Mensch full of ❤…

My friend since 1998, Mr. Scott Steinberg

Back in May I wrote about the dissolution of my friends marriage and the subsequent awkward experience I had at his Ex’s wedding dinner (We have not been invited over to visit Nadine and Rich since that dinner).

My friend started a downward spiral. The apartment he was now living in was a dark dank dump. Even though he spoke that he was better off, his body language said otherwise. He began to ignore my phone calls and texts and I was about to write off the friendship. But it didn’t feel right. So I held onto his phone number in my little address book. Yeah I am not someone that stores everything in their phone.

I met Scott in late fall of 1998. I was 28 and he was 43 and we were both working at a record store in the mall. He had an equally weird sense of humor as me and a major love of films. Out of the blue he mentioned actress Tura Santana to me and was trying to remember what movie she was in with John Carradine ? It blew his mind when I said The Astro-Zombies. After that exchange we became fast friends.

Staying pretty tight after we both moved on in jobs…me to digital archivist, him to Borders Books as a manager. A job derailed from worsening back problems and a business going bankrupt.

Between 1998-2004, Scott and I wrote a terrible juvinile delinquent film called High School Stooge, a film meant to showcase his burgeoning rockabilly band the Whoadads. But it never took off (in hindsight it was a godawful script anyway). Scott was dating a teacher and was engaged but the relationship fell hard, he then found himself dating and eventually marrying his friend (groupie ? Literally the only connection was that Scott sang in a Rockabilly band), definitely an orange and a lemon relationship that quickly moved into marriage but shouldn’t have. Perhaps Nadine was desperate for a father figure for her son ? Who knows.

I’m not the richest person in the world, but I figured if I could find it in my heart to help fellow blogger Beaton all the way in Zimbabwe, when he was down on his luck. I could do the same for my friend of 23 years who lives but a town away.

Despite the fact that his last words to me were “My life is a shit show, just don’t bother calling me again!”

That hurt me. After I felt the need to cleanse myself with a personal atonement, I reached out to him again. I had to know how he was doing ? I wanted to take him to my art opening on the South Bethlehem Greenway which is a short walk from his apartment.

He got back to me, told me he sold off the last of his record/movie/memorabilia collection (when he lived with Nadine in their house, the collection filled the basement floor to ceiling) and despite it all he was flat broke, destitute and facing bills he couldn’t pay.

So I asked what he owed and he told me, he can’t afford to make payments but he had blood work for $328 and a dentist bill for $750…I have money in savings, so I decided (and with my wife’s approval) to pay off the dental bill for him. I’ve never done that kind of gesture for anyone in my life until now.

He received the check in the mail today and texted me the following:

I don’t know what to say . I’m truly blessed to have such wonderful friends . You’re gift is far beyond what I have given back to you . I’m ashamed as to how I have been . You’re a real mensch Matt . A kind hearted and wonderful human being . Blessings to both you and Jess.

I told him not to feel ashamed, to not sell himself short. What he gave me and continues to give me is the gift of friendship. 23 years is quite a gift.

In the words of Tupac Shakur…

Spoke the hard truth N ever

Silenced. brilliant far from I gnorant

Thug life G etting

Him killed. Could never get a chance to reach life G oals

Dancer, Rapper, Actor, Activist…say what you want the man A ccomplished

N.I.G.G.A. As defined by Tupac Shakur flipping a negative on a positive…I personally think Tupac was a martyr

“You gotta make a change. You see the old way wasn’t working, so it’s on us to do what we gotta do to survive.” ~Tupac Shakur

My Favorite Beastie Boys Song per album in descending order and once again my favorite song is a deep cut off of Check Your Head…

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011): My favorite songs off of their last album are the reggae track, Don’t play no garmes that I can’t win (With Santigold), the bad ass Too Many Rappers (With Nas), and smooth groove instrumental Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament.

The Mix Up (2007): From the Grammy Winning All instrumental album The Electric Worm and Dramastically Different.

To the 5 boroughs (2004): Three The Hard Way & Hey Fuck You.

Hello Nasty (1998): Three Mc’s and One DJ, Sneaking out the hospital, and the bizarre bossa nova I don’t know sung by MCA and Miho Hatori from Cibo Mato.

ill communication (1994): B boys making with the freak freak (with a hilarious sample of old time comedian Mantan Moreland), Root down, Flute Loop, Get it together (with Q Tip) and Sabotage.

Check your head (1992): So whatcha want & Something’s Got to give

Paul’s Boutique (1989): Hey ladies, High Plains Drifter, Car Thief.

License to ill (1986): Slow and Low & No sleep till Brooklyn

The song that started it all was the Carvel ice cream crank call novelty record that a friend of mine had a bootleg 7 inch of Cookie Puss from 1983.

But my all time favorite Beastie Boys Song is this song which was a return diss on fellow white rappers 3Rd Bass. MCA’s Rapid Fire third verse aimed at MC Serch is just mad spitting classic…Professor Booty from Check Your Head

“…Thought you could walk on me to get some ground to walk on
I’ll put the rug out under your ass as I talk on
I’ll take you out like a sniper on a roof
Like an emcee at the fever in the DJ booth
With your headphones strapped, you’re rockin’ rewind/pause
Tryin’ to figure out what you can do to go for yours
But like a pencil to a paper, I got more to come
One after another, you can all get some…”

Rap icons: Cypress Hill…

We way too hot
Always comin up with something clever
A costa lostra
Cypress hill maca fera
Feelin’ fancy in the hip throne, guayabera
And we just clowning
On what we call some, money-lera
Call me Sammy
Wild child from the isles
I can go forever like an old fashioned country mouse
Stilo be guajiro
Latino is the lingo
I’m straight cuban-ichi
I bang Pina del Rio
Lockin’ up this function
Just like Benny More
Go ahead and play the congas
And I’m gonna rap over it
Ya I’m a fool I’m outta here
Yes sir I gotta go
Get me some Chiva’s Regal
And slap me some dominos

Ay Caribe tierra de mi gente hermosa
(Armada Latina)
Cielo Sol, me acompanan donde quiera
Hermanito la lucha recien empieza
(Es mala por la gana)
Yo naci con sangre taina, yo naci *

*Marc Anthony / Armonda Christian Perez / James Scheffer / Stephen Stills / Louis Freese / Senen Reyes / Armando Christian Perez Copyright 2010