Who Is Dr. Easy?
Readers of my stories and gig announcements will often see a reference to a certain “Dr. Easy”. There never seems to be an actual, verified photo or video of him; he's nowhere to be found backstage at shows; no one that I know has actually seen him, nor heard him. The only evidence that I have might be some forgotten sunglasses (he likes sunglasses, even at night), an old hat (he loves hats of all kinds, but seems to lose them...probably just an exuse to get another?), or an empty beer can...or three. He never loses a cell phone because he hates them and won't buy one, though he's quite happy to borrow yours. I can assure you, he does exist for he's actually an amalgam of several, very real things.
Wonderful colleagues in one of my prior lives as an Emergency Room psychiatric clinician (I've done a lot of things besides play music, ya know!) got a kick out of my initials – DR – and took to calling me “Doctor” for no really good reason other than that. After one particularly gruelling night shift, I coined the “Easy” part as an ironic, 'gallows humor', tongue-in-cheek wink to the extremely necessary and difficult work we did.
The moniker stuck, but I am not the realDr. Easy. The realDr. Ea$y likes to spell his name using a dollar sign instead of the letter “s”, and as is often the case, thisis as close to any real money of his own that he ever gets. He says he “likes to think big and do t'ings dif'runt.” I tend to agree. The realDr. Ea$y seems to like me alright and he tells people that he's my extremely talented, though reluctant, contarian muse - a creative, alter-ego-sometimes-buddy of sorts with a crotchety disposition...unless, of course, you have some good, Caribbean rum on hand! Then things can get jolly real quick.
I never know when he'll present himself and he rarely returns any of my calls. He says, “I come directfrom the ether, meh-son. I operate on my owntime.” So it would seem, but the 'ether' always seems to know when it's mealtime, or that I'm in the shower. It's in moments like these that he offers his unsolicited two cent's worth about any topic you'd care to discuss, or notdiscuss. You can almost always count on him to disappear when a helping hand or a good two cents is justwhat's needed, leaving behind a sink of dirty dishes, a few empties, the aforementioned sunglasses or rumpled hat and a faint odor of salt air. He always sets the agenda, you do not, and I've come to expect that from our interactions I shall have to mine the truly useful tidbits of info and good counsel like diamonds in a mountain of dense blather.
Remarkably, he's almost always right - except when he's not. He likes to tell me how to do things, like how I should play the guitar (despite his not knowing the first thing about how to play a guitar), or how I ought to interpret a song (though he sings like a howler monkey). That said, his choices of tunes are usually pretty good, but if I choose to ignore him or his 'suggestions', he'll sulk or get snippy with me.
Dr. Ea$y can embody the smooth, laid-back cool of several of my West Indian musician friends, even speaking in their patois from time to time, but he can be a cantankerous old turd if he's out of sorts. Or rum. He likes to hang out and will pontificate about almost anything, but mostly he prefers to keep to himself. As he says, “I'm my own best audience, except maybe for you. You should take this here tip I'm offering you, bwoy.”
If you ever do see him out and about in your travels, say “Hello to him for me”, but don't ask him to play the guitar. Or sing. Others around you may think you are talking to yourself, but we know better, don't we.
By the way, the drawing above was done by a forensic artist from my best description. He says it's the most challenging piece of work he's ever encountered. 'Bout sums the good Doctor up, too.