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Friday, July 15, 2005

I do it because it makes people laugh and makes me smile under the mask

Posted by on July 15 at 16:08 PM

In the months since I wrote about the two “Masked Marauders” of Ballardtwo buddies who call themselves The Insurgents, and spend evenings ambling around Market Street and Ballard Ave, entertaining the masses with guitar riffs, while riding motercycles and wearing “Scream” and skeleton masks, respectivelyI’ve heard bits and pieces about what they’re up to. I hear “Guitar Doug,” as he likes to be called, is diligently protesting the war in Iraq. I also heard, sadly, that his sidekick Ed was beaten up pretty badly by some folks who apparently take offense to their noisy, but ultimately harmless, schtick. (Masks on, the guys get very wrapped up into their act, and love hamming it up for the ladiesmost of whom eat it up and demand photos. However, guys who run into themnot to mention some Ballard bar and club ownerstend to get annoyed or even irate.)

Today, Guitar Doug sent me an email himself, with an update on their adventures, and some first-hand insight into why they do what they do. I had pegged it as a clever way to pick up girls, but Guitar Doug clarified: he’s just out there having fun, and enjoying his free speech rights. (Also, Ed seems to be okay.)

Why we are famous for wearing a cheap Halloween mask is still beyond me. The Stranger has a large circulation apparently and has given us a large cult following in Seattle. We actually have Trekkie like fans who quiz on on our lives and collect our articles. People ask us to do movies about our lives as the Insurgents all the time. We actually have groupies, which is a scary thought....

We are getting tons of support throughout Seattle, and one in two people in the city seems to know us instantly. Many People insist we continue, and think there is a deeper meaning or relevance to this. This is a completely pointless exercise that has taken on a life of its own. I am the biggest fan of the Insurgents but could not even tell you what it is.

I need to push the over the top behavior as far as I can out of curiosity. I want to see how the story ends.I admit this is the most ridiculous thing a person can do, but its hard to have a bad time when in character as the Scream....

We have made tons of friends through this experience. A little insight into me. My Dad was a famous East Coast musician...He was as stubborn as me when it came to his free speech rights.... The reason I serenade Ballard is not to pick up girls. I do it because it makes people laugh and makes me smile under the mask.... When I perform I cant help but feel happy. If its playing tympani with an orchestra, or, wearing a mask and playing guitar like KISS, its still doing what my family has done for generations. Its performing and that's whats its all about for me. I welcome criticism and believe real art must not appeal to everyone....

Guitar Doug
Scream of The Insurgents Rock and roll Motorcycle Rock group