I walked into the historical landmark known as Churchill’s Pub at 1:30 p.m. on a recent Saturday afternoon. Bad Brains front man HR was sitting on the stage and waiting for me. I introduced myself, as he pulled me close. “Lets go to the backyard,” he whispered into my ear. I was jarred, as I followed him through the dark empty club, and outside to the porch.
The heat blazed down, as I sat dumbfounded. HR was wearing a khaki blazer, dark sunglasses, brown leather shoes, and slacks. His dreadlocks have never changed. I asked him if he would like something to drink. “Yes sir,” he said in a high-pitched but very soft voice, “I would like some pineapple juice.” He bent down and pulled a Gideon’s Bible from his guitar case, and then took out his shiny blue acoustic guitar. He continued to strum the guitar as I walked towards the bar and ordered pineapple juice on the rocks.
Bad Brains are my all-time favorite music group. Period. This was not an “interview,” and this is not a blog. It is a testimony to a man’s greatness. You see, as far as I am concerned, HR is a prophet, and our meeting was part of my quest for enlightenment. My reverence towards him is probably equal to a Buddhist’s towards the Dalai Lama, or a Catholic’s towards the Pope,
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I began writing on a piece of paper in the club’s green room at around 2 a.m. HR was asleep next to me. The table was cluttered with empty beer bottles and blunt guts. A young blonde punk rock woman walked in, and began to rub his chest as he slept. “Oh my God, this is my destiny,” she said, “Can I wake him up?” HR lifted his head, took off his sunglasses, and looked at the woman. I finished my drink, stood up and exited the green room. About an hour later, HR appeared onstage handcuffed to the same woman.
Videography by Jacob Katel.