Will the real Bobby Black please stand up?
Since adopting the nickname Bobby Black as my official nom de plume over a decade ago, I’ve become aware of several other gentlemen who also bear the moniker—a hip-hop DJ, a legendary steel-guitar player and a rather corny crooner from Georgia—with none of whom I had very much in common. Then, a couple of years ago, I got a MySpace message from a woman named Bad Girl Debbie who introduced me to yet another of my namesakes living down in Shreveport. Unlike those others, this Bobby Black was eerily similar to me—a metalhead with long dark hair, a goatee and an eyebrow ring. We exchanged a few e-mails expressing our kinship and left it at that. But when I found out that I’d be going to Shreveport to do a story on the new Harold & Kumar movie, I knew I had to meet him.
I got in on Monday night and checked in at Sam’s Town, one of the main casinos in town. I rolled a few joints, choked down some slop from the buffet, then headed into the hotel bar, where waiting for me in the flesh was my alter ego. He was a little older, a little wider and a lot taller than me, but other than that we looked mighty similar. We each stopped, looked the other up and down, smirked, then embraced as instant brothers.
My doppelgänger took me to his buddy Bill’s house, where I met some more of his pals from a band called the Rock Popes. While I doubt that many of them were actually familiar with my work, the very fact that I was from High Times and coming to hang with them made me something of a celebrity in these stoners’ eyes. Their degenerosity (that’s trademarked, by the way) was overwhelming—offering me loads of bong hits and Jäger Bomb shots (Jägermeister and Red Bull), and serenading me with a three-man acoustic jam featuring several Alice in Chains and Pink Floyd covers, and a Doobie Award–worthy original song called “Smoke a Bowl with Jesus.”
Next we headed over to their local watering hole, Finnegan’s, to meet up with the rest of their friends; apparently, word had gotten out that there was a new Bobby Black in town, and their whole crew showed up to meet me—including Miss Bad Girl herself. We ordered up pitcher after pitcher, exchanging stoner stories and having a roaring good time. At some point in the evening, I was taken aback when I overheard Debbie utter the name “Breedlove.”
“Excuse me … did you just say Breedlove? As in John Breedlove?”
Quick back-story: About seven years ago, I’d become entangled with a voluptuous redhead who lived in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, and she had this redneck roommate named Breedlove—a scrawny Southern cartoonist dude who worshipped Rat Fink and Corrosion of Conformity. We used to all go out and get drunk together on an almost daily basis. But after a few months, Red and I broke it off and I hadn’t seen Breedlove since.
“Know him?” Debbie yelled. “Hell, yeah, I know him—he’s my roommate!”
I swear, you can’t make this shit up.