Lafayette’s gene pool has been host to a long line of eccentric characters who have blurred the lines between crazy, genius, disturbed and curiously entertaining. Make no mistake, Hart Fortenbery occupies a position of good standing somewhere near the top of that curious heap. From his forays into music, film and video, Fortenbery’s antics — spouting malapropisms, absurd facts and a confounding array of non sequiturs — have impressed, perplexed and amused many a local citizen. Posthaste sits down with him to explore the man known as Hart of Fortenbery.
Hart Fortenbery in five words more or less. Dynamic individual tearing down the runway. What have you been up to? I am always jumping around acting crazy, saying what I am doing. Now that certain things have come to pass, nondisclosure agreements preclude me from saying anything. But for now, come take my riverboat tour at Tokyo Live.
Where does the name Fortenbery come from? A minor place in Bavaria, Furtenbach. German power brokers of old. For some reason, that makes perfect sense. As far as local lore goes, there is a profound legacy of debauchery and depraved excess surrounding your house on Demanade Boulevard? Tell me a crazy story from the past? We kidnapped Freddy Fender after a concert at Alex Broussard’s ranch before the live radio remote interview and autograph signing session. Huey Meaux was not pleased. We get back to the motel room and a hundred dollar bill and Freddy’s plane ticket back to Houston were shoved under the door. All other stories are unfit for print. Does your neighbor Ben Berthelot (executive director of LCVC) ever get fed up with you and start slinging rakes, used tires and bricks over the fence? Only when a departing guest knocks over and demolishes his brick mailbox.
Worst job ever? Painting eight miles of split rail fence while on my last work release job. What exactly is Hart Fortenbery’s “job?” Waking up at work; making records; making movies.
Biggest hassle in maintaining a full blown ZZ Top-length beard? Tobacco adherence when licking the rolling papers while rolling my own, and all the girlies and their moms who can’t keep their fingers out of it.
At the Monterey Pop Festival, guitarist Mike Bloomfield once famously advocated everyone to “dig yourselves ... because it’s really groovy.” In the event of losing one’s grooviness or coolness — by age, cultural shift, whatever — what method should one use to regain it? Hopefully hang on long enough to “come back” into fashion. If you were to change careers, what line of work would you be interested in pursuing? Being the guy in all the Corona commercials. In the event of a deep spiritual crisis, where does the being known as Hart Fortenbery turn? The Grateful Dead. It’s a Saturday night in Lafayette. How do you get into the Fortenbery persona? What’s the pre-game ritual? Two laps around the pool, step in the boots, step out.
Danzig buys an accordion and synthesizer, and decides to start a Cajun band, (perhaps called Ween Toups). What do you tell him? Get a job.
Name one thing nobody knows about Hart Fortenbery. I am the Song Fairy.
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JUL 22 The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but ULL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
JUL 22 Columnist Stephanie Grace says Gov. Bobby Jindal may be meeting with state education officials (hey - you mean HIS education officials, don't you, Steph?) but it is clear he's not looking for a solution in the Common Core fracas. Bobby wants an issue he can take on the road, and this one seems to be it, she says.
JUL 22 Columnist Jim Beam finds recent news out of Baton Rouge depressing. It seems every time you turn around there's another mess being uncovered or announced in state government, he says. Say what you want about Congress; in Louisiana we have nothing to brag about, either, he says.
JUL 22 Blogger Tom Aswell reports here that several legislators plan to ask for an investigation of the last-minute action that bumped State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's annual retirement income by $30K. One is gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards, who says he did vote for the amendment, but didn't read it - as he rarely does during the last hours of session.
JUL 22 This is a fascinating piece in the Picayune about the murder of a doctor in her St. Charles Avenue home 50 years ago. It's fascinating because of the mysteries and myths that have swirled around the incident for those decades, and because of the possible connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There are a lot of interesting names in here, including Ochsner and Marcello, and as usual the comments below the story are nearly as entertaining as the story itself.
JUL 22 LaPolitics examines the news that a bipartisan group of legislators filed court papers Monday asking a judge to decide if BESE followed proper procedure in installing Common Core as the curriculum to be followed by state teachers. The allegation is that BESE didn't do that, by failing to open a comment period and shirking legislative oversight. Great, but where were these guys back when the decision was actually made?
JUL 22 Here's a love letter from New York Daily News' Alex Palmer to Louisiana. In some ways it is the typical tourism article (with pronunciation guides and food definitions) but in another way it goes beyond that to list lesser-known spots to visit for food or tours.
JUL 22 This post on Gambit is an interesting look at an age-old discussion among people who live and work in urban areas - is graffiti property damage or public art? There are a lot of voices in this story, covering a lot of the bases of this conflict.
JUL 21 Education Week's EdWatch blog takes a look at our current snafu over Common Core in this post. To anyone outside the state, we certainly look like a bunch of dummies who can't agree on something as critical as what to teach our kids. That's good - right?
JUL 21 Rob Marciano, a former meteorologist at KPLC in Lake Charles, has been named senior weather guy at ABC, this post on TVNewser reports. In between those gigs he worked for CNN and Entertainment Tonight.
JUL 21 This story on The ABC out of Australia gives Louisiana some international notoriety that we really don't want. According to this story, Louisiana is one of the fastest-disappearing land masses on the planet. The planet. So, obviously we need to hold off on that levee board suit, because making Big Oil mad is much more serious than this.
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