Hey, what does the name of this blog, Confessions of a Black Punk Drummer make you think?
Do thriving, drug-addled adventures as an awesome ass drummer in the local indie/punk scenes around America come to mind? Topped with a dark, secret past? Or a confession like, “once, I took a lot of ecstasy, ran naked around a bar, and woke up the next morning in the home of a decent cobbler?”
If you’ve seen the ‘about’ page then you already know that none of this is true..although, I did run stark naked around a house after losing a game of dominoes (a different story altogether, really).
Sorry to burst those wonderful possibilities, but I’m just a rhythm-loving Southern nerd who’s wanting to become a better drummer.
CoaBPD, however, does mean a lot to me in its namesake, and, as fairly general as it sounds, it has quite a damn origin.
It was awhile back one night. I had been doing some pretty heavy drinking with my friends out on the town and was stumbling quietly back into my apartment. I stared around. The place was a bit of a mess. Clothes thrown around ever which way. I began throwing them in my wicker hamper while thinking about how much of slob I was.
And, just like that, or maybe like clockwork, I was thinking of Nari, my cousin. I stopped piling and got on my laptop to find a video.
He’s the dude stylin’ the wide-brimmed. I’m the bald-looking kid with the fake guitar
I was playing “Cult of Personality” on Guitar Hero while he lip synced the vocals. His younger brother/my awesome cousin Nathan had filmed the whole thing, and, about a week or so later, he posted this video up on his youtube account with the rest of his array of entertaining vids.
It was such a rad ass time. And the video itself was how I learned of Madvillain (Nari’s rap is a rendition of “Curls”).
I went through a lot of them, listening to him make up some funny ass lyrics to parody a musician or talk about what was on his mind at the time or, you know, just be him. He had been very good at being him (something that took me a long time to do).
About half an hour into his channel, I found one labeled “The Year I Lost My Mind–Confessions of a Black Punk Rocker.” The details section of the video claimed this as part of a web series where Nari would retell the writings of a guy who went by Alberto Mysterio. He was only able to make two vids before he died.
So, after watching, I was like,…the f*k? The tale was immersed in such a grim-dark atmosphere, which made it pretty appealing to read, but this guy Alberto, he was, to put it simply, very pitiful. He was like the Eeyore of urban living. The overbearing tone of despair and defeat in his lines was definitely justified—I mean, living poor in the late 80s/early 90s as a black dude with an affinity for punk rock would do that to you—but there was no fight in him at this point. And it was hard to listen to because of that.
And so, like any good child of the millennial gen, I did some googling for his pen name and whereabouts. The only thing I could come across was an old blog of Nari’s.
Desperate Thinking was the name of it. His tagline: A young black male who writes screenplays with nothing better to do with his time than to not make money, desperately contemplates to come up with the ultimate blog. A link of the post here if curious.
To summarize, the post was about how Nari came to love these written confessions from out of a magazine in Jackson, MS, and how Alberto taught him to write “from the gut.” Reading the post, I caught wind of Nari’s signature empathy for people. I mean, Mr. Mysterio was definitely compelling in his confessions but also, from what I read/listened to, kind of an asshole.
And Nari not only knew that but accepted it. Saw the heart under the asshole-ness. And was inspired by it all.
“Normally I would say ‘long story short, I fell in love with the guy’ but this was the first time I actually read someone become a prick right in front of my eyes…[though], he was actually pretty kindhearted, but time had grown old against him…”
–from Desperate Thinking
I sat there by the kitchen table, reading the post over and over, slowly tearing up. Emotions were pummeling me. Feelings of loss and guilt, of admiration, and of fear. But overall, I felt happy, happy to have found it. In a way, Nari was my own Alberto, sans the dickishness. He inspired me in all the creative endeavors he was attempting (screenwriting, drawing, comedic skits) and pushed me to do things for myself. But moreover, he was a genuinely good person. One of the best of them, really.
And, because of Nari, I wanted to be someone who was comfortable with himself. Someone who could be totally open around people and share freely his feelings and desires (and, hopefully, that’s where CoaBPD comes in).
So, the name of the blog. Confessions of a Black Punk Drummer. Simply put, it’s a dedication. To Nari. To Alberto. And to anyone willing to accept people for everything that they are. And love them as they are.