Matthew McCoughney Recounts The Night That He Was Arrested While Playing The Bongos Naked

Matthew McConaughey’s memoir, Greenlights, was published today, In it, he writes about his dad dying while having sex with his mom, turning down $14.5 million for a romantic comedy, and floating down the Amazon River because he was feeling “guilt-ridden over sins of my past, lonely, and disgusted with the company I was keeping, my own.” Greenlights is a must-have for the chest-thumping, Ladies of Tampa-loving, guy-losing McConaughey fan in your life, although I’d go a step further. The chapter where the Oscar-winning actor sets the record straight about his run-in with the cops while he was playing the bongos naked should be required reading for every American.

McConaughey was arrested “on suspicion of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting transportation” on October 25, 1999, after police in Austin, Texas, found him “dancing naked and playing the bongo drums” in his own home, the Associated Press reported at the time. (I had yet to see a movie with McConaughey in it, but even I remember hearing about this story at middle school.) As McConaughey tells it in his book: “[I] just wanted to smoke a bowl and listen to the beautiful African melodic beats of Henri Dikongué play through my home speakers… It was time for a jam session. What I didn’t know was that while I was banging away in my bliss, two Austin policemen also thought it was time to barge into my house unannounced, wrestle me to the ground with nightsticks, handcuff me, and pin me to the floor.”

He describes the moment the police told him he was “under arrest for disturbing the peace, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest” to which McConaughey responded, “Fuck you, motherfucker! You broke in my house! Fuck, yeah, I resisted!” He refused to cover himself as a way to prove that he was minding his own business. “Before I’d taken three steps up the wall, the Cornhusker body-slammed me back down onto the brick footpath,” he recalls, adding that while being arrested, he saw “six lit-up cop cars and about 40 of my neighbors.”

Within two days of his arrest (he paid a $50 fine), McConaughey saw “BONGO NAKED” shirts all over Austin. As a current resident of Austin, I have one thing to say: I’ll take six of those shirts.

(Via the Hollywood Reporter)