Cartoon Black History: Gonzo
There’s music, and then there’s jazz. There are instruments, and then there’s the trumpet. There are virtuosos, and then there’s Gonzo.
Gonzo was a hero. He did everything differently, yet perfectly. From birth, his time on this planet seemed as though it would be rough. He had a huge nose even by the standards of the most racist of racists toward black people.
(Notice the chick on his baby clothes; more on that later) Gonzo soldiered through the ridicule and bigotry and grew up seemingly unscathed by it. But stereotypes can be a doozy. Nevertheless, he reveled in his humble beginnings as a plumber. Gonzo plumbed with fervor and panache to fuel his future unknown passion.
Before reaching his true goal, Gonzo got caught up. I think the years of acting unfazed by the aforementioned ridicule is to blame. Gonzo loved chicken since he was a baby. He heard the jokes about black people and chicken and his nose being able to pick up the scent from miles away all his life. Didn’t matter. Gonzo REALLY loved chicken.
Since he only had time on his hands, Gonzo started reading music. He discovered he understood it like elementary math. Then he realized his big nose would help with wind instruments. As a lover of chickens, their squawks were like music to him. The best way to imitate it was with a trumpet. His entire life was telling him his true calling. When Gonzo was released, he took all his plumber money, bought a trumpet and put on a show like none other.
Gonzo’s savant-like trumpeteering took the world by storm… dizzying Gillespie in its wake. Gonzo was jazz. The media called him “Gonzo the Great”. And it wasn’t just because of the music. He put on a whole production where even his clothes became part of the show! (and now you know where Craig Sager got it from)
Gonzo went on to make beautiful music for 15 years and never fell from the Top 10 Billboard charts while he was alive. In a cruel twist of fate, he became deathly ill from salmonella poisoning. While looking sick and frail, Gonzo took his final television appearance as an opportunity to leave us with a last nugget of greatness before he passed.
Gonzo simply told the viewing audience to “Go down in history.” WOW! He’s in the clouds now. Gonzo is certainly the first sound new souls hear as they come through the pearly gates. Gonzo, you are sorely missed, but you will be with us forever.