Thomas Wictor

Time to embarrass Scott Thunes

Time to embarrass Scott Thunes

Well, it’s time to embarrass Scott Thunes. I’ve written two books that are mostly about him, In Cold Sweat and Ghosts and Ballyhoo. I’ve interviewed him several times.

Requiem for a Heavyweight?

Scott Thunes: Unghosted.

Scott Thunes on the Ghosts and Ballyhoo Album.

Although it’s blasphemy to say so, I listen only to the Zappa records on which Scott features prominently, Make a Jazz Noise Here, The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life, Does Humor Belong in Music?, and Guitar. I’m simply not a Zappa fan. I listen to his work only when Scott is on it.

Our views of Frank Zappa are two of the many, many, many differences Scott and I share. In fact, there’s really no reason for us to be friends. But we are.

I’d love to describe the fight we had in 1997, the one that resulted in me leaving Scott’s house in the Bay Area at 11:30 p.m. and driving all the way back to Los Angeles, an amazingly cretinous thing for me to do. If I had to leave, why didn’t I check into the motel that’s about ten minutes from Scott’s former house? On that endless nighttime drive, I actually fell asleep and dreamed that I was back in college, taking a test.

This happened on Interstate 5, somewhere past Los Banos, out where the land is flat and the sky is gigantic. I should be dead, since I slept for several minutes and awoke only when my car drifted off the freeway at eighty miles per hour.

The fight Scott and I had would make for extremely entertaining reading, but I’ll take it to my grave. It did no lasting harm, even though we physically scuffled for a moment. Scott was shocked at how strong I am.

One thing I inherited from my father was incredible physical strength. Even now I can still hold a bass guitar at arm’s length.

But as Dad proved, physical strength doesn’t mean much. Yesterday my cardiologist told me that serious psychological trouble is destroying my body. I have a month to show improvement, or I’ll need more intensive treatment. Like, institutionalized treatment. It’s the PTSD.

Today, however, I got the best news of the past year. Soon I’ll share it. Despite my weaknesses, you’ll see how strong I really am. The year 2013 was an anomaly. Nobody could’ve borne up under that stress. But the people who destroyed my literary career thought that the person they met in 2013 was the person I am all the time.

No. I’m the person who got into a physical fight with Scott Thunes and drove from the Bay Area to Los Angeles at 11:30 p.m.

At the height of the Iraq war, when terrorists were setting off car bombs that killed over a hundred at a time, an Iraqi policeman said something I always remembered.

“We’ll survive. We Iraqis are are strong and stupid.”

I’m strong and very stupid. Ask Scott. It’s the sort of stupidity that compels me to drive while asleep. My strength and stupidity will keep me going until the debts owed me have been paid in full, one way or another. I’ve confirmed that my publicity campaign is a go. Had a really nice phone call today from an ally.

Soon the fun will start. I have the permission of my siblings to do this, and I’m ready for anything. Compared to the suicides of Mom and Dad, whatever happens to me next will be like a gentle mist that momentarily clouds my glasses.

While the final stages are being prepared, I need to thank Scott Thunes for pulling my fat from the fire too many times for me to count. Ours is a very strange relationship. We don’t need that much contact in order to maintain our bond. I think the bond will always be there, whether we want it or not.

A few days ago, a reader sent an e-mail.

I had no idea who the fuck Scott Thunes was. As a matter of fact, I thought it was some Scottish smoked fish delicacy until I finished your book. BUT when I looked at his eyes on > images > codas > 1, I instantly liked the guy: he definitely ain’t no pig. I would give him the keys of my house, ask him to baby-sit my son anytime without even knowing him.

Scott was Mom’s hero because he wouldn’t compromise his principles, and he’s a unique musical voice. He would’ve been my hero if he hadn’t shown me a nude photo of himself with the worst sunburn of his life. He then took a picture of my reaction.

Scott has always wanted me to describe that photo publicly. So far I haven’t.

Okay, Scott, I’ll make a deal with you: a public description of the photo in return for PERVformance. You have to go first, though. Enough with the promises-schmomises.

Like me, my mother was relatively solitary. Like me, she couldn’t get Scott Thunes out of her mind. She didn’t want to meet him, out of fear that she’d bore him. I felt the same way when I drive to Scott’s house for the first time in 1996.

But think about it: The real Jason Bourne found me interesting enough to engage, and Scott Thunes has too, since 1996. That’s pretty remarkable. I think Scott would’ve liked Mom fine. They both had a lot in common. The difference was that Scott lived it.

You are, dear Elephant sir, the last individual.

—Romain Gary

So, Scott-elephant, as the next phase of my life begins, I have you to thank once again for being the impetus. This time, though, I can’t lose, because my loserdom is the main focus. I can only lose by becoming successful, and God knows that ain’t in the cards.

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