Ichiro Meets Buckethead

July 19, 2009

Although my interest in baseball has waned considerably over the past two decades, one player who has intrigued me is Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.

First of all, he’s from Japan, and the Japanese contributed mightily to my childhood. Hell, in the ‘80s, we were told of how they would soon be our overlords and annex the US, replacing all workers with robotos.

(and everything would be adorned with those cool rising sun logos)

There have also been articles detailing that, in addition to being a spectacular hitter, a speed merchant, and possessing a cannon for an arm, Ichiro is rather eccentric (and not unlike Mr. Roboto).

How eccentric is debatable as his interviews are conducted through an interpreter although he is, apparently, fluent enough in English to annually give a pre-game speech to his All-Star teammates that supposedly contains every profanity known to man.

His eccentric ways were recounted last week in an odd encounter with Ichiro which fellow All-Star Jason Bay blogged about.

Paloma was patiently listening to my astounding tales of Ichiro when I expressed that I would watch a reality show featuring him.

She suggested, in a stroke of genius, he be paired with Buckethead. The mere thought of it had me ready to pop popcorn anticipating a show which doesn’t exist, yet, if there’s any cosmic justice, should.

Buckethead, for the uninitiated, is a tall, lanky guitar wizard who performs wearing a mask and Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head. Briefly a member of Guns ‘N Roses, he gives rare interviews using a puppet, claims to have been raised in a chicken coop, and has worked with an array of acts including Bootsy Collins, Iggy Pop, and John Zorn.

Ozzy Osbourne tried to recruit for his band, but he was troubled by Buckethead’s refusal to remove his mask.

The union of Ichiro and Buckethead would seem to hold incalculable comedic value.

I don’t want the “reality” that is currently being offered to me by housewives in New Jersey, MTV, or Denise Richards.

No, the reality of a Japanese baseball superstar and a bucket-wearing guitar maestro – living as roommates, arguing over who left dirty dishes in the sink through an interpreter and a puppet – is a reality which I could enthusiastically embrace.

Buckethead – The Homing Beacon

I haven’t heard a lot of Buckethead’s music, although it is quite obvious from what I have heard – and to paraphrase Ozzy’s assessment – as a guitarist, he’s a motherf**ker.

The Homing Beacon is a song he’s written in tribute to Michael Jackson and available on his website, Bucketheadland.

The song is sad and sweet and hardly as frenetic as his music which I had heard.

Cibo Matto – Know Your Chicken
from Viva! La Woman

The Japanese duo Cibo Matto was brought to prominence in the ‘90s by their association with the Beastie Boys and if the Beastie Boys were two Japanese women rather than three American men, and if they sang mostly about food, then they would be Cibo Matto.

Actually, Cibo Matto might be well cast as the neighbors to Ichiro and Buckethead.

White Zombie – El Phantasmo And The Chicken Run Blast-O-Rama
from Astro Creep: 2000

Apparently, Buckethead, like Rob Zombie, is a fan of slasher movies and his masked persona was inspired by Michael Myers from the Halloween movies.

Unlike Michael Myers, I’ve read that musicians such as Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea describe Buckethead as a shy, sweet person.

Perhaps Rob Zombie could be cast as the landlord – kind of a tattooed, dreadlocked Mr. Roper.