His music was best heard after too many beers and shots in a run down dive with a tiny stage crammed into the corner. His most famous song, "Boogie til you Puke" still ranks as the best binge drinking song ever. One concert at the Varsity Grill in College Park, Maryland turned into a riot that spilled into the streets and onto Rte 1. He was banned by local bureaucrats from playing there ever again. But public pressure brought him back for a coliseum gig a couple of years later. He died in 1993.What I knew about Root Boy was his public persona. I had no clue of his real world life until I googled it. Raised in what I would assume was upper income circumstances, he misspent his youth getting kicked out of one prep school after another. But he did land a scholarship to Yale and was in the same fraternity with Dubya, a future president. Dubya, as president of the frat, banned Root Boy from ever stepping foot back into their frat house after an apparently raucous night of debauchery when Root Boy came back to campus the year after he graduated. Root Boy was also arrested for climbing the White House fence while way too high on LSD. All this before he formed his band.
I often wonder about guys like Root Boy, Divine, Iggie Pop, and all the other icons of outrageous behavior I enjoyed back in the day. Their music and films maybe did not reinforce my own struggle to come to grips with the white bread culture I found myself in, but their music and films did prove I was not alone in my dissatisfaction with the status quo. It seems that youthful rebellion is woven into our humanity more as a reality check for the rest of us than just the surface pain in the ass it seems to come off as. ..... The Kids know.