My friend Sean Prince was the one who told me about a performance by living Country legend, David Allan Coe at the grimey ass El Corazon here in Seattle as a suggestion for the site to cover. My response to him was, “Looks like you’re our new writer“.
Coe, who is famous for such tracks as Long Haired Redneck and for writing such hits as Take This Job and Shove It for artists like Johnny Paycheck, has a bit of a checkered past. He was born in 1939, has at least a handful of songs with the word “Nigger” actually in the title, and is an admitted murderer. I was hesitant about the crowd mostly. I’m Puerto Rican and Jewish so I took an educated guess that it probably wasn’t the best environment for me to show up in, however I would definitely try to set up some tickets for him and hopefully an interview. Sean has Longhaired Redneck as his ringtone, plenty of Coe’s records, and can usually hold his own in over the top situations, so I figured he might fare better than I. The tickets were no problem, but the interview didn’t seem too promising based on the letter that I recieved from the tour promoter, and I quote:
“You have to direct that question to the tour manager at the gig. David rarely does interviews. But if hes in a good mood he might talk to you for 20 minutes before the show.”
The following is Sean Prince’s play by Play account of how it all went down.
So the night starts off pretty rough, I’m standing outside with about 500 scary rednecks in the pouring rain. The guy ahead of me is singing The Ride, by Coe. He is wearing snakeskin boots, 501 levi’s, a straw cowboy hat in a worn in black color, and a studded leather biker jacket with a Circle Jerks patch sewn on the back and a ton of hand written punk stuff like Aus Rotton and shit like that. I look past the hilarity of the scene and directly ahead of me to where I see the mighty Peterbuilt Truck/tour bus of “the Coe” himself. It’s white and has lime green neon flames on the front of it. It’s a semi but a also bus at the same time. I later had asked his son about who drives it. He looked at me as if I were a “shit eating faggot” and says, “We do“, as if I was crazy or something. Then I remembered watching Heartworn Highways, where Coe drives a semi while talking on a CB to The Tennesse State Prison. Coe was playing a show there in the film and is contacting them to let them know when he is getting there. He also talks about how he killed a homosexual in prison. Coe even says at one point, “If he wanted me to fuck him in his ass I might not have killed him but he wanted me to let him fuck me in my ass. so I had to do it.” Picture that the man who is saying all of this is dressed like a Redneck Liberache wearing rinestone boots, a grey rinestone silk scarf, and a huge rinestone belt bucket with his name on it.
The line starts moving foward and these hicks are eager for there “Texas Outlaw“. They are pushing and cutting in line one after the other like a star bellied sneech. I was so overwelmed by this, and scared for my life to go in. With the smell of cheap women and whiskey in the air, I made my way to the bar for a drink. My friend Josh’s girlfriend was working the bar and, as she gave me a beer, she looked at me as if to say, “What the fuck is your skinny half homosexaul looking ass doing here amongist these Huge Birds of prey“. I must have looked like a shiney Salmon just dancing in the water waiting to be picked off for a nice midnight snack. As I walked away with that thought burning in the back of my mind, I ask myself where the hell I was going to sit. I was looking around everywhere, and then I finally saw a spot shining with heavenly light as if it was the holy grail. It was in the corner where I could attempt to hide and spy on all the madness around me. It was also near an exit and the recycling trash can.
The can was currently being surround by a group of huge hicks that are eye fucking me like a fresh fish in the pen. I notice they seem to like chewing tobacco and they are spitting into the recycling, gathered in spitting order like some frat boys at a keg party. I think to myself, “What a great idea for a photo“. I pulled out my camera and started shooting off rounds like a outlaw at the O.K. Corall. Pic after pic, I was feeling my nuts grow a little bit so I asked the spit party of huge hicks if I could take a picture. I explained how I’m writing a story for Monsterfresh.com and that I needed some photo’s of the fans, so they agree and line up for a photo. They break apart after the first shot which didn’t turn out, so I asked if I could get another shot. While taking another photo, one replies, “Man get get the fuck out of here, I already let you take one!“, and so I moved on fearing for my life.
The opening bands? Holy shit they sucked! I missed the first but caught the next two. BOB WAYNE is the name of the first act that I was unfortunate enought to see. He was a muffin topped fatty with a leather vest which had a Pentagram patch sewn on the back. His sound was, hands down, the worst Charlie Daniels rip off act that I had ever heard or seen. It was like a hour of The Devil Went Down to Georgia, but replaced eight grade lyrics. A lot of “bitch” and “cunt” and other typical Sublime, generation white trash shit! “Ah, Let’s here it for shit!” Aahh!!! I wanted to blow my fucking head off. The crowd was eating this shit up like Oprah in a house of ham. You know, just takin’ in all the good stuff ya can git.
People are starting to get pretty drunk at this point and it’s getting pretty loud. I’m thinking to myself that the next band couldn’t possibly get any worse. Oh but wait, I was wrong! In comes Kid Rock’s little brother, but with a even worse meth and smack habit. The bass player was wearing eyeliner and rocking a Ramones rip off shirt that instead of saying “Ramones“, read “Rednecks“. Ha that’s funny! I haven’t been so impressed with ironic humor in years. If my friend Davis was there, he would have punched my shoulder and said, “Hey that’s your buddy!” They ended on such a sweet note with Rock’s little tweaker brother saying, “I’m dedicating this one for all the ladies out here tonight“. The song’s chorus went like this, and I shit you not this is actually what what he fucking says: “I like my women kind of trashy, clothes too tight with too much make up on.” That was the fucking chorus. Check them out on myspace it’s great for a laugh. Redneck Girlfriend is the name of the band and their headline is “Loved or hated but never ignored“. They have other great songs like ”Good Hard Fucking” and the always popular, ”Don’t Fall In Love with a Redneck”. Those are just two of the four modern masterpieces they have available on their profile. Hell, while your torturing yourself with Redneck Girlfriend, why not turn around, grab a pen, stab yourself in the eye and check out Bob Wayne’s myspace. Guess what he is a Seattle local boy, here to stay! You can also catch him late night taking your orders at the Ballard Jack N the Box ’cause, “Man fuck it! The rent’s got be paid!”
At this point I was getting a little tired and Coe didn’t want to be interviewed by me. Imagine that, I thought I was so charming. His manger Bruce Smith tell’s me “Not tonight, the man’s tired“. Finally as DAC is coming out they are playing Jimmy Rodgers in the backround which I happen to really like, so it lifts the spirits a little. He comes out to an unruly drunk crowd like I have never seen. It’s a nightmare, people are so drunk it is frighenting and bottles are breaking everywhere. There are people falling down because they’re too drunk and shit like that. It’s a typical hoedown. Coe comes out like a ball of hell fire yelling obscene shit like, “How are motherfuckers doing in this motherfucking town?!”
“Hello Seattle, how does it feel to be at some Redneck-type shit.” The crowd was screaming, yelling, covering the whole redneck spectrum. That’s when he says, “This first song I’m going to play for you tonight is dedicated to my dear friend motherfucking Johnny Cash“, and then opens with Folsom Prison Blues. He plays this as a huge medley by going in and out of hit songs of his own and other country hits. I was thinkin about what a let down it is that an old fucking man wearing a wig has become a fucking novelity act for these assholes.
This continued for a couple more songs as bottles were flying and people were getting thrown out of the venue left and right. Eventually, Coe slowed it down with a good ole country rant that went a li’l sumthin’ like this.
“My friend Jesse called me and says ‘David I wrote this Country song and I want you to tell me what you think of it’, so Isay ‘Well ok, let me have it’, so he did and told Jesse sorry, but that’s a not a coutry song. There’s is nothing about trains, trucks, girlfriends, or mama’s..” Then after a long pause says “…and gettin’ drunk!” The crowd fucking explodes like it’s the last Rebel stand or something. Immediately, he kicks into that Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock song “I Put Your Picture Away” with all of the sitting down and crying bullshit. Well, I do hate that song but the power that man had over that auidence was unmatched. These same people who were fighting and throwing bottles at eachother, were now embracing in a man to man hugging slow dance marathon. It was complete with plenty of kisses to the head, and sweet eyed looks, like dad coming home with his new pick up truck all clean and fresh with brand new Southern flag mud flaps on the back. It was enough to make a man cry, but I held my tears for I didn’t want to show these boys any weakness, and have them feeding on me like a preacher in a whore house. I couldn’t be Jimmy Swaggart, it just wouldn’t have been good.
Coe played a few more medelies and then, out of nowhere, he started rapping as a drum machine kicked in. “I’m the real Shady yes I’m the Real Shady please stand up please stand up!” Then there was anotehr long pause before he said, “I bet you motherfuckers didn’t know that I knew about that one.” He then started talking about family and friends, his old mans favorite songs and how he had liked a particular song more than any other song which was sung by Waylon Jennings and his wife Jessie. This was Mr. Coe’s dad’s favorite song in the whole world. David thought to himself that he should do a record with just the songs he liked and ask Waylon and Jessie if they would play on the record. David called and Waylon told him the idea and Waylons said, “Well all right David, let me talk to the wife and see what she says, and I’ll call you back in a few minutes.” David said that he could tell that something was wrong. The phone rings and Coe answers it right away. On the other line Waylon says, “You know David I can’t, your record label just droped Johnny Cash after 30 years of being with them. Nothing against you but fuck those motherfuckers! So, if you want tell them to go hell and put it wear the sun don’t shine, we can record this album and everyone will play. We can recorded it at Willie’s home studio. ” So Coe says “Well Waylon, let me think about it for a minute. My life is on the line here. I got a five year deal and my family needs the money. Let me call you right back.” Coe calls him back in 30 seconds and says, “I called up the label. I told them ‘You fired my friend Johnny Cash after 30 years, you can go to hell. Mr. David Allan Coe will not put out an album for you motherfuckers.” Coe’s says he didn’t record a record for five years after that.
After David finishes his rant he went into a cover of Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band. The crowd was going wild as I hid for cover from the bottles of beer flying across the room and the mosh pit which was going on. At one point some fat rednick threw a bottle of beer on stage and it almost hits Coe. David Allan’s son, who plays guitar with him, looks just some hipster in the Capital Hill district of Seattle. He was wearing stay press pants and a tight slim fitting V-neck sweater, with a vintage button up shirt underneath, and kicks it off with a pair of suede Beatle boots. He picked the bottle back up and hurled it back into the crowd nailing the fool who threw it in the arm with it. It broke and cut him. Then the guy was thrown out injured, probably cut pretty bad and on his way to the hopital. After that happens Coe plays one more song which is Willie Nelson’s You Were Alway on my Mind. Coe then leaves the stage to his band so that they can play some Rock n Roll jam out, with a 5 minute long guitar solo by his lead guitarist.
Coe never did return for the encore that the crowd wanted so badly. After that I wandered over to the stage to talk with his indie rock son about music and shit like that. He tells me he likes my friend RJ’s band SexVid, and I ask him if he’ll ask his dad to come back to sign my record. He says he can’t because “Once he’s done, he’s done. He’s tired and needs rest.” I figured, that was that so I went home and pulled glass out of my hand for the rest of the night!