The first time I ever saw Samoa was before I had met him. He was onstage at the Pyramid Club sometime in the mid 80s all in white (maybe painted white?) slowly masturbating a huge white painted dildo to a Montovani Record he liked the cover of (I found out later), moving like a faux “high class” type out of an old movie until he came to a climax where (what seemed to be) gallons of milk were ejaculated with a glorious almost delirious expression nearing insanity but closer to plain old happiness.
The end. It was many things, definitely funny but oddly NOT sexual. Samoa seems to transcend sexuality, which gives him license to go places most can’t. Like when a child takes their clothes off and dances around & it’s sweet, innocent. Samoa has a vibe of a mischievous 8 year old boy. He laughs a lot. At himself gleefully. He knows his broken English so well. He twists the language knowing you’ll think he’s “a foreigner” but then he’ll say some genius Captain Beefheart worthy statement & giggle to himself & then you realize he knows more than you do & he’s possibly laughing at you. I have always gotten the feeling that laughter was Samoa’s zen exercise. Always laughing (in public anyway).
He spent a lot of time in the 80s & 90s wearing ass-less pants that never struck me as sexual in any way despite the fact that he has a perfectly shaped bum. His performances, costumes & really spot on classic Rock ‘n Roll guitar playing in his band with Kembra Pfahler (The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black) were like nothing before. An incredible meeting of the minds funneled into a real full on hard Rock ‘n Roll band. He gives the ultimate puppy dog love vibe long before you realize that he is truly a genius. Just as you feel like you wanna pet him on the head you feel stupid & want to ask him the secrets of the universe. Seems like he’s on the top of the mountain & we slowly make it up to his level, those of us who spent a lot of time with him. And he seems to only want to help you up to share what he sees. Not that I will ever be sure I can see what Samoa sees but when the laughter starts I know I’m on my way.
Early on it didn’t occur to me that he made all these costumes & accessories he wore in the band (and everyday life. I used to think wow who makes this stuff for him. Then you realize, man, of course the guy can paint, and build, and create endlessly, seamlessly, effortlessly. And of course I & much of the world hasn’t seen/experienced much of this yet because like the greatest of the great, Samoa doesn’t need to be seen, congratulated or awarded. Like the true artist Samoa just needs to create. We now luckily have a chance to step into his circle, always with a hand out to help you in as an equal. Here’s your chance to peek into a world you NEED to experience. Samoa is now doing us a favor! Run with it.