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The Big Huerta and Lenny Bruce, The King of Comedy

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Courtesy Of The Don Louis Butler collection

One word, Lenny Bruce..”Flicka??? Flicka??? Come here darling and smell this rag. Smell it you freaky little doggy…smell the rag Flicka, Flicka, Flicka! he’s up there…I’ve done it! I’m the Louis Pasteur of junkiedom…out of my skull for 10 cents!” This was a brief glimpse of a bit Bruce did called “Kids Sniffing Airplane Glue.” Now, you may ask, “but gee whiz Big Huerta, this is supposed to be an article about rock and roll! What does Lenny Bruce have to do with rock and roll?” Kids, one word, THE RAMONES! The Ramones dug sniffing glue! They wrote songs about sniffing glue. Now, can you honestly sit there and think that Lenny Bruce had nothing to do with the history of rock and roll? Even Mr. Springsteen’s parents named the Lil Boss after Lenny! Folks, I do not endorse the sniffing of glue here, maybe in my next article I will, but not in this one. Lenny was, in a way, like Elvis, not Peacock, but Presley. They were both prisoners of their success and both eventually had serious drug issues, both have had books written about them by so-called people that were there and both of course, passed away on the bathroom floor. They both left legacy’s that continually influence generations upon generations.

Now folks, the unenlightened can watch a comedy documentary about Lenny Bruce that gives unimportant comedians of our time (read footnotes) camera-time to eschew their views and scenery and how important Lenny was in their long-suffering comedic lives. There is also a movie made in the 70’s with Dustin Hoffman as Lenny called strangely enough (and what are the odds…I say 50/50, it either is or isn’t) “Lenny”. This is a pretty decent biopic. But I truly recommend buying his LP’s or CD’s and really listen to them. The references will be pretty dated but one should look them up to gain further knowledge from what was hip and what was in the current stream of events. But if these are too daunting of tasks then I suggest Google or therapy because you are too freakin’ lazy! If after all this sermonizing, you are still not familiar with Lenny Bruce nor do not know why he is such an iconic figure then like Elvis said in a rambling “Are You Lonesome Tonight” monologue…”ah, forget about ya”…
There are some great books out there too. “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People”, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce”…

Dig, I really love his bits, his references, his hip beat jazz lingo. He cut his teeth in strip joints where one had to hold the audience and be funny because you had an audience there that was only there for two reasons and the hip jive cracking dude wasn’t one of the reasons! The man was truly smart and aware of what went down in this world. He was sensitive and this is what usually kills our finest artists. Not saying that all was great with Lenny and I do not want to go into his problems nor his obsession with the justice system that really didn’t produce too many guffaws there at the end. But I know most of you that read this ARTicle are already familiar with his story and probably think that I am coming dangerously close to my word count limit and making Iman nervous and trying to piss him off. This is not the case, this time, but dig….this is the reason I say “DIG” all of the time! My homage to Lenny. I truly loved his brilliance and intelligence. Lenny, along with the beat poets and writers, taught me a whole lot of what went down and the cultural attitudes of the 50’s and 60’s. Truly a rich and golden time in history and you’d think we would have learned something by now from them.

I did this painting on black canvas. Only special peeps get to the black canvas. I also used fluorescents to help dignify his intensity. I put his name in green like those old scary movies ads of the 50’s…as if he is “The Blob” and coming for your children. As Lenny once said, “I’m sorry I haven’t been funny. I am not a comedian. I am Lenny Bruce.”

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