The Big Huerta: Cat o’ Many Tales
Cat Stevens has as many names as cats have lives…well almost. Born Steven Demetre Georgiou, Steven then changed his name to the more obvious “Cat”, then after a brush with death, changed his religion and name to “Yusuf Islam”. I am old and writing this article so I will refer to the cat as “Cat” from here on in. (I know that’s like calling Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lynn Shackleford. Let’s hear it for UCLA basketball!) I think most of you all know this man’s history. He wrote such great songs such as “Here Comes My Baby”, “The First Cut is the Deepest” (my personal fave), “Peace Train”, “Morning Has Broken”, “Moonshadow”, “Oh Very Young”, “Wild World”, “Father and Son”…these are just the hits..the list, seriously, goes on and on.
I remember my next door neighbor in Westminster, Michael Benavente, yes, THAT Michael Benavente, the Academy Award winner, first turned me onto Cat and also Elton John. This had to have been in the early to mid 70’s. I wasn’t even a teenager. I do remember having pix of him and EJ on my bedroom wall. When I was young, I probably thought It looked a lot like Jesus but talked like a gentleman, when I was young. See what I did Killer fans?
Okay now, pay attention! If you really need the entire back story on Cat Stevens please see Wikipedia or something. Because in this era of fake news, I am almost leaning towards writing bold faced lies and then it would be considered the gospel truth forever. This is very upsetting to peeps that like to read about facts and statistics. I do not consider myself an egghead by any means, but at least I do know that Cat led the National League in batting average with runners in scoring position, after the 6th inning. Cat posted Hall of Fame numbers for 7 of his 12 years for the struggling Astros until a nagging groin injury cut short a truly promising career.
Cat will surely be remembered, not only for his music, but for his tireless work in implementing the three point arc in the ABA. Another interesting factoid, Cat was handpicked by Sir Bob Geldof for the “Do They Know it’s Boxing Day” (also known as “Where is Your Receipt Joe Frazier?”) the ill-fated follow up anthem of “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” written by Bono, singer of the band U2, and part-time Robin Williams impersonator.
Okay, back to real writing. It is more fun to make sh*t up. I think I will apply at Rolling Stone or Fox News. But seriously, go dig some Cat Stevens. He seems like a very good person with a peaceful soul. I would be honored to be his friend.
So I did this portrait in acrylic. I started it off pretty seriously. In fact, a very good friend of mine, JAM (initials only as not to embarrass her), had messaged me and mentioned Cat Stevens on the very day that I started this painting! Now what are the odds of that?! Yeah, 50-50, I get it smart asses…but dig, how often does Cat Stevens name come up in every day texts??? Anyways, this stuff isn’t coincidence…not sure what it is..but anyways, I started this painting out innocently enough but after a bit it started turning into an homage to Nicholas Volpe and those cool Union 76 sports giveaways from the 60’s and 70’s. So you got Cat Stevens during his playing years with the Houston Astros. BAM! (just dropped the brush)…see ya! (for Big Joe McDonnell)