Archive for the ‘Kinky Friedman’ Category

Willie Nelson sings on new Kinky Friedman album, “Resurrection”

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

www.RollingStone.com
by: Jonathan Bernstein

This fall, Kinky Friedman will be releasing Resurrection, a new studio album of original songs produced by Larry Campbell. After all but retiring from songwriting for three-plus decades, Friedman’s latest album follows in the wake of last year’s Circus of Life, a meditative collection that rejuvenated the Texas singer-songwriter’s drive to make music in his eighth decade. “Circus of Life was more of an intellectual’s record,” Friedman tells Rolling Stone Country. “I mean, I hate intellectuals, but I am one, some of the time.” 

Unlike the sparse solo-acoustic Circus of Life, Kinky’s latest is a fully-arranged roots record that Campbell and Friedman made with Americana radio in mind. 

“I think a lot of people are going to hear this record, and that will make the Kinkster very happy, or, I should say, will make the Kinkster barely happy,” he says. “You can do something great, but just to get it played on the radio, well, that was Bob Dylan’s original goal, and I guess it’s mine as well. This is the best shot at that happening.”

The accompanying title track to Resurrection serves as a prime example of Friedman and Campbell’s goal to find a wider audience for the 74-year-old singer-songwriter. The song is a charging Texas-country number featuring Willie Nelson joining in halfway through the song to sing with his old friend Friedman:

“What’s in my heart is in my soul is in a day-old donut hole,” Friedman and Nelson sing in the spirited ode to late-in-life perseverance.

To promote the release of Resurrection, Friedman will be touring the United States throughout November, including a date in New York celebrating the legacy of the long-shuttered Lonestar Cafe, where Friedman used to play a weekly show in the Eighties. 

Resurrection will be released on October 15th. 

Willie Nelson: The Rolling Stone Interview, by Kinky Friedman (3/7/91)

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

It’s Not Supposed to be This Way
On the bus and behind the $16 million eight ball with Willie Nelson.
by Kinky Friedman
Rolling Stone Magazine
March 7, 1991

Willie Nelson, the cover boy for the National Inquirer? The story contends that Willie owes the IRS $16 million, that it has confiscated everything but the T-shirt off his back and that Willie is a despondent, broken man, who according to “friends,” has been thinking of taking his own life.

It’s a rainy January night in Austin, Texas, and Willie’s bus is parked near the set of Another Pair of Aces, a movie he’s starring in with Kris Kristofferson and Rip Torn. I climb aboard the bus, the Enquirer story still on my mind, and find Willie dressed in a flashy sport jacket, slacks, shiny new boots and big, black cowboy hat.

“I hope these are from wardrobe,” I say. Willie smiles, and nods.

“As you’ve probably noticed,” Willie says, “I’m homeless and penniless and now residing with Little Joe and his family in Temple, Texas. I’ve been callin’ around lookin’ for one of those suicide machines. I’ll go on national tv, hook myself up to that machine and tell everyone I have ’til seven o’clock to get $16 million. If I don’t get it, I’m pulling the plug. Just like that guy, Oral Roberts did. And he’s still around.”

“What’s it like to owe this money?” I ask.

“I started out thinking if I ever got $50,000 in debt, I’d be a pretty successful cowboy,” says Willie. “considering how far in debt I am now, I’m really cuttin’ a big hog in the ass.”

Willie wants it known that he is not a tax dodger. Since 1983 he has paid over $8 million in taxes, and his records are up-to-date and current. The problem, according to Willie, was listening to bad advice about a tax-shelter scheme. Willie, who has dedicated so much of his time and efforts to helping others, does not really want to accept Willie Aid. He suggests that if people want to help, they buy his forthcoming album. The IRS Tapes, which consists of unreleased material confiscated form his recording studio before it was locked up by the IRS. Willie has met with the IRS, and the people there seem to like the idea, too. This month Willie plans to go on the road again.

There is in Willie a spirit of calm, upbeat determination, in a situation many would regard as hopeless, tragic or impossible. He is a timeless spiritual hustler, Willie Nelson is chalking his cue.

‘According to the National Inquirer, I say, ‘you’re gonna have a hell of a time singing your way back from a debt that large.” Willie’s eyes shine.

“Watch me,” he says.

Both of us laugh. My thoughts wander back to an earlier time, five months and $16 million ago. . .

IT’S A BLOODY MARY MORNING, 4:45 a.m. I’m loitering in the parking lot of a convenience store on the outskirts of Tedious, Texas, watching a large Hispanic male projectile vomiting on the only pay phone in the place. Not an auspicious beginning. at five o’clock. I’m supposed to call Doug Holloway, my contact man. the mission: to travel across America on the bus with willie Nelson and attempt to ****, **** or cajole a hip, quirky profile that shows a side of the star to American has ever seen with the naked eye.

I make the call.

By dawn’s surly light I’m aboard Willie’s beautiful touring bus, the only other two occupants being Willie’s driver, Gates “Gator” Moore, and Ben Dorsey, who at sixty-five is said to be the world’s oldest roadie, having worked for every major country star in the firmament, including a long stint as John Wayne’s valet. I mention that being Willie’s valet must be easier since the only accouterments he employs are a pair of tennis shoes and a bandanna that has been carbon-dated and found to be slightly older than the shroud of Turin. Dorsey does not respond. The bus lurches onto the highway.

We stop to pick up Willie’s sister, Bobbie Nelson, keyboard player for the band. She is a charming and gracious lady, and she likes men who smoke cigars on buses. Bobbie has known Willie longer than anyone on the planet. “He was my little brother,” she says. “Now he’s my big brother.”

I think about my own relationship with Willie. He and I have been friends for along time, and one of the secrets of our enduring friendship is that we’ve usually stayed the hell away from each other. I do not want to trick the prey, but I do want to catch him. The situation is somewhat uncomfortable and reminds me of Oscar Wilde’s description of a fox hunt:Â ‘The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible.”

We pick up the man who was once Bobbie Nelson’s little brother in Abbott, Texas, the place where he was born and now lives with his new love, Annie, their two infant children and their two Mexican nannies, whose only word of English appears to be Weellie! I do not bring up Willie’s problems with the IRS, but Willie does. It seems Willie owes the IRS more millions than there are cross ties on the railroad or stars in the sky. Sister Bobbie is very concerned. “I don’t know what people with minds of machinery will do,” she says. “Willie’s worked so long an hard for this, and now he could lose everything.”

Willie himself does not say much about this possibility. The case is current, and he’s counter suing. There is a lot of money involved: Willie plays over 200 dates a year and earns roughly $50,000 per gig.

As the bus roars toward Texarkana on the way to Detroit, we talk about the situation. Willie, relaxed and philosophical, is not the kind of man who would be likely to jump out the window of his bus.

‘You’re a gypsy, Willie,” I say. “And a gypsy’s definition of a millionaire is not a man who has a million dollars, but a man who’s spent a million dollars.’

Willie laughs as we sit at the little table on the bus. His eyes look into me with all the even-mindedness of a mahatma.

“It’s like this,” Willie says. “I have the ability to make money. I have the ability to owe money. I have the ability to spend money. And I’m proud of it. I’m the perfect American.”

I ask Willie about the woman who’s garnered some press lately in the tabloids with a rather unusual story. She claims that on January 4, 1985, in the Biloxi, Mississippi, Hilton, she and Willie had sexual intercourse for nine consecutive hours and that he consummated the act with a backward somersault with the woman still attached. She’s now suing Willie for $50 million for breach of promise in refusing to marry her. At Willie’s Fourth of July picnic in Austin he told me that this was the only true story ever written about him. Now he seems to hedge a bit.

“I’m not saying it didn’t happen,’ he says. “It might’ve happened. but you would’ve thought I’d remember at least the first four or five hours.”

“What will you do,” I ask him, “if the case actually comes to court?”

Willie thinks for a moment, then smiles. “My ex-wife Shirley said she’d be glad to testify on my behalf,” he says.

The bus moves like a patient brush stroke across the sepia Arkansas twilight. inside, as peaceful as a sill-life painting, Willie sits across the little table, the conversation moving into the murky casino of world politics.

‘You’ve got to look for the good in everything,” says willie. ‘Iraq took the heat off Rosanne Barr and Neil bush.”

Willie has no great empathy for Neil bush, but he does feel something for Roseanne Barr. “I can sympathize with anyone who has to sing that song,’ he says.

Willie belongs to that small, close-knit fraternity — consisting primarily of Robert Goulet, Pia Zadora, Roseanne Barr and himself – – that has botched the singing of “The star-Spangled banner.” At the 1980 Democratic Convention, Willie accidentally blew the chorus, leaving out the entire portion beginning with “And the rocket’s red glare…” and ending the song quite a bit earlier than expected. Democrats, putting the best fact on it, maintained that Willie had deliberately deleted the violence form the song, the ‘bombs bursting in air,” et cetera. Republicans, not being so charitable, contended that Willie was bombed himself at the time. today Willie merely says: “The teleprompter wasn’t rolling at the same speed that I was.”

Around midnight a storm comes up, and we see lightning lashing the Nashville skyline almost as if God is smiting the philistines who never understood Willie Nelson. In the song ‘me and Paul,” Willie acknowledges that “Nashville was the roughest,” but tonight he seems to hold little rancor for the town that once drove him to lie down in the middle of snowy Broadway and wait for a truck to run him over.

“As they go,” I say, “that was a fairly ballsy suicide attempt.”

“At three o’clock in the morning in Nashville,” says Willie, “there’s not much traffic.”

As we roar through music city, it’s bright lights and dark shadows do not appear to evoke any bitter memories in Willie. Ben Dorsey, the world’s oldest roadie, has joined the conversation which now has turned to bandannas, john Wayne and the Trilateral commission. Willie is a believer in bandannas an the trilateral Commission, but he isn’t so sure about John Wayne.

“I’m a Gene Autry/Roy Rogers guy,” Willie says. “John Wayne couldn’t sing, and his horse was never smart.”

This kind of loose talk irks Dorsey, who, of course, was the Duke’s valet for many years before he worked for Willie. Dorsey staunchly defends Wayne and releases a new narrative about beautiful women, freight elevators, seven passenger roadsters and Tijuana, at the end of which Willie concedes to Dorsey that Wayne was indeed a great American. I inquire if it’s true, as Nashville’s famous Captain Midnight asserts, that Willie stole the idea of wearing the bandanna from Midnight and John Wayne. Willie contends that the bandanna and tennis shoes are not an affectation – they are the outfit he wore as a child, predating Wayne’s or Midnight’s use of the bandanna. Dorsey takes out a John Wayne book and authenticates that the Duke wore a bandanna in a movie in 1928, five years before Willie was born. The conversation has become metaphysical. “Do you ever think of being old?” I ask.

“I was old before it was fashionable,” Willie says.

We stop at a truck stop on the other side of Nashville to pick up guitar genius Grady Martin. Everyone gets off the bus to eat except Willie, who usually stays on, subsisting almost entirely on fried-egg sandwiches to go and bee pollen. In the early hours of the morning, during the long haul to Detroit, willie speaks forth on one of his favorite causes: the American farmer.

“Russia’s giving its land back to its farmers,” willies says, “and here we’re taking it away.” the Russians, apparently, have asked Willie to speak to the Russian farmers about trusting their governments, something the Russian people haven’t given serious thought to in over seventy years. “I don’t know how i can tell the Russians to trust their government,” he says, ‘when i don’t even trust my own.”

I try a few units of bee pollen myself. The conversation has somehow come back to the trilateral commission, which, Willie believes, controls the world. The notion is often a favorite of old right wingers, but looking at willie, one can’t help but see that the man has a far closer spiritual kinship to Che Guevara than to Robert Bork. As I move toward my book, Willie is contending that there are men more powerful than George Bush who are calling the shots. Willie’s driver, Gator, shouts back from the front of the bus: “Anybody who can get his old lady’s picture on a dollar bill is powerful enough for me.”

That night i have a vague, troubling dream of Barbara Bush having intercourse with George Washington and at the end, performing a backward somersault. I write it off to the bee pollen.

When I wake up it is morning, and we’re in Detroit. Everyone’s already checked into the hotel except Willie and myself. I pour some coffee and peek around the curtains to find that the bus is parked right next to a green lawn with a canopy and many nice, respectable-looking suburban couples having brunch. Willie pulls the curtain back ever so slightly and peers out at the scene like a storybook princess in a tower. He can never be one of these people, I realize; his gypsy lifestyle, his incredible celebrity, his standard wardrobe, all mitigate against it. But if he’s a prisoner, I figure I may as well interrogate.

“How many songs have you written” I ask him.

“About a thousand,” Willie says.

“How many kids do you have?”

“About a thousand.”

How many wives have you had?

“Four.”

“How many albums have you made?”

“Over a hundred.”

“How many cars have you wrecked?’

“Over a hundred.”

“Ever been really brokenhearted?”

“I’ve had a trail of broken hearts,” he says, “At the Hank Williams level.”

“Doesn’t part of you dream of being one of those people out there?” I ask a bit rhetorically. “Of having a little house with a white picket fence and polishing your car under an airport flight path?”

Wilie doesn’t answer the question directly. Maybe there is no direct answer. “I had to stop thinking that I had a home,” he says. “You’ve got to be able to move to the next big town without slashing your wrists.”

“At least it must be comforting,” I say, “to realize that your ex-wives and ex-girlfriends have to listen to your music in elevators and dentist waiting rooms.”

Willie laughs, “The one nice thing about all my marriages,” he says, “is that every time I start a new relationship, all my old lines are good again.”

“What effect does marijuana have on you?”

“It makes the questions further apart,” he says, “but my answers are still wise and heavy.’

i see that Willie is again toying, rather poignantly it seems, with the curtain at the window. “If you couldn’t sing or write or play the guitar,” I ask, “What do you think you would have been?”

Willie steals another shy glance at the nice people eating their mushroom quiches. “A lawyer slash pimp,” he says.

“I’m not sure that we really need the slash,” I say.

The show at the Michigan State Fair that night is so vibrant, spirited and full of energy one might not believe every member in the seven-piece band, except Mickey Raphael and bee Spears, is over fifty. Maybe they’re all on bee pollen. The large crowd, seemingly as diverse as America itself, is warm and enthusiastic toward Willie — almost as if he were a personal friend. There are surprisingly large numbers of blind people, adults and children in wheelchairs and one ambulance with the back doors open and a frail old lady lying inside. the next day I’m having a drink in the hotel bar with Larry trader, Willie’s old pal and promoter and the man who once helped my former band the Texas Jewboys, escape a redneck lynch mob in Nacogdoches, Texas. I mention to Trader about the wheelchairs, the blind people, the lady in the ambulance.

“I ain’t saying he’s a doctor,” Trader says. “I’m sayin’ he’s a healer through music.”

On the road to New York and Vermont, in Colombo-like fashion, I ask penetrating questions and occasionally get fairly wiggy answers that I write down in my special investigator’s notebook. At the Holiday Inn pool in Syracuse, New York, I ask Mickey Raphael, Willie’s harmonica player, how it feels to be the only person of the Jewish persuasion in Willie’s outfit.

“Fine,” says Raphael, “but playing harp with willie, manipulating the media and controlling world banking is really wearing me out.”

Backstage, I talk to Paul English, Willie’s drummer, after the show at the New York State Fair. i ask him what he thinks of the woman who claims she had a “nine-hour nonstop loveathon with the redheaded stranger.” “Well,” says English, “at least she got her $50 million worth.”

Willie’s daughter Lana also has a comment about the rather unusual, not to say sordid, affair. “If Mama were alive right now,” says Lana, ‘I know she’d be wondering what ever happened to her other eight and a half hours.”

On the large patio of a Vermont luxury hotel with a vaguely mental-hospital ambiance, Jody Payne, Willie’s guitar player, is telling me how he first met Willie. It was 1962, and Willie had sat in for a few songs at the west Fort Tavern, in Detroit, where Payne was working. Willie sang “Half a Man,’ and the brilliance of the song completely blew Payne away. Then the owner of the bar came over to Payne and said: ‘Don’t let him sing anymore. He’s the worst singer I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Willie was playing bass for Ray Price at the time. “It took Ray almost six months to realize Willie couldn’t play bass,” says Payne. “It took us about five minutes.”

After the show at the Champlain valley fair, in Vermont, the bus appears to be surrounded by farmers, Hell’s Angels and American Indians. Willie is taking a break before going out to sign autographs when he suddenly realizes that he is sitting at the table with his longtime manager Mark Rothbaum and Mickey Raphael. Seeing the creative opportunities of the moment, Willie works on a spontaneous improvisation on his song “Why Do I Have to Choose?” He opens his palms in a somewhat Christ-like manner toward Rothbaum and Raphael. Willie sings: “Why Do I Have Two Jews?”

When Willie goes outside again to meet his fans, I take the chance to wander around the backstage area at the fairgrounds. L.G., a Hell’s Angel in good standing, is coordinating events with various members of the crew. Gator is organizing routes with the drivers of the three other buses in the entourage, one of which belongs to Shelby Lynne, a young female singer who’s opening for Willie and who ha one of the most undercaffeinated voices I’ve ever heard this side of Janis Joplin. Poodie, who first met Willie on the gangplank of Noah’s ark, is overseeing the removal of tons of equipment from the stage. Wille’s family is packing up to go back on the road. They’re a ragged, eccentric, efficient crew, who look for all the word like a band of gypsies who’ve broken into a Rolex distributorship.

As the fairgrounds empty, i am left with afterimages. I remember walking far into the crowd as Willie sang “Georgia on My Mind,” evoking the spirits of Hoagy Carmichael’s and Richard Manuel. I remember every person in the back of the huge fairgrounds seemingly listening to every word and every note. “Angle Flying Too Close to the Ground.” the metal spokes of the wheelchairs. The pulsating neon spokes of the giant Ferris wheel in the nearby field, a world away. childhood is close by, but you can’t quite touch it. “Blue Eyes Crying’ in the Rain.” Sister Bobbie playing “Down yonder” in a style that seems to bravely flutter like a balloon escaping to some beautiful place between a little country church and an old New Orleans whorehouse. “Just another scene from the world of broken dreams/The night life ain’t no good life, but it’s my life.”

I remember walking along the back of the fairgrounds listening to Willie sing, standing in the throng, thinking the thoughts of a lifetime. ‘You Were Always on My Mind.” Willie’s voice is not what is traditionally considered a good voice, but it is a great voice and one that is capable of making you cry and comforting you at the same time. It does both to me. I feel a palpable sense of history passing, ephemeral as the dopplered voices on a midway ride, and yet, I know something will stay.

earlier, backstage, willie looked out at the crowd. “That’s where the real show is,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of those people are not with their true first choice.” Willie smiled. Then he added, almost to himself: “That’s why they play the jukebox.”

As we slowly pull out of the fairgrounds, the curtain is open a bit and Willie is looking out the window of the bus. Standing behind him, I catch the face of a young girl who suddenly sees him. Her face reflects first disbelief, then a sort of gentle reverence, then the absolute innocence of wonder. Bobbie Nelson’s little brother smiles at the girl. the scenery changes. I. go back to my notebook, and I realise that there are some things Willie Nelson has tha the IRS can never take away.

Kinky Friedman’s Song to Willie “Autographs in the Rain”

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

www.WideOpenCountry.com
by:  Bobby Moore

Secondly, we offer a brief excerpt from a in-person chat with Friedman, during which he opened up about how Willie Nelson and Andy Griffith played a direct role in the creation of Circus of Life and how an earlier album reached the ears of Mandela.

Wide Open Country:   The story’s out there that Willie Nelson called you up and encouraged you to write new songs. Is that sort of his method—calling up songwriters he knows and respects and lighting a fire under them?

Friedman: Well, from a man of Willie’s age, it kind of makes you angry when you get older. I’m already there at 73, though I read at the 75-year-old level. I find it irritating to see young people run around and do everything they’re doing. With that as a backdrop, Willie shouldn’t really care about anybody and inspiring younger people. But he’s been my shrink, kind of, over the years. He’s never told me no—only one time. He’s done a million things, and I can’t think of one I’ve done for him, really, so I did this song “Autographs in the Rain.”

Anyway, so Willie calls at 3 o’ clock in the morning, and I’m watching Matlock. This is all true stuff. He’s in Hawaii. He asks me what I’m doing, and I say, ‘I’m watching Matlock.’” Willie says, ‘That’s a sure sign of depression. Turn Matlock off, Kinky, and start writing.’ I hadn’t written (songs) in 35 years or 40 years. So, I got inspired, I kind of started writing songs again. I wrote a dozen in about a month. That’s called the Matlock Collection. Those are the ones that are on the record Circus of Life.

You can argue about it, but when you hear these and you have a chance to think about them, they are country but they’re country Leonard Cohen with a little Kris Kristofferson thrown in, back when he was the most talented janitor in Nashville.

Read entire article here:

Premiere: Kinky Friedman Talks Willie Nelson and Nelson Mandela, Unveils ‘Spitfire’

“Everything’s Bigger in Texas: The Life and Times of Kinky Friedman” by Mary Lou Sullivan

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

“It’s not the pot of gold that matters, it’s the rainbow.” — Kinky Friedman

Read entire article here.

www.sandiegouniontribune.com
by:  George Varga

Never tell author, singer-songwriter and former Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman you’re sorry for being late. Not even if you’re calling him a full day after a scheduled phone interview.

“Don’t apologize! That’s for Catholics and Democrats!” quipped Friedman, whose several dozen books include “Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola” and “Kill Two Birds & Get Stoned: A Novel.”

More examples of his brashness — and his remarkably colorful life — are highlighted in the new book “Everything’s Bigger in Texas: The Life and Times of Kinky Friedman” by Mary Lou Sullivan.

The 332-page biography includes a two-page foreword by Friedman, who writes: “I have no regrets about what I told Mary Lou or what she may have written. Like I say, there’s a fine line between fiction and nonfiction and I believe Jimmy Buffet and I snorted it in 1976.”

Here are edited excerpts of our interview with Friedman, whose songs were recorded by Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakam and other admirers on the 1999 tribute album, “Pearls in the Snow.”

Question: Is happiness good or bad for a songwriter — or any writer, for that matter?

Answer: I think that if you’re happy and well-adjusted, you can forget it. You have to be miserable to write a good song. I’m kind of at a point of happiness right now, but I don’t want it to influence me too much. I really don’t want to be happy — and I’m a little too happy right now.

Q: You’ve had success in your life and you’ve had failure. Which has been a bigger impetus?

A: Well, my shrink, Willie (Nelson), says if you fail at something long enough, you become a legend. I like that one; that’s pretty accurate. … Unbounded success is much harder to deal with than failure. Failure is easy and anybody can deal with that. But success — I’ve noticed with the success I’ve had — is a harder thing to work with.

Read entire article here.

Willie Nelson sings Kinky Friedman

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

“Pearls in the Snow” — songs of Kinky Friedman

“The wickedly irreverent songs of Kinky Friedman are given the all-star treatment on the wonderful Pearls in the Snow, a tribute that with any luck will propel the Kinkster to the wider following his music has always deserved. Outside of fascinating performances from the likes of Willie Nelson (“Ride ‘Em, Jewboy”), Lyle Lovett (“Sold American”) and Tom Waits (“Highway Cafe”), the collection also includes a reunion of Friedman’s band the Texas Jewboys, making it even more of a must-have for fans.”

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:43
2 3:46
3 5:12
4 3:17
5 2:36
6 2:49
7 3:31
8 4:39
9 2:43
10 2:31
11 3:13
12 3:54
13 3:56
14 4:29
15 3:53
16 5:16
17
2:10

Willie Nelson and Kinky Friedman, “Bloody Mary Morning”

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

www.mprnews.com

Today’s Morning Edition music is from Kinky Friedman and Willie Nelson with a new take on a song Nelson wrote and recorded in the 1970s, “Bloody Mary Morning.”

It’s a track on Kinky Friedman’s latest album “The Loneliest Man I Ever Met.”

He will be performing Wednesday night at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

In addition to his career in music, Friedman is a prolific novelist and occasional politician. In 2006, he ran for governor of Texas as an independent and got over half a million votes in an election that was won by current Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

LISTEN HERE

Kinky Friedman and Willie Nelson, “Bloody Mary Morning”

Monday, January 16th, 2017
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My Willie, by Kinky Friedman

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Backstage at any show has its similarities, whether it’s Broadway or the circus or the meanest little honky-tonk in Nacogdoches — the palpable sense of people out there somewhere in the darkness waiting for your performance, or being able to pull a curtain back slightly and experience the actual sight of the audience sitting there waiting to be entertained by someone who, in this case, happens to be you.  Standing alone in the spotlight, up on the high wire without a net, is something Willie Nelson has had to deal with for most of his adult life.

One night at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, I was standing backstage in the near darkness when a voice right behind me almost caused me to drop my cigar into my Dr. Pepper.  It was Willie, “Let me show you something,” he said, and he pulled a curtain back, revealing a cranked-up crowd beginning to get drunk, beginning to grow restless, and packed in tighter than smoked oysters in Hong Kong.  Viewed from our hidden angle, they were a strangely intimidating sight, yet Willie took them in almost like a walk in the trailer park.

“That’s where the real show is,” he said.

“If that’s where the real show is,” I said, “I want my money back.”

“Do you realize,” Willie continued in a soft, soothing, serious voice, “That ninety-nine percent of those people are not with their true first choice?”

“Do you realize,” I said, “that you and I aren’t with our true first choice either?  I mean, a latent homosexual relationship is a nice thing to have going for us, but sooner or later…”

Willie wasn’t listening to my cocktail chatter.  He looked out at the crowd for a moment or two longer and then let the curtain drop from his hand, sending us back into twilight.  “That’s why they play the jukebox,” he said.

Kinky Friedman
September 1997

Kinky Friedman birthday concert, cd release party and Willie Nelson guitar Auction in Forth Worth (Dec. 10)

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015
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“My good friend Willie Nelson signed this guitar to auction off at my big Bash in Ft. Worth! It could be yours…All you have to do is come to the show, and bid! Tickets start at only $35!

And, there will be a special performance by a Grammy winning Legend, that will blow you away!” — Kinky Friedman

Get your tickets HERE: https://kinkyfriedmancdbash.eventbrite.com/

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Kinky Friedman and Dee Boutilier Sulenski

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

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Thanks  Dee, of Virginia, for sharing her picture of and her and Kinky Friedman, taken at  Kinky’s show.

Kinky is promoting a new album, “The Lonliest Man” too, which includes a duet with Willie Nelson.

kinky-friedman-the-lonliest-man-i-ever-met

www.rollingstone.com
by:  Chris Parton

At 70 years old, Kinky Friedman — Jewish cowboy, former Texas gubernatorial candidate, cultural satirist, author, singer-songwriter and campaigner against the scourge of political correctness — has recorded his first studio album in nearly 40 years.

Called The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, the project arrives October 2nd and finds Friedman applying his scathing sense of humor and love of traditional country to some of his favorite cover songs, as well as a few never-heard-before originals. One of the standouts is a duet with Willie Nelson on Nelson’s quirky 1974 breakup tune “Bloody Mary Morning.” Hear the exclusive premiere below.

“You hang on for dear life when you’re working with Willie,” Friedman tellsRolling Stone Country. “I just remember getting so high I needed a step ladder to scratch my ass. I don’t smoke pot really, but I will with Willie just as a matter of Texas etiquette.

“Some of Willie’s picking on this thing is just terrific, and talk about stripped-down,” he continues. “This is just Willie playing on [his famous Martin guitar] Trigger, his sister Bobbie playing baby grand piano and Kevin Smith, Willie’s bass player, on stand-up bass.”

Nelson and Friedman trade mellow lines about leaving L.A. in a funk, while a loose, improvised guitar solo fills out the song. Friedman says his collaborator’s unique style influenced the whole album.

“Willie breaks every rule, he bucks every trend, and I kept thinking [of] Red Headed Stranger when we did this record,” says Friedman. “I wanted it stripped down to the soul, because I think with music, as in literature, nothing is really worth a damn except what’s written between the lines.”

Listen to song here

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To find out about his tour, and his music:
www.kinkyfriedman.com

 

Willie Nelson and Kinky Friedman, “Bloody Mary Morning”

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Kinky Friedman duet on Friedman’s upcoming new album. photo:  Gary Miller

www.rollingstone.com
by:  Chris Parton

At 70 years old, Kinky Friedman — Jewish cowboy, former Texas gubernatorial candidate, cultural satirist, author, singer-songwriter and campaigner against the scourge of political correctness — has recorded his first studio album in nearly 40 years.

Called The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, the project arrives October 2nd and finds Friedman applying his scathing sense of humor and love of traditional country to some of his favorite cover songs, as well as a few never-heard-before originals. One of the standouts is a duet with Willie Nelson on Nelson’s quirky 1974 breakup tune “Bloody Mary Morning.” Hear the exclusive premiere below.

“You hang on for dear life when you’re working with Willie,” Friedman tells Rolling Stone Country. “I just remember getting so high I needed a step ladder to scratch my ass. I don’t smoke pot really, but I will with Willie just as a matter of Texas etiquette.

“Some of Willie’s picking on this thing is just terrific, and talk about stripped-down,” he continues. “This is just Willie playing on [his famous Martin guitar] Trigger, his sister Bobbie playing baby grand piano and Kevin Smith, Willie’s bass player, on stand-up bass.”

Nelson and Friedman trade mellow lines about leaving L.A. in a funk, while a loose, improvised guitar solo fills out the song. Friedman says his collaborator’s unique style influenced the whole album.

“Willie breaks every rule, he bucks every trend, and I kept thinking [of] Red Headed Stranger when we did this record,” says Friedman. “I wanted it stripped down to the soul, because I think with music, as in literature, nothing is really worth a damn except what’s written between the lines.”

Friedman has a long history of pushing people’s buttons, making his name off of songs like “Asshole From El Paso” (a parody of  Merle Haggard te to victims of the Holocaust that Friedman says inspired Nelson Mandela while he was in prison.

On The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, he continues the trend of doing whatever the hell he wants, choosing covers from a wide swath of roots music like Haggard’s “Hungry Eyes,” Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country” and Tom Waits’ “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis.” Warren Zevon’s”My Shit’s Fucked Up,” written after Zevon found out he was dying from cancer, is a particular favorite of Friedman’s.

“It’s a song that starts funny and ends tragic, and I think that song is not just a description of one guy dying of cancer, but of the whole condition of the world today,” he says. “I mean, ‘My Shit’s Fucked Up’ describes it about as well as anything.”

Friedman will embark on an ambitious tour in support of the new album, visiting 36 cities in one run starting October 9th in Ashland, Virginia, and plans to release his 20th mystery novel, The Hardboiled Computer, sometime in the next year.

Listen to song here

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New Kinky Friedman album available, “Loneliest Man I Ever Met”

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

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Order your copy here

Howdy Folks,

Something truly Kinky this way comes, y’all. I’ve got a brand new cd, my first all new in-studio album in forty years, and now you can help the Kinkster take it to mankind (yes, the world).

Gather around the spiritual campfire with me by ordering it over at my new PledgeMusic pre-order page. Yes, I have finally succumbed to the twenty-first century and have a PledgeMusic page, and on this page you can order the album on cd or download, and you might want to pick up one or two of several other items of Kinky memorabilia (books, albums, t-shirts) while you’re there.

And if you want to be on the inner campfire circle, there are also KF cigars, special ‘meet and greets’ on the upcoming Loneliest Man I Ever Met Tour, and super special weekends with me at the ranch, all on this page .  It’s campfire time at the old Echo Hill Ranch.

Gather ‘round, people. Gather ‘round.

The Kinkster

“My Willie” — Kinky Friedman

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Backstage at any show has its similarities, whether it’s Broadway or the circus or the meanest little honky-tonk in Nacogdoches — the palpable sense of people out there somewhere in the darkness waiting for your performance, or being able to pull a curtain back slightly and experience the actual sight of the audience sitting there waiting to be entertained by someone who, in this case, happens to be you. Standing alone in the spotlight, up on the high wire without a net, is something Willie Nelson has had to deal with for most of his adult life.

One night at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, I was standing backstage in the near darkness when a voice right behind me almost caused me to drop my cigar into my Dr. Pepper. It was Willie, “Let me show you something,” he said, and he pulled a curtain back, revealing a cranked-up crowd beginning to get drunk, beginning to grow restless, and packed in tighter than smoked oysters in Hong Kong. Viewed from our hidden angle, they were a strangely intimidating sight, yet Willie took them in almost like a walk in the trailer park.

“That’s where the real show is,” he said.

“If that’s where the real show is,” I said, “I want my money back.”

“Do you realize,” Willie continued in a soft, soothing, serious voice, “That ninety-nine percent of those people are not with their true first choice?”

“Do you realize,” I said, “that you and I aren’t with our true first choice either?  I mean, a latent homosexual relationship is a nice thing to have going for us, but sooner or later…”

Willie wasn’t listening to my cocktail chatter.  He looked out at the crowd for a moment or two longer and then let the curtain drop from his hand, sending us back into twilight. “That’s why they play the jukebox,” he said.

Kinky Friedman
September 1997
Texas Monthly

Kinky Friedman wants to stay connected

Monday, July 13th, 2015

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“Buckaroos and buckarettes, the Kinkster needs you, and he needs you now!
Somewhere in between recent campaigns and web hosting changes, I have lost my friends. No, the Kinkster never misplaces a friend, but he has lost everyone’s email addresses. Everyone’s! And just at a time, when I really need them.
With my first new studio album (The Loneliest Man I Ever Met) in forty years(!) hitting on October 2nd and a major league tour starting October 9th to support it, opportunities abound for getting up close and personal with the Governor Of The Heart Of Texas and maybe even getting up on stage with the Texas Jewboy at one of my performances! Meets and greets everywhere, celeb drive-bys, cool product. Lots of stuff is about to happen, including special weekend camp outs at Echo Hill with me and the Friedmans!
“Help the Kinkster out! I will need your help to make it all work, but I will reward you handsomely with an amazing new cd and even more amazing re-imaginations after that. That’s a Kinky swear promise.
“Get in touch or get back in touch! Please do it pronto! Join me around the spiritual campfire.
Thank you very much!”
— Kinky Friedman
Please see what you can do to help Kinky maintain his footing in the 21st century!
kinkytour

http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/events/

Monday, June 9th, 2014

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