"I think I need to work it out so I can have my own place again, because there's just not enough room with any of my other options to fucking just mark my territory, and say the fuck with all yall, I'm just taking a walk over here and worrying about my own mixed bag of nuts...Ok, on every side of me seems like there's dagger eyes staring and shovel tongues digging at my brain. I need out. Somewhere where my thoughts are mine, whether that be at Glyndon Hotel, an apartment, a house, a goddam piece of cardboard under a tree."--from a letter by this author to Jeffrey Scott Holland, June 14, 1998, published originally in the chapbook Black Lung by Creeps Press
"Highlights included a slow pissed off version of 'Uncomfortable for God,' a slew of numbers featuring Eggroll (aka Brian Manley) in pig tails, a rousing country flavored rendition of Elton John's 'Crocodile Rock/Ode to Ninnie,' a lengthy medley of KISS favorites dedicated to the Herald Leader's David Minton, with other staple tunes and some unexpected surprises (including a made up on the spot song with JSH on banjo and Dockery on vocals with a title requested by one of the spectators, 'Paraplegics Are Us')."--from the short lived CH/FR newsletter, "Cheeseburger & Fries News" reporting on an Oct. 6th gig circa 1996 at the Hip Joynt in Lexington, KY
That's right, people, I'm going on a journey. I never really figured on leaving the state of Kentucky, literally and figuratively, but sometimes a colonist just gotta colonize elsewhere. Particles align and everything bends with movement.
Take a gander at yonder picture below. That's me and my grandfather the year he died, taken at Natural Bridge. I sometimes feel like I grew into his style of dress (makes more sense than me dressing the way I did then now, don't it?). But I've also grown in ways old grandpaw woulda never predicted.
What the hell have I been doing here, in Kentucky, my whole life, anyway? Well, friends, packing my life away like I have been in preparation for a departure, it makes a man ponder who he is, where he's been, and where he's going. I sure have knocked out a lot of small press writings, published a little mountain of chapbooks (something like over 30 pamphlets if you count zines and minicomics all in one lump). Played gutbucket music here there and everywhere on and off the streets, warbling reeling rocking and recording. Hung art on gallery and museum walls. Much of this was geared to get out of the state and the show has been taken on the road plenty of times, but it was all born of and in and I always returned to the dark and bloody ground.
But the past few years everything's been going more and more towards comics. And as that has happened it seems like music itself as an action is becoming more and more part of those comics; all these elements becoming part of one product. And somehow this disturbance in space-time around me and my (good?) works has led me to take steps out of the land of my birth and towards the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.
For at least the next couple of years, I will be your Kentuckian abroad, filing reports from New England. As Paul Stanley once said, "Goodbye is only for now."
Your reporter looks sideways at the future-past, Lexington, Kentucky, Virginia Ave. circa 1996. Snapshot by Brian Manley.