It was I, you fools! The man you trusted isn’t Wavy Gravy at all! And all this time, I’ve been smoking harmless tobacco! — Mr. Burns, “Burns’ Heir”
MC, peace activist, and self-proclaimed “flower geezer” Wavy Gravy has enjoyed a long, strange trip through the corridors of the hippie movement, serving as the unofficial ambassador between the warring freak and square factions.
Born Hugh Nanton Romney (probably not related to the 2012 candidate, but it would make a fine rumor) way back in 1936, Mssr. Gravy has been the one constant in a Woodstock ’99 world, with an infectious, delirious joy that continues to delight the masses.
According to this interview, Wavy’s nickname was bestowed upon him by blues legend B.B. King back in 1969…Wavy himself explains the moniker as a reference to a Smokey Stover cartoon that I haven’t been able to track down.
Wavy was briefly immortalized in Ben and Jerry’s form, though the ice cream was pulled from shelves after B&J’s was bought out by consumer goods conglomerate Unilever. Score one for the squares.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that jazz guitar great Kenny Burrell recorded a song called “Wavy Gravy” on the Midnight Blue album. Problem is, the record was released in 1963, while Wavy himself supposedly didn’t get the nickname until six years later…