Update: 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 canâ€™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.