The Life & Times of Cassidy O'Neal by Johnny Cunningham

Cassidy O'Neal was born in the small southern town of Chinquapin, known primarily for it's small, indigent community of oriental seamstresses. Cassidy spent his formative years inventing the Blues, unaware that they had already been around for years. Despite this setback, the first of many disappointments in his life, Cassidy continued his harmonium lessons and invented Jazz.

Harmonium Jazz never caught on. Instead, Cassidy invented a worldwide phenomenon known to only three or four people in Ames, Iowa, called "Acoustic Folk Music". In an act of underground defiance he decided to perform this music himself!

After a few extensive concert tours, Cassidy decided it was time to play in front of a live audience. His fan club was a really nice guy named Bob, so Bob called his sister, his sister called a friend, and a legend was born: her name was Britney Spears. Meanwhile, Cassidy was playing to three people in a living room in Portland, Oregon. It was time to move up to the big city. It what could be a scene from a Hollywood romance, Cassidy, just off the bus, caught the attention of an MTV executive. "Your fly is open," called the executive. "Thanks man," said Cassidy as he zipped up and moved outside into the cold air of a New York moment.

Chicago can be a cruel city, so it was lucky that Cassidy had taken the bus to Seattle. Grunge was BIG in Seattle, so to make ends meet Cassidy took a job as a garbage man to help clean up the filthy mess. God, it was good to be around real people for a change. Cassidy, and his newfound friends from the truck would sit around in Starbucks, not chain smoking and drinking mocha-double-triple-lattes. They would discuss environmental policy in hushed voices. These deep but really fast conversations led to Cassidy's lifetime crusade to improve the world through music and caffeine. In those heady Bohemian days, Cassidy's lack of style was to be the Seattle Music Scene's gain. He never played a gig there.

And so, back to Portland, Oregon, where Cassidy planned to move into a luxury pad with three supermodels, but as he didn't know any supermodels and couldn't afford a decent place to live he found himself alone once more with squalor and music as his only companions. In fact squalor and music soon moved up from companions to really cool friends and Cassidy penned his first hit titles "While My Squash Gently Seeps", which, although never actually recorded, reached #1 on the Oregon Organic Farmers Cooperative "Humming Whilst Mulching" list!

Cassidy was finally on his way, so he stopped to buy a snickers and a bottle of Gatorade. During this light snack Cassidy had an epiphany, so after several weeks in the hospital he returned to his tiny unlit apartment and turned the light on. Illumination can be a frightening thing for an artist, so he turned the light back off and went to bed. It was during this restless sleep that Cassidy dreamed up his next big move. Maybe, just maybe, if he bought a guitar, he could accompany himself singing?

Cassidy spent many hard and frustrating minutes practicing on his guitar until he finally invented the three chords that would fit his lyrics. After another few minutes, he discovered that if he changed the order of these chords, each song could sound slightly different! An hour passed during which Cassidy, in a flurry of creativity, wrote 47 songs. Then another amazing idea occurred to him. What if, instead of just having titles to the songs, his lyrics could also have words? Maybe a verse here, a chorus there, and maybe a thingy to join them all together.

Cassidy would call this innovative bridging method "The Thingy". This bridging method worked well, allowing endless, monotonous verses with repetitive choruses, to be shattered by a meaningless change of key, or tempo. Cassidy haunted Dentist's offices, ever intrigued by the idea of "professional bridgework". One day, in one such office, whilst pretending to wait for a root canal, a young dental hygienist named Madeline caught Cassidy's eye. "Thanks," said Cassidy, "I thought it was going to roll under the table". They agreed to meet for dinner that night. "I'll wait outside the diner and keep an eye out for you", said Cassidy. "Why don't you pop that cute baby blue back in now", said a laughing Madeline, her attractive white teeth sparkling in a glass on the waiting room table.

Although Cassidy never, ever, knew it, he was to have another major epiphany that evening! It started over cocktails. "Nice aperitif?" said Cassidy. "Thank you", said Madeline. "They're my dining out dentures. Did you know that our very own first President, George Washington, had false teeth?? "REALLY?" said Cassidy. "Yes, they were made out of wood and inspired the design of the George Washington Bridge in New York City." Cassidy was hooked, and even the fact that Madeline would only seriously date dentists couldn't dampen Cassidy's ardor. He needed to see, to touch, to lick, to smell. The George Washington Bridge. Cassidy was on his way to New York City!!