Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: roy head (page 1 of 3)

Shockingly Enough, Another Roy Head Adventure

“Jesus was not born in Texas, but he was raised and whelped hereabouts. The Lord reddened the rock, greened the grass, and yellowed the roses. Was He educated here? That cannot be answered with any liturgical precision, but the Apocrypha shows that Christ did play high school football. That his crucifixion was on a Friday was one last kiss of cruelty from the Romans.

“Missing that game hurt as much as them nails did.

“The relationship betwixt Jesus and Texas disproves atheism. We take it as axiomatic that Texas is blessed. If it is not, then why is the beer so cold? I just ipsoed your facto, and we continue our metaphysical mathematics. And if Texas is indeed blessed, then whom is the blessifier? It could not be a man, for Texas is too big to be blessed by a man, and so must be a god, but this god ain’t gonna be some oogie-booger from the who-knows-where, this god’s gonna be from Texas, and Jesus is from Texas, so Jesus is Lord.

“I have never made any apologies for my apologetics.

“As I wandered far from home, I also wandered from God. Leaving Cascabel, I was but a boy. A boy whose virtuosic vocalizing and hall-of-fame hoofing had enabled him to bed scores of the hot-to-trot, absolutely, but a boy nevertheless. I did my routine in Eugene; my song-and-dance in Paris, France; I sang rock in Bangkok. The world pulled up her skirt for me, and I removed my jumpsuit. If a man could drown in nonny-nonny juice, then someone should have tossed me a line. Humanity had slipped Roy Head her hotel key. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“Distraction leads to destruction, and the delights of the road were shiny and moving about in my peripheral vision. I chased many dragons, and also purchased a komodo dragon. They are far less trainable than the man at the pet shop led me to believe. The drink was always there, but now it came bearing friends and they was all some Good Time Charlies. Pills of both the tablet and spansule variety, and powders laid out in lines longer than Russians waiting for toilet paper. The three of us conquered the highways and stuck our dicks in America. Me, Big Bucktoothed Pete, and Skippy Joe: we was debauched and debased and headed towards debilitation.

“Louie Grabass was also involved, but he doesn’t count.

“We was off the road, but not home. Caesar’s Palace was always a triumph, and I played there twice a year for a month each time. Las Vegas treated me like a king, and friends like the king’s friends. The craps dealers loved Big Bucktoothed Pete, and different sorts of dealers loved Skippy Joe. No one loved Louie Grabass; in fact, several chambermaids and valets had beaten him for living up to his name. I was setting the lounge on fire, mostly metaphorically except for that one time what wasn’t my fault and that other time what was. My singing was ringing, my dancing was entrancing, and my patter was snappier than a rude man trying to get a waitress’ attention. Attendance, already swell, swelled.

“Redd Foxx caught my act one night, and called me a honky.

“The days ran together like a bobsled team. Time began to repeat itself, as if our carousing had become a carousel. Was it Tuesday? Saturday? Ombleday, which is the secret eighth day of the week hidden from us by Jewish fellows and the US Postal Service? None of us could tell for certain! Our existence had shrunken to hallways, bathrooms, dressing rooms we wasn’t supposed to be in. When we rose in the afternoons, we would take a shvitz, which was not a secret of the Jews; this steamy pleasure they shared with the world of gentility. The previous party’s poisons would puke from our pores. I staggered, haggard, around the sumptuous suite that was now my glitzy Gehenna, and I mortified my mind with fortified wine. The pit bosses at the craps tables had 172’ed Big Bucktoothed Pete, which means they 86’ed him twice, and Skippy Joe had lost his shirt. He may not have brought a shirt with him. Regardless, the man had no shirt.

“We were gimlet-eyed and grasping at straws.

“I had not met Jesus prior to this occasion, not personally, but I was of course familiar with His work. The band was hot and so were the changas Louie Grabass had secreted within the piano after they had undergone full chimification. My crazylegs burned almost 100,000 calories a show, more if it was a good crowd, and I needed to maintain my blood’s sucrosity. The crowd cheered me on and cheered my up, and as I entertained them to a far greater extent than they deserved, I looked them over. A woman with fantastic boobies was up front. Next to her was a woman whose boobies wasn’t as great, but they was still pretty good. I blipped over the rest of the room, except for the man in the back. He was long-haired and bearded, and wearing a flowing white robe.

“I nearly sicced Skippy Joe on him for being a hippy.

“The Lord locked eyes with me and I knew in my heart that He loved me. I knew there that I had to stop sinning. I knew there that I was reborn in the Lord. When I finished the show, ducking and shucking the autograph-seekers and stage-door peekers, I searched high and low for the Lord but I only found slot machines and cocktail waitresses. I thought I found Him at a blackjack table, but it was just a hippy, so I sicced Skippy Joe on him. I could not find the Lord, but He had found me, and so I had Big Bucktoothed Pete baptize me in the suite’s hot tub. From that day on, I would lead a clean and well-lighted kind of life. I would repay the world which had given me so much, and done so much to me, and let me touch and fondle so much of it.

“Upon return to Cascabel, I immediately bought a water park.

“There was, according to Big Bucktoothed Pete’s research, no Bible-themed water parks in America. I set about to rectify that injustice with my new acquisition, which I had renamed Headwaters. The lazy river ride became Moses’ Baby Journey; the big slide became the Red Sea; the rapids ride became Noah’s Adventure. I would spread the Word while renting out lockers and selling hot dogs, a prophet making a profit. When the renovations were completed, we raised several glasses to our new venture and kept to the Christian theme. We drank Sauls, which is when you take so many shots you go blind and start answering to a different name. We drank Methuselahs, which are incredibly aged whiskey. We drank Western Schisms, which is where you have two drinks and they denounce one another.

“Nothing could go wrong with the Lord on our side.

“It did not take until noon to realize that the Lord had not been informed of our opening date! The first mass baptism in the wave pool resulted in several drownings! Apparently, the reason I had been able to purchase the park so quickly was the significant structural deficiencies affecting all the rides! An entire church group from Brownsville went missing from Moses’ Baby Journey! The Red Sea straight-up collapsed!”

“Sir, do you want popcorn or not? The movie’s about to start.”


“Okay, can I help the next person in line?”

Roy Head Carries On Having Adventures, Whether He Should Or Not


“America is to Texas as Canada is to America: irrelevant, and riddled with hockey. A place of winter, a land of crowds. One might do business there, or briefly romance a hussy, but this singer never lingered. A Texan knows the Lord’s sky, and the Devil’s basin; A Texan knows which side of his armadillo is buttered, though buttering of armadillos is ill-advised even for the most veteran of veterinarians. Them things is basically armored herpes.

“In Texas, roadkill kills you, or at least gives you armadillo herpes.

“Many a Cuban heel have I worn down upon the road as I saw the world, and I long ago stopped counting jumpsuits I’ve blown the crotch out of. My clippings were billboards along the highway of my stardom; my prized Polaroids of poontang past were the paving-stones that made up that highway. In the mornings, I was a glory, and a star every evening. In my beloved hometown of Cascabel, there was a statue of me that I had paid for, and also put up in the middle of the night when no one was around. Multiple theories have arisen to account for its origin, and I encourage these, as to throw people off my trail.

“When in doubt, say that the Illuminati did it.

“I wore stardom like an Italian wears pants: fashionably, and my ass looked good. Fancy, Dancy, and Prancy–my legs are so spectacular that I named ’em three times, and cycle between the three at my own personal prerogative–left the ladies impressed and their dates depressed. During my Asian tour, my happy-dancin’ caused waves of ritual suicides, although it may have been coincidental, as your average Japanese kills hisself two or three times a year. Besides that, the whole damn continent couldn’t get enough of Roy Head. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“At first, I was trepidatious. I was sure of my talents, many and varied, from dancing to singing to pottery to smithing of both the gun and lock varieties, but I was also sure that every damn time we tried to leave the country everything got fucked up. Many high-level meetings were held between myself, Big Bucktoothed Pete, and Skippy Joe and though we caroused at the problem to the extent of the laws of nature and what Miss Rosa will tolerate, none of us could figure out the reason for the continued failures.

“In the drunk tank around dawn, we decided this time would be different.

“Big Bucktoothed Pete had done his hitch in the Navy, and taken leave in many Asian countries, where he did things that it is illegal to do to a white person. He regaled us with tales of debauchery and, due to the favorable exchange rate, remarkably cheap perversion. At those prices, you can’t afford not to get your freak on. Me and Skippy Joe were thirsty for these stories, like an alcoholic in the desert with a salt shaker up his ass. Downright parched, we drank in Big Bucktoothed Pete’s tales by the gallon.

“We was simultaneously drinkin’ whiskey, which may account for our credulity.

“Plans and procedures, and schedules and setlists abounded and multiplied, translated into many languages that were drawn rather than written. Calls of the longest distances were placed. Maps were purchased, and then returned because they were of the wrong country, but that may have been my personal fault, as I should’ve known better than to assume Louie Grabass knew what country Bangkok was in, because Louis Grabass is a smart as a cow pie in a mailbox and shouldn’t have been sent on this particular errand in the first place.

“The man can chimi a changa, but he’s a dolt.

“To acclimatize ourselves to the orientalness of the Orientals, we moved the rehearsal studio/office/tavern into Cascabel’s only Chinese restaurant, Pedro’s. I installed Louie Grabass in the kitchen and got ’em to stop serving foreign food and start making Mexican food; I did, however, leave up all the heathen art on the walls, some of which were made from paper and lasted almost an hour in the same room with Skippy Joe. To save money on musicians, I purchased several busboys from Pedro and taught them the horn parts.

“The trumpet player is still with me today.

“First would be Japan, which was and is still an island, making it the opposite of Texas, which is most decidedly not no island. I did admire their decisions to declare war on the United States, and to be as far away from Oklahoma as global circularity permits. The schedule called for Tokyo, and then Kyoto, and then Okyto, continuing on to Ootky, and next Ytook, and it was at this point that I recalled Skippy Joe’s never-treated dyslexia and regretted having him on the planning committee. Skippy Joe’s writing was like a teenage boy trying to unhook a young lady’s bra: he knew what he wanted to do, but had no idea how to go about it.

“If a friend lacks everything but loyalty, then that friend has everything.

“We got that paperwork back in tip-top shape, and got on the airplane for the 94-hour flight. Wishing to avoid the usual complications, I had Big Bucktoothed Pete give Skippy Joe the ol’ B.A. Baracus with a two-by-four and also a syringe full o’ God knows what; that boy slept all the way to Japan, snoring zestily even throughout Big Bucktoothed Pete’s reading of the Book of Kings, which was precipitated by the free drinks he was provided, and preceded by the removal of his clothing. Sensing we was approaching the part of the sermon in which Big Bucktoothed Pete begins preaching in an overly-sexual manner, I hit him with the rest of the syringe. This was a tactical error, as it left me with no one to talk to for the rest of the flight except Louie Grabass.

“The man’s good for one thing, and extended conversation ain’t it.

“When we arrived in Tokyo, we were surprised to see all the signs welcoming us to Bangkok; this astonishment abated alacratitiously when it was discovered that the flight had been booked by Louis Grabass, whom I was beginning to resent. I also must admit that this was the moment I began to lose faith in my delegating skills. With the next plane not available until the next day, the smart play was to get a good night’s sleep and face tomorrow’s challenges with the brightest of eye, and bushiest of tail.

“Naturally, we chose to find one of them fuck clubs Big Bucktoothed Pete told us about.

“We were the ugliest Americans! No one abroad had ever been less innocent, and it was certainly no burden to be a white man. The bars and massage parlors leered and hooted at us, and we reveled in their revulsion, wandering gaudily down the neon strip. The names were lurid–the Fuck Fuck Club, and Mr. Humper’s–but at the dirty end of the street, we found our place: Miss Rosa’s; she had, unbeknownst to us, opened a franchise. We were happy to be in familiar climes: the decor and layout were identical to the one in Cascabel.

“Texas is so big that some of it could be found in Bangkok.

“Our trans-Pacific imprisonment had been as long as our thirst was now tall, and we dispatched beverage after beverage up its peaks. To Asia! we said, and drank Opium Rebellions, which is a shot of rice liquor then someone forces you take heroin. We drank Yul Brynners, which are not from Asia but play the part of an Asian drink for years. Finally, we had Kamikazes, which are Kamikazes. We were as lubricated as industrial pistons shooting pornography when the live show began, and we learned that despite the similarity of the cathouses, Bangkok and Texas was very different places.

“Even show business had not prepared me for the tawdry tableaux unfolding.

“It was as though these sexual athletes before us had made a list of the world’s gods, and then endeavored to piss off every one! Acts were performed that would get you removed from any mall, and some of the ladies had double-jointed cooters. One healthy young man did a diving act that ended not in a pool, but a butt; his accuracy was breathtaking, mostly to the young lady: you could hear the wind go out of her over the music. There may have been prehensile boners, and we all cheered when the ping pong girl, Ping Pong, came onstage.

“It was like Vaudeville, but with more fancy-fuckin’.

“With a higher-pitched sound than you might believe, the balls SHPLIPPed out of Ping Pong with uncanny precision: she hit targets, knocked cigarettes out of mouths, and changed the song on the jukebox. Her crotch was a cannon, and the room cheered and laughed, except for Skippy Joe, who had gotten hold of a paddle somewhere and returned one of Ping Pong’s volleys. That ball is just the right size to lodge in a sex worker’s throat! There is no word in Thai for Heimlich! Thinking it was part of the act, her fellow performer disregarded her lifelessness and just kept on fuckin’!

“We had to be smuggled out of the country, cancelling the tour!”

“So, are you registered to vote or not, sir?”


“I’m just a volunteer, man.”

Roy Head Lives!


God bless you, Cascabel, Texas, wherever you are.

“You know me and the boys are gonna break into that television studio, right?”

Shh. And: no, you won’t. You’ll plan to, but never make it there.

“Good enough.”

Head Voice

Remember the LSD doctor in the basement story that turned out to be bullshit? And how I got all ookey-spookey, and tried to be all Mr. Writer-Man with my bullshit? (So much bullshit.)

Just pretend I said all that about this: Sundance Head on The Voice. Yes, that Sundance Head. You should’ve heard of his daddy.

(Don’t continue watching after he stops singing. Trust me: those chairs are occupied by monsters.)

Riding The Rails With Roy Head, Who Is Still Having Adventures


“The Texas of my youth exists, and it shall be the Texas of my death. Everlasting, Texas is an unchangeling. Do you measure yourself against Texas? You’ll not find a scale to fit the both of you. To compare your deeds against her doings? Consequence will find no purchase in your resume. Texas will respect your audacity, but ignore the rest.

“However many water parks you have, Texas has more.

“To the north, west, east? What did this collage of cardinals have to offer a Son of the Yellow Rose? What jewels to be mined lay thereabouts? Each state a bigger letdown than the next: Wyoming is the size of the moon, but there ain’t enough people to get up a regulation conga line; West Virginia ain’t nothing but Mothmans and meth men; Oklahoma smells. My personal quibble with Washington is that it is a villain to a nondetail-oriented singer making up a tour itinerary.

“Six hours into the flight, I began to realize something was amiss.

“The south was where a Texan’s view rarely strayed from. Mexico and Texas may fuss, with feudin’ on occasion, but our history was intertwined. Massacres were rare, though not unheard of. Whites and Mexicans got along in Cascabel, unless folks was broke, or drunk, or bored. These was the old days, and you will note I did not include the adjective ‘good’ in that description. Everyone had their own side of town: White, Mexican, Black. Some Chinese families was fixin’ to move in, but Cascabel is triangular and there were no more sides of town left. I hated the arrangement! How could I deny the joy and jauntiness that my super-loose super-legs brought to anyone? Roy Head’s talents were to be shared with all mankind, and sexy ladies.

“Yes, that Roy Head. You should’ve heard of me.

“I was well-traveled, but did not travel well, as attested to by the fact that me and the boys had been thrown out of damn near the whole world. The high incidence of incidents, internationally speaking, had penned us in like wanderin’ cattle. Additionally, and as usual owin’ to Skippy Joe’s wild-eyed wiliness, we had been banned from boats. Not any specific vessel, mind you: boats. If it floated, we was not allowed upon it.

“With no background in maritime law, I hadn’t the means to protest.

“I was stuck in the same markets, revisiting cities, being arrested by the same police officers. My last single had missed the charts, partially due to not being recorded. The songs I was gettin’ offered was the bottom of the barrel of monkeys! Can you conjure up the sticky hell that would be the bottom of a barrel of monkeys, a foot deep of simian leavings and perhaps the fresh corpse of an overcome primate? Let the imagined smell sear the nose of your mind! That’s how bad them songs was.

“I am a titanic talent, but I was sinking fast.

“But within our doom lies salvation, and also someone to drive. Big Bucktoothed Pete had hisself a plan, and he laid it out one Sunday morning after church, at Miss Rosa’s. The problem, he opined over a Lone Star and a handful of pills, was the audience. I fully agreed with Big Bucktoothed Pete, as the only other option was that it was my fault, which could not be true. A fresh crowd, he emphasized, and that could only be found down south Meh-hee-co way. He emphasized this second point by removin’ his clothes and changin’ the subject to the Good Word, but that probably had more to do with the pills than the plan.

“We would take a train across Mexico, and we would call the tour the Fiesta Express.

“There was much to do, and little time to have other people do it for me in. Shows were booked: Big Bucktoothed Pete did not know Spanish, but he was excellent as speaking loudly and slowly. The tour came together mellifluously: Guadaljara, Delicias, Navolato. Mexican towns got names like gettin’ an angel’s tongue in your ear. I hired a mariachi band and rearranged my hits, turning down the Tex in favor of the Mex. Louie Grabass locked himself in his test kitchen dreaming up ways to chimi a changa what nobody had thought before. Skippy Joe was included in a conversation regarding how pleasant it would be to have our own train car.

“Skippy Joe’s predictability was predictable as hell.

“Our car was appointed in high style, and named the Spruce Caboose. It was fancy as hell. The sconces were made from gold, and then gold-plated. The wainscoting was carbon fiber. Full hygienic facilities for the band and crew, and a private privy for me off my bedroom; despite the car only havin’ one floor, I also had a private elevator installed. The common area had both a conversation pit and a raised platform for sitting in silence. Apparati were built to facilitate Mexican sleeping needs. That there was a kitchen set to the singular task of changa-chimmyin’ should come as no shock, but you might have been surprised by the inclusion of a drive-through window. Louis Grabass really wanted it, and Big Bucktoothed Pete got tired of telling him how stupid it was.

“He balked at puttin’ in a microphone and menu, though.

“We set out for the tour’s first stop in Monterrey and a raucous revelry infected the Spruce Caboose: the future was just over them tracks in front of us. We were giddy as schoolgirls, and so, like schoolgirls, we began drinking heavily. Mariachis and crew and me, the giant star who is Roy Head, quaffing in a spirit of brotherhood! To celebrate Mexico, we concocted bebidos especiales. We had El Chapos, which you take a sip of and then the next time you look down, your drink’s gone. We drank Sabado Gigantes; you have no idea what’s in them, but they’re still enjoyable. We had Chihuahuas, which are a drink but also a dog.

“At this point, sobriety was a poncho we had discarded.

“I must now defend my friend Skippy Joe, as it seems I do so often: Skippy Joe don’t have a racist bone in his body. He does know a shitload of racist jokes, though, and when he gets on a roll, he becomes as unstoppable as the train we rode. The mariachis became slightly offended, and more than slightly armed! I was unaware their giant hats contain giant knives! Thank the Lord Hisself that Big Bucktoothed Pete had brought a shotgun to the knife fight that he was unaware would break out! The tour was over before it had begun! We hadn’t even made it to San Antonio!”

“Do you want pumpkin spice in that?”


“I’m just gonna put pumpkin spice in.”

Reasons Them There Apple Airpods Are An Affront To The Lord Hisself

  • New-fangulated doohickery!
  • Plasticine evidence of a shoddiness inherent in the non-Texan soul.
  • Lookin’ like when that Mexican fellow put them tiny space armadillos in that Commie’s ear in that Star Trek.
  • Cuz Skippy Joe gonna lose one and take the house apart down to the studs lookin’ for it.

Excuse me.


Why is Roy Head allowed to do the bullet point bit?

There’s nothing in the rules that says he can’t.

For the last time: Air Bud is not legal precedent. If you want to have a visit with your lunatic friend and his lunatic friends, then write a little story about him. This place is getting insular.

You’re getting insular.



At This Point, Roy Head Having An Adventure Should Not Be A Surprise, But Yet It Is


“If there be demons, you will not find them here. Not in this glorious land which, though it is hard and it is scrabble, was created by the Lord Hisself. Why do you think Texas is so large? It’s so God has somewhere to clear His head. I can see the Lord’s broad shoulders in the hilly woods of Nacogdoches, and all the Heavens He commands in the flat and boring parts, which are perhaps too numerous to mention. If Texas were not the stomping grounds of our God, then why are there so many water parks?

“Theologians never contemplate the important questions.

“But Texas is not the whole wide world. If it were, it would have glaciers, and be bigger. Bestride the border, the world waves, welcomingly. Some heed the call, others remain abed. Still others are cattle, and don’t understand the poetic nature of life. Did I envy them and their blithe existence, and freedom of poopery? Slightly I did, I must confess. Siren’s song, silenced? Such sweet stupidity.

“Longhorns bring me out in alliteracy, and it can’t be explained.

“Like a mixed metaphor, the world whispered into my eyes. Foreigners of all stripe had heard about my wiggly, waggly sassylegs and them two tigers don’t need no translating. From Oslo in the north, to Trieste in the south, everybody thought I was awesome. Letters poured in, some of them in languages that looked as though a pencil had thrown up on the paper, demanding my presence in their weird and scary little countries Boxes of them, most addressed simply ‘Roy Head, Texas.’ Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“America had been conquered, just like Genghis Khan conquered wherever the hell he conquered. England was a fancy notch in my bedpost, which Big Bucktoothed Pete had carved for me and contained many secret weapons, some of which were Oriental in nature. Iceland, where the plane was forced to land on the way home from the British tour on account of the fire Louie Grabass started while he was chimmying up some Mile High Changa, was also a great success, despite there not being a show and all of us getting thrown out of the country in less than an hour.

“It would be more correct to say Skippy Joe was expelled, and we was collateral damage.

“We would trek across Europe! There were fertile markets, and unexplored territories, and many women who had not heard our lies yet. My legs, Razzle and Dazzle, would live up to their names, and I would sing songs so sweet. Fräuleins would faint; senoritas, swoon; my voice would be the talk of Paris, and I would give a talk on the Voice of America. Battle plans were drawn, and exchange rates negotiated. I would win over 12 cities in 19 nights, and return to Cascabel a hero.

“We called it the Rio Grande Tour, and several t-shirts were designed.

“Besides the four of us, there was a band, a road crew, various family members, and an illusionist from Montreal who refused to speak English and stole everyone’s watches. The numbers had been crunched and crunched again, like an armadillo that didn’t look both ways, and they allowed no way to cross the Atlantic but via the sea. Also, though the Do Not Fly list did not exist at the time, an informal ban had been placed on us, again due to Skippy Joe’s airborne excitability.

“Skippy Joe was a hassle, but he was our brother.

“The Grande Tour would begin in Rome, where I had brand-new horn arrangements to be played in front of ancient ruins. I would then get stinky in Cologne, and then hot dog in Hamburg. We would make the trek to Toulouse, and then set Bern on fire with my immense talents and funky-dancing. I would knock it home in Stockholm. Through the power of music and me, Toledo would become holy. I was planning on pronouncing Barcelona incorrectly, out of respect for the citizens.

“They would be expecting an ugly American, but Texans are glorious.

“Our departure was calamitastrophic, which is a word I have just made up, but whose meaning is patent, as not only, to my dismay, had the trumpet player pawned the rest of the horn section, but the entire party, having had their watches stolen by the illusionist from Montreal, who was understandably fired with cause soon thereafter, was reproachably late, and, in the case of Big Bucktoothed Pete, liquored up, naked, and preaching the gospel which, sadly, had not the enlightening effect intended and doing nothing to relieve the dismay I mentioned in the beginning of this sentence, whose complexity has been shaped to mimic the situation it describes.

“The illusionist from Montreal was not the only one who knew good tricks.

“Due to the intervention of the Lord Hisself, those of us that had not been fired or pawned made it onto the ship. The reductionist view might award credit to Skippy Joe for tackling all the stevedores trying to cast the ship off, but I saw the Lord’s hand in events. He works in mysterious ways, and ain’t no one more mysterious than Skippy Joe, who has often been referred to as an enigma wrapped in a riddle and not wearing a shirt. His speedy violence bought us the time to board the majestic cruiser, the HMS Queen Latifah.

“It was luxurious, but still had flavor.

“We installed Louie Grabass in the galley, which we still called the kitchen around him, as Louie Grabass was as dumb as the changas he chimmied so expertly. It was a time-saver, and soon just as the ship floated upon the sea, we floated upon changa, and also friendship. The salt air had aligned the stars in the sky, and the frothy waves bid us become closer to one another. Was the moon our confidant? Did Poseidon sit with us in the elegantly-appointed bar, the Rear Admiral?

“We posited he did, and therefore ordered an extra drink for him every round.

“The road crew joined us, as did the remaining musicians who had not been pawned or thrown overboard by the trumpet player, who was becoming a problem. We were cowboys at sea, and we had thirsts no honest man could quench. The ocean called the tune at the Rear Admiral, and we began our ensloppification with Bermuda Triangles, which are equal parts rum and logical fallacies. We drank Titanics, which are served on ice, and Costa Concordias, which are served on the rocks. We drank Bismarcks, which did not live up to their hype in the slightest.

“By and by, the mighty ship could not challenge us in terms of rocking.

“Our party spread out to encompass deck after deck, and though bulkheads may stop water, they offer no defense against alcohol and its effects. The Lido Deck was hopping, and the Sun Deck shone with smiles, and also folks gettin’ nekkid. Jam sessions proliferated like funky fungi, and the cruise musicians and what was left of my band that had not been pawned, thrown off the boat, or also thrown off the boat, joined up in a many-headed wonder-group of low-down miracle music.

“Fellows danced the funky chicken; ladies did the boogaloo.

“Coaxed I was by joy, prodded forth from my seat by the crowd, and I took the stage to rapturous applause. Was it for me? Was it for my limber legs and their function, which was rambunction? Was it for my vocal stylings, which though angelic, caused emotions of a devilish nature? Was it my hair which, though battered by both the sea and the spirits I had been communing with at the bar, stood proud and tall and remembered the Alamo? We cannot know the answer.

“No one had seen Skippy Joe for quite some time.

“In my beloved friend’s defense, he had been able drive everything else he stole up until then, but the Queen Latifah presented Skippy Joe with a Black Swan-type development. It turns out boats that size don’t even have a wheel, and Skippy Joe was very far out of his element. The wheelhouse was not in his wheelhouse, and the massive vessel did not take well to his amateur fumblings! The boat thrashed from port to starboard, but as we were from Texas, we went left and right! The trumpet player used the chaos as cover to murder the remainder of the band! Skippy Joe crashed the boat into Portugal!

“The Rio Grande Tour was canceled, and the t-shirts unsold!”

“I’m going to stop delivering pizzas to you if you’re going to do this every time.”


“Please just pay me so I can leave.”

Another Roy Head Adventure? Now? Why?

“The only thing bigger than Texas is the Texas sky. It stretches from El Paso all the way to Dallas, and Abilene down on ’til Brownsville. The sky even makes it to San Antonio, which is most likely a contractual obligation. Denim dressing, cerulean canopy, baby-blue bonnet: all apply. To live in Texas and look up is to catch a glimpse of God’s underfrockening, and woe betide your mortal eyeballs: your retinas may sear from beauty, and your irises will wilt.

“The Texas sky will school your pupils.

“It was at night that the heavens revealed themselves to us. Just a mile outside Cascabel, there was no light at all and the stars glowed like a marquee, and the Lord hisself was headlining. Sometimes the wild hogs ate another transformer down the power plant, and you could see the Milky Way right from the center of town, until the inevitable fires. Growing up in Cascabel, I did not realize how infrequently the phrase ‘until the inevitable fires’ should be employed; in this case, my upbringing was my downfall. Daddy would point out the constellations to me: Orion, and Hercules, and Tom Landry.

“Three stars form the brim of his hat.

“I ached for it! Though my surprising and seismic silly-legs could scatter inhibitions and shatter proscriptions, they were as rooted to the soil as the long grasses of the Texas prairies, or even a common fern, which is a sissy plant. My haunches were powerful and my sinews taut; you could bounce a quarter off my buttocks, but only if you were wearing safety goggles: I mean to say that I could leap and jump and damn-near soar, but I could not fly. A star belongs in the sky, and Roy Head is a star. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“It was Nineteen-seventy-something-or-other. I was the biggest star in the world, according to Skippy Joe, and I agreed with my friend, that accelerating angel. Sixteen weeks a year in Vegas, a month at a time. In between weathering the Strip, I would take my talents to various towns, burghs, and cities proper, so that people may appreciate them, and me. We would wow the West and storm through the South, navigating the North and electrifying the East at both our leisure and pleasure.

“This top dog was in the catbird seat.

“But the road wore on me like an improperly sized saddle on an inadequately trained prostitute, and I began to resent America for her spaciousness. Just because something’s on the other side of Nebraska shouldn’t mean I have to drive through Nebraska: I’d done nothing wrong, yet had been sentenced to a harsh punishment doled out in miles instead of years. My custom tour bus, Headwind, was of a quality known only to movers and sheikhs, but without the freedom to leave, nothing is luxurious.

“You might also recall that Headwind got itself driven through a zoo.

“Roy Head needed a new set of wheels, and I preferred that those wheels be kinda vestigial to the operation of the vehicle. A star belonged in the sky, and I tasked Big Bucktoothed Pete with bearing me aloft. Luckily, he had a cousin, Large Sloppy-faced Jonathan, with contacts of a nature aerospacious and ethics of a manner disputatious. He believed that repossession is nine-tenths of the law and for worryingly less than a trustworthy craft should cost, I owned my own airplane.

“Thank God my daddy was dead, for the pride would have killed him.

“It was a DeHavilland 125 with twin engines: I had me a set of jets, and they would thrust and plunge me through the ether and weather at a speed and height even Skippy Joe could not attain, though Lord knows he tried. I was also quite sure that my new conveyance could not be driven through a zoo, though Lord knows Skippy Joe would try. He was strictly forbidden from messing with the plane, a forced vacation from modification, for we knew that unlike his dillying dalliances with Dodges, this could end in no way but flames and perhaps a tribute song to me.

“Skippy Joe could turn a monkeywrench into monkeyshines.

“Vice is a villain, but very often vital; when I met the Lord, he would forgive me, and I had already forgiven myself for what I was about to do: I sent Skippy Joe on a fictitious errand to Miss Rosa’s, along with Louie Grabass. Louie bore a note for Miss Rosa, along with a sizable wad of cash; the note read, ‘Get him high and lay him low.’ I hated to feed Skippy Joe’s demons, but it was the only thing to keep him from the airliner while we was working on it, short of tying him up, and we hesitated to enlasso him a second time.

“We all discovered Skippy Joe’s new fetish that day.

“With Skippy Joe distracted, Big Bucktoothed Pete and I got down to customifying the jet: there was an organ for entertainment, and a bed so others might entertain our organs. Places that one would assume could not be carpeted were, in defiance of their very natures. There was a full kitchen with a deep fryer; the dining room was formal; bathrooms were fore and aft: these three stations had but one reason, which was the chimichanga.

“You begin by chimiing a changa, but the changa always ends up chimiing you.

“Big Bucktoothed Pete finished wiring up the recording studio in record time, and we hastened to comport with our compatriots; it should not shock you to hear that while our absence was noted, we were not missed. Louis Grabass was grabbing ass, and Skippy Joe was shirtless and behind the bar like in the old days, but he was wearing one of the ladies as a hat, or perhaps a helmet: she was encapsulating his cabeza and there was little struggle for freedom. Blind, deaf, and happy, Skippy Joe was pouring drinks using only his sense of touch.

“His accuracy wasn’t 100%, but it was far better than you might predict.

“We celebrated: we named the plane the Airhead, and set Skippy Joe to concoctinating our cocktails. In honor of the Airhead, we drank Charles Lindberghs, which are champagne, schnapps, and kidnapping. We ordered an Amelia Earhart, but it never showed up. We had many rounds of U2s, which are shots of vodka followed by forced confessions. Then we sipped Concordes, which get you drunk twice as fast as regular booze, but cost twenty times as much. This beverage went beautifully with the decadent mood, and it should be noted that they were the idea of the young woman attached to Skippy Joe’s face

“Her name was Lola, and she was a showgirl.

“The Texas night spun and burbled! Our whoops and hollerations carried up and down the tarmac  as we returned to the Airhead: that plane was as white as God’s laundry, and Big Bucktoothed Pete had artistically adorned the flying chariot with my name in script right beneath the pilot’s window, and then he had crudely painted a wang because he thought it was funny. I did, too. The four of us plus Lola, who was still nestled on Skippy Joe’s noggin, enplaned to continue the party. The bar had been pre-stocked with booze, and our bellies were about to get re-stocked with changa.

“We had assumed the plane required a key to start; we were incorrect.

“Even my prancing dancers get weary and bleary! The Airhead was so comfortating that once a snooze has you in its sleepy sights, then there’s no resisting! We were layin’ on Egyptian cotton with our eyelids heavy as the Pyramids, and none of us was super-human. Slumber took us all. Lola snored softly and sweetly, like a puppy farting. Swiftly, we slept.

“Usually such a loyal friend, Skippy Joe did not agree with the group’s plan.

“He never got the plane in the air, but he got it on the highway! The wings scooped up pickups and police cruisers and threw them like a bored baby! Street signs uprooted and zipped through the air like helpful ninja stars! Skippy Joe drove that jet plane down the road and Lola never loosened her full-body grip! God help me, I don’t know how he managed to find another zoo! Skippy Joe taxied that sumbitch right through the monkey house! It was happening again!

“If you wanna bowl, then you gotta rent the shoes.”


“Irv, could you deal with this guy?”

One Of Roy Head’s Many Untold Adventure, Now Told


“You can chase the world, or produce your own gravity. Texas does the latter. My land is a black hole, and all that venture too close get slurped into her maw. Where is the event horizon of Texas? No one knows, and it has not been discovered by scientist or Christian Scientist alike. Everything flows into Texas, except shit: that stops in Oklahoma. Hollywood makes the movie, but they send it here. New York has the money, but they call Texas first.

“New York also provides us with Jewish people.

“In a perfect world, I would’ve stayed on the family parcel, and taken over the farm, but it was not a perfect world. Occasionally in my youth, my father would leave a football outside overnight, during the winter. Then, he would chuck it at my face, sneaky-style. “World ain’t perfect, boy,” Daddy would say. I must forgive his harsh mastery: he had been bitterized after being pauperized. My people had raised longhorns, and oil derricks, and alfalfa for generations, but all in the same field. Finances were not robust. None of them things like being around them other things: it was improper resource allocation. I could have worked an honest day and taken in a follie-type extravaganza in the evening.

“A quiet, normal life.

“Was it the Holy Father imparting His divinitaciousness upon me, and concentrating his mojo in my audacious vocal stylings, and my bodacious hair stylings, and my undulating undershanks? I have always believed so, and many preachers and psychics and bartenders have agreed with me. Was it my mortal father, more earthly and earthy than the Man in the Penthouse recognizing my various geniuses and driving me out to Miss Rosa’s to sing for nickels that fateful night Roy Head began his conquestification of the music business, America, the world, and even Texas? Perhaps, and: yes, I’m that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“It was  Tuesday night, and that was Audition Night at Miss Rosa’s, for talent of both the public and private variety. Rosa was a matron of the arts, and she was no slackadaisy! That woman ran the tightest ship since the USS Missouri went on a diet. Her tastes were both catholic and Catholic; though she peddled flesh upstairs, she would tolerate perversions neither linguistic nor conceptual from atop her stage. A juggler of low skill once saw one of his bowling pins go skittering out of his grasp, and he responded with the mightiest of all foul oaths. A year later, he was booking himself as Texas’ only one-armed juggler.

“In the long run, it was good for his career.

“Though times were tough, Mama Head would never pawn the piano. Two of my brothers were sold at far-below market value, but the piano stayed. She would play spirituals, some of which were of the negro persuasion, and I learned of my gifts perched beside her; when I would sing, Mama Head would smile at me and no boy from Texas needs more encouragement than that. You show me a man what doesn’t love his mama, I’ll take off my boot and hit him with it many times.

“Roy Head brooks no mama-directed insolence.

“My legs were shaking, and not in the spectaculating way I later came to rely on as a trademark: fear had me. The bar was full, it being a Tuesday night, and all manner of citizen was present: pimps, and gimps, and women with limps. There were wheelers, and dealers, and dirty dog stealers. More than several local politicians were there. The women in attendance were all of Miss Rosa’s employ, and they were clad scantily. They were sweet, and felicitous: many pinched my cheek , but none dare tussle my hair, as glorious as it was.

“No matter that I was eight: youth is no excuse for an untended coif.

“The church folks had heard my singing before; they were naturally and of course astonished, but these were people prone to speaking in tongues and french-kissing rattlesnakes, so I took their opinions with a pillar of salt. These were high-toned gentlemen and high-dollar ladies in the room: the best of the best. One man who came in regularly was reputed to have met Frank Sinatra, but he was not there that evening. I swallowed hard and looked at my daddy; I had to do well for him. The year had been rough. The oil derricks had poisoned the longhorns, who had knocked down the derricks as they died. The alfalfa, needless to say, failed to even sprout.

“Farming may not have been in the Head’s blood.

“Daddy had wandered away, possibly to spend the paltry sum he had been squirreling away from my mama, and I did what any eight-year-old in the oldest established semi-legal cathouse in Texas would do: I found the bar. Miss Rosa had an odd staffing policy. Women in her place had only one item in their portfolio; the field of bartendery, for example, was closed to those of the curvacious persuasion. Rosa also preferred to employ no adult men, as their presence led to foolishness and skullduggery.

“The solution was eunuchs, but Miss Rosa had priced it and it was cost-prohibitive.

“Her enemies, both legion in number and Legion in intent, would say that she bought orphans. Lies! Miss Rosa gave those boys homes! And she was no grasping pinchpenny: they were always allowed to keep their tips. Those young men learned a work ethic. They learned about the workings of the human heart, and about the doings of the human body. Miss Rosa permitted them to be schooled by both the government and the girls: they studied geometry, and would occasionally see a boob. Rescued from the austere awfulness of the orphanage, those tykes had a fighting chance growing up at Rosa’s, and many people loved her for that, among them Cascabel’s police chief and the school principal.

“Miss Rosa had friends in high places, until one day she didn’t.

“I lifted myself onto a stool; the bartender was a whippet of a whelp: his shoulders wasn’t the width around of a fancy lady’s wrist, and he had straw for hair, ends all raggedy, and longer than was the fashion at the time. He was also shirtless and I asked him if he was the one what met Frank Sinatra. He said he was not, so I introduced myself as the greatest singer he had ever met. And then I shook the hand of my beautiful friend, Skippy Joe.

“He palmed one of my rings, thus beginning a pattern.

“Skippy Joe called across the room to the piano player; he was five years old, 6’2”, and paid two separate alimonies. Some folks are just born grown, and this man I just heard immolating the ivories was one of them. His teeth got there before he did, as they were the size of tombstones, and not regular tombstones: these were like the big ones rich and powerful people get. I produced sheet music, and he glanced at it, handed it back, smiled. His name was Pete, he said.

“Pete said that I looked nervous, and then Pete smiled.

“Skippy Joe got to concocting and conceiving: he could mix five drinks at a time, as long as four of them were beer. We sensed something, a mutual attraction between men, but not in a sissy way. There was a frisson of friendship around that bar that evening, and it was charging us up! The night was young, and so were we. Skippy Joe was a libationary librarian, hunting down recipes in the stacks, and we commenced to drink in honor of youth. We had Terrible Twos, which is half-tequila/half-red wine, and then you hurl the glass at a loved one and vomit. We drank Roman Polanskis, which is a cocktail most find unpalatable, but is defended by an uncomfortable amount of people what should know better. We drank First Loves, which is equal parts whiskey and dry-humping.

“Somewhere between the third and eighth drinks, Pete acquired a nickname.

“We were brazen in our booziness, and from the back of the bar, Miss Rosa whanged that ring of hers on the table; you could hear it halfway to Amarillo. It was time to go on stage, but there were at least two of them dancing in my vision like Rockettes shot with a tranq dart. They wobbled to and fro! I had no chance to make it, and the farm would revert to the bank, as would the scrap metal that used to be oil derricks and longhorn corpses! My daddy, who had had just enough money for a tugger from the ugly girl and was upstairs trying to talk her into doing him a mouth favor, would be a bankrupt; my mama would need to sell the piano, and possibly me.

“I had no confidence; I should have had faith.

“Under my left arm weaseled Skippy Joe, and Big Bucktoothed Pete took up the weight on the right. They bore me like a father would his child, weaving and parrying with the crowd to secure me purchase to that place where my star shines the brightest: the stage. The adrenaline hit me with the lights, and Big Bucktoothed Pete started hammering away, and my slithery, slippery super-legs went into hyperovermegadrive. The integrity of my slacks was in question, but the crowd acted as a jockey, and spurred me on.  I sent my singing at their ears, and my fancy-dancin’ at their eyes; was I able to make them smell stuff, I would have; from the beginning, Roy Head has been the total package! I secured a contract with Miss Rosa, and found my destiny, and the men I would share it with.

“I also negotiated a weekly freebie for my daddy.”

Don’t these usually end in chaos and failure?

“Everybody gets to win one now and then.”

Yeah, all right.

Between You And Me, I Don’t Know Why Roy Head Is Having Another Adventure


“When I was a tiny and fire-breathing pup, I believed that Texas was the entire world. Having trotted this globe many a time since then, I still maintain this outlook. The metallurgy of the Eiffel Tower, the dramaturgy of the Globe theater, the thaumaturgy of the Pyramids: I have planned to see all of those things, but been too hungover and remained by the hotel pool until showtime. I have eaten yogurt in a yurt, and made a peepee in a teepee. My passport has more stamps than a philatelist’s fevered dreams.

“The world has been made aware of my presence.

“But I return, time and time again, a son both prodigal and prodigious. When autumn sneaks into the air and it’s hunting season; or when the sun bakes the sweat clean off your brow and it’s the other hunting season; or in winter during the mini-season, or in between hunting seasons when you’re only allowed to shoot wild boar and burglars. I leave her only to return, relieved beyond words to be in my true home. Roy Head does not live deep in the heart of Texas, no: Texas lives deep in the heart of Roy Head. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“My earliest encounter with elsewhere came in ’66: I had been booked at the Palladium in London. The country was still in black-and-white, and they needed my bouncey-flouncy legs to whip some Roy, white, and blue into them. I had been east and west in this bountiful land granted us by the Lord, and north and south in Oklahoma, which is a pox inflicted upon us by God for our wickedness. Skippy Joe once found a highway called Route 77 that went in none of the cardinal directions.

“The compass needle tied itself into a knot.

“But I knew nothing of England, save what I’d been taught at Cascabel High by our history teacher, Spots, who was a basset hound. The womb from which the sacred baby that is the Constitution extruded, attached to the placenta that is the Bill of Rights, England became intolerable and large quantities of tea was returned to the sea from whence it came. This is why Americans now prefer coffee; or Texans, beer. Steadfast and standing firm by us while we won both World Wars, England is our glorious and martial past and a friend to all Americans.

“They also have the decency to not talk gobbledygook.

“The British Invasion was swinging like a pendulum, but we was gonna stage a counter-attack. My angelic voice would make a frontal assault, while they were distracted by my legular swizzle sticks stirring their drinks: these limeys could count on both a razzling and a dazzling, and second helpings of each. My suits were shinier than a showroom Cadillac, as was my hair.

“They were gonna get a show, and I was gonna give ’em the business.

“This intercontinental itinerary was longer on miles than money, and there was only enough for me and my band to travel. I immediately fired my band and hired Big Bucktoothed Pete, Skippy Joe, and Louie Grabass. Besides road managing, carpentry, security, and tailoring, Pete could play a mean guitar: he would have been by my side every night had I not needed someone I trusted to keep his eyes on the money while I twirled and whirled for it. Louie Grabass was assigned the bass guitar because he was of the lowest status.

“Skippy Joe did not know how to play the drums, but it was a long flight.

“I should mention at this point that Skippy Joe was a trepidatious traveler this trip. While he had gladly sped through all 48 of the actual states, plus several Canadian whatever-they-call-thems, to leave the country struck him as absurd; Skippy Joe was preposterized and the dissent he voiced was only tempered by the fact that he had a cigarette dangling from his mouth. He warned us that though these foreigners spoke American, they remained foreigners, and must therefore be assumed to be Communists.

“Albion remains perfidious, Skippy Joe told us, but in less fancy words.

“Loyalty won out, as it always does with the Cascabel Crew, as long as you define loyalty as a one-way relationship pointed from them at me; I generally encouraged a little tattling and snitching, as it helped me maintain control, plus it drove wages down. Big Bucktoothed Pete once video-taped Louie Grabass making hateful sex to my bed in the RV; I was so impressed by Pete’s actions, that I gave him one of the rings right off my finger.

“I retrieved the ring shortly thereafter, but it’s the thought that counts.

“We were not the Fab Four, but there were four of us, and we fabulated as hard as we could. Our suits matched, except Skippy Joe had taken off his jacket and tie and also his shirt. Our British record label had arranged a hero’s welcome at Heathrow: we would be bopped by teenies, and two girls had been paid extra to bathroom on themselves. Diverted by weather, we landed at Cathcart two hours late.

“Instead of making waves, we landed with without a ripple.

“We went through Customs, which is customary, and for this moment Skippy Joe was on his own: we had all discussed this at both length and depth. We warned him that bringing items untoward could cause the situation to get away from him, and Skippy Joe agreed and swore upon a Bible procured for the occasion. Even still, we kept an eye on him.

“Skippy Joe’s words and deeds had an on again/off again relationship.

“Our cab whisked us through the city that never sleeps, but five hours earlier. We saw Trafalgar Square, which is not that shape. There was Piccadilly Circus, which is not that, either. We rode along the Thames, which is not pronounced like that. Finally, we passed the Mall, and that was another lie. So far, England was brewing falsehoods and serving them with biscuits, which are–as you may have guessed–not biscuits. Skippy Joe had also become convinced that the ‘Km’ on the speedometer stood for ‘kommunist miles’ and was on the verge of becoming physically boisterous in defense of his newfound belief.

“Had he been wearing a shirt, he would have removed it.

“The hotel arrived with not a second to spare. Though lacking a bar, they did have a pub; we gladly made do. The show was quickly approaching, so we drank with vigor and did shots of vim. I also installed Louie Grabass in the pub’s kitchen to make changas, and then chimi them. In honor of our surroundings, we calmed our nerves and revved our engines with a British theme. We drank London Blitzes, which is gin lit on fire and then you write a poem about it. We drank Playing Fields of Eton, which are made of claret, sweet vermouth, and an almost non-stop amount of teenagers jerking each other off. It was probably a mistake to continue on to the Football Hooligan, which is a pint of bitter while an unemployed man hits you with a chair.

“The day had reached the point wherein food needed to be put on it.

“We scarfed down the changas Louie had laid a chimi on; we didn’t have time to enjoy his gustatory delights, but we soon felt the effects as Skippy Joe remembered the thing that it was that he plum forgot to tell any of us. Knowing our journey took us to land devoid of both Tex and Mex, we had smuggled in fixings. There were jalapenos of varying calibers, plus cheeses not known outside Cascabel. Skippy Joe was assigned the job of getting our raw changa into the country.

“I cannot say we shouldn’t have seen it coming.

“Skippy Joe had laced the changa ingredients with his special and personal spice! Those changas were felonies in any country you’d even tourist in, and most of the avoidable lands! Skippy Joe’s wakey-wakey powder had envivified our souls and enlivinated our hearts, plus we quickly discovered that we had forgone the cab, and were running top speed to the theater.  The show went precisely as one would assume, especially when one factors in Big Bucktoothed Pete’s nudity and preaching! Princess Anne was present, and not amused!”

“That’s great, man, but you gotta rent the shoes if you wanna bowl.”


“I don’t know who that is.”

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