Friday, October 12, 2007

Hot for Preacher (3) - Chapter One: I am Born

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
2 Luke, 8:10, Bartleby.com


Coll: Something's wrong with this baby.
Gib: I'll say: he looks like our sheep!
Coll: Let me see, Gib! (Mak and Jill try to escape)
Daw: I see thieves trying to sneak away!
Gib: That was clever. I've never seen anything like it.
Coll: What a fraud!
Daw: Yes, men, wasn't it? Let's tie her up and bind her fast. A false scold when she's caught hangs at last. Look how they swaddled his four feet in the middle?
I've never seen a horned baby in a cradle before. I know him by his ear-mark. He's ours.
The Wakefield Second Shepherd's Play, a medieval retelling of the Nativity and some other stuff, translation by Karen Saupe.


Paul was a cranky baby. He cried most of the day. Peace only settled on the new house after he went to bed where, exhausted from the trauma of his waking hours, he slept long and soundly. Iris tried all known methods to still the noise coming from the cot. Her sister Ruth would come over to lend a hand. Onagh Byrne, a sympathetic neighbour from two doors along, was also enlisted to help pacify Paul. Norman, who was now a sensible eight-year-old, often walked his young brother around the block to give Iris a break.


David Lee Roth was born on October 10, 1953, in Bloomington, Indiana, where his achievement-oriented father, Nathan, went to medical school.


Iris was sure something was wrong. Nobody would cry like that just for attention. When he was two, Iris took Paul to Dr. Lee Kidney, a noted specialist at Crumlin Children's Hospital.


David was an energetic kid, but he was plagued by allergies and fought with health problems that forced him to wear leg braces from almost the time he could walk until age four. Then he was shipped off to therapy for the better part of a decade. At nine years old, he began three intensive years of clinical treatment for hyperactivity. He had a few healthy outlets--Roth's parents called his dinner-hour routines "Monkey Hour," when he acted out cartoons and sang revved-up vaudeville songs for dinner guests.


Dr. Kidney couldn't find anything wrong with his young patient but suggested he stay in the hospital for a week for observation. The good news, seven days later, was that Paul was healthy and normal.


Everyone else was simply having trouble playing their part in his continuous mental picture show, a fast, animated flipbook of MAD magazine and Playboy.


The bad news was that he was unlikely to stop seeking attention.


...his roots were knotted tightly around the Old World--his grandparents were Ukrainian Jews who traded the mountains and steppes of Eastern Europe for the sweltering cornfields of the Midwest. In fact, all four of his grandparents spoke Russian. "My great-granddaddy died dancing," he later joked with a TV interviewer, "at the end of a rope."

2 comments:

FionnchĂș said...

What inspired the pairing of Second Shepherd's Play and Diamond Dave? Wow. I acted in high school as Gib, or was it Coll, in a performance of this as our Christmas play. (I was typecast as Knowledge in the spring play, Everyman.) More VH will have to wait, natch, until I read that bio.

Miss Templeton said...

Since this was the section mashing up the 'nativities' of our two heroes (Bono and Mr Roth), it seemed obvious that Bono would be heralded with all that St Luke could offer. From there, it was a natural progression to the farce of the medieval comedy, a mash-up in its own right.

I have not forgotten about this little project. Chapter Four, tentatively titled "Dirty Old Town" will compare contrast Dublin and Pasadena as the two cities relate to their respective rock legends' stories.