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Warren Myhed
Dusty Doodle
May 21, 1999
Age 52
 
 Undisclosed Disease 
 
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  ROOSEVELT, NY (AP)  -Dusty Doodle, the enigmatic street performer who mixed an intriguing stew of music-making, impressions and levitation on the sidewalks of New York has died of complications from an undisclosed disease on his 52nd birthday.  He was 52. 
  
Doodle, who was born Warren Myhed in Dingle Town, Ireland, may not be a household name, but for those who've witnessed the eccentric singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist-levitator at work he will not soon be forgotten.  A typical Dusty Doodle performance in the late 1960's included poignant paeans to pigeons sung in his distinctive high tenor--accompanying himself on ukulele and knee-cymbals; followed by an uncanny impression of an angry, rabid dog complete with froth; and those who lingered were treated to a giddy 5 minute attempt at levitation. 

A neighbor and friend, Alice McNoughton, recalls, "Dusty had a misguided theory that if he sucked in a lot of air and held his breath as long as he could, he would float above the sidewalk a few inches.  He would turn purple with effort, his cymbals -- that were strapped to his legs -- would clang uncontrollably, and just before he passed out he'd shout, 'Did you see?  Did you see me go up?' then he'd burst out laughing when no one claimed to see him levitate, and he'd try it again." 

Doodle, who studied music and poetry at the original Burren College of Art came to the United States in 1964 after living in London and working as a busker within the milieu that spawned The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.   In fact, he often claimed he was on the same flight that  
famously brought the Fab Four to these shores, and turned down an opportunity to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show due to paralyzing stage fright.  "He wasn't afraid of audiences, but being indoors on a stage caused him to go into near convulsions," said McNoughton. 

His only known indoor performance was opening for The Velvet Underground at New York's Max's Kansas City in 1970.  According to McNoughton, "It was an inspired performance.  His one and only indoor show occurred as a result of his one and only experience with drugs.  Somebody dosed his lemonade with LSD at a flophouse party on the Lower East Side, and later in the evening someone else coaxed him on stage, while they were setting up the recording equipment for the Underground show that was later turned into an album.  He was recorded doing his rabid dog thing and a couple of his wonderful animal songs, but I don't know what happened to the tape." 

No known record albums exist today, although a bootleg recording made by fans of his street shows circulated around Greenwich Village and Brooklyn in the early seventies where he spent most of his time entertaining and doing volunteer work at various city shelters.  A self published book of poetry called I Want to be Quoted So Badly, I'm Liable to Say Anything was set to be printed at the time of his death. 

Doodle never married and is survived only by his common-law wife, Alice Lois Johnson of Roosevelt, New York. 
 
 

    
  
 
 
        
 
 
 
 
       
 

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Born: May 21, 1947
Died: May 21, 1999
 
 Any further information on the life of Dusty Doodle, please contact Gordon Polatnick.
 
 
  
 
 

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