6 Musicians Who Messed With Texas
Just don't look right, does it?
Today, March 2, is Texas Independence Day, the day a bunch of old white politicians and landowners declared this part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas to be its own sovereign republic in a cabin near Washington-on-the-Brazos. For some inexplicable reason, Rocks Off does not have the day off today.
But for every Texan whose head is swelled with pride today, there are probably 10 outside the state who think we are a bunch of loudmouth braggarts whose ego writes checks their actions can't cash. For the record, Rocks Off has no idea what these people are talking about, but these six musicians can perhaps be forgiven for thinking Texas is something less than God's Country. Fools.
Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray
6. Phil Collins: God bless him, Collins' is rapidly becoming better known as the world's No. 1 collector of Alamo-related memorabilia than as the Genesis drummer and multimillion-selling super-smooth solo artist of albums like No Jacket Required. Collins is free to spend his money as he wants to, of course, but some Texas history buffs have argued that a lot of the stuff he's been buying really belongs in a museum.
5. Revolting Cocks: Basically a louder, more depraved version of Ministry, RevCo released the throbbing slab of industrial noise "Beers, Steers & Queers" on the 1990 album of the same name. Rocks Off is guessing they took the title from Marine drill sergeant R. Lee Ermey's famous line in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket about the only things that supposedly ever came out of Texas, although he's probably not the first one who said it. Ministry/RevCo mastermind Al Jourgensen would later further extract his revenge on the Lone Star State by moving to an isolated Hill Country ranch near Marble Falls.
4. David Crosby: It is a miracle David Crosby is still alive, which the former Byrd and sometime CSNY member of the golden harmony vocals will probably be the first to tell you himself. Crosby may have the most enviable rap sheet in all of rock history, but it took the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to clean up his act for good. He served nine months of a five-year sentence in Huntsville in 1985 and 1986 after a 1982 Dallas arrest on drug and weapons charges and, as this eye-popping article recounts, put his time in the joint to good use by making mattresses.
3. The Dixie Chicks: You may not remember it, but both President George W. Bush and the Iraq war were once very popular, especially here. The Dallas/Lubbock/Austin trio saw their record sales and radio airplay plummet after singer Natalie Maines said "we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas" on the eve of the war in March 2003. Many people, especially Texans, thought Maines' real offense was having the gumption to say that kind of thing on foreign soil, specifically London.
James McMurtry: Son of the finest novelist Texas has ever produced (Larry), and arguably the best songwriter the state has ever seen to boot, McMurtry the younger has never had a problem holding Texas' feet to the fire. Maybe the best example is "We Can't Make It Here," his 2006 song that excruciatingly dismantles the American Dream piece by piece: "Empty storefronts around the square/ there's a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere." It might apply equally to the other 49 states, but it wasn't written there either.
1. Ozzy Osbourne: He peed on the Alamo. Even in a metal-loving town like San Antonio, that kind of behavior is frowned upon. It took him nine years to be allowed back into the city, and he's just lucky he didn't get any more jail time than he already did - Ozz was wearing a dress at the time of his 1982 arrest.
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