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Love At First Bite: Adventures of a 21st Century Troubador

Love At First Bite: Adventures of a 21st Century Troubador

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Love At First Bite: Adventures of a 21st Century Troubador

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4 horas
Dec 17, 2016


The fascinating and extraordinary story of a man who transcends the most difficult of beginnings, escaping a life of drugs and violence to become globally known as the charismatic, spiritual free spirit FANTUZZI.
Fantuzzi's fascination with snakes and his consequent misadventures form the backbone for this dramatic, illuminating look at a life well-lived. A life full of famous encounters, spiritual awakenings, divine celebration and sensual rapture, Fantuzzi's story is a lesson in achievement - that anything is attainable and all is possible with faith, compassion, conviction and a little luck!.
Dec 17, 2016

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Love At First Bite - Fantuzzi


a rattlesnake bite, memories, mostly of Mother India

Under the blue sky's arch and bright Topanga sunshine I first notice your beautiful skin and voluptuous curves. I see a glint of something fascinating in your eyes so I reach out to caress you. I want to draw you to me and kiss your smooth body, talk to you, stroke you. My breath hovers between lips and sky, motionless you hang, beautiful. Whipped back and forth, faster than a gasp of air, your head blurs my vision as you strike; deadly aim, piercing irrevocably deep, pumping poison through blood and skin. You sink your fangs into the base of my thumb and index finger and grin. I reel from your sting.

Rattlesnake, if you would have shook your spine-trembling rattle before I stooped to gather you into my arms, I'd have known what was coming, but you coyly hid your true self until I was utterly under your spell, bending close, stretching out my fingers to touch your diamond-scaled back.

This is how I live, acting as my heart tells me -living without a safety net, embracing whatever comes, my direction steered by the grace of the goddess.

I look at my hand and the feeling is strange. I'm disconnected from my brain. Suddenly I hear the pounding of my blood surging from heart to arms and legs, now I feel and see my skin pulsing with every heartbeat and I know I am surely going to die.

We've all seen it in the movies, I know I have to suck out the poison. I look around and pick up a stick, scratching and stabbing at my hand until I bleed. I suck.

No-one in the movies feels the way I do. All that poison that was out there at the end of my arm… now I have sucked it into my body, into my head, so close to my heart. That was a dumb thing to do!

A kaleidoscope explodes in my head and it's brilliant! I love it, wow! What an awesome experience, this is the coolest thing… except…

a great wave of exhaustion sweeps over me, I can hardly lift my head and I want to lay down and drift away on this wonderful cloud of sensations until a small voice inside reminds me that if I do, I'll die. The voice whispers to me that I've gotta run back up the trail to the house and get help. So I turn and force my legs to move, although my head is swimming. Wow, this trip is great! I feel higher than any time in the '60s, it's more profound than any revelation from my teachers, this is a journey deeper, wider, stronger than all my meditations…

I know my legs are moving, carrying me up the hill, I know the dusty track curls behind me like the snake, I know I reach my house, but strangely I hear the shrieks and cries of crowds of Hindus gathered in their millions by the Ganges to celebrate. The dusty trail behind me is the Ganges unwinding as we are walking and running naked; sadhus thronged together clothed in chalk and ashes, and I'm one of them, delivered into their midst by the holy waters of the Ganges despite my friend's warnings not to go. I am engulfed in the greatest spiritual gathering on earth, the Kumbh Mela.

The mountains melt and the famous river makes its way through mother India. In the north at Haridwar, the water is super-cold, super-fast. In 1974 I jumped in it with a dear, wonderful friend Billy Mitchel, and cruised down a couple of miles. Vibrant, alive, ecstatic! Water felt really really crystalline clear and pure - that would feel so good right now, my hand is on fire! - completely the exact opposite of the image most westerners have of the brown waters of the Ganges further south.

We came upon the spot where the holy men (sadhus) were having their holy dip at the most auspicious time - all connected with an alignment of the planets. My swimming partner was a massive, handsome Lebanese man who had traveled on bicycle for 10 years all over India. He did not feel that it was appropriate to swim into the holy bathing ghat. I tried convincing him but it would not work. There is a side of the sadhus that is heavier than Hell's Angels bikers and you don't want to piss them off! My heart gave me a green light and said go join your brothers so I followed my heart and my friend and I parted ways. It does help to have brown skin and look a little bit like 'em!

When I swam into the bathing ghat hundreds and hundreds of them started splashing me screaming Jai Bhagwan! Jai Maharaj! (Victory to the light / Praise God! Great king!) They recognized me as much as I recognized them. We were all like children celebrating the blessings of the holy dip and it was one of the most ecstatic moments of my life. I splashed them, they splashed me, we rubbed each other's shoulders and praised God exuberantly.

God help me now! I stumble down the dusty path with the writhing body of a snake in one hand and a throb of death in the other.

Kumbh Melas call me back to mother India again and again - 7 times so far - to be amid the sadhus… these saints on straw mats… to the world's most massive act of faith, they come by the millions! Arriving by train, bus, car, ox-drawn carts, others by horses, camels, elephants and by foot. This flow of beings is awe-some; coming in all manners, coming in all states to be here, in this place, right now. The noise and smell of such a gathering can be powerful and intense.

Some naked, covered in ashes, we parade to bathe in the holy Ganges, tens of millions of us chanting hara hara maha dev. We prepare with a chillum at a duni (sacred fire) and when the moment to start the procession comes our naga baba guru bhai throws off the potato-sack cloth on his back, runs off grabbing his trident and trumpet, and jumps on his dozing dusty horse blowing his trumpet. This is the signal! The horse startles into a stiff-legged trot and the crowd of millions proceeds toward the sangam (where the Ganges meets Yamuna) for a holy dip. Our Akhara (sadhu sect) is given the honor of leading this mass and merging in the river at the most auspicious time.

Back at our headquarters we are served tea by a tantric sadhu baba who had served us tea and food for weeks as a silent servant. His hands and feet are hardened and calloused, toughened by his long life and endless seva¹, his skin is deep rich brown, body thin like a rake, his face is creased, his eyes so deep, black, like wells of ancient knowledge and his hair in dreads that hit the ground and go for three feet afterwards. He is all dressed in black as tantrics do, for they are the mystical side of sadhus. He turned out to be a master yogi, but only showed us a little of his amazing powers. This little old man decided to inspire us by letting us see, or giving us a peek of, his amazing physical strength. As he sat cross-legged, he motioned for the two biggest westerners to stand on each of his hands. He then lifted himself up between them, put himself into a full lotus and proceeded to flip over backwards and forwards several times. The man who was our servant was really our angel and teacher, disguised as a humble servant.

As I see the sadhu's strength in my memory, my own dissolves into the present. My steps are getting shorter though the need for speed is more urgent. I must get help soon.

Although I first visited mother India in 1971, it wasn't until 74 that I made it back and somehow heard about the Mela, so I went to Haridwar and later to four other Maha Kumbh Melas in Allahabad. Camping at the Ananda Akara with Ganesh Baba was amazing. This psychedelic hipster, a sadhu in his 80s, studied quantum physics alongside Albert Einstein.

Haridwar means Gateway to the Gods, it is said that taking a bath here purifies the soul and opens the way for the ultimate freedom - Nirvana.

Kumbh Mela happens in four cities² where according to Hindu mythology, the nectar of immortality fell to earth during a war between the gods and the demons. Of the four drops that fell when the struggle was going on, one fell in Haridwar, so it became one of the holy places to gather.

I immerse myself in the ceremony, the prayers, smoke, meditation…

I remember my friends said I did not belong there, but the men I see gathered in prayer take one look at me and welcome me as a brother. The 50 million people of the Kumbh Mela are a tiny drop in the ocean of swirling images that are flooding my being, drawing me closer to death, closer to the light. The crowds of faces change color and swim in and out of focus like a wild acid trip… horns blowing, elephants trumpeting, horse hooves thudding on hard-packed earth, clang and crash of metal bowls, teapots, gongs, bells ringing, sadhus chanting, noise taking over again…

What happened? June 18, 1991, I was just going to water my plants, enjoying the walk along the dusty path, smelling the sweet scents of earth and flowers, taking a break in this glorious day. I'm busy making music, chasing a record deal, making it big, whatever it is.

I love snakes. I don't know where it comes from, but when I see a snake I want to pick it up and give it a kiss, to connect with it on a spiritual level, but on a physical level too. The first time I remember playing with a snake was in 1968 in Bloomington Indiana, after jumping off a 70-foot cliff, why? I don't remember… I saw the tail of a snake going into a bush. I grabbed the tail and hand-over-hand drew the body of the snake back to me, expecting no longer than a foot or so, I suddenly had a five-foot serpent wrapped in my hands.

Flash back to your delectable curves, smile like sunshine, body as ripe as a perfect mango on the beach, goddess eternal, surrounding me with love and flooding my being with joy, you are manifest in every woman I touch and see. I talk to you in your serpent form, love to hold you, but your snake body is fearsome. I can feel your kiss spreading through my flesh, the shrieks and cries I am hearing are not those of the sadhus, they are my friends running in fear from your sweet lips.

A moment of clarity like a parting of the clouds in a stormy sky: I realize I'm standing in my house holding a deadly Green Mojave Rattler. You my love, my fearsome fanged friend, I drop into a bag and call to my human friends to come back, to help me before it is too late. An ambulance is called while I fall to the floor, or the floor comes up to meet me and the dust smells of…

I am in the dust again, in the crowds of Hindus massed unbelievably and inexplicably at the edges of the Ganges, another six years and 60 million people come together. It's one heaven of a big party. My love affair with mother India blisses me out, outside myself, into… the dust and sand of the Goa beaches, my first virgin kisses with India; she wraps herself around me and I am lost for ever.

A vague voice echoes in my ear; there's no time to drive, we need a chopper to get him to hospital in time. My bones are liquid silver, my head full of kaleidoscope colors and my nostrils filled with the sweet scent of… incense burning in a thousand temples across Mother India.

Ah, the mind-expanding bliss of dropping into this spiritual oasis. I am consumed by India, by Goa, by everything I see and experience here. This changes everything. I smell the salt of the ocean, taste the spray on my lips. A celebration on Anjuna Beach in Goa… we invite 50 dancers and musicians to be part of our ritual dance performance and we have about 500 people show up on a full moon night, January 1972. Flame torches taller than a man light the scene, the flames soar into the night sky, there are twelve in our inner circle. We carry drums gathered from everywhere, including a Goan drum that weighs over 2001bs. One giant but lean Indian known as The Coconut Man carries this drum a long way; from the village beyond the rice fields and coconut palms through winding pathways to the beach. Costumes are over-the-top; gold, glittering, shining, all colors of the rainbow like royal and ancient robes. About a dozen virgins are dressed in beautiful white robes traced with gold thread, carrying palm fronds that make them look like a group of Statues Of Liberty, they are led into the circle by the high priest, Jean-Francois.

A father of one of these girls is upset with me for not beginning when he wants, he threatens to ruin the whole ceremony by waiting until I am in the center of the circle to slug me! Being a peaceful man, I give him my back and go about my business. Once I have all the costumes and people ready, I realize I need to find this man before he makes something bad happen. I gather my street-wise in-your-face persona, ready to kick some ass… find him and tell him I am ready for him now. He quails, says it is a misunderstanding, he reveals his true self to me; a frightened bully.

Time to begin; the conches blow, the drums rumble, the torches shine from the mountaintops, the high priest begins the procession, snaking down the mountain to the beach with the beautiful virgins following his footsteps. They enter the circle as the massive center torches are lit casting a gorgeous orange glow over the whole gathering.

Mantras are shared, Tibetan bells chime, echoing around the basin-like cove, incense drifts through the air, rose petals are scattered by beautiful golden-haired westerners and dark-skinned sleek black-haired Indian children. Lothar, queen of the Gandarvas³, steps into the circle followed by a procession of amazingly adorned goddesses. All jaws drop as spirit rises, transmitting through awesome cosmic theatrical style, the transformation of human consciousness.

The crowd undergoes a transformation as they watch, reconnecting with their ancient mystic selves, remembering who they really are. We invite them to join us in our jubilee, we all come together in a loud, carefree celebration of the light overcoming darkness. We celebrate through the night until the breath of the dawn drifts across our skin. All through the darkness our drums beat on and on, our bodies sharing hugs and smiles, our feet dancing naked upon the earth.

I am in a helicopter heading to hospital, stoned on venom, running with a dog called Delirium.

I want to look down on my house, to see it all from this bird's-eye view, but all I can do is raise my punctured hand a few inches and the sight of this purpling ballooning appendage makes my head swim again.

My consciousness now is expanding faster than light or thought, bringing me visions of Afghanistan; traveling through the night under the cascade of exploding bombs, to Glastonbury, the Rainbow Gypsies, to New York in Ira Cohen's loft apartment, the stage of the Living Theater, Woodstock with 500,000 friends and lovers, Bali… ah such beautiful lands and peoples, India with endless trails and trials of spiritual progression, Hawaii - the Sanctuary, Australia the far side of the world, Burma briefly, Thailand teaching, Italy playing, Portugal sharing the Rainbow, Ibiza dancing, singing, playing, Amsterdam for all the above, a thousand beautiful goddesses grace my dreams… around the world in 80 dazed lifetimes and so much more. It is such a gift, a flow of movement, music and dance lighting a blazing fire.


Is this a story of the unfoldment of a being or is this a book of pearls of wisdom? It is both. How I see things constantly changes, how I interpret this presentation I am downloading.. What a joy - get out of the way if you can't understand or you can't lend a hand. This is the Mothership we are on. Jet eyes (Jedis) are needed on deck - we are about to fly… inner muscles must be developed, being fully present and at service. Cultivate kindness, awareness and a deep commitment to growing.


Allahabad, Haridwar, Trimbak-Nashik and Ujjain

Heavenly Beings (angels) gifted in the arts

Spanish Harlem, parents, friends, assassination, fish, yoga & escape

The judder-throb of the rotors obliterates everything else, I try to see the land beneath me before I die, but a swirl of color flows through my head and again I swing back…

…through the pounding crash of fists upon the door, shouting voices, footsteps thumping up and down the stairwell in the apartment on 101st street. There's a gun at my head, a blade at my neck, a strange face, the stinging sound of flesh smacking flesh then everything is black.

Heart pounding, rotors churning, I surface like a drowning man, oh goddess, what's happening to me? Everything is vibrating, my soul is vibrating, skin is getting tighter and tighter, all I can feel is the numbness where my hand used to be, how can I play the guitar like this? How can I dance and sing to share the joy of life if I have to leave it all now?

I'm sinking. The noise and shaking fade away, I float into utter stillness, sailing the immense silk clouds of the universe hand-in-hand with Shiva. (S)he turns to smile at me, parting lips to reveal slender snake fangs tipped with droplets of venom. This is a blessing.

My first blessing… 1951 my birth to a beautiful brown dancing Puerto Rican queen. Fourteen years old, skin like a peach, laughter in her eyes, love in her heart, Minerva. She brought me into the crazy world of New York and I rolled into existence, growing quickly.

Growing up in the streets of Harlem where Nature was a foreign word, there was struggle in every day… I can hear my Mom calling Junior! I guess it's late, everything is growing darker, there is something rumbling in the background, sounds like a subway train, but there's no line close to our apartment…

Minerva Fantauzzi Bonilla, a gorgeous young lady in the eighth grade got pregnant to Mr. Luis Fantauzzi Sr., her Latin lover who was little more than a teenager and just in from Puerto Rico. Mom'd only been a few years here in the land of opportunity - New York City, USA.

Imagine if you will the coming together of a young, hot Puerto Rican senorita and a dark, handsome Puerto Rican young man. The Kundalini was erupting in both of them like a magnetic force and looking for a landing into an earthly place. I took a leap of faith.

Their bodies merged, their souls sang, their spirits danced and I was conceived. She was all of 14 and he was 21.

Spanish Harlem was my playground. Spanish is my mother tongue. These two hot Latin lovers were dance party animals as most 'Ricans are.

Fantauzzi Junior was born in a little brown stone building on the upper west side of Manhattan -Spanish Harlem.

Junior was a happy child with big brown eyes and a tiny frame. He was indeed a curious fellow and though around him was so much violence, drugs and crime, his sense of wonder was extraordinary. He had faith in himself which gave him a drive and a sparkle in his eyes.

After struggling a while in the big apple, my parents tried changing headquarters to Puerto Rico, but that didn't work. Alice my younger sister and I, both had a strange skin reaction to the sun and the doctor advised my parents to return to New York, the place I jokingly call the Capital of Puerto Rico!

We were living in Brooklyn when I turned five years old and joined my first and last gang. We were armed with knives and one day the captain of our gang threatened me and instead of kissing his ass I punched him in the face. His black eye didn't slow him down too much. He and his boys came running after me. I made it to my stoop where my father was and he chased them away. Never again was I a part of any gang. Though asked to go rumble numerous times when I was a teenager, it never made any sense to me. Go beat up on some dudes, for what reason? Come on, we're gonna rumble with some ginnies" (Italians), to me that's no reason to go fight. If they came to our block to rough up some of our people then that's a different story. Otherwise deep down inside I was a peace keeper, an ambassador of peace in the making.

My father was a musician but he had to get a real job when my sister and I were born so that he could feed us and pay the rent. Both he and my mother were dancers and music was always blasting in the house… there were parties, feasts and rent-raising celebrations, those were much later on 'cos I can remember them and that was after my father had left.

Things went downhill pretty fast. My father, an alcoholic at the time, cracked my Mom's head with a lead pipe 'cos he was suspicious about her whereabouts when she came home late one day. It took 38 stitches to fix her up. Blood was pouring down her face when a cop saw her from the street below and came up to help. She could have sent my father to jail but she just wanted peace and asked that he leave and not return. Some time later he came back and took us out for candy and we didn't see Mom for days. Somehow Mom caught up with us as my father was shepherding us to the steps of a plane out of the country, having kept us hidden at his sister's house

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