On March 17, 2002 I committed an unspeakable act upon my own face. Armed with a Gillette “Mach 2” razor in a hotel room in San Casciano, Italy, I removed a proteinous growth which had decorated my upper lip for over 20 years. This action was due, in no small part, to the recent tendency among the guardians of our security, especially jodhpur-wearing Italian ones, to single me out for abuse based on my perceived membership in the “swarthy foreigner, probably muslim” category based solely upon my facial hair.
To give credit where credit is due, the moustache and the persona it decorated were largely the creation of my late wife JJ. She had taken to drawing moustachios on my face with eyebrow pencil, so I decided to just produce a permanent one of my own.
I don’t suppose this kind of behavior was surprising from a woman who used to color her Ken doll’s hair black with marker pen and fill in his moustache.
The persona in question, ‘Guido D. Arezzo’ was born to wear this hair. When reviewing our ‘Desire’ lp from 1980, a british journalist, John Gill (who subsequently became a friend) spoke of my string arrangements as “greasy gigolo violins”. I took this as a racial slur, half-breed latino that I am. I wrote a song called “Gigolo Grasiento” in which Guido’s attributes were outlined. “Yo toco mi violin todas las noches, en las cantinas mas sucios en las calles de Juarez”. (I play my violin every night in the filthiest dives in Juarez.”
The character came to dominate me. I became guido. To a certain extent I still am and always will be.
Narcissist that I am, I somehow believe that these things are important, nay, they are earth-shattering news and deserve to be tacked to the tree of the internet for all to see.
There. Now you know. Leave me alone. I must sulk for a while, draped languidly in my patented posing chair from the “Dandy’s World” catalogue.