Read a story on Monday where Mayor de Blasio of New York City said that it’s “unconscionable” that criminals released from jail to save them from COVID-19 would commit crimes while on release. Uh… criminals…
I’ve been relying on my well-honed propensity for dark or absurd gallows humor to keep me from spiraling into rage at the unbelievable vacuum of competent leadership on display in this pandemic crisis, and it kicked in just in time to save me.
A picture flashed across my mind’s eye of de Blasio — one of the bigger morons on a national stage that’s full of ’em — having a conversation with the protagonist of the classic Delbert McClinton song and nodding sympathetically as the poor ol’ kicker explained that it all really ain’t his fault…
I’m a victim of life’s circumstances
Well I was raised around bar rooms and Friday night dances
Singin’ them old country songs
And half the time ending up some place I don’t belong
My favorite version of the song is off of one of the most underappreciated albums in country music history:
This diamond in the rough dates from 1976. My brother turned me on to it when I was in my teens, furiously building up a whole proto-Frontier Partisans mythology around pulp Westerns, Robert E. Howard Conan stories, frontier history, Outlaw Country Music and a raging freshet of beer. Ten shots right in the x-ring.
Jimmy Rabbitt was a Los Angeles rock-and-roll DJ who hailed from Washington, DC by way of Texas. He was, by all accounts, quite a character. Radio was in its heyday in L.A. in the 1970s and Rabbitt was a legend on the scene. He pissed off the management at the iconic rock station KMET by playing too much country music. Rabbitt was rolled out for a prestige gig at the powerhouse KHJ in a massive promo campaign — and got fired within four days. He was a wayward critter who fit right in with the rowdy, good-hearted, good-timin’ mavericks that kicked out the stops on country music in the early ’70s and started roaring.
Waylon Jennings produced the record, and it’s safe to assume that it was recorded in a blizzard and the hijinks were extremely high and very jinky. I submit this photo taken at an L.A. country music club (there were a bunch back then) as Exhibit A:
Like Waylon would say decades on, they were the Wild Ones, the ones they couldn’t control. Hell’s full of politicians, and the Devil can keep ’em. I’ll join these ol’ boys for a trip down to Bossier City. Hell, I already miss them Cajun ladies — they got me humming’ them dirty songs…