Lost Classics? Kinky Friedman

 

Kinky Friedman sometime in the 1970s, at the Texas Opry House with dancing “waitret” in background.

Kinky Friedman is an artist for whom the term “politically incorrect” is inadequate.  Even “obnoxious” is inadequate.  Kinky is an equal opportunity offender, no one escapes his satirical aim.  And his albums are all pretty much the same: tasteless or hilarious, depending on your point of view (or state of intoxication). 

Naturally, I think he’s hilarious.  So let’s take a look at Lasso From El Paso, Kinky’s album from 1976.  Produced by Huey P. Meaux, the swamp-pop grandfather and child molester (now spending the rest of his life in prison), the album is kind of an all-star affair with guest shots from Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel (from the Band), Mick Ronson (David Bowie), Lowell George and Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Ron Wood.  Friedman had been touring with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and had a bit of a “hip” factor going at the time.

Here we have “Ol Ben Lucas,” a kiddie ditty where Kinky calls out for Clapton to solo on dobro, and “Catfish,” the Bob Dylan song about ballplayer Catfish Hunter.  Also, there’s “Waitret, Please, Waitret,” which makes fun of horny guys with speech impediments and the incredibly tasteless but hysterical “Men’s Room, L.A.,” with the voice of Jesus played by … if you can’t tell, you’re in the wrong place.

And as a bonus, we’ve included the sort-of title track, which is not on the album.  No self-respecting record label would release an album titled “Asshole From El Paso,” but Kinky has issued several versions of this song over the years.  This is probably the most obnoxious version, which is saying a lot.

Friedman is famous for many things in Texas – he’s a rather successful mystery author and writer, a country singer/songwriter and an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate.  He performed on “Austin City Limits” in 1975 and the resulting episode was the only one never aired – because it was, of course, too obnoxious.  You can see it on DVD … people begin walking out after his first song.  Kinky.  What a guy.

MP3: “Catfish”

MP3: “Men’s Room, L.A.”

MP3: “Waitret, Please, Waitret”

MP3: “Ol’ Ben Lucas”

MP3: “Asshole From El Paso”

“Live From Austin TX,” Kinky Friedman (Austin City Limits)

One Response to “Lost Classics? Kinky Friedman”

  1. dkpresents Says:

    Thanks for the recco! This one sounds like a winner…

    Now on my wishlist.

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