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Southern Discomfort: Kinky On the Road

Little Jewford, Kinky Friedman, Ted Swindley plotting "Becoming Kinky: The World According To Kinky Friedman"
Little Jewford, Kinky Friedman, Ted Swindley plotting "Becoming Kinky: The World According To Kinky Friedman"
courtesy of Carolyn Farb


The one-liners come out of Kinky Friedman's mouth so fast you need a protective shield.

"The only thing Rick Perry managed to do with his Presidential campaign was to make George W. look like Thomas 'Fucking' Jefferson."

"Real people don't get into politics. The only people who get into politics today are the bad people, the ones who were hall monitors in school."

"Choosing between the Democrats and the Republicans is like choosing between the Bloods and the Crips."

And on and on it goes at warp speed.

 

Friedman rolls into Dosey Doe Coffee Shop in the Woodlands Wednesday to kick off his Southern Discomfort tour which will take him all across the Deep South over the next month.

"Yeah, I'm playing all over, places like Georgia and Alabama, Baton Rouge. I'll probably get lynched."

"It's spiritually a cool thing to do. On a totally solo tour, the mask slips a little bit. So this time it's totally solo, no road manager, no band, no crew, kinda like Woody Guthrie or Townes van Zandt, just me and my guitar. There's something about being a musician on the road that's a much higher calling than being a politician," says Friedman from his ranch outside Kerrville.

"I'll be playing songs, telling stories, read a few things from my book Heroes of a Texas Childhood.

"What I really like about doing these solo tours is seeing new people come into the audience," says Friedman. "You go to a Rolling Stones show or a Jimmy Buffett show, you get a very narrow, late middle-aged audience, very homogenized, that's there to hear the hits. I don't really have any hits, but it makes me feel great when I reach new people. And I love meeting the people who come to my shows, I love to hear what they've got to say afterwards."

Friedman is quick to point out that he will also be touting his new venture, Man In Black tequila.

"This is the best Mexican mouthwash in America," claims Friedman. "It's not homogenized with that stainless steel kind of finish like Patron, it's done in copper in Jalisco and it tastes like the smoke of life.

"It's named for Zorro, Paladin, and Johnny Cash. Those men had a moral clarity that's missing in our society today."

 

While Friedman may quip that he's not a politician, politics are never far from the conversation. Friedman says that he will probably be explaining that he did not endorse Rick Perry for the rest of his life.

"Man, that whole scenario is just so scary and so typical," he explains. "That one little blurb gets thrown out there and gets blown out of proportion, the next thing I know I'm being bombarded with some of the meanest hate mail you've ever seen, scary stuff. And I'm telling you, you can explain yourself forever and not make that stuff go away. Seriously, I don't endorse anyone. Hell, I'm not a politician, I'm a fuckin' musician. Although I still say musicians can run this state better than the politicians have."

Friedman notes one good effect that came out of Perry's run for the Presidency.

"Maybe Willie [Nelson] had it right about Rick, that what happened to him was just karma. I don't know. But I do know all the blondes and Aggies are telling Rick Perry jokes," quips Friedman. "And my Republican friends seem to be very angry. They think he has embarrassed the state."

Friedman despairs for the country with what looks to be shaping up as a choice between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

"Perception and inspiration are the most important things in a candidate right now, I think that's what people are looking for but not finding in any of these guys.

"The changes Obama promised aren't happening and people know it. He just hasn't been effective, he hasn't been able to deliver," says Friedman. "Choosing between the Democrats and the Republicans is like choosing between the Bloods and the Crips. There's no moral clarity, no higher purpose in any of the candidates.

"Say what you want about the elitist backgrounds of men like Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy or Winston Churchill, but in spite of their pampered upbringing they brought some sense of higher purpose to their elected offices, something that inspired people. There are no Churchills on the horizon. All of the current guys are perpetually behind the curve because they have no real vision or purpose."

Friedman, who garnered over 12.6% of the vote in his independent gubernatorial run in 2006, decries the fact that there are no more Barbara Jordans.

"Barbara Jordan [Congresswoman from Houston] was the first person to warn us about what the trend toward political correctness was going to do to us as a people," explains Friedman. "It's a tragedy of our times, but we've gotten so politically correct it would be impossible to make a movie like Blazing Saddles today, which is a shame."

"That's one reason I try to talk about my book, one reason why I wrote it, to say something about people like Barbara Jordan," Friedman laughs. "It's scary how many college graduates don't know who Audie Murphy was."

8:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 8, Dosey Doe Coffee Shop, 25911 I-45 N., 281-367-3774


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