Hey 19 Raps


2011/07/09 - Los Angeles, CA


2011/07/09 - Los Angeles, CA


Greek Theatre


That’s right. Take me along when you slide on down, and something about this evening and the way the…way the air feels and it all looks out there and all you wonderful people here…and a few good old friends of mine in the audience who reminded me, put me in mind of a time way back when I was a teenager, before I even met Donald, back in the…I don’t know, I was fourteen fifteen years old and my friend Howard Rodman and I, both at that time denizens of Forrest Hills, Queens had gotten together at his apartment to uh, you know, do this and that, listen to some music and stuff, and Howard’s lovely mother Dorothy, it can fairly be said that she was a partaker of the new freedoms. And so were we, and that night we had a little bundle of spleef that we had gathered from some little wise guy and we rolled it up into the usual crude like cigarette apparatuses. Unbeknownst to us, as we smoked it on down and put on the Temptations record to listen to, unbeknownst to us this was not just any old mersh that had come in from the boat…from the waterfront. This was the legendary chiba chiba, Columbian, super-duper monster weed of the day. Buried underground and aged for four years in the carcass of a black leopard, carried down from the mountaintop by a party of virgin girls if available, and presented to the chief. And the next thing you know, after a chain of transactions like that, we had it with us in Forrest Hills and we smoked it on down and we listened to the Temptations record, and it, ah man, it's a great record, you know, we’re going through the thing…and then the fateful moment came somewhere right towards the end of side one I believe it was, correct me if I’m wrong Howard, but there was a skip to the record. We sat there and listened to that skip in the record for about twenty-five minutes. And it was good. Now because we were just youngsters then we couldn’t really take it on up from there, I mean, first of all you didn’t have enough brain cells left to take it on up from there at that moment, but of course we didn’t drink at that time. This was, you know, the birth of the psychadelic revolution and alcohol was temporarily on the back burner for most people, but had we been drinkers I know that we would have continued the evening in exactly the traditional way…down south of the border kind of way with that beautiful, smells like burning rubber kind of, I guess its a liquor of some kind, or liqueur, or a whisky…like a cactus whisky or something like that. We would have just snuck in and borrowed some of Ms. Rodman’s cooking sherry, so to speak, except in this case the cooking sherry would have been, that’s right, you guessed right, girls, tell ‘em what it was we would have found in the kitchen, tell ‘em right now, tell ‘em...


Becker, Walter


July 9, 2011




Howard A. Rodman,president of the Writers Guild of America West and the childhood friend of Mr. Becker referred to in this rap, wrote a touching tribute to his friend in at https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/remembering-walter-becker-1950-2017/#!.  

Of this show, Mr. Rodman writes:

In 2011 Mary Beth and I went to see the band at the Greek, visited Walter briefly in the green room before the concert. This was the gig at which Walter, during the vamp in “Hey Nineteen,” stepped to the microphone and delivered up a droll and lengthy monologue about getting calamitously stoned with my mother back in the day, name-checking her in front of six thousand people. It was a moment of embarrassment, of pride, of mortification, of arrival. But mostly: Of recognition that our lives are long and strange and on a good night, not unwonderful.


Becker, Walter, “2011/07/09 - Los Angeles, CA,” Hey 19 Raps, accessed April 25, 2019, http://dandom.com/hey19/items/show/70.


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