Wednesday, January 11, 2006

January 11, 2006
I switched gears this morning and inked in two new scenes of Honkytonk Sue for the April issue. Felt good to be illuminating the Queen of Country Swing once again. She is so sexy (when I draw her right!). I turned over the finished illustrations to Robert Ray at about ten and he’ll scan the images and we’ll lay out the panels this afternoon.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top just sent me his new book: "Rock+Roll Gearhead" It’s a monster book befitting a monster git-picker. Billy and I go way back to my Razz Revue days when he almost single-handedly kept our little ol’ humor magazine afloat with his generous subscription orders.

The massive coffee table book comes complete with a fold out poster, showing BFG in front of one of his street rods with the headline “Hot Cars +Cool Guitars.” The best part of the book to me is the history of his band days, complete with photos of his days in his first band, The Moving Sidewalks, and his long road to makin’ it. He tells a hilarious story about driving out to LA from Texas in a “hopped-up Pontiac GTO,” hitched up to a “gear-haulin’ trailer.” When they got to Hollywood, the place was slammed and jammed and here they were, some unknown guys from Texas, so Billy had them pull the GTO up to the curb outside a niteclub called the Galaxy, and they loaded in their gear, plugged in and just started to play “before anybody knew what was up.” Evidently, they made enough of an impression because they got the gig. Now that’s Texas sized huevos, Man.

Everything wasn’t that easy, of course. Billy tells a great story about the early days of ZZ Top when they had a modest hit on the radio called “Salt Lick” and they were still doing very small venues around Texas. One night they pulled up to a gig in Alvin, Texas, set up and went on with only one paying customer in front of the stage. They did their entire show for this one guy (and they’ve stayed in touch with him ever since because he was so loyal). It turned out the announcement card that advertised the gig said, “Bizzy Top from Salt Lake.” Ha.

News From the Front Lines
“Joann and Steve MeGee, owners of the Rainbow in downtown Pendleton, received notice recently that their establishment was named the best saloon in Oregon.

“PENDLETON — True West magazine has named the Rainbow Cafe as the best
saloon in Oregon.

“‘This was a total surprise to us,’ said Joanne McGee, who owns the downtown bar and restaurant with her husband, Steve. ‘We were just selected.’ The Rainbow Cafe doesn’t advertise in True West, so the selection wasn’t a perk. ‘To tell you the truth, I’d never even heard of the magazine,’ Steve McGee said.”
—East Oregonian

Onion Headline de Jour
Perverted Ninja Enjoys Being Seen

I’m going down into the Beast tonight for a dinner with a fellow publisher and then attending an author’s book signing at the Kerr Cultural Center.

Mark Boardman and I are tweaking the Tiburcio Vasquez Classic Gunfights copy today. It’s too long and Mark took a stab at cutting it down this morning.

I wrestled with Meghan yesterday over a sub-hed in my editorial of all the historic sites I have been to. She wanted to change the head to all the sites “I’ve Visited,” but I protested that when me and my Old West friends go to these places, it’s more than a visit. No, in fact, It approaches a religious experience. She offered the word “pilgrimage,” but we couldn’t figure out a smooth way to work that into the headline. I woke up at about three this morning and there it was: “My Personal Pilgrimage List.” Ah, sweet sleep.

"Nothing increases the value of a cow so much and so quickly as to get killed by a train."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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