebreat, only to be told it was simply the end of the round. He went on to lose that fight and the venue I was running in London even hosted the afterparty. I saw Renean Barao loste his first ever fight and have his 20 fight winning streak stopped by TJ Dilashw in Vegans and watched Daniel Cormier destroy former olympian Dan Henderson not he same card.  When it comes to non-UFC MMA cards, Ive only been to two different ones, but both of them had monumental moments. I was at the El its XC card where James Thompson had his absolutely engorged cauliflower ear busted open, spraying blood all over the cage. And minutes later saw the upset of the century, when last minute repalcemen, no-name Seth Petruzelli knocked out Kimbo Slice, the street fighting legend that Elite XC bet their entire company on.  That was the last ever Eliute XC event.

But the granddaddy of them all was when I went to the rematch of Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. In Las Vegas. Anderson was the most dominant champion in UFC history. He exploded on the scene in a way nobody ever had, recording flashy knockout after flashy knockout and nobody had any sort of an answer for him. HE destroyed Chirs Leben, the man with the iron chin who had never been knocked out. And then obliterated Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin in back to back fights.  He went up a weight class and made James Irvin look silly by literally catching his kick with his left and and knocking him out with a single right hand punch to the face. In his fight against former champion Forrest Griffin he stood flat-footed in front of Forrest with his hands down, taunting him and dodged his punches by ducking and weaving like he was a character in the Matrix, and the would pop out a couple of jabs that stunned and then knocked out Griffin.  The fight was called off when Griffin fell flat on his back and waved off any more punishment like a kid who had just been wiped out by a bully. When he finally made it back to his feet he quickly exited the cage and SPRINTED out of the area, something that had never before been done in a UFC fight.

Anderson silva had fought Chael Sonnen previously and Sonnen took him down and mauled him with wrestling and ground and pound for 4.5 rounds. Silva looked like he had zero answers. 

to be continued tomorrow… again… My UFC serialiZation. Not sure anyone is gonna find this interesting, but Ive been sick this week and struggling to find things to be motivated write about… I dont wanna blow any of my “good” ideas while Im not feeling well… so sometimes this is what you’re gonna get if Im gonna be doing this every single day.

Writing For Rodney – Day 16

I love the UFC. I guess it was a natural transition from Pro Wrestling. But for some reason it lacks a plethora of larger than life charachters. But it’s got Conor MacGregor. I’m not quite sure exactly when I became aware on Conor McGregor, but as soon as I was, I became an immediate fan. IT was sometime around 2013, as he was prepping for his about against Max Holoway. I remember this brash irishman had a steely sort of confidence, that had yet to become brash, but he definitely had a look in his eye that said “I ain’t here to be fucked with.” That fight was in Boston , pretty much h the Irish capital of the US, and his fans were abundant and vocal, and it became obvious during his walkout there that he was going to be a big time fan favorite. He beat Holloway in that fight and then it was revealed that he tore his ACL during the fight. And kept going. Damn, man, that’s some real toughness. He took almost a year off, during which time he got a wild tattoo of a gorilla wearing a crown on his chest and throat, and then came back, against Diego Brandao, and took place in front off a sold out crowd of 10,000 at the O2 arena in Dublin. A crowd of ROWDY Irishmen. Seeing that on TV it became obvious this wasn’t just any fighter. The combination of the intense crowd backing him, and the fire and confidence he came out with, especially coming off an injury, made it quite obvious that this guy was the real deal.  He knocked out Brandao in the fist round and with that delivered an incredible statement to the UFC. He even won the knockout of the night bonus. After that he started posting pics of him with Loprenzo Fertitta on private planes, saying he was negotiating a n ew contract, and from then on it was quite obvious that he was on a rocket ship to stardom.

The next fight was his first against a top 10 ranked opponent, Dustin Poirier, so was fo course looked at as a huge test.  This was was hugely promoted as the co-main event to the first right between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, and McGregor really raised the staked in the promo for this one , delivering some amazing lines at the press conference. And just unbridled cockiness, but dispensed with enough calm to make you believe that hHE believed it!  He backed it all up too, dleivxeing a stunning knockout just a minute into the fight, once again winning the knockout of the night bonus.  All hell broke loose at that one after the fight, with the arena going bananas, and it was quite obvious that we were dealing with a very unique talent.  Not only did he say he was gonna knock him out in the first round, and DID knock him out in the first round, but he also repeatedly taunted him inside the octgaon, during the fight saying” What you got, pussy?” Man thats GOT to be unnerving, especially when you’re losing the fight.

In the post fight interview with Joe Rogan, he delivered the now infamous line, “I said I was gonna knock him out in the first round, and I did, so you can call me Mystic Mac because I can predict this shit!”

So what is it though about Conor then? I mean, really, it’s all of it.  It first an d foremost it’s the ability to fight and tk wile the octagon with his opponents. And the. He combines that with the brash confidence and the pro wrestling level of trash talk. When hyping a fight he mixes the beat of Ali and Ric Flair. He’s a street kid but has a taste for flashy suits, gold watches and fast fast cars. Dusty Rhodes used to live to say he was the son of a plumber. Conor actually WAS a plumber, and supported himself with that when he first started fighting. And one of his lost important qualities is that’s he’s also a family man.he looks after his parents, and appears to be a fantastic father and provider for his longtime girlfriend Dee.

And then when it comes to the fighting, he’s predicted the outcomes of so many of his fights, and then backed them up.

For his fight against Jose Aldo he kept sayng he was gonna knock him out in the first round. Also had not only never been knocked out, he was the most dominant and durable champ in the history of the lightweight division, and had never even been in serious trouble in a fight, much less been knocked down, or out. But then the fight started, and Aldo ran in on Mac, likely fired up and wnating to attack because his head had been gotten into, and then Conor knocked his fool ass out in 13 seconds. Mystic Mac indeed!

In his fight against Chad Mendes, a last minute replacement opponent whose specialty of wrestling was tailor made to swat McGregor, Conor offers tk bet Dana White a million bucks he would knock him out i the 2nd round. For the first two rounds Mendes took Conor down and controlled and pounded him on the ground. With about a minute left in the second round, Conor somehow managed to get to his feet and then caught Mendes with a flush left had and followed it up with half a dozen more and knocked him out cd. It was, almost literally, unbelievable.  He’s been wildly dominant, yet as actually lost a fight. To Nate Diaz, one of the most underrated fighters in MMA. Conor took him as a last minute replacement as well… Something Conor does with great gusto, but most fighters refuse…and because of that it only grows his legend… Conor will literally fight ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. And when it bites him int he ass…? He was super respectful, and gave Diaz props… the total opposite of how he usually treats opponents when he loses… and THEN he accepted a rematch…. immediately… and came back and WON!

To be continued….

Writing For Rodney – Day 15

The other hairy situation left me short-handed, literally. One chill autumn afternoon I was ripping through the trails and, fueled by the Bravado of a full summer of shredding, I was going a bit faster than would have been logically reasonable… Having just come off a nice extended rainfall, the terrain was a comely combination of slippery and sticky, offering just enough give to let the wheels dig in and tear it up. Coming around one corner that I had ripped up dozens of times before, I found a tree had fallen and was blocking the path, directly perpendicular to my route… Fuck.  It happened so fats and I was carrying so much sped, that there were only two options… 

  1. Bail off the bike and most certainly crash… HARD.
  2. Rev the engine, pull up the front end, lean back and hope the bike got over the tree.

Of course, I chose option #2, instinctively. I charged at that tree, and hoped for the best, and what happened next was just about… the… worst… thing… that could have happened. The front wheel never came up. I just hit that tree head on, like a brick wall, and got thrown over my handlebars. I rolled over three or four times and the damp forest floor and finally came to a stop and collected my wildly spread senses. Well, that was a new one. Id never been felled by an errant tree, but then again, Id never even ridden a motorcade as of a year ago… When. I finally managed to get back to my feet, I did the normal checklist for a bike crash… Arms, fingers, knees and toes… They all work. Neck and head… check. Shoulder shrug. Well, done, so… shoulders shrug. But then it came to what makes us human… the Thumbs! My left thumb want mobile.. it wasn’t responsive… in fact it was FUCKED. Its couldn’t move, or grab, or grip… Which was going to be a significant problem, soldiering that the left hand is what controls the clutch, aka the gear shifting, aka what makes a motorcycle actually MOVE! And here I was, down, and almost out, but not quite, in the middle of nowhere in the woods, and I was gonna have to figure out how to get back to the Emerald city of York, New comma York.

I wrestled the bike back auto upright position, no easy feat, con siding my simian digits were compromised, but when it was finally pointed back at the the sun, is when I felt the burn… the burn of torn ligaments and broken bones. There was no question. It was my thumb, and it was toast. I wasn’t going to be able to squeeze any life out of this clutch, much less any gears. Which was going to be a huge fucking problem, since I was 17 miles from home, and buried deep into a wooded area I was legally prohibited from being inside of, especially when in control of a motor vehicle. So I stood up straight, and dusted myself off, and thought, what would Seth Enslow do. And then it came to me, sudden as a lighting strike during a drunken dusk dawn… He would man the fuck up and get that bike home. So thats what I decided to do.

I lopped my right leg over the seat, found neutral and fired then engine up. It started with out a problem, so I already knew that a lot less than half the battle had already been won. And then I tried to grab the clutch, so I could drop it into first. My first and second fingers pulled the cloth lever ever so slightly forward, and then my thumb tried to complete the transaction… But nope. There was nothing doin. It wasn’t gonna happen. Pain shot through my left thumb and hand and splayed out like splintered sunlight Ito my forearm and right up through my entire arm and shoulder, sending the completely indelible message that… YOURE FUCKED! But I knew there was no way I was gonna give up… I was gonna get this bike back to 150th street,. Tow Trucks were for Sucka Ducks and I was a god damned G. So I swept the left of the bike and got it back up and two wheels and I commanded it to head back to Manhattan. It was super slow going at first, became I could barely get it to even move through all the dirt and brush. I had to slam the shift lever down into first without being able to engage the clutch… or more accurately I engaged it by using my 4 fingers and using them in the reverse way to pull it back to slam the bike into first and then let the clutch out and let the engine do what it did in first gear and then let the bike run out at 1st gear speed… This meant having to tumble above the rustic of leave and branches and sticks at a heavy controlled speed with not room for nuance… which also meant hanging on and trying to maintain control w with one and one half hands… Which worked pretty fine for a while, until I finally made it out of the woods (explain here how I had found alternate ways out of the woods…) and one I made it to the main road, it was a whole other challenge. Then it became rumbling among the breakdown lane, in first gear and just getting ny as fast as the gears would allow me… and every now and then I would juts dry fifth into 2nd gear… which was obviously bad for the engine, base don all the grinding sounds it made, but at least it allowed me to go a little bit faster… And then having to dry shift back into first gear to undo the speed when traffic swelled up…. all that herky jerky motion was rough on my hand, and my thumb. And to this day it’s never healed properly. It gets sore after a long day of riding. playing catch with a baseball mitt. Ah, the horror!

Writing For Rodney Day 13

Double Dragon Tattoo on west 3rd street and 6th ave! THE SAME PLACE IVE BEEN SEEING MY DREAM BIKE. Wait, could it be? I asked if he parked directly right out in front, and lo and behold – he DID!! They say when you really want something, you open your self up to the universe, project your desires, and will them into existence. It isn’t simply that easy, as you have to be doing your part. I believe that kindness, especially to strangers, positivity, openness and generosity are some of the most powerful forces we can put out into nature, and that they are magnetizing, bringing the same energy back to you. It’s how I live my life, and good things come back to me in spades, so there must be at least some truth to that. But you can’t force these things, they have to be GENUINE!

Once the bike was mine it was time to ride. I’d like to say I started slow, but, well, c’mon. I’m crazy, but Im not completely stupid, so I started out just riding around the city, at first obeying all the traffic laws. But it wasn’t long before I started bombing the streets, splitting lanes, riding between cars at stop lights, and the quickly graduating, or escalating, into riding between cars in slow traffic, then faster traffic, then full speed up and down avenues, police be damed. I must say I quite enjoyed the courtesy, professionalism and respect they showed by so very rarely pulling me over.

Once I had the streets mastered it was time to get down to the real business of why I bought this thing, and that was to get it off-road, out into the dirt.  I had heard about a set of trails off of the Sprain Ridge Parkway, and had the loosest directions on how to get there. After a lot of trail and error I found what I was looking for… a set of power lines that ran along the west side of a golf course, and located an opening that looked like it would allow me access. Except it was blocked by a gate. And going around the gate meant rolling down a hill of DEEP brush and weeds, through a moat of murky still water and back up another hill. Well, thats what these bikes are MADE FOR, right?

<insert part about buying mtorocross gear>

So I backed up, took a deep breath, got my ass up off of my seat and gave it more than a little gas. Im not sure exactly what happened, but I was rattled all around yet somehow my feet never left the footpads and my hands remained their steely grip on the handlebars, and I WAS IN. But now what? The Powerlines rans up a very steep and rocky ridge. Well, I had done some reading about how to ride off road, and there were a few simple tips I remembered:

  1. When you encounter tough terrain, get your ass of your seat and put all your weight on the pegs. That lowers your (and the bike’s) center of gravity. SO even thought you’re standing up, that puts your body weight down on the lower part of the frame, rather than higher up on the seat, thus increasing stability. Science IS BITCHEN!
  2. When going uphill, move your body forward over the top of the front of the bike, putting more weight, and thus traction to the front wheel.
  3. When going downhill, move your body back.T his puts more weight over the back wheel, and less over the front, the allowing the front wheel two come up and over any obstacles, so as to avoid going sailing over the handle bars if you hit an obstruction.

It’s a good thing I didn’t a little reading, because this hill with the power lines was STEEP, and since one of the main rules of physics is “What goes up,  must come down” I knew I was in for all three of them, and QUICKLY. 

My pedestrian understanding of physics also told me that if you were gonna try and go up a big hill, it would be best to go into it with some. momentum, so once again, I pointed this machine at the hill, took a deep breath and cracked the throttle. Brrrraaaaaapppppp the bike took off towards the hill and right as I hit the incline I came up off my seat and leaned over the front of the bike and stayed on the gas. Which, even though you know is the right thing to do, is extremely fucking TERRIFYING, especially when doing it for the first time. The bike was jumping up and down off of all these rocks, and kicking to the left and to the right, but I kept my focus forward, and, eventually, we reached the top of the hill. Together. Just as I was running out of steam. And it couldn’t have come a second too soon . I let the bike come to a stope once I was on level ground, and it’s a good thing I did, because there was only about twenty feet of flat earth before the descent began. I pulled forward enough so that I wouldn’t be visible to any passing cars on the road below, as what I was doing was illegal, trespassing on SOMEBODY’s property, I assumed, hence the gate and the crazily clandestine entry point. I put the kick stat down, which cut the engine, and go t off there bike. I hadn’t been off road for more than 3 minutes, yet I was already covered in sweat and my heart was racing faster than my engine in second gear as it climbed that hill. But I was proud. Proud of myself for having gotten after it and gone and did this thing. But then I walked over to the descent, and looked over the edge, and that’s when the horror set in!

Writing for Rodney – Day 12

Sometime you don’t find the motorcycle, but rather, it finds you. Actually, that’s most of the time. Ive never gone in search of a motorcycle. But Ive owned 5 different ones now. In fact, one of them I owned twice. And three of them were stolen. And of the 5 bikes Ive owned there have only been 3 models. That’s right, Ive owned two models twice each.

The first bike I ever bought was a Kawasaki KLR 650. It was the same bike my best friend St itch had bought when we were living together in Harlem. It made me want a bike, badly. But really what made me want to be a motorcyclist was the primal sense a little boy gets when he sees a motorcyle… Man these things are COOL. It’s impossible to ignore.

But a motorcycle wants to be in my future, or so I thought, and Stitch told me so.  “Man, the way you drink, theres only one way that’s gonna end.” And he was right, if I had bought a bike in 2000 or 2001 it wouldn’t have been long before it killed me.  But then things changed. Slowly. I met a woman I wanted to be with. I stopped drinking for 30 days, which led to 3+ years, and then finally one day I decided I wanted a motorcycle. Back before high speed internet turned everyone in to a blogger, I was a magazine addict, and I used to stoat a magazine shop with a tattoo parlor in the back, at West 3rd Street and 6th avenue a lot of nights on my way home from Tribeca Rock Club… and I used tis see a Red KLR parked outside. I just kept seeing that bike over and over, and I decided that’s the bike I wanted.

As summer turned to autumn, I remembered hearing that autumn was the best time to buy a bike. Conventional wisdom said that people bought bikes in the spring, and then sold them in the fall. The spring was a time of optimism, of sunny days spent riding twisty mountain roads. Of end of year bonuses burning a hole in people’s pockets.  But when fall came, so too did the realties of the impending winter. Of the need to stop the bike., of there being no chance to ride it at all. And to the realty of the fact that there was a very expensive machine that you almost never used, collecting not just dust, but piling up expenses in the form of insurance, parking garage fees, or maybe even tickets. And all that psychic energy got was eating up.  So that’s when I decided I was gonna go and find me a Red KLR 650, just like the one that I kept seeing parked outside the magazine / tattoo shop.

BUT FIRST I WENT AND GOT MYSELF A MOTORCYCLE LICENSE – which is a whole other adventure in itself that will be told at another time.

A few days later I walked into the parking garage on 155th street where me and the lady kept our Toyota Matrix, and what did I see but a red KLR 650 with a for sale sign on it… This was the 2003 model, which had just hit the streets in the spring, with price tag of $5,000. I called the number and asked the guy how much he wanted for it. He said $3,000. I told him Id give him $2,000, but he said his price was firm. No dice, I said, politely, and hung up. A week or so later I called him again and offered him $2,000. He said no way, but that he would sell if for $2,700. Again, no die. A week after that I called again and offered him $2,000. He said, pass, but Ill take $2,500. I figured I had the advantage, because who was gonna buy a used motorcycle in the fall.

The next time I went to the garage, I noticed something else, the bike hadn’t moved and was actually starting to collect some dust. I asked the garage attendants what the deal was, and they said the owner had brought it in and just left it there, hander been riding it. So I went and took a closer look and realized that the right side had a bunch of scratched on it. Tell tale scratches… HOLY SHIT THSI GYU HAD DROPPED THE BIKE, WHILE IN MOTION. Of COURSE he wasn’t riding it anymore, and OF COURSE he was gonna sell it to me for $2,000.

So Called him again and told him I knew he had dropped it and thats why I was offering $2k. He finally relented and agreed to that price tag and so I went and met him at the garage the following day with $2k cash in my pocket.  We made some very brief small talk, and then he agreed to let me take int out for a test ride. I did, and I LOVED it. The KLR is not a fancy bike, but it suited me perfectly. It was an endure bike, which meant it was big enough and stable enough to take out on the highway… but that it was also nimble enough and tough enough to take off road and tackle the dirt trails. A literal DREAM, as I had become quite hooked on watching motocross and the Crusty Demons of Dirt video series… So I couldn’t get a straight up street bike.

When I pulled back into the garage, I was TOTALLY SOLD, and bought the bike right there on there spot. As we started filling out paper, I asked him about the low mileage and asked where he had been riding it to. He said he had taken it to Coney Island a few times, but that he mostly just rode it back and forth to work. I asked where he worked and he said Soho. I said, “Oh yeah, what do you do?” A tattoo artist… Oh yeah, where’s the shop?

Writing For Rodney Day 11

Why does California always seem to represent freedom? Is it because the NorthEast was the beginning of America? And has never really been able to shake the puritanical stench?  And that when people grew tired of living under a new version of the old boss, they headed west…? In search of the vaunted American Dream? From what we learned in school, it was the wild mean that headed west. Those who didn’t have anything , so they had nothing left to lose. It was the dreamers, the explorers, the prospectors, the homesteaders. The risk takers. The miners. The 49ers. The wild men. The Lewises and the Clarks. That was the 1800s.

Then who was next. People with automobiles could get out there easily enough. Or it was open to hitchhikers. But it was always someone in search of something new. Or those looking to get as far away as they could from what they knew back east. I used to think it was just those looking for sunshine. And sure, California ostensibly has plenty of that. But where has it gone. This autumn has been one of the worst in recent memory in SoCal when it comes to sunshine and warmth. It’s been a grey and wet and chilly autumn.  Yet here I am. Chasing the freedom that no snow, no literal freezing temps, and no one physical location ca give me. And the freedom I find on two motorized wheels.

It’s been sort of freeing to be in no one single place, and not even really have one single home in this offseason. I have been doing os much traveling whether by two wheels or two wings. And having my stuff always split up into at least two locations. Thank goodness I have so many more than two good friends out here. I think pretty soon Im going to start dedicating a new blog post every day to a great friend. Giving back gratitude and letting my friends know how much, and more importantly WHY I love them. Which is going to be daunting. 

Because, sure, it’s easy enough to write a paragraph about why you love somebody. But 1,000 words. That’s not gonna be easy. Well, here’s a little bit about why I love Rodney so much, for starters. Or at least about why I love how much he loved music. For years, I would open the side door on of Wetlands on Laight Street in Downtown Manhattan and there would be Rodney on the other side of it. His job was to be cleaning the place, but more often than not I would find him in the DJ booth, playing music. Back in the day then we had dual Denon CD decks. The Pro DJ kind, which were equipped with pitch shift, so you could try and match beats, like a DJ would with vinyl. It was damn near impossible to do with the CD players, the way the manufacturer had hoped it would be anyways.

But Rodney had a whole other plan for the pitch shift. He would be playing CDs all day, often times making mix tapes. And he would always do it with the tempo pitched up as high as it could go, which I believe on this decks was 8%. It agave the music a slight Alvin and the Chipmunks feel, but not so much to be bothersome, or to really transform the music into any sort of unrecognizable form. But just enough to notice that it was somehow… off. Just not exactly right. Which was enough to sort of throw you off, especially if it was a song you loved. Because music was all about FEEL, right? You just FELT IT when a perfect song came on.

But with that slight variance in tempo, it always gave the songs juts a little more urgency, and, I figured, helped Rodney get that extra pep in his step and that last extra gear and anergy he needed to clean the whole club by himself. So I never bothered him about it. I always just let him do his thing, and sort of appreciated from afar how he had gamed the electronics system of the club to his energetic advantage.

This went on for years and years until one day IK thought to ask him the story about what made him start doing that. I think maybe somebody else asked about it, and I thought it would be insightful for me to have Rodney explain it in his won words. So one day I wandered into the DJ booth and said “You know, Rodney. Ive always admired how you played the songs sped up a bit, to give yourself a that little extra pep!” I was quite proud of myself for congratulating him on this little life hack.

But his look let me know that I was as far off as could be. He shot me this look, the look only he could deliver, that let me feel foolish and inquisitive at the same time. Dying to know what the real reason was. He quickly shot back “Jake, I play the songs sped up so I can listen to more songs in less time. There’s a whole lot of music in this DJ booth, and Ill never get to hear all of it if I play it at regular speed.

BOOM. HEAD = EXPLODED.

That made so much damn sense to me right there in that moment, and to this day still explains Rodney’s passion for Rock N Roll in a way no other story could ever hope to capture. Rodney wanted it all. S important was music to him, that he wanted to get as much of it into him as he possibly could. To be honest it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if you told me that he would often listen to tow different songs on his headphones at the same time, one in each ear, just to also get as much music as possible into his brain. And it also wouldn’t surprise me if you said that his brain was so complex that it could fully process two songs at the same time as well.

God damn I miss him and that big rock n roll brain of his.

#RodSpeed