“Y’know, no one used to show up when the Dead would play Nashville. You’d have a few weirdos crowded down front, and then there’s nothing doing in the rest of the place. Took a while to warm up to us, I guess. We’d still get laid after the show, though. I would, at least.
“Now, you may or may not know this, but I spent some time on a ranch when I was a kid. Ropin’, ridin’, whatnot. And, uh, at night all the hands would sing in the bunkhouse. And I had my guitar, and I could figure out the changes real quick, so I was what you might call the backing one-man-band.
“And we sang old cowboy songs. Y’know how it’s called Country & Western? We were doing the western part. Songs about the prairie and Mexico and the open nature of the whole area. We played ‘Midnight on the Herd’ by the Fatty Bacon Boys, and ‘My Woman, My Horse, and My Gun (But not in that Order)’ by Delbert McShanahan, and ‘You Caught my Heart in your Barbed Wire.’ I think that last one was Porkchop Paxton and his band. This is a nice event, so I won’t say their name.
“Some of my favorites were the yodeling songs. I can’t yodel: you gotta have a double-jointed throat for that, man. Real neat stuff, loved to play it. One of the hands was the hairiest guy I’d ever seen. Everybody called him Hairy; ranch hands are direct in their nicknaming. Knuckles, shoulders, all the way around the hips. Hip hair, man. That’s a hairy guy if he’s got hip hair. And, you know: I’m a Grateful Dead, so I’ve come into contact with some of the hairiest people that ever lived; Hairy had ’em beat.
“Hairy bastard could yodel, though. We’d put some booze into him, and he’d open up his fuzzy mouth and the most incredible noises would come out. He knew all the songs, too, and taught ’em to me. We did ‘The Yodeling Pervert’ by Jumpy Lee Joggins, that was a good one. There was ‘Whoopee-hi-hi-hi’ by Tonya Tobacco. ‘Smuggler’s Serenade’ by Yodelin’ Goebel Gödel was a fun tune.
“The ranch we’re at, you know: it’s the middle of nowhere. That’s the nature of a ranch, I guess. And the bunkhouse, where we’re at having such a good time, is kinda separated from the other buildings, y’know? Bunch of guys, it gets loud. So the point I’m getting to is that we’re on our own.
“And here’s something I didn’t know: yodeling attracts wolves.”
“There was a rifle in the corner, but the wolves got in between us and it real fast.”
“I still haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that these were werewolfs.”
“Why are you interrupting my speech?”
You were getting weird.
“It was getting interesting.”
Does it end with Hairy joining the wolfpack?
“No, they eat him.”
That sounds more likely.
“We all got away, but the wolves, you know, ate him.”
You should tell my version.
“It’s more of an uplifting ending, sure.”
Congratulations on the award, Bobby.