Kyle Hancharick

The random musings of a quasi-hermit who sings songs.

The story of the late Rubin Hurricane Carter, as told by Bob Dylan.

(WARNING: Contains strong language and imagery)

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out, “My God, they killed them all!”
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Three bodies lyin’ there does Patty see
And another man named Bello, movin’ around mysteriously
“I didn’t do it,” he says, and he throws up his hands
“I was only robbin’ the register, I hope you understand
I saw them leavin’,” he says, and he stops
“One of us had better call up the cops”
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin’
In the hot New Jersey night

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin’ around
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Paterson that’s just the way things go
If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street
’Less you wanna draw the heat

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin’ around
He said, “I saw two men runnin’ out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates”
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head
Cop said, “Wait a minute, boys, this one’s not dead”
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men

Four in the mornin’ and they haul Rubin in
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin’ eye
Says, “Wha’d you bring him in here for? He ain’t the guy!”
Yes, here’s the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame
Rubin’s in South America, fightin’ for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin’ the screws to him, lookin’ for somebody to blame
“Remember that murder that happened in a bar?”
“Remember you said you saw the getaway car?”
“You think you’d like to play ball with the law?”
“Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin’ that night?”
“Don’t forget that you are white”

Arthur Dexter Bradley said, “I’m really not sure”
Cops said, “A poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we’re talkin’ to your friend Bello
Now you don’t wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow
You’ll be doin’ society a favor
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin’ braver
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain’t no Gentleman Jim”

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
It’s my work, he’d say, and I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse

All of Rubin’s cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance
The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce the gun
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed

Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder “one,” guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell
That’s the story of the Hurricane
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

RIP Hurricane 1937-2014

This is pretty remarkable. This is James Taylor’s hand-made drum machine from his 2007 One Man Band tour. It includes a snare drum, cowbell, wooden board and chamber to simulate a bass drum sound, and a crash cymbal. It was built in a music-box style by James Taylor himself.

God, I wish I had the spare time (and woodworking skills) to build something like this.

NEWSLETTER: Pennings Requests?

Hello and Happy Spring!!!

So Full Armor and I had a good and busy March. As you may know the month started with my opening for Lucy Kaplansky at the Purple Crayon on the 1st, where I unveiled a new original tune called “Wind Song.” The response to the song and the performance was very good, and I look forward to releasing the official demo recording in the coming weeks. Stay Posted.

Full Armor Band also had a big month, including shows in New Milford CT, Mountain Top PA, and a 4-day-long mission event in New Providence NJ, from which we just returned.

As for upcoming shows, Full Armor will be playing in Warwick NY, Newburgh NY, Sleepy Hollow NY, East Stroudsburg PA, and Sparkill NY over the next month. For further info, visit the band’s tour page.

I will be making several Open Mic appearances this month, where I hope to unveil even MORE new material. I’ll be at Music at the Mission in West Milford NJ on April 5th, and at the Towne Crier Cafe for several dates throughout the month. So come out and support local music. All info and other dates are found at my tour page.

Speaking of local music, Full Armor and I will be performing at Pennings Farm Market in Warwick NY on Sunday, April 6th. We will be performing a mix of our original songs, as well as a collection of covers. The band and I are currently scouting our respective fan bases for any requests you may have. So if you do have any, then hit me up on Facebook before the 6th. The show starts at 5PM and goes until 8. Hope to see you there!!!

Peace and Love,


P.S. No Freebird

I heard this song and thought of you. You know who you are.

(Source: Spotify)

More acoustic covers??? You’re welcome.

This one is by Jillian Jensen, a brilliant singer who made it to the top 30 in this season’s American Idol.

Check out her music.


The great thing about acoustic covers of pop songs is that you’re able to truly appreciate the spirit of the song. Pop music often has many distractions, like overproduction, too much voice inflection, and in this song’s case, a not-so-classy music video.

But when you take all of that out, you find that many of these songs are brilliant in their own way. Now I wouldn’t compare them to Shakespeare sonnets, but when you strip it down and listen to them, you realize that it’s not all trash, as it’s so commonly misconceived.



QUESTION: On what famous tv show did the infamous phrase “Jumping the Shark” come from?

ANSWER: Happy Days


QUESTION! What famous early 20th century ship was also known as “The Pride of the White Star Line?”