Friday, July 14, 2023

Young Guns, The Eagles' Desperado & Crazy Hearts

 July 14, 2023

It was on this date, July 14, 1881 that Billy the Kid was shot down like a dog. Speaking of which, Uno appears to appreciate my newly framed poster of "Young Guns," a gift from Jerry and Cleis Jordan of Casa de Patron fame. 

Dog Gone It People Like Me!

Desperado Is Not The Hit I Remember

  When we love something we have a hard time believing everyone else doesn't share the love, or, at least agree with us. Thus, the Eagles' album "Desperado," which, when it came out in 1973, hit me right between the eyes. I thought it was genius and very hip at the time (I was living in Tucson and the Dusty Chaps and the Stumble Inn were all the go) and I played that album until the cows came home. And then some. I absolutely loved "Tequila Sunrise."

Tequila Sunrise Cave Creek Style

   Turns out the album was not the universal hit I thought it was. It only produced two singles, "Tequila Sunrise" which peaked at #64 on the Top 100 Hits, and "Outlaw Man" which made it to #59.

   In a new book, "Life In The Fast Lane" the author Mick Wall points out that my favorite outlaw album by my favorite outlaw band was actually a bummer for the record company (below expected sales), or, as one company exec puts it, derisively, "they went and made that damn cowboy album." A friend of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt (also from Tucson) made a hit of the title song, but the record company never released the Eagles version as a single. They didn't think it was worthy. Crazy!

   Here's how Don Henley put it. He said the album was their "big artistic commentary on the evils of fame and success, with a cowboy metaphor. The metaphor was probably a little bullshit. We were in LA, staying up all night, smoking dope, living the California life, and I suppose we thought it was as radical as cowboys in the old West. We were rebelling against the music business, not society."

   At the same time the Eagles were creating the Desperado album I was creating a cartoon version of a certain cowgirl who frequented the honkytonks I was playing in all over the Old Pueblo. Another writer, Thomas Cobb, who grew up in Tucson wrote about his similar experiences which became the novel "Crazy Heart" which was adapted into the 2010 Academy Award winning 2009 film of the same name.

   So, all of that cowboy-crazy Tucson vibe came home to roost this past week when I revisited my character Honkytonk Sue for a summer-fun recap, which will run in the Tombstone Epitaph and Real Country, a free Country Music, newspaper out of Wickenburg.

   Here is another sneak peek at it.

   And here is a requiem for one of Honkytonk Sue's biggest fans.

Remembering Sandra Lovejoy

"Thank you for giving us at last a female counterpart to the Marlboro Man, Dirty Harry, and all the other machismo myths that roam the earth unchallenged."
—Sandy Lovejoy, 1978

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