'Scuse Me while I Whip This Out: Reflections on Country Singers, Presidents, and Other Troublemakers by Kinky Friedman | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
'Scuse Me while I Whip This Out: Reflections on Country Singers, Presidents, and Other Troublemakers

'Scuse Me while I Whip This Out: Reflections on Country Singers, Presidents, and Other Troublemakers

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by Kinky Friedman
     
 

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Kinky Friedman is back, and with 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out he gets it on with all manner of egos. In this collection of twisted takes on life, the Kinkster gives us funny, irreverent, and insightful looks at outsized personalities from people he's known, like Bill Clinton, George W., Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan — not to mention Joseph Heller and

Overview

Kinky Friedman is back, and with 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out he gets it on with all manner of egos. In this collection of twisted takes on life, the Kinkster gives us funny, irreverent, and insightful looks at outsized personalities from people he's known, like Bill Clinton, George W., Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan — not to mention Joseph Heller and Don Imus — to people he's known in spirit, such as Moses, Jesus, Jack Ruby, and Hank Williams. With his meditations on subjects ranging from sleeping at the White House, marriage, his pets, fishing in Borneo, country music, and cigars to the tribulations of possessing talent, Kinky doesn't deny us the "flashes of brilliance and laugh-out-loud observations" (Rocky Mountain News) that are present in all his other work.

Hilarious, irreverent, and passionately twisted, 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out reads as if it were written by a slightly ill modern-day Mark Twain.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060539764
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/04/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.47(d)

Read an Excerpt

'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out

Reflections on Country Singers, Presidents, and Other Troublemakers
By Kinky Friedman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Kinky Friedman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060539763

Chapter One

Outlaws

The life of a country singer can at times be very tedious. You have to pretend that your life is a financial pleasure even when your autographs are bouncing. You often fall prey to the serious songwriters' self-pity syndrome. You begin to believe that all dentists and married couples are happier than you are. Many's the night you feel lonely, empty, homesick for heaven. Everybody you know thinks you've got it made and suddenly you find you're a jet-set gypsy cryin' on the shoulder of the highway. Believe me when I tell you, it's lonely in the middle.

But long before the Outlaw Movement, as we now call it, came along in the 1970s, there were great voices in country music who never fit in wherever they were. Their spirits and songs somehow survived that all-pervasive white noise called the Nashville Sound even before it had a name. I shivered for Jimmie Rodgers, the Singin' Brakeman, standing in the rain waiting for fast freights and faithless women who never came, who finally sang the TB blues, dying out like a train whistle in the night, the lantern still swinging in his hand. And Hank Williams, skinny, hungry, spiritually horny, for whom all the world was a stage. Shakespeare of the sequined summer stock. Hank died when he was twenty-nine years old--perfect timing for a country music legend, dreaming his last backseat dreams in the backseat of that shimmering, earthbound Cadillac, on his way to a show in Canton, Ohio, he would never get to play. Some people will do anything to get out of a gig in Canton, Ohio.

Now where was I before I started hearing voices in my head? Oh, yeah. It was Nashville in the early seventies. Most of the songs sounded alike, most of the singers looked alike, and most of the songwriters thought alike if they thought at all. Sound familiar? Well, that was the problem for one songwriter and pig farmer named Willie Nelson who left Music City for Texas in a daring journey some modern biblical scholars now refer to as the Exodus. He wanted to make his own music his own way and not be a slave to the record company or the powers that be. Willie was soon to lead a band of long-haired hippie cowboys farther into musical history than anyone imagined. Today he modestly says: "I just found a parade and jumped in front of it."

Waylon Jennings at the same time was fighting the same battle in Nashville. Like all of us, he struggled with his own demons as he struggled against the musical establishment. One of my first memories of Waylon was one day as I was walking up an alley behind Music Row, and he drove up in a big Cadillac and a cloud of dust. He pulled up beside me and lowered the window and I swear he looked part devil and part smilin' mighty Jesus. On that day he gave me some words to live by that I have never forgotten. He said: "Get in, Kink. Walkin's bad for your image."

Tompall Glaser of the Glaser Brothers was the first successful Nashville cat to open up his studio to many of us with weird songs, ideas, and hours. That was where I first met Captain Midnite, the most-often-fired disc jockey in Nashville, and a man whom, I believe, was one of the major spiritual linchpins of the whole Outlaw Movement. Midnite once stayed up for six days, told me it felt like a week, and then gave me his most cherished possession, his cowboy hat. I wore it for a while until Tompall violently yanked it from my head during a rather intense pinball game, proceeded to wear it for a while, and then gave it to Waylon.

Soon everyone was wearing hats, swapping hats, and swapping song lyrics in a spirit that hadn't been seen since God had created Nashville. Tompall claims that that pinball moment when he grabbed my hat and put it on his head without even tilting was the moment the Outlaw Movement spiritually began. Bill Monroe and Ernest Tubb, of course, he noted respectfully, had always worn hats.

Billy Joe Shaver probably was the purest, most Che Guevara-like spirit of the whole gang. In 1973 Waylon Jennings recorded an album made up almost entirely of Billy Joe Shaver songs. It was called Honky Tonk Heroes and it remains the very best the times had to offer.

Wanted: The Outlaws. They're wanted, all right. Today I only listen to country music on the radio at gunpoint. It seems to me to be a virtual wasteland populated by hat acts, soundalikes, and anti-Hanks. When the Outlaws were on the loose, songs were written in blood, sung by people who'd loved and cried them, lived and died them. Some of us were crucified on crosses of vinyl. Some were stoned for their ideas; stoned for their hairy, scary, soon to be legendary lifestyles; or just plain stoned. Billy Joe Shaver wrote "Honky Tonk Heroes" and we were. Lee Clayton wrote "Ladies Love Outlaws" and they did. Willie had been wandering like a modern-day Moses in the Texas desert. Waylon had been a rebel without a clause in his recording contract to say and sing what he believed. And in Austin, Jerry Jeff Walker had just thrown his new color TV into his swimming pool. As for myself, I think I was always leaving my soul at the dry cleaners in the last town we played.

Did the Outlaws, as they wandered through the raw poetry of time, leave any dusty dream trails for today's country artists to follow? The answer is yes and the answer is no. The only thing we can be sure of is that today's artists may for now be on the charts, but the Outlaws will always be in our hearts.

Continues...


Excerpted from 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out by Kinky Friedman Copyright © 2005 by Kinky Friedman.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Kinky Friedman is an author, musician, defender of strays, cigar smoker, and the governor of the heart of Texas.

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