Lots of you watched the Ken Burns film, Country Music, and remarked on what you thought was omitted. My number one pick was the omission of anything to do with Johnny Paycheck.
At the recent Oktoberfest, I was talking with Gary Adams, who played guitar for Paycheck, and he agreed. Gary, arguably, felt there was too much given over to Johnny Cash. But, given that someone as inconsequential as Kinky Friedman at least got his name mentioned, why wasn’t Paycheck mentioned? Also, in the scheme of outlaws and Texas songwriters, why didn’t Billy Joe Shaver get a mention.
Shaver, after all, is viewed by many as the father of the outlaw movement and a songwriter of major importance. Waylan Jennings cut an entire album, Honky Tonk Heroes, of Shaver’s music and today it is regarded as a cornerstone of country. In the meantime, who remembers Kinky’s, Arsehole From El Paso?”
Like Paycheck, who is remembered for having shot a man in a Hillsboro, Ohio bar, Shaver once shot a man in the parking lot of a Texas roadhouse. He was eventually acquitted and following the acquittal, Shaver audacity asked the man for the bullet back. The bullet, by the way, is forever lodged in the man’s skull. Now, how’s that for the making of a country song?