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Please, Mr. Bungle Was My Father’s Name; Call Me George

Mr. Bungle? Please, do I look that old? I’m just razzing you. Seriously though, Mr. Bungle was my father’s name, so call me George. George Conrad Bungle. See, the Bungles changed their name at Ellis Island in the early 1900s, shortening it from Bunglewitz to sound a bit more American and to start carving out their slice of the American dream. I believe the Bungles, née Bunglewitz’s, settled in Eureka, California. And goddammit, I love America (and my dear old dad, of course).

It’s not like being Mr. Bungle’s son has been easy. Sure, there’s the family resemblance, but my dad also aggressively deconstructs musical genres in a circus-tented theater of the absurd. He’s a good man, a proud man. And while people can agree that my dad is good, the people who like my dad can be pretty terrible. If I see a guy with a complicated goatee and cargo shorts, there’s an 85% chance they’re about to start talking to me about my dad.

You’ll have to excuse my dad sometimes. He means well, but sometimes people don’t understand his blend of circus-thrash-surf-metal mixed with a throbbing strudel of Middle Eastern party funk, Indian avant garde jazz soundscapes, and TV theme songs.

And then there’s the beatboxing, ah, the beatboxing. My daddy loves to beatbox. Whether you’re the kid that shovels our walk when it snows or the waitress at Houlihan’s on chilli night, you’re definitely getting a heaping serving of my dad’s vocal improvisations.

Dad only has three studio albums, but boy, did he really cover a lot of ground with them. I’m told that a lot of people don’t understand my dad and I get that. But I’ll always love him. I know I’ll never be Mr. Bungle, but assuming all goes well with my studies at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, someday you’ll address me as Dr. Bungle.

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