Happy Birthday Zippy!Monday, September 08, 2014
|Sitting: Zippy Pinhead, Kathy Larkin, Susanne Tabata, Randy Rampage, Sherri Decembrini, Art Bergmann, Standing: yours truly and John Tanner|
Drummer/musician Zippy Pinhead knows something about friendship. Talking about Randy Rampage, he told me, “These guys are like my brothers. I have known and worked with them for many years.” As he said this to me he beamed at me with his trademark Zippy smile. Perhaps his wife Kathy Larkin is the only human being on earth (besides his old musician-working-friends) who might have seen the man scowl and not smile. Perhaps it was the fact that tomorrow Monday (I am writing this Sunday night) is his birthday so that he was extra happy and extra funny. His imitation of songs being played (his singing along with his deep baritone) would guarantee this man a stand up gig anywhere if there were a God.
In fact my proof for the non-existence of a deity is that his friend Art Bergmann is not rich and extremely famous. The same might be said of another buddy, Randy Rampage who plays the meanest electric bass anywhere.
Where were these three men? They were in the home of filmmaker Susanne Tabata who lives dangerously close, but not quite, to Burnaby. Her friend John Tanner, former broadcaster and expert in astronomy (he works at the Vancouver Planetarium) was the fourth man there. Tanner who may be six foot four has a fetish for getting into and driving very small cars.
The chef at the barbecue (mean ribs they were) was Randy Rampage. Skewered fruit was served with other goodies.
For reasons that escape me I was the interloper and yet I felt at home, especially when Zippy told me, “We're still alive so that should count.”
Many years ago my Rosemary wanted us to build a deck by the kitchen. We never could afford it. So we never had a deck party. Two of the best deck parties I have been fortunate enough to be invited to were at Tabata’s. Today's was that second one.
One of my secret pleasures is that I am lucky enough to know Art Bergmann when he is not performing. When you talk to him in the light of day you can understand where his brilliant lyrics come from. This is a man who observes, reads and digests. And he does all that silently.
Before he left he kissed his Sherri (I was told not to call her his wife) and I asked, “Is she staying behind?” Sherri answered, “No we just kiss all the time.”
All of who know Art Bergmann know he has a heart.
I would like to point out here that if you look carefully at the two snaps you might note two salient details. One is Sherri’s dog Charlie and the other is the rubber bulb that Zippy is holding in his left hand, with his left in the other picture. By the rules of photography when he pressed on that bulb he tripped the shutter of the camera. So with some pride I can boast that the photographs were taken by Zippy Pinhead. There is something else you might observe in the white edge of one of them. It is brown. Bergmann has his funny moments so he decided to slip the Fuji Instant print (Fujiroid, I call it) into Zippy's chocolate birthday cake. When I sort of scolded Bergmann he licked most of the icing off.
Should you ever run into Zippy on the street be sure to ask him, “Why was your fuck band (a Vancouver institution in the late 70s) called Sgt. Nick Penis? Did it have anything to do with the fact your father was a cop (RCMP)?