Thursday, June 30, 2005

Crocus Behomoth Got His Start at Alt. Paper

The Cleveland Scene remembers David Thomas in its 35 years retrospective - here's a clip:

For sheer girth and ambition, Crocus Behemoth had no rivals. The son of an English teacher, the Tri-C dropout was a bushy-haired hulk with the physique of a refrigerator and an uncanny thirst for vodka.

Hired as the paper's art director, he was also its best wordsmith, and he bitched constantly about the typos he carved from the paper with his X-acto blade. Crocus, like most everyone associated with Scene in the early '70s, soon nudged his own byline into print -- first with record reviews and interviews, then with a weekly gossip column. Originally called "The Phlorescent Crocus and Rickie," it was later renamed "Croc O' Bush" -- the "Bush" a reference to frizzy-haired co-author Mark Kmetzko.

A bulletin board of local music events -- but primarily a sounding board for Crocus' warped intellect -- the column became a centerpiece of each issue and a precursor to the long-running feature Makin' the Scene. Skimpy on actual news, it read mostly like a collection of bizarre non sequiturs scrawled during an acid trip.

"I want to tell you about my fake arms," went the opening line of his 1972 debut. "I want to bore you. These are the pictures of me kissing Auntie. Here, I'm selling a turnip. Here, I'm talking to Mr. Sun. Here, I . . ."

The 35 retrospective (this link is current only for a week) includes some early photos of Thomas.


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