It began with a dare and a moderately damp cocktail napkin drying on a green patio table in the mid-afternoon Southern California sun. The year, 1993. The scene: The Café Cappucci, a little coffee house and bread bakery in Brentwood, California just off of Barrington Avenue near San Vicente. A cute UCLA coed, who would later go on to be an acclaimed Stanford E.R. doc, turned to her then boyfriend who, for years up until that moment had been writing dark, brooding, artsy verse and nailing sheets of his inner pain to palm trees late at night on the grounds of the local V.A., and said, "Write something funny." With a slight tremor in his fingers from trepidation and, more likely, one too many lattés, the boyfriend grabbed his coffee napkin, looked at the vast 4 x 4 inch blank white space with a leer and desperately launched
targeted glances around the patio
looking for inspiration.
And there it was before him: in the
bread basket which was short one
roll. Daunted no longer, he put pen
to paper: The mole Stole a roll And left a hole In the bowl.He read it out loud. She giggled. His life changed forever. For that would be the beginnings of more than 1,500 short form, nutty poems and word plays that became the foundation for an entire library of literary content produced by Too Nuts Productions.
But we're leaping too far ahead of ourselves. For although he couldn't quite figure out what it was, the recently transformed boy writer soon concluded that there was something curiously missing within his verses and, in turn, in the universe, other than a piece of day old bread.
Several weeks (and, at this point, about 50 poems) later, the boy and his pen encountered another boy and his guitar and synthesizer and reel-to-reel tape deck and microphone. They'd met during an upstairs gathering of networking parishioners at a Beverly Hills Anglican church one late afternoon in July. As the meeting was breaking up, the composer followed up on something he overheard the writer say during his personal introduction to the group at large, something about a bunch of nutty poems his girlfriend had inspired him to write.
"Do you have any with you?" the composer asked. "Why, yes, I do," the writer replied drawing forth a Manila folder tucked under his arm. As the composer perused the loose pages, he broke a grin.
"Have you thought about setting these to music?"
And that's where the story really begins and why Oscar and Hammerstein and Rogers and Hart and a whole lineage of great but mostly dead collaborators are smiling from somewhere beyond that hollow void within that great bread basket in the sky....