Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Origin of Shoehead

A lot of people have been asking me how I got the moniker "Shoehead". I guess it is a natural curiosity, and while I've answered the question countless times, it never really dawned on me to post it in a blog; immortalized through eternity (or as long as the internet is up and running).

I've been Shoehead since 1980, so it's not just some silly screen-name for the web. In fact, I've been Shoehead since before a lot of the internet generation was born!

The name came about shortly after I moved to Richmond, VA. As anyone who's ever relocated in the middle of high school can attest, it's a little tough to "break-in" to a new school, a new set of friends, etc. Especially in Richmond, which can definitely be very clique-ish. So I did fall in with a pretty cool bunch of guys, including two really good friends, Bernard "Beanie", and Billy "Bildo". Sometime, in the spring of 1980, we all went to a huge house party in Henrico County's fashionable West End (we all went to Tucker High School in the West End), and as the drinking commenced, Beanie and I started calling each other "Shoehead". I really don't remember how it came about, or even what it means, but at that time I had no idea of the staying power of such a moniker. Throughout the night, we laughingly called each other out --"Hey, Shoehead!" Monday morning, as we saw each other in the halls, we kept it up, and as the weeks went by, the name just kind of stuck on me.

The name perpetuated after high school, most likely because I put a personalized licence plate on my car saying "SHU HED" (at the time, you could only get six digits on the Virginia licence plates). Over the next few years, the name became sort of an alter-ego; like a party name.When my band, Just Because performed in the late 80's and early 90's, "Shoehead" became my stage name. By this time, a lot of people around Richmond didn't even know my real name!

I moved to Hoboken NJ in 1996, and after I brought my cousin Chris down to Richmond for a visit, "Shoehead" followed me back up to the New York area. I then moved to Vegas, and my brother Jason brought "Shoehead" to Vegas. After Vegas, I moved to Redondo Beach into an apartment with some Richmond buddies of mine, who already knew the "Shoehead" legend. The local Redondo denizens started calling me "Shooey", which is entirely a California creation. I like "Shooey" a lot, because it represents a great time in my life--a period of change, a sense of adventure; new beginnings...

So that's pretty much the whole story. Once the internet came into my life, there really couldn't be any other screen name that captured my personality and history. I hope this helps de-mystify, or bring to life my nickname.


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