No, God Doesn't Talk To Kinky Friedman. But Rick Perry Does, So There's That.

Categories: Interviews
kinky friedman.jpg
Kinky Friedman
From the sound of it, the phone woke Kinky Friedman up. He was in Georgia, hanging out on the set of his buddy Billy Bob Thornton's movie, Jane Mansfield's Car. The previous night's fun had lasted until 5:30 in the morning, and here I am, at 10 o'clock, full of questions about his upcoming Dallas show, among other topics.

Kinky will be in Dallas on Saturday night, performing at KNON-FM 89.3's 28th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit at the Sons of Hermann Hall. A $100 ticket includes dinner with Kinky before the 8 p.m. show, which will also include performances from Jewford and Josh Alan Friedman.

Tickets for just the show are $25.

As soon as Kinky understands who I am and why I'm calling, he pulls himself together and gets rolling, talking about America, Australia, Obama, Rick Perry, Winston Churchill, how glad he is not to be in politics anymore, and, of course, KNON.

Check out our Q&A with the notable Texan after the jump.

You have a ton going on. You've got music books, e-books, audio books, cigars, salsa, the Utopia rescue ranch, etc. What did you want to be when you grow up?
I wanted to be the guy that places the hyphen between anal and retentive.

Are you?
Pretty much.

Is there something you enjoy the most?
Not being in politics is the most fun. I wasn't sure if I should completely get out of politics or not, and I asked God. That's the method I use: If there's something I'm not sure of, I ask God, he tells Rick Perry, and then Rick tells me.

Rick Perry said get the hell out of politics?
Yeah. And I think it's a good idea.

You won't even be tempted to get back in if Perry runs for president?
No. Because the Lord has bigger ideas for the Kinkster. I'm not quite sure what the future holds but it's going to be fun and exciting

How did your "Springtime for Kinky" tour go?
That was wonderful. I was in Australia for a month, did about 17 shows. The Aussies, they have kind of a freedom of sense of humor, a free sense of humor. They know when to laugh and when to be sad. Here, we have a culture that's kind of out-of-sync. We're a little bit like autistic children in that we laugh at the wrong times. We're not sure. We have to look around, see what others are doing.

Why do you think that is?
Part of it's political correctness. It's got a stranglehold on America. And part of it is that Americans are very hung-up people. They're hung up sexually and religious-wise, and politically. And racially. They're hung up in every possible way you can be hung up.

I was going to ask if it's harder to shock people now than in the '70s but it sounds like maybe the opposite.
I have put the song "They Ain't Makin Jews Like Jesus Anymore" into the show, and it's been going down really well. Both in Australia and in America.

Americans aren't getting offended?
It's a worse thing to go around saying the N-word than to sing a song that is an anthem against bigotry that has the N-word in it. We're in a country that could not make the movie Blazing Saddles again. I just like to do my part as a one of the few males in America that hasn't been hammered down.

You were recently inducted into the Frontier Times Texas Heroes Hall of Honor. Was there a moment when you realized you'd become one of those larger-than-life Texas characters Texas does so well?
I like Waylon Jennings' attitude towards awards and things like that. He would never accept any of them. It's strange. It reminds me very much of what Willie says: "If you fail at something long enough you become a legend." That's the way I feel about the Hall of Honor. It was great, it was very nice. Now I'm a permanent display in the museum in Bandera, somewhere between the two-headed goat and the shrunken head.

You also wrote a book about your Texas heroes. What example are you setting for little Texans as a Texas hero?
If I'm able to set any kind of example and be any inspiration to young people, I'm doing more than just about any living politician in America today. So that's for the good. Because I can't think of any politician who is inspiring people. Some of it's not their fault. Maybe it's the Internet or maybe we have changed. Maybe the audience has become the show. But I don't think you're going to see very many future stars. There's not a Churchill in sight these days and that's really too bad. At this point, I'm ready to vote for Charlie Sheen over Obama. It's pathetic what we've come up with in terms of lack of inspiration and leadership in Obama. And as far as the other choices, they're all pretty much the same. Obama and Rick Perry are both perpetually behind the curve. They try and stay there. That's the mark of a true politician. They would rather chase a madman around the deserts of Libya than do anything that could really be meaningful and important and helpful to mankind.

It sounds like you're out of politics but politics isn't out of you.
Yeah, that a pretty accurate assessment. I just want to find out more of what God thinks. God speaks to televeangelists. He speaks to football coaches sometimes. He speaks to people in mental hospitals, so it makes sense that he might speak to Rick Perry.

It also makes sense that there's people like Rick Perry that sometimes turn out much better than you think they could. FDR or JFK or Churchill ... all of them were kind of elite, effete, aristocratic to the core. You never would have thought that those three people would have been able to have such a strong bond with the common man. All three of them became men of the people. They were loved by the common man and they loved him genuinely, I think. We haven't seen that. And Rick Perry, by the way, has not displayed it.

But it could be if Rick actually won [the election for the President of the United States], he would have some epiphany. He might be the guy who helps fix education in this country. These solutions come from strange places. Obviously they don't come from people like Obama, who as a candidate, appeared to be the guy who's going to be so great and refreshing and bring us something different and new.

We need Judge Judy to be president. Who's that finance guy? Dave Ramsey -- to be treasury. Then we might have a chance. Judge Judy and Dave Ramsey don't give a damn what anybody thinks about them and that's the only thing Obama and Rick Perry think about. As different as they think they are from each other, they really are both consummate politicians. And between the two, it may be Rick Perry that has the chance to really do something for this country. Because if he's elected, I think he might understand that he now has to be president for all the people. As much fun as people want to make of Rick Perry, and I have in the past, he thinks we don't know him yet.

Are you going to go to the next prayer meeting?
No, I think I will take a pass on that. As a charismatic atheist I don't think I will be able to attend. But I'm sure he'll let us know what God is thinking.

What made you decide to do this KNON benefit?
KNON has been what most politicians have not -- a voice of the people in a city that, as Molly Ivins says "...is the town that roots for Goliath to beat David." KNON has been a voice of the people. It's become really a great institution, it's become a successful radio station. It's not just some big corporate chain.

What can we look forward to at the show Saturday night?
We can certainly look forward to "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like" Jesus anymore. Josh Alan Friedman is also on there. It's going to be a really good night.

Kinky Friedman performs Saturday, August 6, at Sons of Hermann Hall

Location Info

Map

Sons of Hermann Hall

3414 Elm St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music


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3 comments
Sophia Dembling
Sophia Dembling

Hm...a correction: Kinky said he's one of the few NAILS in America that hasn't been hammered down, not males. I corrected that in later post, but wanted to set the record straight here, too.

Duane Savage
Duane Savage

Kinky Friedman! You lost a debate on PBS to Rick Perry when you ran for Governor of Texas. How?

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

I'm so glad I finally got to see Kinky. After all the years of near misses, it was really worth it. It reminded me that there is a "Texana" part of Texas that is sadly missing from Dallas. Something eccentric and goofy. Something independent and unique. Other than a few billboards and mega-churches, how can you tell you are in Texas when you are in Dallas?

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