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Red Eyed Fly, November 7, 2003

Please take your imaginary Honky hat off of your head and place it over your imaginary heart.

“I pledge allegiance to HONKY, one of my favorite bands,
and to the Republic of Texas for which it stands:
one bottle of whisky is indivisible,
with Rock and Handsome Joel, their patron saint, for all.”

If it is not obvious that I love the band Honky, you don’t have a freaking clue, but you should know about these fine southern gentlemen. Maybe you missed the many farewell shows of Honky? I thought these southern rock, ZZ top, Van Halen rock stars were calling it quits a long time ago, but fortunately, they have endured. Long time drummer Lance Farley is no longer with the band, but Kenny Wagner, the new fellow seems to be settling in just fine.

This Friday night at the Red Eyed Fly, I walked into the amazing rock sound of Amplified Heat. (I will let you reference other Rank and Revue articles about this phenomenal music force at www.rankandrevue.com.) They are the hottest new act in town, extremely easy on the eyes, and each musician is a force to be reckoned with. If winter sets in, you will definitely need to warm your ears by this fire.

Next up was Gun Totin’ Meat Eaters. This is the only act in town where I feel the distinction between the band and the front man, the act and the audience, and hurting yourself and really hurting yourself. Often distracted by the commentary and skull bashing antics of singer/trashcan diver, Chad Holt, this was the first time I took notice of the tight sexy heavy sound of the band. Rock on you bad motherfuckers. I like it!

Haven’t seen the Gun Totin’ Meat Eaters? You might be scared or disgusted or groped, but often when Chad dives head first into a trash can, I am reminded of the days of Crust where the front man swung raw cow tongues with his mouth or burned his pubic hair off for public enjoyment. While things are always subject to change, this stage show has not crossed into the GG Allen playing field. So as long as you can move quickly, you love blood, and you often feel the need to abuse and pour beer on people spinning on the ground in a large plastic trash can, you’ll love it. Even if you don’t love it, you need to see it once…like a train wreck.

I have been a huge fan of Honky for years and years and years, but since losing the goodhearted mayor of Red River, Handsome Joel almost a year ago, the band has taken on a new meaning to me. I like hearing them talk to Joel and about him. I think it helps a lot of people deal with that huge loss. On this particular night, I believe bass player, Jeff Pinkus, had a little more whisky in his monitor than Bobby Rock on guitar. These guys had just finished touring around with Dixie Witch, and they seemed pleased to be home.
I am sorry that I can’t give you a good summary of the set list; I have never really known any of the song names, hell, not even the covers. I go for the southern rock sound and those foxy boys with their flying Vs and skunk striped goatees. I go to see my friends who share my musical taste and raise some hell. By the time Looney of the Oklahomos came up to sing a song, the stage was being invaded by many of the ladies in the audience. It seemed there might be a cat fight but no such luck. You really missed a hell of a night.

I highly recommend you check out each of these bands, buy their CDs and T-shirts and their drinks so they can continue to entertain me. Oh yeah, and you too. Be sure to check out www.amplifiedheat.com and www.honky.net.

–Beth Sams

Dick Dale
Red Eyed Fly, November 8, 2003

Mix yourself a martini…stronger. Put on something swanky—something mod and hip. Take a left at 8th and Red River, and wedge your surfboard into the packed house for Dick Dale at the Red Eyed Fly. Amber, the lovely doormistress, will need a wad of cash from you, but this is one of the guitar greats, so pay up.

Dick Dale created surf music in the 50s, and he’s not about to let anyone forget it. Having missed a lot of the first half of the show, I walked in while Dale was talking…for like fifteen minutes. Then there was some mellow, almost-country music. I wondered if I was confusing the guy who blew up forty-nine amps and speakers (some would actually catch on fire) with this guy in the black headband. An ode to Johnny Cash, a little Willie Nelson, and finally, Dick started cranking it up with his signature surf tunes.

Dick was strutting his wares, loving every minute of it. He ascended into the crowd, a sea of fans and frisky ladies parting for his safe passage. He went out the back door of the place, cranking out a song I thought might be from the blockbuster film Pulp Fiction, came back in the front, snaked around in the crowd, and went back on stage to finish off the night with some heart stopping guitar playing with a great band (just drums and bass). True rock star applause at the end.

I heard some diehard fans say he usually played much longer, but no one seemed disappointed with the quality over quantity. It was before 12:30 a.m. when the lights faded on. I had underestimated the time schedule of someone called the “Father of Heavy Metal” – due to his experimentations with high-level sound, not his signature black headband. I had spent enough time sucking down booze at the Red Eyed Fly the night before watching Amplified Heat, Gun Totin’ Meat Eaters, and Honky. Such a great show, I was drinking red bull for this one. I raise my sugary energy drink to a well-deserving legend who stuck around to sign a kajillion autographs. I’m pretty sure there were groupies hanging around. Thanks Dick, for all the great guitar tricks! Be sure to check out www.dickdale.com.

–Beth Sams


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