THE ROOT-TOOT STORY OF KID CREOLE and the COCONUTS Chapter 12
TWO frustrated musicians escaped from Los Angeles, California and made their way back to New York City, their home. One guy actually drove a car from coast to coast. His name – August Darnell. The other guy flew in an airplane. His name – SugarCoated Andy.
What were they doing in L.A.? Recording an album. Their band – Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band.
The bandleader, Stony Browder Jr. was a genius. But he was also a delightfully eccentric taskmaster. The album that should have taken 1 month to cut, took 6 months. The name of the album – Dr. Buzzard Meets King Penett! Check it out next time to have a headache.
August and SugarCoated were happy to get out of Dodge.
Once they reached their homes – August in Manhattan and SugarCoated in Washington Heights – they decided that they had enough of the Dr. Buzzard lunacy. When they were summoned back to L.A. to help with the mix, they refused to go.August’s girlfriend pulled a Lady Macbeth on him: “You should start your own band and stop being a splintered stool for your older brother.” (Oh, I neglected to say – Stony was August’s older brother) ‘Splintered stool’? Damn, that hurt!
August and SugarCoated were kindred spirits, you see. They both adhered to a strict teetotal lifestyle. And they both abhorred drugs. This alone made them the object of much abuse and derision from various minions, and especially from the bandleader (who believed that marijuana was more important than scrambled eggs in the morning; who knows, maybe it is!). It was truly time to jump ship. Aaaaah, bye bye good ship lollipop!
Speaking of eggs… August was egged on by his Swiss Miss, Adriana Kaegi (aka Dear Addy). He decided to start his own band. But he was frightened. He had been Stony’s right-hand man for years. It was scary to be the one who would now make all the decisions. He needed SugarCoated and Adriana to join forces with him. He could not do it alone.
By this time, SugarCoated had amassed a quite impressive list of debt and needed to change his moniker to avoid collectors, loan sharks and his ex-girlfriend’s ex-husband (long story). Through a mutual amigo he then met Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert. Kerry shared that the “Coated and Andy” name-parts reminded her of a family pet she grew up with named Andrew who bit her mother Ethel on the leg. Andrew was a mammal called a coatimundi. VOILA!!! SugarCoated morphed into Coati Mundi.
And August’s nickname in High School was Mr. Sunshine. He wanted to call the band Mr. Sunshine and the Cold Cuts. Adriana said she would leave him and return to Zurich, Switzerland if he went ahead with such a stupid idea. Coati said, “I don’t care what we call the band! Let’s make music, not alimony or sandwiches!”
That night, as fate would have it, an Elvis Presley film was on tv. August loved swivel-hipped Elvis. The name of the movie – King Creole. The next morning he proudly announced to his Swiss Miss, “The name of the band will be King Creole and the Cold Cuts!”Adriana Kaegi frowned. “Kid not King. Put your ego to rest. Cold Cuts – no fucking way! Try Coconuts!” She had ideas, you see. Ways to get paid. She was no fool.Coati did three knee spins and a split jump. He replied, “Vaya, que la música nos espera ansiosamente!”)
The rest is history.
OFF THE COAST OF ME, the 40th Anniversary Edition will be available on the 2C2C Label. Release date = May 28