Finally, I get around to painting the dude that rocked the world from some other hemisphere. Eskew Reeder or Askew Reeder or just plain Steven Quincy Reeder Jr. (man, can you imagine what pops was like???) or to you folks, Esquerita! This man was doing it to death with the Chrysler building high pomp and make up years before the Little Richard came around. Even Little Richard finally came clean and admitted in an interview that mayhaps Esquerita might have influenced him just a teeny-weeny bit, uh-huh! Let’s go upstairs to the Macon Greyhound bus station video for that. Regardless, Esquerita laid down some of the purest, most rocking tracks that human ears have ever heard. The man could have been a space alien for all we know. Paul Peek (guitarist for Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps) gave him his first recording opportunity and the legend basically ends or begins again with Big Audio Dynamite writing a song about him, cleverly titled, “Esquerita”. Esquerita cut many sides under various names. Norton Records does a fine job of releasing a lot of his gems. I recommend his first LP on Capitol Records.
Back in the late 80’s, Don (Mr. Hollywood) Butler and I discovered the sounds of this wildman. I cannot remember who heard him first…me, him or Little Richard, but I do remember we were instantly hooked by the wild piano playing and insane vocal stylings and his crazy hair-do. Butler printed out hundreds if not thousands of stickers (on company time of course…j/k in case The Man reads this!) and armed with said stickers, we’d go out to clubs, bars, house parties, you name it, and plaster these stickers all over the place. We were Banksy-ing before he was born! Butler still does this to this day. They can be seen all over the U.S. especially now in PA. Anyways, if you have never had the privy to hear S.Q. Reeder, please use a porta potty or Spotify him and dig the sounds of the Voola! RIP 1986.
The first painting is pretty dang big in size compared to my usual works but Esquerita is sponge worthy so I gave him the props. I threw on some mylar for his shades so when you look into his eyes, a bit of you stares right back at you, and don’t we all have a little bit of Esquerita in each of us that wants to get out! (FU to Zwol, no props, for littering our thrift stores with his cutout nonsense). I also adorned him with some of Misty’s jewelry. These trinkets are worth thousands so that should drive the price of this puppy right out of the freaking stratosphere! S.Q. dug the color purple before Oprah and Prince so hence the shirt. The orange is just a way out Milky Way Galaxy stars type of look. I stole those other little star ideas from Rick Vito and his King Paris poster (thanks Rick, I steal from the best!).
The second painting was just an exercise using a fluorescent orange on black canvas. I did this with a Lenny Bruce portrait and it seemed to come out just swell. This one just took a few minutes and I tried to use as few brush strokes as possible. Again, just a fun little portrait loosely based on the stickers that Butler created in the olden days before Taylor Swift. So folks, I hope I turned some of you on to the great sounds of Esquerita. I know a lot of you out there already know about this cat. If that’s the case, well don’t be shy about spreading the gospel of the Vintage Voola….and special thanks to Barry Holdship for reminding me about my crazy rockin’ roots! Peace to y’all!
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1972 (Volume 4, Number 5)
We leap ahead almost a year
A flatout triumph from a major performer
New Wave pop bliss out
I WISH I HADN’T GONE
a time-capsule type of roster
Creem -America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1971 (Volume 3, Number 6)
“Sure, we don’t pay much but then who else do ya know who’ll publish you?”
in the immortal words of Jason Isbell to me at Gov Ball a coupla years ago: “let’s do this…”
one of the great top tens of the 2020
old school Puerto Rican underground sounds
a masterful pop about loving a drug addict