Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Non-Ironic Vibe Assessment Of Peter DeLuise's Present Situation In 2008
The original show in Columbus at Cafe Bourbon Street falls through on account of the owner's eviction. Luckily, The Black Hollies succeed in last minute bill-swapping over to Carabar, an excellent venue across town. The band arrives early. Co-owners Cara and Ron roll out the red carpet. Justin Angelo is treated to a sampling of the venue's hottest hot sauces; akin to dying and going to heaven for a man who can't sleep in a room unless the temperature is well below 60 degrees on account of all the hot sauce percolating through his veins. In defense of his freeze-out tactics, Morey attests, "When you have four dudes in a room, the COLDER it is, the CLEANER it is. Heat incubates germs. The freeze-out is the anti-incubator." The rest of the band treats each night of lodging under the "ice curtain" as an outdoor late fall/early winter camping trip and comes equipped with thermal pajamas and at least two layers of blankets which at times may be pulled over one's entire head on account of the nose becoming cold enough to turn mucus to ice. A genuine Black Hollies freeze out is incomplete without a severe "opium factor." The Black Hollies fortify the frozen room against all sources of light that may pierce through the window's curtain come morning. This permanent darkness creates an atmosphere not unlike that of a Chinese opium den and facilitates band rest throughout the early afternoon. This, in turn, contributes to a better performance come midnight. The band is well-received at Carabar this evening. Ron and Cara make it very easy for The Black Hollies to tie one on. Hospitality like this never goes unappreciated by the band.
The most important event of the evening occurs during The Black Hollies' load in. Ron and band begin a serious discussion regarding the seminal late 1980's hit show, 21 Jump Street. Ron makes a valid point in attributing the show's downfall to the cast addition of Richard Grieco. The band and Ron agree that Grieco is the ultimate frown-burger. Landing the coveted Jump Street gig is not enough. Grieco's logic is, "If Depp can do it then so can I." Grieco perceives his inclusion in MTV's 1990 Rock And Jock softball game as the beginning of his rise to the top. In 1990, Rolling Stone magazine quotes Grieco as saying, "Yeah, whatever, me and Johnny never had any beef, I guess. And I know that him leaving Jump Street really hurt Peter DeLuise alot. I mean, I was there late at night on set picking up the pieces. If Depp wants to be a big shot and get all method, become a serious actor and shit, then I'd like to remind him not forget his roots. I challenge him to face me on the mound of this year's Rock And Jock softball game alongside such greats as Mark Slaughter and Kip Winger." Needless to say Grieco's challenge is unanswered as Depp turns his back on the entire cast of Jump Street. Griecos's attempt to emulate Depps rise to prominence on the silver screen is a hideous failure that doesn't transcend B-status. Also, Booker, the 21 Jump Street spin-off, which revolves around Grieco's character, Detective Dennis Booker, a young loose cannon with a bad attitude, inevitably dissolves. In Grieco's defense, I encounter Johnny Depp about 10 years ago in LA's Black Market Music, a store that deals used vintage musical gear. I silently observe as Depp tests out a plethora of expensive vintage guitars through a Roland Jazz Chorus amplifier. My ears bleed as it sounds as if Edward Scissorhands himself is stumbling through a few bars of Johnny B. Good.
In the end, when all the dust is settled, who suffers the most? The short answer is Peter DeLuise aka The Man In Many Shadows. Peter Deluise spends his childhood in father Dom's shadow. Being the son of a famous Italian cut-up does indeed have it benefits though, seemingly making it easier for Peter to get his foot in the show-biz door as early as 1975 later followed by a couple of appearances on Different Strokes and The Facts of Life. Landing the Jump Street gig is a dream come true for Peter Deluise. He truly feels that he comes into his own independent of his father Dominic's influence. With meeting two new actors, namely Johnny Depp and the Vietnamese born Dustin Nguyen, Peter feels to be part of something bigger than himself.
All this changes during the wrap party for the infamous "Fraternity Hazing" episode of 21 Jump Street wherein Depp carries a drunken fraternity pledge over his shoulder up a ladder taking a shot of alcohol at each rung. During the wrap party, Depp drops the bomb on Deluise that he is hitting the high road and heading for the green pastures of the silver screen, something about a guy named Burton wanting to put him in a picture about an autistic kid named Eddie who has scissors for hands. DeLuise thinks Depps news is some kind of a drunken joke poking fun at kids with autism. DeLuise swings at Depp and lands a right hook. Before Depp can counter, Dustin Nguyen gets between the two actors begging them to drop it on account of them being best of friends. Before DeLuise can muster a word, Depp pushes himself away from Nguyen and yells, "I'm gonna be big DeLuise. You'll see! I'm outta here man. I'm sick of this 21 Chumps Street which really aint nothing but nursery school nap time. Have fun with your new co-star, Grieco. I hear you guys worked on the Facts of Life together. Lose my number, DeLuise. And tell your dopey father, saying something in an Italian accent does not constitute a punch line. You need an actual joke to have a punch line." This fateful moment marks the last time Depp and DeLuise speak as Depp immediately resigns hitchhiking to Hollywood with a twig and a red handkerchief, a considerably long distance being that Jump Street is filmed in Canada. All things considerd, Peter DeLuise is alive and well in 2008. However, the quesions begs, "Has Peter DeLuise come to terms with his past, being in his father Dom's shadow, and his bitterness toward Johnny Depp and Richard Grieco?"