Page 13


rode our first load into town Our freckled faces sparkled then like diamonds in the rough with smiles that smelled of snaggled teeth and good old Garrett snuff If I could I would be tradin’ this fat back for the lean When Jesus was our Savior and Cotton was our King. A run down of song titles will suggest Billy Joe’s country view. There is Good Christian Soldier, Jesus Christ What a Man, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, Bottom Dollar and Black Rose. Shaver’s music and lyrics dance close. They belong together. His album, produced by Kristofferson, is done with a minimum of cluttering noise and maximum non-electric sound. Prose description of new music is most often destructive, since it nails down a mind set. About all that should be said is that there is some guitar picking on Shaver’s songs that will convince you that country music coming out of Nashville still has an earthbound conscience and a gentle soul. It’s a guarantee that there’ll be some pure brain candy for you, just sitting back and listening to Billy Joe’s growling country voice describing the likes of Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me: He’s resined his riggin’ and laid back his wages He’s dead set on ridin’ the big rodeos. My woman’s tight with an overdue baby and Willy he’s yellin’ Hey Gypsy let’s go Willy you’re wild as a Texas blue norther Ready rolled from the same makins as me And I reckon we’ll ramble till hell freezes over Willy the wandering gypsy and me. THE ROLLING Stone reported last December that Kinky Friedman had “totaled his karma in L.A. and was writing songs on a ranch somewhere in Texas.” True. But his lyrics, which were too schitzy for Los Angeles three years ago now have found an audience in Nashville. Friedman is the Lenny Bruce of ethnic country poetry. His music wanders from the sardonic to the tragic and his metaphors jump cultural tracks, usually derailing listeners who can’t switch consciousness from head to goat roper to Jew to Jesus Freak. Some of Kinky’s more twisted country tunes are The Ballad of Charles Whitman \(“There was a rumor / about a tumor / nestled at the base of his brain/ . . . / but who are we to call Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed, Flying Down the Freeway and We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You. A sampling of the latter: Just my luck that God’s a Texan, One big sombitchin’ Anglo-Saxon, Some crazy kind of tall norouija board Just have my body shipped air freight From Texas to the pearly gate Just ring the bell and leave me at the door. I’ll be somewhere over Jordan swingin’ low I’ll hear them tape recorded angels in life-like stereo Singin’ We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You, Take your business back to Walgreens Have you tried your local zoo? Our quota’s filled for this year On singin’ Texas Jews, We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You. One has to be prepared to move from this frenetic kind of blue grass blasphemy to lilting ballads with names like Ride ‘Em Jewboy: Dead limbs play with ringless fingers the melody which burns you deep inside Oh, how the song becomes the singers May peace be ever with you as you ride. Ride, Ride ’em Jewboy Ride ’em all around the ol’ corral I’m, I’m with you, boy If I got to ride six million miles. Or this chorus from his Nashville Casuality and Life; Just a Nashville Casuality and Life It’s a riff that is hell to play You sings for your livin’ on the street And you sleeps in the back of some cafe And most of Music City never sees the world within the song Of a Nashville Casuality and Life Goes on. John’s here! Actually, John’s been here for quite a while, but in our customary Observer-esque fashion, we just haven’t gotten around to pointing it out to you readers until now. But since we have a hole of sufficient size this issue, we thought we’d tell you about the new associate editor. His name is John Ferguson and he’s from Houston, Portland, Ore., and Palo Alto, Calif. He is a graduate of Jesse Jones High School, where he won a Jesse Jones Scholarship, a National Merit Scholarship and went to Boys’ State. He then went to Reed College where he was a member of the infamous Reed College Bookstore Eight. He graduated from Stanford University in March this year. He then spent several months in Portland trying to be a creative writer and almost got a job as a telephone operator. He’s a groovy dresser, a baseball fan and a punster. He had been here for one full month before anyone asked him how he liked having two women as bosses. In another month, he will have thought up a snappy reply. October 20, 1972 17 ALAN POGUE Photographer of political events & pseudo events, of people in their natural surroundings , Rag office 478-0452 Austin. CLASSIFIED BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address: BOOKPLATES, P.O. Box 28-1, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. SAN ANTONIO CHAPTER OF ACLU annual cocktail party. Saturday, October 28th, 8 to 12, 3102 South Valley View Lane. All welcome. $2.50 donation. For further information call 826-3583. MARJORIE A. DELAFIELD TYPING SERVICE: Theses, dissertations, manuscripts, reports, etc. I.B.M. Selectric II typewriters, multili thing, mimeographing, addressing envelopes. Public Notary. 25 years experience. Call 442-7008, Austin. WE SELL THE BEST SOUND. Yamaha pianos, guitars; Moeck-Kung-Aulus recorders; harmonicas, kalimbas and other exotic instruments. Amster Music, 1624 Lavaca, Austin. 478-7331. THURSDAY DISCUSSION GROUP meets at noon weekly at the YMCA, 605 North Ervay in Dallas. No dues. Everyone welcome. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. Spanish Village, 802 Red River, second Monday of each month. From noon. All welcome. FAR OUT in the country Greenbriar School offers an alternative to public school for your child aged 5-17. Non-coercive, friendly atmosphere, open curriculum, dedicated staff. Non-boarding. 453-8939, 454-2293 in Austin. RAMSEY MUNIZ FOR GOVERNOR: Raza Unida Party campaign materials for sale. Box 271, Crystal City 78839. MAKE AMERICA HAPPEN AGAIN … McGOVERN button serially numbered: $3, 2/$5. Other items, 3/$1. Special photo button, $1. Mobile, $2. Proceeds to campaign. McGovern Committee, PO Box 472, Vermillion, SD 57069. CABLE REPORT. Cable television could be a spy in your bedroom. It may also allow you to shop from your living room. We are the only people reporting on the development of this industry from the citizen’s perspective. $7 per year. 192 North Clark Street, Room 607, Chicago, Illinois 60601. Two samples, $1. $1000 REWARD for return of tan-gray female deer-type Chihuahua. Lost between Villa Capri Motel and LBJ Library in Austin Sept. 4. No questions asked. 713/468-2236 or 465-1225.