Daily Archives: 2012/01/13

The Origin of Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers as told by Fat Freddy

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, from left t...

A Letter

from the

desk of “Fat


High Warrior:

I want to say a few things about who Fat Freddy is and how he came to life as a human for all who don’t know about it. In the form of a comic book, Fat Freddy is a name that Gilbert Shelton created from his own mind in 1969. The comic book stories were conceived and written by Gilbert and others. I will now try to explain the truth about what has happened over the last 30 years.

Gilbert Shelton went to college at The Univ. of Texas and had some good friends there. Three of them were to become the basis for his comic book. There was Joe Brown and the real Fat Freddy, they were into getting high while they went to school. Joe Brown told this story to me before his death in 1988. While in school Joe brown met a man his name was Mable (Ralph Moore) he was a dope smuggler from Memphis Tenn. from 1954. I can say his name now because he to has passed away.

In 1954 Ralph took his family on vacation to Ft. Lauderdale Fla. He was a taxi cab driver in Memphis and when people would ask for him to take them to a whorehouse, he would take them to Mables. In doing so he got the name of Mable. In Ft. Lauderdale he met some bikers from California who told him about the starting trade in Marijuana smuggling from Mexico. He was interested in this so he went home and sold his house, cab and all he could, quit his job, got a divorce and went to Mexico to build his trade.

He worked at this until 1967/68 and then retired from it, in doing so he picked up a hitchhiker by the name of Joe Brown. Who then with his other friends in Austin became his friends. Mable moved into Austin and got to know Gilbert, Joe, and Fat Freddy well. In being a dope smuggler he was wealthy, so when graduation came for them Mable called them together and told them that he wanted to give each one a gift.

Joe Brown said he wanted to have a head shop, so Ralph bought a house and they named it Oat Willies. Joe said he owned it for three years and then sold it as he stayed to stoned, to keep it running. It has since become the largest one around.

Gilbert Shelton said he wanted to start a comic book so Ralph bought him The Rip off Press and gave it to him. He then started the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and others. They were named: Freewheeling Franklin (Joe Brown), Phineas (Gilberts imagination), and Fat Freddy (Unknown). These became comics of the early 1970’s.

The original Fat Freddy told Ralph that he had had enough and wanted nothing but his name never to be mentioned again. Ralph said OK to him. They then went there own ways Joe owned Oat Willies and after he sold it became a taxi cab driver in Austin where he was when I met him. Gilbert started The Rip off Press and was in California. Fat Freddy disappeared.

Now it gets to me, I knew nothing about the story above in 1976 when I met Ralph Moore and became his friend. I was working for Southwestern Bell at the time and due to a divorce I got into reading The Furry Freak Brothers (I like the Cat.). They had a concert in Austin that gave me the idea to put one on called The Furry Freak Brothers First Annual Freak Party Convention. I started to put it together in March 1976. Booking bands for October 1976. I was going to go on stage as Fat Freddy using Cheech & Chong as MCs. I talked to Cheech to book them.

I set up the bands and got an attorney to handle it, so it was set up as well as it could be. In telling my attorney that I was to go on stage as Fat Freddy, she said that he was copyrighted and I could not unless I got permission to from Gilbert Shelton. So I called The Rip Off press 8 Times in one day to get it from Gilbert, but he was always out of the office or not available. In other words, he was putting me off this pissed me off.

So in going home that night I went by my friends house (Ralph Moore) and in going in he said: “ You are mad about something, what is bothering you?” I said: “I’ve called Gilbert Shelton 8 times and he won’t talk to me about Fat Freddy. He keeps putting me off.” Ralph then said: “You want to talk to Gilbert? Then he then reached over and picked up his phone and dialed the # from his memory and said “This is Ralph I want to talk to Gilbert. Gilbert a friend of mine wants to talk to you.” He then gave me the phone. I talked to Gilbert and he gave me my copyright protection so I then became Fat Freddy to go on stage as him. Ralph asked me if I would be home later I said I would.

About an hour later he called me and asked if I would come over to his house. I went over and there was Ralph and a longhaired blond headed man with him. Ralph then said “I want to introduce you to the real Freewheeling Franklin, his name is Joe Brown.” They then gave me a comic book and told me that of all the stories that Gilbert wrote only one was true and it was in that book. It was about when Joe met Ralph and was only two pages long. In reading it I will have to say it was just like them in real life. Right down to the point where Ralph said he didn’t smoke Grass. I talked him into smoking a joint with me and Joe one time and was told by Joe that was the only joint he had ever smoked with him since they met.

I knew these two men and had the opportunity to learn a lot about there life of the past. I spent many a long hour with them both in conversation about how they lived. Mable was killed in Memphis in 1979 and was buried in Austin Texas. I, like Joe Brown have never been to his grave. We feel that the law is still video taping it.

I was hurt in a motorcycle accident in Oct. 1988 the same year that Joe Brown passed away. So now there is only Gilbert and I still alive in this world. I have no idea what is going to happen with this story now. The Rip Off Press has gone out of business and that leaves me free to put out a Fat Freddy comic book that is a true story of my life minus the CAT of whom I liked a lot. I hope some day that Gilbert will bring it back into my life – who knows.


As Always, With Love
Jess/Fat Freddy

A video recorded on 1-12-2012 with

Breezy Kiefair & Fat Freddy…


~ Jess “Fat Freddy” Williams

For more info on “Fat Freddy” of the Freak Brother’s Comics please visit: http://www.fatfreddy.com/

Note from Breezy…. Fat Freddy now lives in Colorado. He is the proud holder of a Medicinal Cannabis License commonly known as a “Red Card”. He continues his activism fight.  He has been using Phoenix Tears Oil to treat his diabetes (both internally and skin symptoms of the disease topically) please visit the documentation of this amazing healing beginning here


Please also see the recent blog post about meeting  Fat Freddy in person written by writer and #Occupy Together protester Steve Bass here

Tea Partying With the Freak Brothers By: Steve Bass



Tea Partying With the Freak Brothers

BY: Steve Bass

Whew! These Occupy posts are far more difficult to pry from myself than their predecessors; the hands-on mechanics of putting the earlier stuff into practice in the present world, amongst the isolated pools of individuated consciousness we humans represent, each with his or her own vision of the whole, has been at the very least disorienting. I’ve lately revived an old motto i swiped from the good people at Oat Willie’s down in Austin, Texas: Onward Through the Fog! How odd is it that i’ve recently connected with some folks that hark back to that place in ways that are deeply surreal. Oat Willie’s and Fat Freddie will seem to be completely out of place in this bit, in which i mean to address the notion of cooperation amongst disparate factions, but not permanently i hope. By the end of this post, i hope to connect Occupy, The Tea Party, disparate passions, and yes, Hippies. It will be necessary to engage in some relatively surreal thinking.Last night on a new Facebook page, “UNITE: OCCUPY,” (cap lock and all), i got into a conversation about this stuff started by a guy that asked whether anyone thought a joint event between Occupiers and Tea Partiers might be possible. Sure, i said, our Colorado Springs group had lots of Tea Partiers among its earliest enthusiasts, and although many have pulled away, there still exists a close association with many that veer sharply toward the Te Party camp, especially among Ron Paulsupporters. The common ground Occupy shares with the Tea Party, at least t a grass root level, is substantial. There can be no doubt of the equally substantial differences. I suspect that it would take some pretty serious ideological barnstorming to bring the two camps together, but nothing prevents the groups from at least tentative discussion to find commonalities.Tonight our Occupy group staged a talk by Tea Party stalwart, Constitutionalist Mike Holler. Mike seemed for all appearances to be an earnest and well-versed supporter of Constitutional “fundamentalism,” if you will. He peppered his talk with lots of my favorite quotes from my favorite founding fathers. He got a little testy about the revisionist history his kids bring home from college early on–perhaps indicative of one point of separation between Occupiers and Tea Partiers. Some of those are important. Occupy is international, where the Tea Party can display degrees of jingoism. I, personally, respect the earnest efforts of our Enlightenment founders, but recognize that they were flawed, and aver that their document was dated by racist, sexist, and elitist provisions and thinking that they might be excused from by noting their temporal milieu. We don’t have the same luxury. Occupy is legitimately grass root, supported by sweat and blood more than funded, where TP is, or at least became very quickly corporately funded “AstroTurf,” disingenuously proffering libertarian ideals as a smoke screen for corporate license to plunder. Occupiers are  in my experience far more diverse than Tea Partiers. Socialist and Anarchist Occupiers are common, as are assorted races, genders, orientations, and religious persuasions, where Tea Partiers seem to my limited observation to be relatively homogeneously white Christian capitalist patriots. Mike interjected that both groups had been misrepresented by the media, and that seems likely to be so given that mainstream media seems content to misrepresent ’bout anything they report in this country, but Fox news and the rabid right like the Tea Party so much i have to wonder if he’s fallen victim to a personal soft spot.Mike spoke eloquently enough in his effort to simplify the Constitution, focusing on issues of freedom, and state’s rights. He said very little with which i could find disagreement. He pointed out two major points of confluence between Occupy and the Tea Party–personal liberty, and a rally-cry, “No more Bailouts!” I suspect he fastidiously avoided some points he knew or at least feared might be contentious, like for example the ludicrous assertions i’ve heard often that environmental warnings from the scientific community stem from some kind of Satanic control scheme from the–well just whom is never too clear. The Vatican or something. Commies, i guess. That just maybe the best way for Tea Partiers and Occupiers to interact, though, for now, concentrating on the common aversion to what amounts to Fascism. Interacting from that perspective could exclude much conversation. It could put the Tea Party in the same position as the Occupy movement, after their Fascist sponsors withdraw in horror. Whatever. We Occupiers got on just fine with Tea Party Mike–“Mr. Constitution.”Mike largely expressed notions we Occupiers could embrace. I suppose he could have done a bit of research and tailored his speech toward that  end, but i think we just agree; he seemed a grassroot kind of guy, to me. He briefly alluded to schisms within the Tea Party, and there’s no sensible reason to avoid acknowledging the same within Occupy. Last night’s event was attended by Occupy people that have had such extreme altercations in their attempts to wrestle a semblance of ideological unity from a stubbornly liquid platform that it could easily enough have disintegrated into bedlam. I attended with my dear friend Thomas, with whom i often disagree. In fact, he and i often disagree so strongly that sometimes i feel like smacking him in back of the head. I expect he feels the same way about me at times. Maybe much of the time. Take note, war-mongers of the world: Thomas is a great guy, and even though we disagree with one another, sometimes strongly, neither of us has smacked the other in back of the head. Get it?So here we were last night, disparate Occupiers engaging a Tea Party mouthpiece in a room full of people that have all experienced the vagaries of human interaction under a fairly pressurized circumstance over the past few months. No butterflies fluttered around the room, but no one worked up a bickering session, either.  We worked together. All of us. One could recall the old adage that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” but that would be devolution. I prefer to imagine that those with arguments present recognized the futility of scrapping amongst friends, if only below the radar of their Egos. Whether my nobler hopes for those pained souls in the room last night are valid or not, the assertions i made in these non-pages well before Occupy began remain true. The system we wrestle against is collapsing around our headsAnd the solution is spiritual, to a far greater extent than it is temporal.Fat Freddy is a comic book character that lives in Denver. Seriously. I met him a little while ago. (This only seems out of place, i promise.) Mr. Constitution Mike Holler expressed the opinion last night that our American republic, our constitutional federation of states, is in its final throes; that we are in a position where, ” it’s too late to save the country, but too early to start shooting.” Mike seemed tentative in expressing his hope that God might pull some kind of supernatural rabbit from his celestial hat to resolve our monumental national woes. I expect he feared perturbing the often non-Christian sensibilities of the Occupiers. He needn’t have worried quite so much–we may be largely skeptical of literal interpretations, but we’re pretty tolerant of that sort of thing. When i met Fat Freddy–an icon of counter-cultural activism important to me since childhood, an old-school Hippie with connection to the most famous and infamous of that crowd–he singled me out and pulled me aside to explain in some detail his expectation for a spiritual upheaval in coming days. Freddy’s taken up with the Urantia Book, a tomei’ve heard Christians disparage as devilish. I couldn’t see anything devilish about what he showed me. He earnestly explained his expectation for resolution. Soon.We had come to Denver to talk about foreclosures and bank jiggery-pokery with another guy, and pulled up at Freddy’s house without knowing it. It just happened that way. These old Hippies like Tea Party fave, Ron Paul. (Follow along, now, i know it’s weird, and yeah, i know a lot of Occupiers don’t like Paul; i’m not sure about him myself). Also in attendance at that meeting was a woman i had been conversing with on line for quite a while in the context of Occupy. It took me nearly through the whole meeting to recognize her, because i knew her to live down in the Four Corners neighborhood of Colorado. She lives at Freddy’s now. This juxtaposition is so weird that now i’m expecting the Mad Hatter, or Lewis Carroll himself to pop up at some meeting quoting from Jabberwocky. Mike Holler holds out for resolution to  the country’s woes in a traditional Christian context. My own suspicion, shared with J.B.S. Haldane,  is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. But somewhere in the mix i am convinced that some divineThing many of us think of as God is deeply interested in the little proceedings here on our little blue marble and that our interactions are subsequently and necessarily thus influenced.

We live right here. We have no choice but  to manage things on a coarse, physical level; but we also live, i think, on an overlapping and  less tangible plane, where we have more influence than we might ordinarily imagine. At the same time, things seem to occur there without our conscious direction. We’ll need to keep plugging away at things like grasping the Constitution, and taking on massive, quixotic quests like fighting banks and a world full of renegade, intransigent governments and power brokers, not to mention our own internal battles, as finely defined as within our own Souls. We’ll need to recognize the Truth in one another, even when it’s obscured by a bunch of worldly disagreement and fog. And so far as i can tell, were learning. Whatever that means.

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