"The man who played Rocky Rococo, the beloved character behind the namesake Madison, WI-based pie chain with a cult following, died Thursday."
RIP, James Martin Pedersen.
The link goes to my son John's Facebook page, where he says: "When I was a kid, I always loved to go there with my dad, Richard L Cohen."
Which I think says something about what I thought of that pizza. I moved to Madison in from New York in 1984. Rocky Rococo pizza was let's just say incomprehensible compared to New York pizza. As for Rocky Rococo, he always made me think of Leon Redbone....
I love Leon Redbone....
With his wide-brim hats and big sunglasses, Redbone was a man of mystery from the start. He rose to fame in the mid-Seventies after Bob Dylan spotted him at a folk festival and told Rolling Stone how curious Redbone was. "Leon interests me," Dylan said in 1974. "I've heard he's anywhere from 25 to 60, I've been [a foot and a half from him] and I can't tell, but you gotta see him. He does old Jimmie Rodgers, then turns around and does a Robert Johnson."Leon was at the extreme bottom end of Dylan's 1974 estimation. Today, he's 66.
The man who played Rocky Rococo was 68.
“On Valentine’s Day, he’d go to all (11) of our stores in La Crosse and Madison and entertain everybody at each place by handing out breadsticks and singing out a kind of rap poem that he’d change all the time,” [co-owner Roger] Brown said. “He’d get great applause at every place he visited. People would count on him coming every year.”And: "He was a comedian with Chicago’s Second City and worked with John Belushi and Bill Murray for two years on stage before he moved to Madison."