About your guide: Captain Mickey Melchiondo
- USCG #2863698
- Red Cross Certified in First Aid and CPR
- Pennsylvania licensed fishing guide
- Pretty good conversationalist
- Fully insured
Two things jump to my attention: 1. Holy crap! That’s Dean Ween! 2. I wonder why he listed that he’s a good conversationalist before the bullet that he’s fully insured? I guess they’re both pretty important…
OK, this is old news – I had that holy crap moment a while ago. That there’s Mickey Melchiondo, aka Dean Ween, who, along with Aaron Freeman (aka Gene Ween) pioneered some of the most unique and original freak rock throughout the 1990s and 2000s as Ween. And with Freeman’s recent announcement of Ween’s permanent dissolution (he officially retired the moniker “Gene Ween”) and subsequent solo album (reviewed here), I felt it was only fair to keep you up to date on what Deaner’s been up to in the meantime. You know, what with our unhealthy amount of Ween love around these Critical Masses parts. (Start here for the first chronological recording we’ve reviewed, or here to start The Gross Yields’ discographic recap.)
Captain Mickey charters sport fishing tours. If you saw that coming as the most likely outcome of a post-Ween career, you need to start gambling regularly. Sure, I guess, makes sense in some ways – fishing’s a totally relaxing sport, and I never got the impression that the Ween boys were anything other than laid back. It makes me laugh every time I look at Captain Mickey’s face beaming over his prize catch. (And the ones with a cigarette in his mouth are even funnier.) He just looks so natural in that environment, so content. But it’s hard to separate the musician from the post-music career, and that’s why I find this so amusing.
It looks like he’s doing pretty well for himself too, and given the uncertain relationship between Aaron and Mickey these days, it’s probably a good thing that he is. And maybe that’s why “pretty good conversationalist” is listed on his “About” page – he’s off on a new path and eager for some new company. (And he probably is just an all-around nice dude – who am I to think otherwise?) While I imagine he calls the Delaware River his home turf (being from New Hope, Pennsylvania, after all), he heads down the Atlantic seaboard for some of his trips as well. That sounds about as free as you can get these days – that or a cross-country motorcycle trip, Easy Rider style. Wind blowing, fish biting, with no one but your shipmates for company. Sounds like a pretty good gig to me.
I can’t vouch for the tour, so this isn’t a “review” per se, like I normally do. Maybe one day it will be – I’m not a fisherman, but the chance to get out on a boat with Captain Deaner the self-proclaimed Pretty Good Conversationalist is highly intriguing. I wonder how much he discusses Ween with his patrons, or even if they have a clue who Ween is (and let’s face it, you know at least some of them do). I’d broach the subject, but I’d drop it in heartbeat if Mickey shows the slightest annoyance. I’m infinitely polite and respectful like that.
So in the spirit of Almighty Boognish and our (probably unhealthy and irrational) Ween love, I wish Captain Mickey the best, even if he never shreds another solo in his life. He and Aaron have given us a ton of great tunes, and I’ve had the chance to see them live on a couple of occasions. (You’d never expect them to be as good a live band as they were – they were unstoppable on stage.) I know nothing of the charter fishing biz, but I’m sure Mickey’s Guide Service (and don’t forget the “Home of Archangel Sportfishing”!) is the one you oughta pick. It’s number one on my list, that’s for damn sure.