Thursday, February 16, 2012

LinkedIn Profile For Jergen King Bergen III ("Jergie Bergen"). Removed By Site Administrators On 2-11-12

Entrepreneur, musician, actor, disc jockey, filmmaker, truck stop sushi pioneer, former lead singer of the influential Mason City, Iowa prog rock band, Muffalo, and Facebook legend.

In 1984, Jergie was named a Northeast Iowa "Mover and Shaker" by the Cedar Rapids Weekender. Longtime fans might remember Jergie's controversial and short-lived stint as the host of the drive-time "Houston, We Have a Problem" program on Houston, Minnesota's KATU, where he was fired for repeatedly spinning Musique's "Push, Push in the Bush" and "White Lines," by Grandmaster Flash, often juxtaposing such perceived affronts to public morality with Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon ('Round the Old Oak Tree)" and chestnuts from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

In the early 1980s –almost 10 years after the breakup of Muffalo—Jergie attempted a musical comeback, assembling the band Blind Somebody Something, a group whose sound predated such recent acts as The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Black Keys, and North Mississippi All Stars. Blind Somebody Something proved to be a hard sell in the musical climate of the period, however, and broke up after less than one year. They did once open for Butch Vig's Firetown at People's Bar and Grill in Ames, Iowa, and recorded an album of material (“TOO FAR OUT ALL MY LIFE”) that remains unreleased.

Undaunted, Jergie launched a film production company, Bergen International Pictures, and produced, wrote, and directed "Saturn's Slatterns," a low-budget science fiction film shot in three days in and around Dubuque, Iowa. Phantasm magazine, which called the film “one of those unwatchable travesties that seems tailor made for the sub-human, late-night bong marathon crowd,” estimated the budget –perhaps facetiously—at $178. In 1987, BIP released two films for the Asian video market: “Machines of Anticipation, Part One: The Neanderthal Nymphomaniacs," and "Alligators of Atlantis.”

Around this same time, Bergen made a number of appearances in regional theater productions. One such appearance earned a rave from the Mount Carroll Independent, whose Clair Church wrote: "In the role of Inspector Poirot, Jergie Bergen --channeling, it sometimes seems, Rip Taylor one moment, and a seriously inebriated Albert Finney the next-- quite literally steals the show, to the point that some may wonder whether what they are watching is, indeed, a production of 'Murder on the Orient Express' or something altogether different, chaotic, and almost unpleasantly manic. Part of the show's perhaps unintentional entertainment value is watching the other actors recoil from Bergen's Poirot with what seems to be genuine fear."

On September 17, 1992, at the 5,155-seat McElroy Arena in Waterloo, Iowa, Jergie staged his most ambitious project to date: "Antietam On Ice," a production involving more than 600 Civil War reenactors (aboard ice skates and in authentic period costume) from all over the Midwest. "AOI," as it is known in Bergen lore, was largely financed by investments from members of Jergie's mother's longtime bridge club, and featured a rock opera written, performed, and recorded entirely by Jergie Bergen. The work --notable for its loud, sustained stretches of cacophony, distortion, and multi-tracked screams and howls that showed off Jergie's astonishing vocal range-- described the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. The actual recreation of the battle, however, was --owing to time constraints and the unwieldy cast-- hastily choreographed, and the production (staged on the anniversary of Antietam) was plagued by problems of synchronization, poor sound quality, and numerous skating mishaps. The Waterloo Courier, which did not run a review, nonetheless featured a short news item that described the resulting chaos and noted the paid attendance of 79.

By the mid-'90s, Jergie had fallen on hard times. A legal dispute led to eviction from his mother's home, and he found himself back in Waterloo, where he worked as a disc jockey at a roller skating rink and lived part of the year in the press box at a local junior college's football facility.

In 2000, Jergie attempted yet another comeback, this time as a businessman. A $90,000 payoff on a $3 Iowa Hot Lotto Sizzler ticket enabled him to buy controlling interest in 750 condom vending machines, the majority of which were already installed in the restrooms of truck stops, convenience stores, and bars over a three state area (Iowa, Southern Minnesota, and Southwestern Wisconsin). From August 2000-November 2008, Jergie traveled more than 70,000 miles a year on the Bergen Rubber Route (see "Iowa's Condom King," Des Moines Register, August 11, 2005).

It was while driving the Rubber Route that Jergie had the inspiration for truck stop sushi, and in less than two years, working out of a production facility in a former Rocky Rococo's pizza parlor in Mason City, he managed to place his product --Double Nickel Sushi-2-Roll-- in over 150 locations in the upper Midwest.

On November 16, 2008, Jergie's Ford Taurus was found at a rest stop overlooking the Yellowstone River in Montana. The keys were in the ignition and Jergie's wallet was on the front passenger seat. In the trunk, authorities found numerous heavy canvas bags containing almost $25,000 in change. Jergie also left behind a note bequeathing his identity, along with full ownership of his Facebook page, to Christian Byrd, the Brussels-based founder of the Jergie Bergen fan club.

Today, despite ongoing heartbreak and occasionally severe identity confusion, Byrd continues to gamely --and to the best of his ability-- carry the Bergen Brand to a new generation of acolytes.

In 2011, Italian filmmaker Angelo "Angie" Santangelo (“The Wild Child of Perugia”) began to assemble archival footage for a documentary: "Jergie Bergen: There Ain't No We, Bro." The film is tentatively slated for a summer 2013 release.

1 comment:

  1. I L-O-V-E the Peoples Bar and Grill.This one might top them all!