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

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.

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

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