Former Texas gubernatorial candidate, political commentator and self-proclaimed "author, columnist, musician and beautician" Kinky Friedman will perform on the West Coast this summer for the first time in nearly 20 years. Dates for the "Go West Young Kinky Tour of 2010" start on July 26th in Vancouver and continue into August (a full list of venues follows). Two members of Kinky's seminal band the Texas Jewboys, Little Jewford and Washington Ratso, will join him on the tour. No prisoners will be taken. Only the strong shall survive.
The Kinkster, often referred to as the "Mark Twain of Texas," will also be hawking his wares, in this case his most recent (limited edition) books, Heroes of a Texas Childhood and What Would Kinky Do?, both of which will be available for purchase and signing at the shows. As Kinky has often said, he'll "sign anything but bad legislation." This includes any of his dozens of top-selling books or columns, or even his Kinky Friedman Cigars, which, rumor has it, will also be available at the venues. Bring it, and he will sign it.
Kinky Friedman rose to stardom in the '70s, with the aforementioned Texas Jewboys as his sick and twisted sidekicks. An equal opportunity offender, Kinky, with his outrageous lyrics and crazed stage persona, may have offended some, but drew people like Don Imus, Robin Williams, Bob Dylan and John Belushi into his spiritual fan club. He toured with Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue and appeared on the inaugural season of Saturday Night Live. His infamous appearance on Austin City Limits, the only performance ever filmed by ACL and never broadcast because of content, has finally been released on DVD, to the delight of fans everywhere.
In the mid '80s, Kinky rescued a woman being robbed at a midtown Manhattan ATM, and, based on this experience, created the character Kinky Friedman the Detective, who solved murders in what would become a series of wildly popular mystery novels. In the years since, the real Kinky has branched out into children's books, memoirs, historical reflections and editorials, all to great success, and all powered by his razor sharp wit.
Kinky's commentaries have appeared in such diverse media as The New York Times, Texas Monthly and Playboy, and since adding politics to his résumé, he has been a regular on cable networks, even stopping by occasionally to spar with Bill O'Reilly.
His books are now read the world over, and his tour schedule reflects this. From Bill Clinton to Billy Bob Thornton to Nelson Mandela, everybody loves a Kinky Friedman mystery. As the ever-humble author likes to say, "I write novels for Americans to read on their aircraft." Billy Bob is currently working with him on a new book, as is Willie Nelson.
And now, for the first time in almost a generation, folks on the West Coast will get to hear Kinky perform (live!) tunes like "Ride 'Em Jewboy," "Sold American" and "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore." And many friends will be there too: Mojo Nixon will join Kinky in San Diego, and Van Dyke Parks has already signed up for L.A. There's no telling who else will pop in. Will there be a Wavy Gravy sighting in San Francisco?