You epicurean puritans,
Who is this Max Hart?
It’s the question that’s been on everyone’s mind in recent weeks, as he’s shown up stage-left at show after show playing keyboards and guitar with equal facility, and in our dressing room, eating some the best stuff on our rider. Who is Max Hart? you reasonably wonder. And the time has come for us to respond.
Max Leland Hart (née Maximilien James Leland Snow), a.k.a., in no particular order, Max Snow, Max [i.e., maximum] Snow, The Snowman, Hart of Snow, Maximum Hart, Max-a-millions [DJ name], Maxillofacial, The Smile, Poisons Enemy, and The Max Tax, was born in northern California in the 1970’s, when “gold fever” had seized the nation, driving hundreds of thousands of prospectors to the San Francisco area for a chance to make their fortunes. During these years, San Francisco would expand from little more than a frontier outpost to a literal boomtown, latticed with roads, dotted each week with new schools, churches, and of course, saloons. It was in these saloons where Max found his early education, watching attentively the movements of the barkeeps, croupiers, and prostitutes, with an eye toward increasing efficiency and profit. The story goes that at age 7 Max approached the owner of the ’49er Brewpub & Whore’snest with a plan to double the establishment’s take in a month. Intrigued by the youngster’s gumption, though finding his suggested course of modifications rudimentary and naive, the owner decided to give Max a job sweeping floors. And that is what he’s been doing this whole time, until we called him a couple weeks ago and asked him to go out on tour with us.
Okay, Max basically grew up in a house of ill repute — but can the guy cut loose? “Plenty of my friends who grew up in whores’nests are my most reserved friends,” you point out. Don’t worry about Max, y’all. Boy ain’t all business:
We know, we know. We still haven’t answered the big question: Does Max look like Owen Wilson? And if so, can he offer any insight into Owen Wilson’s whole suicide attempt thing? Well, yeah, he does kind of look like Owen Wilson. A lot of people think that. Take a look:
But Max claims not to have any inside dirt about Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt. He also says he doesn’t know whether Owen Wilson might try something like that again. When pressed, he admits that if he were Owen Wilson — which he is, more than most people, anyway — he wouldn’t try it again; he says he’d be chastened by the first attempt and he’d get some help. Which is classic Max, as we’ve come to know him: seeing the best in people, even to a naive degree. One can only imagine what kind of hair-brained scheme little seven year-old Max offered that bar owner back in the gold rush days; even as one chuckles thinking about what it might’ve entailed, one sympathizes with the owner’s decision to put little Max on broom-duty and keeping-the-whores-physically-clean duty.
So are we going to keep Max around? You tell us! Please take a second to fill out the poll below and let us know whether, when it comes to Max, we should “keep him” or “Jeep him”! By “Jeep him” we mean put him in a Jeep and send him packin’ — that’s right, his own brand new 2008 Jeep, as a consolation prize, just for participating. Now vote already!
What? The poll doesn’t work? That must be a sign that “man’s fate must ne’er be decided by committee,” as Max’s old boss Ralph Waldo Emerson, the whoremaster, will still tell you if you visit his saloon. No, guys, there’s no easy answer as to how long Max will stick around. Maybe we’ll grow to hate his sanctimonious ways, which for now tickle us so. Maybe he’ll grow to hate our open-minded, funny, refreshing, handsome ways, thus achieving what psychologists and bookies long ago labeled impossible. For now we’re very pleased with the way he helps us pull off fully realized versions of the new material and put a little life back into some of those musty old nags.
Yes, Max may be around for quite some time, or he may ride out the next tour or two and then move along to other things, in his new Jeep. All we ask is that you trust us to do what’s best for the band, and shut the fuck up and mind your own business.
Check this guy out: