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Sitting around the old campfire with Kinky? 2015.09.30

on . Posted in Nowhere Road

 By RICH FOLEY

Taking a short break from his life as a novelist, cigar maker, tequila baron and sometimes politician, Kinky Friedman is returning to his musical roots and releasing his first studio album in over 30 years. “The Loneliest Man I Ever Met” is set for release on Friday.

It wasn’t a big surprise that Kinky returned to the recording studio. Some of the people running for President this time around almost make him look boring in comparison. He might as well take a pass on 2016 and see if he can shake up the music business one more time. I can’t wait to hear “Christmas Card from a Hooker,” one of the songs on the new CD. 

I heard the big album news from Little Jewford, one of Kinky’s original Texas Jewboys. Jewford, keyboard ace for the band, is the only one of the original group playing on the new album. He’s still in the music business and his activities include a regular weekend gig in Galveston.

In the last year, I’ve become acquainted with Jewford through Facebook. We are Facebook friends and unlike many celebrities who put someone else in charge of social media activities, Jewford handles his himself.

Many of Kinky’s old albums have been released on CD by Jewford’s own label, Sphincter Records. I’ve purchased several of them directly from Jewford, along with Jewford’s own classic solo album, “Live from Uranus.” I even bought a Little Jewford signature kazoo. Shipping on the kazoo was a lot cheaper than if I’d opted for the Little Jewford grand piano. 

When you haven’t recorded a studio album since the 80s, it’s best not to let any chances for additional income slip out of your hands, especially when you weren’t exactly in platinum album territory even at the height of your music career. Thus, Kinky has an array of album-related opportunities available for anyone wanting to get even closer to the experience that is Kinky Friedman.

Signed CDs are available for $30. You can add a tour/CD poster for an additional $15 and a T-shirt for another $25. Of course, those purchases won’t get you much envy from your Kinky friends. For that, how about meeting Kinky? That’s available, for a price.

For instance, for $150, plus the price of your concert tickets, you and a friend can attend a “Meet and Greet” before a show. You get to attend the sound check and get photos with the Kinkster. In addition, you get a signed CD and a five-pack of Kinky cigars.

For $500, you can go onstage at any of the upcoming tour stops and actually sing one of Kinky’s songs with him. That almost has to be fun. If it was up to me, I’d pick “The Ballad of Charles Whitman.”

Anyone willing to shell out $1,000 gets to go onstage and sing three of their own songs. The description doesn’t mention anything about Kinky accompanying you. Maybe he’ll take a cigar break while the guest sings. Not only will Kinky get a short rest, he’ll get $1,000, too. If the singer is terrible, the audience will have a chance for a bathroom break without missing any of Kinky’s performance. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Finally, there’s an opportunity available that I might consider myself if I win the lottery in the near future. For $2,500, you and a friend get to spend a two-day weekend at Kinky’s Echo Hill Ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Buyers at this level get to camp in the bunk houses or stay in Kinky’s home. You also can dine with the Kinkster and “sit around the campfire swapping stories.” Guests also get Kinky cigars and some of his tequila.

I hope they warn buyers of this package that Kinky is a vegetarian (at least I think he still is) so no one expects to be served barbecued anything, unless maybe it’s possible to barbecue kale. Maybe Kinky will allow guests to bring their own meat.

I have to admit this option sounds mighty tempting. One local restauranteur suggested I start one of those internet  funding  pages to raise the $2,500. From what I’ve seen, it wouldn’t be the most frivolous money request out there. Fulfilling my wish of playing my Little Jewford kazoo while sitting around the campfire with Kinky Friedman? Who wouldn’t want to contribute to that?

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