Not a Blog

R.I.P. Kinkster

July 1, 2024 at 10:11 am
Profile Pic

I was saddened to read that Kinky Friedman died a few days ago.

I first encountered his music back in the 70s, and always remained fond of it.   Kinky was one of the originals, one  of  the “Outlaw Country” movement that grew out of Austin, in reaction to the more traditional country music of Nashville.   Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, those were the outlaw kings back then.   Kinky was the court jester.    He was best known for his irreverent satirical pieces, like “The Ballad of Charles Whitman,” “Put Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed,”  “They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Any More,” and the like, which inevitably provoked screams of outrage from the humor impaired, but he also wrote more serious tunes, some of them really fine.   “Sold American,” “Silver Eagle” (a damn fine railroad song), “The Ballad of Ira Hayes,” and this one here, a personal favorite.

I saw Friedman perform live twice.   Once way back in the 70s when I was visiting Austin to hang with Howard Waldrop and Lisa Tuttle.  And more recently a few years ago in Albuquerque, when Parris and I joined John and Gail Miller to see him play at the Jewish Community Center.   Fun shows both times.

In between writing and singing songs, he also authored a number of detective novels set around a country bar in New York City.   The detective was the owner of the bar, a musician named… ah… Kinky Friedman.   Those were a lot of fun too.

Oh, and he ran for governor of Texas once, against Rick Perry.   A pity he didn’t win.   His campaign slogan was “How Hard Could It Be?”


Current Mood: sad sad