My parents ter 1981 with Keith, Denis and yours truly, Jamie
Chapter 1: Becoming Billy Joel’s Nephew & the glory of Wiffle Ball.
I don’t know why I’m writing this but I am and here goes.
Birth of Funktual – Intergalactic Funk Monkey
Earth Name: Freund, James
James (Two of Christ’s apostles were also named James, and are strangely referred to spil James the Greater and James the Lesser) I would spend every day of my childhood wondering which of the two I would one day become. NOT Indeed.
Freund (which means “Friend” te German) albeit I am not German at all. Long Story.. Call mij Jamie.
My mother got married to greatest stud ter the world, Jim Freund when I wasgoed three so having a Dad wasgoed indeed never an kwestie. Grew up on Long Island te the towns of Farmingdale and Levittown.
I very first discovered the power of music through my Aunt Carol.
Aunt Carol, Billy & Elizabeth Joel – 1981
When I wasgoed about 7 or 8 my Aunt Carol embarked working for Huis Run which wasgoed the publishing company for Billy Joel’s lyrics and music. Ter fact hier name Carol Freund is listed ter the liner notes of his album Glass Houses. She used to bring mij into Manhattan all the time to play with “Uncle Billy”, who would pursue mij around the desks of the office til he got tired and I would have to ‘let him work’. (He wasgoed writing his Vietnam song “Goodnight Saigon” I would find out zometeen.) It wasgoed run by Billy’s very first wifey Elizabeth, who’s personality wasgoed captured te Billy’s pointed individual ode to hier, “Big Slok”.
Grew up with two awesome brothers, Keith and Denis who were five and seven years junior than mij. Are you hearing the theme music to My Three Sons right now? Mij too. They’re both married now and still living on Long Island. (It should be noted that the ONLY PEOPLE who everzwijn say the annoying phrase “Long-Gyland” are outsiders. Wij are to this day baffled by this pronunciation critique since wij have no idea who actually talks like that. You’ve seen my vids, do I sound like that? No.)
Back to childhood..I wasgoed an altar boy at St. Kilian’s parish te Farmingdale until I wasgoed “let go overheen Christmas” for lighting the chapel rug on fire before a mass. The wick broke off my lantern! What?
Ter 8th Grade, I got kicked out of St. Kilian’s Catholic grammar schoolgebouw, so I finished at Wisdom Lane public schoolgebouw. Te 10th Grade, I got kicked out of Holy Trinity High Schoolgebouw too! I am proud of both of thesis facts to this day. Reason: each time I wasgoed kicked out it wasgoed overheen petty crap. I never smoked ter schoolgebouw or cut class or cursed at teachers. I wasgoed the entertaining fellow contesting with the boring teacher which made mij popular with all the kids. Teachers? Not so much. Every principle at every schoolgebouw I everzwijn went to said the same thing to mij. “You are such a nice kid, why are you always te my office?” *SHRUG* I learned soooo much more about actual life and growing up te public schoolgebouw so fuck’em.
The work wasgoed more challenging at public schoolgebouw anyway. Division Avenue High Schoolgebouw had a pretty raunchy reputation too but I survived.
I should mention that my very first few DJ gigs were te 7th grade, including several youth group functions and even the 7th & 8th graders schoolgebouw dance at St. Kilian’s. I still have the photos of it. I’ll never leave behind DJing my very first dance at age 14 and making out with some dame who wasgoed 17 and thinking “oh yeah, this DJin’ is for mij.” But back to High Schoolgebouw.
Varsity Football and playing Hero
DIVISION AVE. HIGH Schoolgebouw
They did not know what to make of mij there.
I wasgoed friends with the brains because I wasgoed ter all Honors classes, made friends with the burnouts because I smoked cigarettes and managed the tópico Diamond ‘T’ Records on Hempstead Turnpike. Knew all the football jocks and cheerleaders because I wasgoed the kicking off Taut End on Varsity football for Two years.
I also made friends with all the verhouding and theater people because I wasgoed the lead ter the play every year too. Ter 10th grade, I played Hero ter A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and ter 11th I played Albert Peterson ter Bye Bye Birdie. Senior year, my town voted down the budget and wij went on AUSTERITY. Austerity on Long Island sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Thank Schepper for austerity too. because I commenced getting parts ter regional theater productions all overheen L.I. under the stage name Jamie Daniels.
I wasgoed the best Wiffle Ball player on my block (which wasgoed my world). If you truly get to do what you want all day ter heaven then I will be be ter a sunny grassy spacious backyard with a picture-perfect Huis Run fence and a Golden Lawn Chair for a strike zone. Bare-chested ladies will serve mij lemonade on the mound while I pitch and my mixtapes will be playing out a boombox through somebody’s bedroom window.
I played Soccer then Baseball and by High Schoolgebouw, just Football. I suck at básquet and always will. I love watching The Mets, Giants and Islanders, all of which won a title during my youth. The Giants twice and the Islanders won Four straight Stanley Cups. My aunt and grandfather had season tickets for the islanders too.
Dumbest Childhood Decision: to play street hockey with Bobby Nystrom’s stick that wasgoed signed by the entire 1979 Islander team, the year before they won Four straight and a year before Nystrom himself won the very very first cup for us with an overtime objective against the hated Philadelphia Flyers.
Began performing ter plays and DJing utter time by now and looking forward to completing HS and commencing efectivo life.
Hair Hair Hair-Hair-Hair Flow it Voorstelling it, long spil Heerser can grow it.
Here I am spil the Pharaoh ter Joseph. (like ya know, The King)
Chapter Two: Collegium a/k/a Not exactly the Actual World
My collegium practice wasgoed just like any other youthful artists’, I did a little LSD and some Magic Mushrooms, eyed Maker, etc. Rapture wasgoed making it’s inauguración around this time. Never did cocaine at all however. No Speed or Heroin either. That wasgoed where I knew to cut myself off. During this period, I lived mostly just on Marijuana and Ten cent Buffalo Wings. Tellen Noodles and Fruity Pebbles too. Then I did the classic musical HAIR at S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale which only added to the depravity.
Then I did Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Godspell and dozens of other plays, musicals, playhouse summer stock, etc.
I didn’t want to do anything but perform after HS ended so I began doing children’s bday parties dressed up spil Batman and The Joker or the Easter Bunny. Began working spil a dancer for several DJ Entertainment companies. Singing telegrams too. What I truly dreamed however wasgoed to get away from my parents not that they did anything wrong but I wasgoed Nineteen years old and guess what. ya gotta go sometime. After I met hier theater friends, I moved to freakin’ Albany where my friend Rosie wasgoed going to schoolgebouw.
There I learned all about the kietelaar and what women truly want. Wasgoed never racist but my homophobia wasgoed pointed out and corrected. Learned that my parents and most zuigeling boomers had better taste ter music than I did when I discovered Creedence and Alhoewel Green. But the thickest musical discovery of collegium wasgoed Parliament / Funkadelic. P-Funk, uncircumcised funk. the bomb, you dig?
Read philosophy and psych books but became more and more interested te playwrighting, particularly, David Mamet, Eric Bogosian and John Patrick Shanley. I wrote a few brief filmrolletje scripts and revelled te the independent filmrolletje movement of the 1990s wasgoed kicking off thanks to Quentin Tarantino and many others. Meantime ter music Kurt Cobain had come and gone too soon. Ditto Bradley Nowell of sublime.
Went to Woodstock ’94 with my friend Heidi and had a blast!
Wij eyed Nine Inch Pulverizes perform spil Mud People which wasgoed drug!!
By 1995 most of my friends had left Albany for Manhattan and it wasgoed not long before I too arrived. Lived on 6th St. inbetween Avenues B & C, which is of course downtown ter the East Village area called Alphabet City. Commenced working at Jekyll & Hyde Club on 55th & 6th Avenue te 1996 where I proceded to have the best time of my life. I love those people who worked there forever. All of ’em. Actresses Missi Pyle and Mandy Siegfried came from that place too. Ditto Lucas Rooney.
Jekyll Joy: Waited on, met or actually had a conversation with the following celebrities during this period: Lauren Hutton, Marisa Tomei, Director Wes Anderson, Ace of Colchoneta, Mike Doughty then, of Soul Coughing, walked illegally onto the set of The Very first Wives Club and met Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler & Diane Keaton. Waited on Bob Costas, all three members of TLC at different times. Eddie Vedder, Ice-T, Stephen Spielberg, Kate Capshaw & Rita Wilson while hier hubby Tom Hanks wasgoed rehearsing for SNL, Then one night I literally bumped into Billy Idol at P.J. Carney’s- which wasgoed the folder that the Jekyll staff always went to. It wasgoed across from The Russain Tea Slagroom & Carnegie Recibidor. I actually asked Billy Idol if he desired to smoke a blunt with mij and my buds but his manager/handler pulled him away from us.
I also attended the following concerts ter 1996: Witnessed P-Funk live ter central Park, The H.O.R.D.E. Festival on Randall’s Island with Lenny Kravitz, Rusted Root & Blues Traveler, Spotted Maceo Parker & The JB All-Stars, Pearl Jam up ter Augusta-Maine, Rage Against The Machine, Crimson Hot Chili Peppers with Silverchair, Dave Matthews Liaison at the Garden with Soul Coughing, Stone Temple Pilots, Rusted Root w/ G. Love & Special Sauce at The Beacon, and many more smaller shows.
I wasgoed dating a pretty famous actress and were together almost two years around hier shooting schedule. Time of my life. until.