Hey there. Maybe you know me, and maybe you don’t. I’m a disabled artist/musician just trying to make his way in this world. For the last three and a half months or so, I have not had running water at my house. My patience has been tried and it is finally affecting my day to day existence. It has…
To quote the great @AlbertBrooks, “I’m sorry. This is fucked.”
Manny Verzosa was a friend. In Portland, I knew him first as a bartender and then as a musician. I worked with his girlfriend LJ. When I moved to Boston, he and I were neighbors and I had the pleasure of dogsitting for Buddy.
My roommate Robert was a musician and Manny was over to our house often. After his move to California, Manny was our houseguest, when visiting Boston.
He was killed on November 13, 1993 in Rock Springs, Wyoming when the vehicle he was riding in, hit black ice and crashed.
After Hurricane Bob in 1991, Manny called me because a tree had fallen into his house just off the Jamaicaway in JP. I caught some video footage of the damage. Manny had been up in his attic room/studio listening to the latest Lenny Kravitz cd. He loved the classic soul production.
Manny was signed to Capital Records on what I think was called a development deal. (The label would later release him to a contract with Epic.) During his time with Capital, they had him meet with many of the other artists of the time. Manny got to meet with Graham Parker and The Smithereens. I’m sure he met other labelmates, but they were favorites of mine at the time, so I remembered that.
He also got a chance to meet and talk with Lenny Kravitz. Lenny had recently worked with Mick Jagger on his Wandering Spirit album. Along with Kravitz, Jagger had Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass. Lenny played Manny the track a few months ahead of its release. Manny’s ballsy comment to Lenny upon hearing it was; “Is he (Mick) using that vocal track?”
Manny was a charming man and fun to be around. I admired his confidence with women. When visiting my Jamaica Plain apartment, he picked up a cd and noted how much he liked it. He mentioned that he had met the woman at club or party in NYC. He spoke about being left speechless by her and the way she carried herself. That woman was Neneh Cherry.
Iggy’s American Caesar from 1993 reminds me of Manny because Eric Schermerhorn and Hal Cragin also played on two studio demos Manny recorded in late 1992 or early 1993. Schermerhorn and Cragin played guitar and bass respectively. On drums was Dennis Diken of The Smithereens. The demos were produced by Smithereens singer Pat Dinizio and Manny’s friend Robert Fisher.
Though the songs (Tuesday, Spin) are familiar to friends who have the ‘Fully Qualified’ cd, I’ve only heard the studios demos on cassette. To give a sense of the chops that Cragin and Schermerhorn had together, here’s an Iggy song they played on.
Manny was traveling back and forth some between LA (San Marino) and New York. In LA he was playing at Largo on songwriter nights. In New York, he played at Sin-é. One of those nights at Sin-é, he joined Jeff Buckley on stage and they performed a duet of Que Sera Sera. As I heard it described, it was inspired by the the Sly and the Family Stone cover. Oh, to have been in that audience.
Pliny the Younger.
I’ve looked through half of these rules and found them to be pretty good advice. I see where there is a gap between the man that I am and the man I want to be. I know from experience that there is always work to be done.
Recommended reading: The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida.