When we opened up shop in The Harbor in Montauk, NY at the beginning of this summer, we gave little thought to what might stem of it. We knew it’d be a nice place to put together a magazine and have some of our goods available for purchase. What we didn’t know was that it would lead to an under-the-table working relationship with mayor-elect Cheech AKA Commander-in-Cheech, seeing artful wordsmith and owner of The Dock, George Watson, on a daily basis, and eating our weight in jalapeño poppers + any “buffalo”-sauced item on the specials menu at his restaurant week-in + week-out.
But we’re damn glad all of the aforementioned did happen, and subsequently, this enlightening interview that we were able to convince George to conduct with Cheech for our first ever Interview Issue.
George Watson: Where in the hell did you come from anyway?
Cheech: Jersey City.
GW: What were you doing in Jersey City?
C: I was working in Carlstadt fixing trucks.
GW: Can you settle a happy hour debate—were you born on Fisher’s Island or possibly hatched on Plum Island?
C: I was born on Fisher’s Island. Robbie Devlin says I was born on Plum Island, but they shipped me up to Fisher’s just to make it look good.
GW: When did you have your first beer?
C: I don’t recall…it was many beers ago.
GW: As a diabetic role model and picture of health, what are your secrets?
C: None. I’m very bad.
GW: Pretty women seem to drive you around a lot, have you ever parlayed any of those rides into a backseat romp?
GW: Have you tried?
C: No, these pretty women are friends.
GW: You went a little wild when you were younger in New Jersey and your appetite for pure cocaine is legendary, what’s the longest you ever went without sleep?
C: 10 days. That’s night and day, 24 hours.
GW: And you partied with Lawrence Taylor during that stretch?
C: Yes I did. And I beat him in a game of pool and it took him a year to buy me a beer…but I got it.
GW: What are your favorite things about Montauk?
C: The cold beer at The Dock.
GW: Who would win at an Indian Leg Wrestling Contest, you or Robbie Devlin?
C: Robbie Devlin.
GW: He’d beat you?
C: Oh yeah.
GW: How about Eileen?
C: She’d probably beat me too, I have a rotator cuff… it’s shot.
GW: Who, in Montauk, has the most potential to be the next Cheech? Dead Frank, BJ, Parker, Whitey…?
C: Probably BJ.
GW: And your look—the hat, the suspenders and now the glasses—seems to have fit into the fabric of The Harbor. Did you always dress like this, or in Jersey were you wearing Cavariccis, gold chains and leather jackets?
C: I always dressed like this, it’s Cheechwear, by Cheech. You can ask Dale.
GW: Speaking of Dale, is he all to blame for this?
C: Yes, he is.
GW: How come?
C: ‘Cause when he brought me out here probably 20-something years ago. I was supposed to work on his boat for a week. But I never left. You could say I’m still on vacation.
Cheech with be available “7 days a week for autographs” outside of the Dock this fall. You can get to know George Watson — and why there is a 97.98% chance that he doesn’t like you — by reading his Beginning of the End interview, or take a trip through time with this photo gallery of the legendary Dock Fights. Thanks Cheech, thanks George!