Doc Westchesterson is ready to roll
The mysterious performer known as Doc Westchesterson is sitting with his beloved Doris. Doris is what he calls his “key-tar,” a combination keyboard and guitar that has been his inseparable companion since 2012. “BB King had Lucille, and I have Doris,” he said.
Westchesterson has no other family, so he says, and he and Doris are committed to living what he called “straight up hip-hop life.”
The good doctor is being interviewed by a square, so he is asked what the “hip-hop” life was, he described it as “mackin’, chillin’, partyin’” and he is in town do to a little (or a lot) of it as he prepares for two shows at Capt. Nick’s. He plays on Thursday, Aug 1 at 9:30 p.m. and again on Sept. 1. The Doc is hard to reach. In order to get in touch with him, one has to contact the owner of Capt. Nick’s, even though Westchesterson said he couldn’t remember the owner’s name.
Westchesterson said he did not come from a musical family. Neither of his parents played an instrument in the house he grew up in western Massachusetts, “but ma and pa Westchesterson played a lot of Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel.” His own personal taste turned more to rock, at least at first. “It all started with KISS. It was all about Gene Simmons,” said Westchesterson of the KISS front man. The music inspired him to start his first band in the sixth grade, called Second Thought, which played the hits of the 1980s by the Cars, the Police. Then something hit him like a bolt of lightning when he was about 14: the Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right To Party.” That song, he said, changed everything. “That set me on the road to hip-hop,” he said.
He said he probably heard it first in the car of a friend named Lloyd, who had a 1969 Charger, but the memory is a bit foggy. “You have to understand that my youth is pretty hazy,” said Westchesterson. “I don’t remember too many details.” He said that Lloyd “popped in the tape and it was like Pandora’s box opening. It was like when those monkeys touched the black box in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’”
We have to skip forward a couple of decades due to the fact that Westchesterson said he was on the lam for about 20 years, hiding out, because of a traffic stop gone horribly wrong. After that case cleared up, he came to the island around 2012. “I came to the island so much that I started to stay out,” he said. When asked what he does out here besides music, Westchesterson said he has a “side business that involves horticulture and sales.” (Westchesterson claims to have an actual medical degree. He said he went to the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, “where I developed my green thumb, and then I completed medical school in Portland, Oregon.” There, he said, he developed “groundbreaking processes in the medical marijuana industry.”) Now that he lives here, he said his “love for Block Island runs deep. I am blessed and privileged to be welcomed here.”
He has made some videos, and when asked if had recorded any albums, Westchesterson said, “no one makes albums any more. I have my tracks on SoundCloud.” He described his music as “old school hip-hop.” The success of those early videos, he said, cemented his status as “the most famous rapper from western Mass.”
Music is his life. “Hip-hop is my muse,” as he puts it. “The main reason to come to my shows is to get that booty shakin’, to let go of all your cares and worries, and have the best time you’ve ever had.”