Mr. Butch dead

Mr. Butch on a wallUpdate: The memorial planned for July 16 has been postponed.

Mr. Butch, the dreadlocked "King of Kenmore Square" and "Mayor of Allston," died this morning an hour after crashing his new Vespa motorbike near the Union Square fire station.

From The Noise:

I am very sorry to report that Mr. Butch is dead. I have a confirmation.

There will be a memorial service Monday, July 16th beginning at 8pm. Meet at Ritual Arts.

He was transferred alive to B&W this morning with a broken neck and passed away about an hour later.

There will be an obit in the paper on Sunday.

Rest in Peace Mr. Butch.

The Tab reports he was doing close to 50 on Brighton Avenue when he appeared to lose control and flew over the handlebars, hitting a light pole.

From a Lemmingtrail discussion:

I saw them take Mr. Butch away from the accident in an ambulance this morning around 7:45 AM. There were firefighters giving him CPR on a stretcher. This MBTA woman told me that he took a turn too sharply and ran over the curb, then crashed into a pole. She said he was coughing up blood and laying on the pavement. But there's a fire station literally 30 feet from where he fell, so they got to him right away.

The Mr. Butch MySpace page.

Mr. Butch in 2005:

The memories are pouring in:

Billetdoux: He was the first person I met in Boston, in september of 1990:

My dad and I walked out of the HoJo in Kenmore, and there he was. We gave him five bucks. ...

mperrotti76: Allston will never be the same:

... Who will educate Boston's young people how to get rid of their crabs? Sing to us on the corners? Drink Hi-Life with us?

Darkness: He was generally a disarmingly nice and gentle bum, always polite in his requests for change and always willing to talk about whatever:

Not that I ever really talked to him for any great length, but the few minutes of conversation I shared with him were far longer than any I've ever spent talking to any other homeless person. But so I'm as guilty as anybody of dehumanizing him, of seeing him as less of a person than as a weird outsized character that helped define Allston's amiable unseemliness. I don't know how bad I should feel about that, as Butch obviously liked the attention, and was implicit in his own dehumanization. And hell, he seemed to truly enjoy his life, anyway, so who am I to second-guess him. Still, it's sad that a guy who obviously had some severe problems was viewed primarily as entertainment by the college kids and hipsters that make up a good chunk of Allston's population.

Scattergirl: one of the things i always knew i'd miss the most about boston when i eventually left was mr. butch:

he was the mascot of my allston neighbourhood, and was always there with a "well, helloooo, pretty lady" and a cup of miller high life in hand. ...

Clara-girl: Somehow, I was surprised he was still kicking around when I left Allston, but I'm still surprised to hear he's gone.

Mels: It is like an era has just passed:

... I have watched this man play his guitar on street corners for years (not to mention sleep and urinate in my parking lot.) But he was totally harmless guy, and really a character and a true fixture of Allston. For me, Mr. Butch is a symbol of my time in Allston as a member of the ska scene, going out at night, listening to live music, drinking lots of beers...being YOUNG. This man was AGELESS; he could have been anywhere from 40-70. He always seemed to be having a good time. And now he is gone. ...

La Diabla recalls St. Patrick's weekend, 1990:

... I walked down Comm Ave, past Charlie's Kitchen and Mr. Butch hollered at me: "Hey Irish! Happy St. Patrick's Day! What are you doing out so early, just getting home?" I replied that I needed some aspirin from CVS, as I was mighty hurt from the night before. We ended up spending a few minutes talking about Boston, the neighborhood, and what the good places to go were. I gave him a couple of cigarettes, and went on my way. As I was leaving, he shouted back, "I'll keep my eye on you, Irish, okay?" ...

Strange Reaction: I remember meeting Mr. Butch back in 1986 or so, hanging around outside of The Rat:

... If memory serves, myself and friends took him behind the building and smoked a bit of weed with him. He was a strange dude, but one of the friendliest guys around. I've seen him literally hundreds of times since then and he always made me laugh.

Tre Till Death: He was always down in front of The Rat:

... Real nice guy...for a crazy homeless dude.

"Hey, who's that?"

"Shit man, that's Mr. Butch...he used to roadie for the Bad Brains!" ...

Veritas: You can’t think of Allston and not think immediately of Mr. Butch with his thick dreadlocks:

... Allston is dirty, but it's great. There isn't anyone leading trash pickup days or walking around with candles to take back the night, but everyone gave Butchie a little cash. That was our little way of taking care of our own and building a community. ...

FHold: I remember him as a tall, lanky, dreadlocked fixture outside the Rat in Kenmore:

... And though apparently homeless (I think by choice), he stuck out as a kind of celebrity, a man everyone knew. "Hey, Mr. Butch", you'd call, and he'd come right over, grinning, and ask how you were. Maybe he'd crack a joke or say something you didn't understand at all, but you would smile anyway because, for some inexplicable reason, he made you feel like you were old friends. ...

Robert David Sullivan: The Kenmore Square of my youth is officially gone.

Littlehelper511: Keep on rockin' wherever you are, Mr. Butch:

Allston won't be the same without you.

Rory Stark: I just hi-fived him on Tuesday. I'm stunned.

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      Comments

      RIP Mr. Butch

      I was one of the firefighters that worked on Mr. Butch this past Thursday morning. He was riding on Cambridge Street, coming from Brighton Center, when he lost control of his scooter as he turned onto Brighton Avenue crashing into one of the streetlight poles on the island in front of our firehouse. One of our members witnessed the crash and alerted us all right away. I'd say we were on the scene working on him within 2-3 minutes after the crash. He was not breathing and was in traumatic arrest when we got to him. We, along with Boston EMS Ambulance 16 and Paramedic 1, did our very best, but Mr. Butch never regained a heartbeat and was prounounced dead at the Brigham and Women's Hospital around 9:00AM. I spoke to one of the EMTs by telephone around that time as he's a friend of mine and he confirmed it for me. Rest In Peace Mr. Butch, we always noted that he never gave the Boston Fire Department any trouble and for that we will be eternally grateful. Godspeed!

      THANK YOU FIRE DEPT,BOSTON EMS 15,PARAMEDIC 1

      I work along Harvard Ave,and heard you guys were there trying your Best To Save Mr.Butch.
      I just wanted to reply to your post,and Say thank you personaly. Your fire trucks outside the parade and flag was an amazing site to see! and Im sure OUR friend was there smiling at us all.

      thank you again,It made me feel more safe knowing you guys were there so quickly...and he wasnt alone leaving this earthly place.....while the world spins madly on.

      Butchie Madison

      Thank you for being with Butchie, as you call him Mr. Butch.
      He was family to my family. My son is his youngest nephew.
      It is a shame that my son never got to meet his Uncle Butchie.
      As my son grows up I will be glad to share with him all the wonderful thoughts and kinds words of so many people that were touched by
      Butchie's life.
      Thank you for being with him and trying your very best to save his life.
      Our family, The Madison's are very greatful for all that you did.
      We were at the service which was very nice. We saw all of the firetrucks out with their lights on and with the banner on your fire station building. What a great tribute.

      Words can never express our loss for Butchie, but knowing that he was loved by so many is so wonderful.

      We will come again to your area and would be honored to meet all of you in person who knew Butchie and who tried so hard to save his life.

      God Bless You All!!!

      Mr Butch RIP

      one of the many things i loved about Kenmore Square in the early 80s was running into Mr Butch and the joie de vivre he always seemed to have about him. in the mid 80s when i moved out to Newton Corner, i used to love taking the 57 bus with Butch camping out on the back seat, strumming his electric guitar, and watching the Catholic school girls react to his prescence. i feel honored to have known him and celebrate a man who truly lived his life the way he wanted to.

      BABY YOU'RE A STAR

      I remember standing in line at the Kenmore Square US Trust Bank (now Citizens) back around '98 and Mr. Butch was standing in front of me. He was wearing his long green military trench with 'vagina' hand written on the back with black magic marker. He seemed so happy... He would get down on one knee and pull a beer can out of his coat and swig it right there in line in the bank. It was beautiful. He was quite discreet and no one gave him any grief about chuggin' some brews while standing in line at the bank.

      He used to hang outside the Rat and I would give him cigs occasionally. He was always really cool. This city has lost one of its biggest stars...

      Hey Smile! You're Alive Today!

      I was all of 17, living in Kenmore Square and totally exhausted from finals week and a recent bout with Mono and strep. I must have looked really grim, and tired, and young.

      "Hey Girly, Smile! You're Alive Today"

      I never even knew his name until I read this thread. Had to be the same guy. Wish I could say so much for him.