Jamie Garrett Shares Part 1 of the 3-Part Story of His Alter-Ego, Shasta McBoogie
He's a creature of the night, speaking to you one minute, nowhere to be found the next. His appearances in public have become more and more infrequent, leading many to believe the creature no longer lived. On a Monday night not too long ago, the elusive Shasta McBoogie was spotted in public once more.
To trace the history of the legendary beast Shasta, it's important to remember the times when he was first discovered. These were the early days of the 21st century, a time when a TV channel called UPN was still in operation. The channel that brought us awful TV for years brought us "Shasta McNasty", a sit-com that aired in 2001. And ONLY in 2001.
It was enough of a TV phenomenon that it gained the attention of some snowmachine (that's a snowmobile to you) racers on the Red Bull team. I thought the best way to assimilate into Alaskan culture would be to join forces with locals. Despite having never been on a snowmachine and never having attended a snowmachine race, I was in like Flynn, thanks to my celebrity status as a radio jackass.
It was during the two years hanging around with these youngsters (I was still fairly young myself in my mid-20s) that I unknowingly began the process of transforming into the elusive Shasta McBoogie. It turns out that, despite still being in my prime, I was in NO WAY able to keep up with those crazy bastards.
This was during the infancy of mixing vodka with Red Bull, and these nuts could party all night and still be up the next morning. Not me. I was ruined for at least a week after one night with those guys. Much like early man discovering how to harness fire, I learned to adapt and evolve in order to survive.
I had a baby and wife at the house, and my nights generally consisted of 8pm bedtimes and 4am wake-up calls for my radio morning show. Even on a Friday or Saturday night with no work the next morning, I was no match for their level of partying. I knew I couldn't keep up. I also knew, as a rock radio DJ, I had a reputation in which to preserve.
My solution was to learn a disappearing act. I've always had the ability to stop the party on a dime. I've had an internal switch that shuts off my party brain instantly when I know it's time. Maybe it's because I know that I won't be able to drive home safely after one more drink. Maybe it's because I knew my son would be awake at 6am ready for the day, whether I was going on 2-hours of sleep or not.
I wish I had the same self-control at the dinner table as I have with booze. The only time I get too messed up, EVER, is with mixed drinks. I mix them too strong, and that's why I don't drink liquor very often. That was something I discovered the hard way over many years. Regardless of what was being consumed, when that switch went off it was time to go.
I also learned the hard way that if you tell a group of partying-types that you're leaving the party, they'll do everything in their power to stop you from leaving until you've had "one more drink". I stayed for that "one more drink" a few times before I learned that there was never just "one more drink".
I'll admit it. I hate peer pressure. I want to be liked. My job depends on it. I don't want to be "lame". I also don't want to be miserable for three days while my body recovers. That meant I had to be a little dishonest. If I was going to make it out of there without being "lame" I was going to have to work at it.
Much like a prison escape where you get caught in the floodlights, I knew being caught leaving early would be penalized severely. I had to use stealth. I had to be an actor. I had to keep the dictator from knowing he was being betrayed so I wouldn't suffer the fate worse than death: Teasing.
Tomorrow, the story of the legend of Shasta McBoogie will continue. We'll look back at the beast's first appearance at a 4-day party in Alaska called Arctic Man. From that moment, the legend was born.