Who On Earth Is Searching for "Hipster John Denver"?

Here at Houston Press HQ, Rocks Off has a program where we can see every search someone types into that window with the magnifying glass in the top right-hand corner of our home page and any of the four Houston Press blogs.

That's right, we're watching you. Be careful.

It's fascinating, the things people look to the Houston Press for answers about, and of course a little gratifying the. Sometimes, usually when we should be doing something else, we catch ourselves staring at this program just to see the crazy things people will input.

So Rocks Off just happened to be watching this program Monday afternoon (we'd tell you the name, but it's kind of a state secret) and saw someone search "hipster John Denver." Our next thought was, "Who would even put those three words together?"

Our next was, "Why don't we find out?" That way the next time someone searches out "hipster John Denver" - which we hope is soon - we can show them this, and hopefully answer whatever burning question that led them to do that. We did this by typing those exact three words into an even more vast search engine - Google - and seeing what came back.

Here are the Top 5 results, and a neat bonus we stumbled across.

5. Ryan Scott Spletzer's "hipster" denunciation: What does this have to do with Denver? Because... "No one (at least that I know) self-identifies as a "hipster,' explains Spletzer. "Other people self-identify themselves as certain things and are proud of it, i.e. someone calling themselves a country girl/boy (John Denver's 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy' comes to mind)." Well said.

4. John Denver Tumblr: With the longer title "A Mountain in the Wind: An Exploration of the Spirituality of John Denver." Lots of lyrics, Muppet Show references, and occasional cheap shots: "Sunshine on my nutsack makes me happy."

Pretty Lights remix of "Take Me Home, Country Roads": From 2011. Meanders a bit, but worth a listen. Check it out. Can we call him John EDMnver now?

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10 Uncool Artists Primed for Hipster Rediscovery: One of our favorite blogs Rocks Off has ever published in our time as Music Editor, we were doubly happy to see this ranked so high on Google. The former Mr. Deutschendorf came in between Carole King and Paul Simon, far cooler than Michael Bolton yet not nearly as hip as Stevie Nicks.

1. "Hipster Barista" meme: Apparently in some of America's finer male hair salons - but probably not that many barbershops - a coif called a "John Denver" will run you $150. The author, while trying hard not to think about how much he resembles the man in that picture, is thinking in the places around here we've had our hair cut, you might get your ass kicked if you ask for a "John Denver."

But long before he hit that Colorado Rocky Mountain high, Denver grew up in Fort Worth, where he apparently ran in the same circles as his polar opposite, someone whose songs were as bleak as Denver's were sunny. They don't appear to have been fast friends or anything, but according to Normal Records' Web site, both Denver and Townes Van Zandt were regular performers of legendary Houston folk club the Jester Lounge:

The Jester was a gathering place for performers across the folk music spectrum. Townes' chief blues influence, the legendary Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins, played there; so did Henry John Deutchendorf (aka John Denver) and a satirical duo named Frank and Kay, which consisted of songwriter-guitarist Frank Davis and eventual 1980s' country superstar K.T. Oslin.

Novice folkies from the area's colleges mixed with local pros Don Sanders, Mickey Newbury and Rex Bell as well as recent migrants Jerry Jeff Walker and Guy Clark, destined to shortly make their mark in national pop and country circles.

So how about that? Turns out John Denver was a hipster after all.

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