Berkeley Eccentric, Rare’s Last Roar
by Steed Dropout
July 10, 2016
Rare, right, testing new name. Photo by Ted Friedman
‘Rare,’ a Telegraph, Ave. legend told me, yesterday, that he’s changing his street name from ‘Rare’ to “Hell Yeah.”
The news comes, as Rare’s 40-year persona—RARE—has fallen on hard times.
The former Rare has told me he’s a self-described “fat slob” now. Once a gymnastic dare-devil who could chin himself on street poles, Rare has struggled even to roar out his name, which lately has gone from roar to rasp.
Avenue habitués first heard Rare’s “Hell yeahs,” which are delivered smoothly, a few days ago. Few knew he was trying out the new material.
To replace his gymnast act, Rare has turned to comedy. He has recycled and street-performed many gags not heard since Henny Youngman.
Yesterday, Rare made his new name official, he told me.
He’s “Hell Yeah” now.
There are many ways to fool around with hell yeah and Berkeley Reporter will be doing his share of the fooling.
Hell yeah could be more popular than the Rare roar, which few students know, anyway.
In a guide to street celebrities, like the Bubble Lady and Stoney Burke, the Daily Californian, to its everlasting shame, called Rare, Roar, a few years ago.
Here’s the entire Rare routine—the call: “How do you like your meat?
It was “Rare!” then.
Now it’s Hell Yeah.
More Telegraph Ave Street Photography: