“They’re all limbs on the same family tree. Everybody hides when it’s time for pruning.”
Fritti Fonteneau, Doc Thurly Bilkem, L.J. Crazyfoxx, Fenton Ditmore, Poolie Birdmocker, Morton Beeheffler, Karnie J. Barker, Schecky the 22nd Dwarf, Paparazzi Hemingway. Fritz Davis is a man of many faces and many names, and he’s been entertaining his friends, family, fans and total strangers for over 40 years.
“I saw Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys when I was 15. I haven’t wanted an honest job since and I’ve been a fortunate man in that respect.”
Whether it’s making music, facing the crowd with open arms and the words of Shakespeare, writing newspaper columns about the high country, splashing paint on a canvas or capturing the passing of an instant in a photo worth a thousand words, it’s always been about entertaining and maybe, showing folks the familiar and, just maybe, showing folks something that they’ve never seen before. Something they will never see, except through his eyes.
Some of it came natural, while some came only with a bit of time and effort. A little study, some practice and more than a rehearsal or two have come in handy.
“When I was 3 or 4, my parents went to a funeral in Topeka, Kansas, and left me at a friend’s house to play on the front porch. Every time somebody walked down the street, I would give them my best song and dance. Some of them threw change onto the porch. There’s no business like show business.”
Communication and entertainment: it’s a symbiotic deal, with no room for divorce. There is no such thing as irreconcilable differences. It’s always been some sort of simple message in his work. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes... you decide.
“I used to sit at the bus and train station for hours, drinking bad coffee and watching people come and go. I enjoy watching people, observing their movements, actions and words, looking for a clue to some understanding as to who they might be and what makes them do the things they do. Those things will show up in my work, sooner or later. Fascinating creatures, us humans.”
He’s always been a true believer that Music is love, a disciple of spreading that message to every nook and cranny of the planet. Go tell it on the mountaintop and anywhere else that they will listen.
“Those who have ears let them hear. When it comes to love, do you have something better to do with your time?”