Two Dates and a Dash

Click here for audio version   Source: Two Dates and a Dash Podcast
  • Mar 28th 2021

Two Dates and a Dash Podcast Episode 104: Philadelphia Rock and Roll Legend, Nick Lightning

Nick Lightning, also known by his given name Nick Fergus, is a 44-year-old Autistic man who lives the life of a real-life rock star. For the last 28 years, Nick has been transforming himself into his alter-ego, Nick Lightning, entertaining audiences big and small all around the globe (in all honesty, it is just the Roxborough section of Philadelphia) with his one-of-a-kind air guitar/keyboard/drums/lip syncing shows. Nick embodies the words JOY and Gratitude. He lives in a world that few of us ever get a chance to visit, let alone call our home. He honestly believes that he has toured the world as Nick Lightning. He can rattle off his most memorable shows in Hawaii, Japan and many other amazing cities where he, in his mind, lit the stage on fire (sometimes literally). The story of Nick Fergus is a heartwarming tale about a man who was born with a disability that doctors could not define until he was officially diagnosed with Autism at age 44. Born into a blue-collar town in Philadelphia to a family with loving parents and a highly intelligent older sister, Nick was forced to adapt in a mainstream environment. His parents were left without answers, other than a generic ADD diagnosis combined with a learning disability. Life was hard and depressing for Nick from a young age, as he was an easy target for bullies, both in his neighborhood and in the special schools he attended. He needed an outlet, something to help him escape from the hardships of being ridiculed and not fitting in. He chose music and he dove in headfirst. Not only did he watch MTV and listen to music constantly, but he soaked it up like a sponge. He is a breathing music encyclopedia and someone who can "name that tune" and the artist after hearing just a few seconds of any rock song. As if this were not enough to keep him occupied, he then decided to become a rock star just like those he idolized. It did not matter what anyone thought or what musical talent he possessed; he created the alter ego of Nick Lightning when he was 15 yrs old. He has never looked back since, hosting free shows open to the public at local recreation centers, in which he is a one-man crew and performer. While he never did have musical talent and was unable to learn such over the years, he performed with passion, energy and enthusiasm. While Nick Fergus can be hurt by cruelty, Nick Lightning is impervious to the bullies and naysayers. Outside of his music, Nick is a productive member of society who has held basic jobs since he was old enough to do so. He also volunteered his time at the local recreation centers and playgrounds in his neighborhood, doing anything that was asked of him. He loves people and living in the moment. He treats every day as a miracle and a blessing...each day is the best day ever through the eyes of Nick. Be on the lookout for a documentary being filmed about him too, aptly titled “Nick Lightning”. And if the stars align, Nick Lightning might get the chance play on the biggest stage in the world, Hollywood. That would be the greatest ending to an amazing Rock and Roll Career! For more information you can follow Nick on Facebook @ Nick Lightining.