Saturday, December 15, 2007

Uncle Bill

Uncle Bill Green was the first impression you got when you came into the Oyster Bar in the 80s. He was our doorman and chronicler. Everything that happened ended up in one of his poems. Go to and click on Never Say No. This is a piece we did together back then and all the old Soulard characters are mentioned. I think it’s the only recording of my guitar synthesizer.

One night George the T-shirt man tried to get past Uncle Bill without paying the cover charge. He said “Denny” never made him pay. No one ever called Dennis Denny unless they didn’t know him. George was promptly turned away.

A few minutes later George’s car came rolling slowly down Broadway. He jumped out and started beating Uncle Bill with a wiffleball bat. While this was happening the car rolled across the street, up on the sidewalk and through a cyclone fence to our local electrical sub-station.

Years later Uncle opened for Timothy Leary at the Sheldon. I was working at the Venice Cafe. I’ll never forget Bill introducing him to me. He said, “Glad to meet you David.” He said my name and I was totally star struck. He was experimenting with legal ways to get high and was stoned as he could be. He died shortly after this.

You can still find Uncle Bill working the door at the Venice Cafe. He often jumps on stage between the bands’ sets and performs. There’s a portrait of Bill on the wall with the words to “Stupid and innocent.”

I’ll have more about him later.

Photos are of Uncle Bill and Chuck Berry with Doc Terry and the Pirates. This was a picture I took from my vantage point behind the bar.


John Gorski said...

Didn't you get Chuck Berry to sign a cocktail napkin for the oyster bar that night?

Doggie said...

It was a menu. Someone stole it.

john gorski said...

Uncle Bill is starting to look like Zeno.