Speck-no's Beach

Speck-no’s K-9 Face

Warren Spector, who had been born with the face of a Rottweiler, acquired the name “Speck-no” in the 90’s when he worked as a light & sound technician for a South Carolina Rock band called The Wobblers. The band’s name flowed easily from the mouths of drunks, and The

Wobblers became famous in the Southeast among the fraternity set. You might remember their two minor hits, If You Ain’t Here After What I’m Here After, You’ll be Here After I’m Gone and We Got Racin’ Cars.

As a kid, Speck-no had, like most roadies, dreamed of becoming a performer himself. He’d always harbored the conviction that he was the receptacle for a gift, something to share, something like music. He woke with that feeling and carried it into his dreams at night.

When Warren was in junior high, his parents split up. His dad bought him a set of drums and delivered them to the boy’s house, where he lived with his mother. But when Warren commanded his foot to play in quarter notes, his right hand to play in half notes and his left to play in whole notes, the mixed messages produced a look and a sound resembling a seizure. Still he didn’t give up.

Warren practiced tirelessly, rising at five in the morning and slogging over to his drum kit before breakfast, then picking up the sticks again in the afternoon as soon as he returned from school. His timing didn’t improve, but his strength did. The thud of his bass drum vibrated windows in the basement, and the attack on his snare rattled silverware in the kitchen.

On Christmas Eve, he came home from a movie called That Thing You Do and entered his room to discover his mom sitting in a tight knot on the floor beside his bed surrounded by a crude fort constructed of shattered cymbals, twisted hardware, and busted drumheads, a vodka bottle between her legs.

On the drive home from the rehab hospital, Warren told his mom that he would give up his drums if he could take singing lessons. “I just want to be somebody,” he said. The next morning at breakfast, he repeated his quest. “I want to please people,” he said. “I want to be a star.” Without a word, his mom levitated from her chair like a zombie and slowly dragged a stepstool over to the tall cabinet where she kept the aerosol cleaning supplies. He took her hand before she reached inside. “Mom, I’ve changed my mind,” he said, looking up into her vacuous eyes. She teetered at the top of the stool steps. “I think I’d like to work at the zoo,” Warren said. His mom hesitated, as if she were trying to remember an omission from her grocery list, then slowly climbed down.

In the months that followed, Warren spent hours before the mirror watching as his limbs lengthened, while patches of hair and clusters of pimples multiplied. Every day he prayed for a transformational reorganization of his face. But as the months passed, its K-9 qualities became more sharply and unquestionably defined. On the street, young children stopped, stared, and then clawed their way up into their mother’s arms.

Still the music inside Warren vibrated like a tuning fork. Maybe, he thought, he would become an actor. Actors didn’t necessarily possess handsome faces. Distinctive ones would do, especially if you didn’t mind playing supporting roles or the part of Wolfman.