Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Farewell, Dr. Geek

Venice lost another of its Boardwalk legends a few days ago, when Dr. Geek (Wilbur Johnson) passed away. He would pull his amp up and down the Boardwalk and improvise freestyle raps based on whatever he was looking at, and would always crack you up.

My favorite line of his said to me was, "Hey Blondie, I like the way you wear your laundry!" Ha! He was always super positive, super funny and a delight to see coming towards you. I never had the chance to do a story on him, and will always regret that. It lights a fire to both tell the stories of and absolutely treasure the characters we still have.

But we didn't always have them. Wilbur Johnson chose to become Dr. Geek and spread his fun and love around town for decades. Bobby Brown chose to become The World's Greatest Wino and tell jokes on the beach for decades. We still have Harry Perry, the Tree Man, Solomon the Snake Man (now sans snakes, but still delivering fiery speeches atop his ladder), the Your Name On Rice lady (all of whom I need to do stories on - let's go!) ... but they weren't always there either.

I'd like to see a new generation of spirited and unique people create their own Venice legends ... you know you're out there, wanting to express yourselves, to give people a thrill,  and to keep Venice interesting and different and worthy of being a destination, vs. turning into just every other generic chain store town. No way.

I'll miss Dr. Geek and his raps ... and look forward to seeing who comes along to carry his torch (or top hat). Rest In Peace, good Doctor!

*Photos swiped from his website ...

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Geek's Funeral fund

    Dr. Geek ( Wilbur Johnson) was a well known street performer who was famous for rapping peoples names with his funky Rhymes around Venice & Hollywood California. He created fun long lasting memories with his Rhymes in places like Katsuya, Jimmy Kimmel Lines, UCLA & USC Tailgating, Numerous night club venues, Venice boardwalk, Vegas, San Diego, his hometown Detroit,Michigan . He was best known for his Blu Blocker shade commercial in the 80's & early 90's. Dr. Geek is survived by his Sister Rhoda Robinson and Nephew David Robinson Hicks. Due to lack of Funds we are asking for any donations. This will Help for the funeral arrangements, and cost associated with death. Thank you for your Kindness & God Bless you all! Please checkout this video of him Rapping to Tim Allen in front of Katsuya & Famous Blu Blocker commercial.