Friday, January 20, 2006

January 20, 2006
It’s funny how music can inspire and even change our minds on this life and the things in it. I’ve been listening to Beck on my new iPod. Tomcat loaded the Guero Cd on without my permission, or request, but, unlike that damned Steely Dan, I really have grown to dig the Beck kid (he’s the guy who had the hit "I’m A Loser Baby, So Why Don’t You Kill Me" several years back). Three songs really ring my chimes: “E-Pro,” a head-banging, guitar heavy anthem that had me dancing on the Spanish driveway two nights ago just like in those iPod TV silhouette commercials except the dancer in this case is pushing 60 and doing the frug and ska in slow motion in a creaky, underwater kind of way (I’m assuming this to be true, because in my mind’s eye I’m still 22 with bitchin’, awe-inspiring dance moves and footwork). The second song is “Farewell Ride,” which is the perfect soundtrack for my forthcoming graphic novel and movie, The Mexicali Stud; and the third song is the Mexican dance track, “Que Onda Guero” which utilizes hispanic males shouting out and mumbling Spanglish slang and then Beck gives the whole stew a hip hop, repetitive rhythm. Muy Groovo-mente

Anyway, last night I’m listening to "Que Onda Guero" as I’m doing sketches and studies for Classic Gunfights and it’s changing my view of Tiburcio Vasquez. I now see the 1870s Californio bandido as the hispanic equivalent to Billy the Kid and Jesse James. While most of my historian friends see Vasquez as nothing more than a brutal thug, I have started gravitating more towards the social bandit aspect, wherein we forgive his sins and demonize his opponents, in this case anglo authority. Just like we do with Billy the Kid. Thanks Beck.

Number of Songs Bought Online From iTunes Since Its 2003 Launch
850 million

Number of Songs I Have Bought Online From iTunes
1 (Jack Johnson’s “Where’d All The Good People Go?”)

Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top is in town for the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and he will be signing copies of his new book on Saturday at the Rock Star Gallery in Scottsdale.

Wrangler Whore Update
A column in today’s Scottsdale Republic talks about Levi’s being the "unwritten dress code" at Scottsdale High in the mid-1940s. Paul Messinger also says, "Our mothers just knew that they couldn’t send us to school with some other make of trousers.” Paul also says, “We wore our Levi’s to Scottsdale High dances. They were held in the old ‘tin gymnasium’ after football and baseball games. . .Dress at these dances was for boys, Levi’s, a clean shirt, a string tie, your best pair of polished cowboy boots and, usually a tweed sport coat. This was considered formal attire.”

I would second this unwritten dress code for the late 1950s in Kingman, although it was starting to change. In the early sixties, surf clothing washed inland, all the way to Kingman, and then the Beatles changed everything. Somewhere in that timeframe, Wrangler’s started sponsoring rodeos and Levi’s started taking the cowboy market for granted. Anyway, that’s my obtuse take on it. I’d love to know more about the “tipping point” when Levi’s went urban and Wrangler’s took over the cowboy market. Anybody have a clue?

Me, I’m conforming to the new Wrangler look, which Jane Bischoff and George Laibe and Grant down at Optimo Hats are fashioning for me. Grant called yesterday and asked, “Do you have a tapered face?” And I said, “I don’t know. I try not to look at myself, and frankly I’m not the most objective person to ask.” Grant is working on the crease on my new $1,000 hat and wanted to know more about my facial terrain. Consequently, Robert Ray shot two photos of me like a mug shot and we Emailed Grant the images (Robert actually had me hold a long card with numbers on it. Ha.). Oh, I tell you, it’s hard being a Wrangler Whore. But it does beat being a crack whore.

“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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