Most of you had no idea who that wily rascal was. He did a pretty good job of trying to pull the wool over my eyes even and conceal his identity, but I knew. He was definitely a Lone Ranger, with a penchant for cutting, crafty, edgy humor and at times, painfully blunt remarks.
At the same time, smartman always had a point to make and usually made it with a deft touch.
Could he be a bit crude at times? Hell yes, he could. He’s the reason I blocked the N Word in the comments section. And at times, he could be rather scatological and crude sexually. But even at his worst, he got his points across, even if as often as not I disagreed with them.
Many of you will always remember the smartman for calling out the Scribe and agreeing to meet him in front of the Beaumont Club in Westport earlier this year to duke it out.
“Battle @ Beaumont a No Show,” was the January 30 headline for the story I wrote about the encounter that never went down.
“Suppose they gave a war and nobody came.” it began. “Such was the case at 5 p.m. sharp tonight outside the Beaumont Club in Westport. That’s where former KCC scribe Craig Glazer was supposed to throw down with the comments section personality known as smartman.”
Who won, I asked afterward?
“Me, he no-showed,” Glazer said. “I was going to fucking kill him. I had Bill Nigro and my brother Jeff there as witnesses. I waited until about 5:20 p.m. and I didn’t see anyone who wanted to tangle with me, so I left at 5:25 p.m.”
Glazer and the smartman tangled countless times in the comments section and smartman took great delight in having lured the Scribe down to Westport and then standing him up.
“I remember a few months back I jokingly said to him, ‘You’re gay. You should check out the ads in the back of the Pitch,’ and that got to him,” Glazer said. “Look, I don’t know who smartman is – he could be Bill Clinton for all I know – or Honey Boo Boo.”
But he wasn’t Honey Bo Boo, he was Marti Dolinar, a man who worked the road, crewing with rock bands in the 70s and 80s. He ran the Uptown at one point and produced a number of Spirit Fests and other outdoor concerts.
Dolinar produced my first show, The Happy Together Tour with the Turtles, Grassroots, Buckinghams and Gary Lewis and the Playboys. He produced my sold out Romantics concert at the Uptown. And I grudgingly earned his respect – no easy task for a white boy from Pembroke who grew up with a silver spoon.
I probably shouldn’t share this one, but I remember Marti marveling one time at my romantic prowess after a certain girlfriend that had worked for concert promoter Chris Fritz gave him an earful. Unbeknownst to me, of course until Marti told me years later.
I dunno, I think he maybe thought I was gay or something prior to that.
Marti was an excellent source and resource for me over the years because he had tons of contacts in the entertainment and bar biz. He hated the Leiweke Brothers. And he admired prickly Theater League honcho Mark Edelman. He respected local concert god Chris Fritz.
And he totally went nutso on me after my life fell apart in late 2008 when my mom, dog, job and marriage all died in a five month span. It was incredibly crude and ugly, but I’ll leave it at that.
Marti wanted to write for KC Confidential when I first left the Star. But I think I hurt his feelings when I passed. Frankly, I was afraid he’d be too incendiary for the site and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to control him – or maybe restrain is the better word. When things kind of opened up a year or two later, I offered him a writing position but he declined, telling me I couldn’t afford him.
Geez, who could I afford? Certainly not me even.
That was cool, I’d have hated to risk losing smartman in the comments section. BTW, to his dying day, I’m not sure that he didn’t think he had me fooled. I confronted him early on when he went off the deep end and he denied being the smartman and threatened to sue me. Bring it, I said. After that, I basically just pretended not to know it was him, but it was Marti all right.
Smartman loved Greg Hall and until his final days was a regular commenter on Hall’s website. He hated Tony. Obviously. He hated Harley – who never let the smartman forget after he slipped one time and mentioned that he refurbished used hot tubs.
smartman was a tough customer.
He almost bought a Fiat Abarth for his wife two years ago until he saw the J Lo telelvision spots and then vowed never to let a 500 to darken his garage door.
There were 64 responses to my story about his no-show showdown with The Glaze.
That’s more than double the responses The Pitch got on Glazer’s cover story.
Here was smartman’s response:
Float like a butterfly
Sting like a bee
Glaze can’t hit
What Glaze can’t see
Seems pretty light out
For a photo at 5
Just one more sad story
More Glazer Jive
Just like Patrick Swayze
I Roadhoused your ass
Go take your seat
At the back of the class
You are no match
With your fists or your brain
Go post at Tony’s
So we can complain
I missed the smartman’s comments the past two days – especially given my Kanrocksas story – and I wondered if something was maybe wrong.
Marti died yesterday afternoon when an infection in his leg spread to his brain and “he went from nursing a bad leg to knocking on death’s door.”
smartman, we hardly knew ye; you will be missed.
Services for the smartman will be held at 10 a.m. Monday @ St. John the Baptist Church on Strawberry Hill in KCK where Dolinar grew up. A visitation will take place between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.