Who the Hell Is He?

Harfax Chaddish Johnson was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1975. His father, Johnathon Johnworthy Johnson, owned two rubber factories in a neighboring state and was an abusive alcoholic. His wife was often seen at the local market with various contusions. Visiting the same market himself one day, J.J.J. was asked by the store manager why Mrs. Johnson had two black eyes. J.J.J. told the man that “she didn’t listen the first time.” She was never seen in the market again. There are rumors that Mrs. Johnson ran away from her abusive husband. Friends say, however, that she never would have left her precious son, Harfax, whom she named after her parents, Hardy and Faxalina. If you listen closely, late at night, you can almost hear a woman’s screams coming from the basement of the old Johnson place – almost.

Harfax was born into complete darkness at 11:59 p.m. on Friday the 13th of June, due to a series of tornadoes that hit the Stillwater area, knocking out all power. Because of this, his father believed his son was “cursed by gremlins” and later subjected Harfax to repeated “exorcisms” conducted by some of the father’s employees. J.J.J. ran his factories with an iron fist, and the employees would do anything to appease him. They sarcastically referred to him as Sergeant Justice behind his back. Harfax didn’t refer to him at all – if he did, he was severely punished.

Harfax turned to music to fill the void of his unhappy existence. He wrote his first song, Shark Warped (to the tune of Time Warp), at the age of 11 while working a third shift night watch job in one of his father’s plants on school nights. After flunking out of school in 1990, Harfax ran away from home during an ill-advised attempt to locate pop star Sheena Easton. Harfax had watched Ms. Easton’s music video, Strut, for 26 straight hours on a borrowed VCR and decided she was the key to his music career.* Harfax never met Ms. Easton but was arrested while trying to find her house. Harfax then fell into a cult and moved to the country of Chad in Africa. Harfax later admitted in an interview he didn’t realize they were taking him out of the country. “I thought they said, ‘Hey, we’re all going to Chad’s’ but I guess they said ‘Chad.’” Harfax learned new rhythms while living in the mountains of Chad and also a new way of thinking about music. It was during this time he legally changed his middle name to Chaddish. Following two years in that country, Harfax became seriously ill after ingesting some bad peanut sauce. Near death, the other cult members abandoned Harfax, believing him to be “cursed by gremlins.” Harfax recovered thanks to the efforts of a kind nurse named Akello. Harfax later wrote a love song called Hello Akello (to Lionel Richie’s tune Hello) in tribute to the woman who saved his life.

Fully recovered from the peanut sauce incident, Harfax hiked and hitchhiked his way to the African Coast. He stowed away on a commercial ship and returned to the United States. Harfax travelled around the Western U.S. while working odd jobs such as lumberjack, dishwasher, coin cleaner, turnip farmer and porcupine euthanizer. Harfax was fired from the last job when it was learned he was secretly setting all the porcupines free. This caused a massive porcupine overpopulation that one small Wyoming town is still plagued with today.

Harfax stayed away from Stillwater and his past demons until the year 2000. After some intense, experimental counseling sessions with a parapsychologist, Harfax decided it was time to come home and pursue a musical career. Harfax called his return to his Oklahoma town “cathartic” in his as yet unpublished autobiography, Harfax: Fax and Fixion. In 2007, Harfax met two Indiana guys at a baseball game in St. Louis named Luke and Matt. They became friends and decided to write songs together. They convinced Harfax to try adding some humor to his otherwise dark versions of popular music, and they eventually wrote the parody songs that are loved by dozens today. Harfax is still waiting for his big break. This nearly happened during the summer of 2008 when Harfax was scheduled to perform I Kissed an Earl on a well-known late night talk show. However, Harfax was bumped at the last minute when the show was able to book Richety Dip, the Human Potato Chip as their entertainment instead.  Harfax now spends a great deal of time in Indiana working with his co-writers.

Harfax’s father lost most of his fortune in an ill-advised goat meat investment in the late 90s and is now drunk and penniless in a state-run nursing home. He was interviewed about his son in 2006 by an entertainment magazine and called Harfax “an evil idiot.” He also said his son still needs “a good exorcism from the Pope, and a beating.” When asked if he loves his son, Harfax’s father ended the interview and told the reporter, “Turn off your tape recorder, and go now.”

* Though Strut was released in 1984, Harfax never saw the video until 6 years later. J.J.J. had posted a list of forbidden things in Harfax’s room that J.J.J. called “The Devil’s Grocery List.” These things included any form of music, movies, television, mouthwash, and licorice.

3 Responses to “Who the Hell Is He?”

  1. Love your blog, but the “about me” prompted me to comment instead of being a stalker/lurker/upset-you’re-not-available-internet-personl.

    Please keep it up so I can decide which one of the above I’d like to be.

    Thanks, and I vote for lurker…it just sounds the coolest.

  2. The screams come mostly at night – mostly.

  3. I think we had the same daddy…. well, ok, not really but they might have been related. (That bastid!)
    Hey, you’re not boring. That’s a rave!

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