“Whatever happened to him? I only remember a few things about him.
1) He was a nice guy but the messiest person I had ever met. Your dorm room was quite memorable in that regard.
2) He had a girlfriend who provided me with an indelible image and an expression I occasionally use to this day.
On point number two, I happened to be in your room when the girlfriend showed up to spend the weekend. As you and I talked, she matter-of-factly opened up a satchel and began pulling out a variety of birth control devices, slinky nightgowns, sex toys, and other apparatus whose purpose was unknown to me. She methodically proceeded to lay all the material out on Renny's rumpled, stained bed. As she saw me standing there, mouth probably agape, she smiled and explained simply, "It's my Instant-Action Hit Kit." As I say, the concept of an "Instant-Action Hit Kit" has stayed with me for almost four decades, although I have used the term in quite different situations. Renny, I'm sure, would be proud.”The two funniest stories that I remember about Renny concern he and a friend named Frank who went to the Berkley School of Music. Frank, like Renny, was a great guy, but unlike Renny just leaving the room a mess, Frank seldom bathed. He would visit with Renny and sit/lie on my bed and oh my god when I got back did it stink. I came home one afternoon and the two were busily writing music. “Whatcha doing?” I asked. “We decided we’d be the next Beatles. We know all their songs and since they just broke up, we will step right in. See, Bud, we will take off where The Beatles left off.” Oh. Simple enough. How does one respond to that? “I’ve seen all of Monet’s paintings, so now I’ll paint like him. We will all be rich!”
One night a few months later I came home to the two of the lying on the floor listening to “Tommy” the rock opera by The Who. “Watcha doing?” I asked. “We’re really blasted and we are writing an animated version of Tommy! Oh Frank, I see a blue sky and a rainbow…”
Even though I told Michael J. that I spoke to Renny a few years ago, I couldn’t remember what he was doing. I googled him today and found out he has a music gig coming up (where the picture above is from) and he has produced shows for the Food Network and is credited with a lot of music. No, he ain’t the Beatles, but it seems he’s doing well.