Mikey G. is certainly one of the people who has had the most impact
on me throughout my years. Funny thing is, he probably dodesn't
realize it. I have been a bad friend to Mike and haven't kept in
touch as much as I would like. But I do have to admit that every
time we do have a moment to catch up, it is always a blast. We talk
on the phone for hours and hours and we have wonderfully deep and
exestential conversations - ALWAYS. He is my point and counter-point
man. In fact, now that I am thinking about it more, I don't think
I have EVER had a better conversation with anyone else. He is a
great listener - really pays attention and tries to understand and
has AMAZING and heart-felt responses. He is witty and wise, creative
and decisive, intense and serious, but sensitive and compassionate.
Just one of our conversations is worth the intellectual stimuli
of a whole semester's worth of college. I mean it.
Truth be told, Mike will probably kill me for listing him as "Mikey"...
but maybe not. I do so because he manages to pull off a combination
of sweet, cuddly and sensitive while being totally cool, laid back
and hip at the same time. It's a feat not so easily attained by
most others. Mike was a member of one of three black families in
Marblehead. So, he had it kind of rough, at least from the down-home
townies who didn't 'take kindly to black folk'. But in all honesty,
Mike was and is much more of an intellectual, hard-working and honest
guy than any of those hick dead-beats. I'm not sure that racism
was ever an issue for him, and if it was, he hid it well... But
I think Mike is above that anyways. He's too smart to fall into
the stereotyping and name-calling that so many other people do.
In a way, I think Mike has this ability to transcend race and class.
Its a model by which we should all live. And I love it about him.
The other thing that I love most about Mike is his unending ability
to be way too excited about things. I don't mean for that to sound
like he is excessively to the point of detrimentally excited about
things... just that he gets REALLY into just about everything he
does - every time! I love that energy. It comes out in so many ways
too... Classic Mikey G is, of course, his ability to talk to, make
friends with, hook up with, go on a 15 minute disseration about,
heckle, or otherwise verbally assault ANYONE at any time. He just
doesn't care about being embarrassed. I used to be that way, but
he has kept it real. It's always a good time going out with Mike
to a bar or a show or something where there are a lot of other people.
You are bound to see some funny shit go down, or at least make a
new friend or 12.
He pours this energy he has into everything though. Any and all
hobbies he has ever had have felt the effects... skateboarding -
oh, the countless nights of cruising the streets of Marblehead late
at night! And building his RC planes. And his hovercraft. And...
most of all, though not just a hobby... his guitar. I have loved
just about everything any of my friends have ever produced musically.
The Cassieje stuff really got me and there has been just so much
fantastic music made throughout the years - but none of it has had
such a profound impact on me as Mike playing his guitar. I have
had an ongoing dispute with Kate as to who is the bigger fan for
years now... and I think we have finally agreed that we are equally
the biggest fans. Though I think that deep down inside, she knows
I win ;) But his music moves me. It really does. For some reason
it has been the theme music for my life. He really isn't all that
technical, and doesn't particularly follow any standard music conventions
- which is why he has had problems with bands who only played that
way in the past - but SO FUCKING WHAT??? He plays because he loves
it, and it shows. He is a master of split- and poly-rhythms and
tears up an acoustic guitar like nobody's business. I have recordings
of him from 15 years ago that still put me into a trance and take
me to another place. In fact, nearly every time I see him, I make
him play something for me so I can record it and have it forever.
And I am proud to have recorded some of his songs myself as well
as do the album cover for his old band's (Liquid Plaid) CD.