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Gary Bear's stage patter for hawking tapes: "If you'd like to know what that song sounds like with keyboard and drums..."

Just to make sure I never find out, I had Gary Bear sign my unopened tape right on the cellophane. As a public codicil to my as-yet-unwritten Last Will and Testament, I hereby state that it is not inconsonant with my wishes for the Gary Bear tape be opened upon my death, but is not to be played at my funeral or, for that matter, anywhere near my dead body.

I forget what the charge for the tapes was, but I know it was something-thirty-five because Gary Bear had prepared a number of foil-wrapped change packets of 65 cents each. He seemed taken aback when I asked him to sign mine for me, which to me was a point in favor of his not being a put-on. I guess. I dunno. This guy would fit right in as part of an MJT collection.

Update, 2005: Deuce of Clubs interviews Gary Bear

Gary Bear

One of the acts opening for Daniel Johnston at Club Congress in Tucson a few months back was a guy called Gary Bear. I couldn't tell whether he was for real or a put-on. Maybe some in-the-know Tucsonan might write in & say which. We spent most of the night helping out at Daniel's merchandise table, which meant we also were selling Gary Bear tapes. I think we sold two, or maybe three. One of them I sold to myself. When Gary Bear came to pick up his meager take, I tried to get him out of character, if it is a character. But nope. Maybe Gary Bear is what Gary Bear seems to be. It just isn't clear what he seems to be.

(Anyone know anything about the other opener, a Tucson band called Sugarbush or Sugar Bush? I think they were selling a tape or CD that night & I meant to get one, but I spent too much time being confused by Gary Bear.) (UPDATE: I got the CD, called Bee Fart, later.)