Hank III: Straight from the Darkness

There's a whole group of kids out there that hop trains and live out of dumpsters and listen to nothing but GG Allin and Hank Williams. They are the true free squatters out there that live by their own laws and don't pay rent and don't pay anything. They're living out of nothing. I see some, I guess, beauty in that or something.

-Hank III


Williams seems to walk in a decisive arena of right and wrong, with a strong sense of justice and a deep appreciation for those he sees as kindred spirits. He dedicates the ten-minute song "P.F.F." ("Punch Fight Fuck") to GG Allin. Williams says, "It just seemed natural to want to dedicate a song to him." He cited Allin's similarly diverse group of musical interests ("GG was also into the country music and hard rock and heavy metal and that's another reason I'm full on about GG") and his own tour with the Murder Junkies and getting to know GG's brother, Merle Allin, as reasons for the dedication. But, he's also moved by the hobo kids who have embraced his music.

Hank Williams III by Jennifer Tzar
"There's a whole group of kids out there that hop trains and live out of dumpsters and listen to nothing but GG Allin and Hank Williams. They are the true free squatters out there that live by their own laws and don't pay rent and don't pay anything. They're living out of nothing. I see some, I guess, beauty in that or something. Hell, just hopping a train is a federal offense, period."

There is a certain beauty in saying "fuck society," and it's an intrinsic part of our collective American psyche. We all secretly want to "light out for the territories" like Huck Finn, or at least tell Bill Lumbergh we aren't going to come in on Saturday. Williams taps into that desire to stick a huge middle finger in our boss' face. The obstinate darkness that clangs in his music, whether it's shredding the stage with Assjack, breaking hearts with honky tonk or busting out the hellbilly, is the unifying thread in his seemingly disparate interests and influences.

"I guess we're breaking some boundaries," he says of his diverse audience. "I would say for all of the different styles of people that come together, most of the time it's pretty amazing how good everybody watches out for everybody else's back. Once in awhile we see bad shit go down, and we try to end that as soon as possible, but everybody gets along pretty damn good for the 18-to-80 year old crowd that gets in there. It took us awhile to get the respect of the black t-shirts and I guess it gave us that forever kind of youth feeling. I guess if we're getting a little acceptance from the rock community, then we are getting something that none of the other country artists will ever have coming to their shows. It's an interesting mix. Sometimes in the bigger cities we get more of the mixed audience, but in the smaller towns, such as Lubbock, Texas, we're working hard just to get the diversity out there. It's definitely an interesting audience, a loyal audience, that's been there for us for a long time."

Williams also wanted to make sure that his fans know, "The very last tour we were supposed to do, I had an internal person not listen to me and book a tour, and then we had a bunch of pissed off fans that had bought tickets. I would definitely like to apologize to those folks and let them know someone was not doing their job, pulled the trigger when they weren't supposed to and we'll make it up the fans someway, somehow. For anybody who got a ticket, we're definitely sorry about not showing up."

The "Jekyll and Hyde" show will be hitting the road in the near future, as Williams assured me, "Assjack is rehearsing." Meanwhile, Williams is counting down the days until he's free of Curb.

"Just to have the freedom to work, to put everything out there we've been working on and not have to worry about, 'Okay this person doesn't like that, so I got to have their lawyer talk to my lawyer about singing with this dude, or something.' I just won't have to worry about being a prisoner, that's the easiest way to put it. Little things, they just hold you back. I just hope to have a good enough team to put it all out there - the rock stuff, the country stuff, the weird stuff. You know, just get our little foundation and tour until I can't tour no more; keep doing what we've been doing for a long time. That's the main goal, the longevity. I'm hoping to keep doing both sides until I'm 50, if I can make it that long. I'll be alright. I feel good about it. We'll have to see. Time will tell on that one."

Check out a rare acoustic jam with Hank III and Daniel Mason on banjo, from a recent Westwood One Radio Network session.

Live show downloads available here.

Hank Williams III - Long Hauls and Close Calls - 40 Watt 10/20/06

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[Published on: 10/28/08]

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Hotchkiss starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/28/2008 11:44PM
+6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


thank you again jambase, Hank 3 freakin rocks!

for the kids that listen to hardcore, check out super joint ritual. hank plays bass on their second album, it's brutal stuff.

GreenGoat86 Wed 10/29/2008 08:30AM
Show -6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
deadpig79 Wed 10/29/2008 08:41AM
+6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


yes you are.

RichardHaley Wed 10/29/2008 08:51AM
+6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

yup, just you greegoat... Hank I, Hank II, Hank III - it don't get more real than the Williams boys...

Parsonsgoggles starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/29/2008 09:11AM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Love some Hank III, especially in October...stoned & driftin', too far gone!

FreeHawk starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/29/2008 09:23AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Just so you know, so it's it's set in stone,

Kid Rock don't come from where I come from:

Yeah, it's true, he's a Yank, he ain't no son of Hank:

If you even thought so, god-damn, you're fucking dumb.

Great read, long live Hellbillys

Climb To Safety starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/29/2008 09:32AM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

hank III is the man. ive been seeing this guy live for the past 5 years, very down to earth. everytime i have seen him, after the show, he meets and greets and takes photos with all the fans. same thing with his bass player joe buck. i applaud jambase for showing interest in one of the last true outlaws in country music. can't wait for the next tour. whiskey weed and women!

AintNoFreedom starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/29/2008 12:00PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Talent and heart must have skipped a generation with Jr., because Sr. and III are both fantastic in their own right. I love thus guy's work and attitude... Somethin' real in a world of fluff.

djdaddyp starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/29/2008 01:22PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


My buddy played some Hank III and I liked his honesty. I bet a show would be a gas.

Good article.

twain starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/29/2008 02:30PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

yhea, hank 3, his daddy n his daddys daddy. pretty much the way i see shit.

crazedcountryrebel starstarstarstar Thu 10/30/2008 08:48AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


can't wait 'til Hank is free from that BS Curb contract so he can put out whatever he wants and start his own label!!

funkis Mon 11/3/2008 04:52PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Hell ya hank, to bad Hank Jr. is out supporting that dumb bitch sara palin in colorado springs today, have a talkin with your old man will ya!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/6/2008 04:34AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

straight to hell is the BEST new country album I have ever heard.

Pills I took, Smoke and wine. priceless!!!

I need to listen to this new one soon!

Jr is a fuking republican. screw that bastard, Hank Sr would whup his ass if he was alive :)