Ooooh, That's So Kinky

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), November 16, 2013 | Go to article overview

Ooooh, That's So Kinky


Byline: Trevor Hockins

KINKY Friedman, cigar in hand, looks out over his Texas spread.

It's 9pm and unusually quiet. In a western movie, it might be a signal that the cattle were about to stampede.

But not at Echo Hill Ranch.

Like Kinky, the 160ha farm is not run of the mill.

It ran cattle once, but now is home to a menagerie. It is an animal refuge deep in the heart of Texas.

Kinky takes being a quick-witted satirist seriously.

Friend and consort to presidents, movie stars and probably kings, he has made a career of singing in-your-face, biting country-and-western satire, writing hilariously wicked crime novels and, well, running for the Texas legislature.

Kinky counts himself close friends with former US presidents Bill Clinton ("He made decisions with his heart ... I like that") and George W. Bush ("He did more to fight AIDS in Africa than any other president ... and he has a great sense of humour").

And he is always busy.

"Oh, I like to go eight ways at once," the 69-year-old guffaws.

He has run for governor of Texas twice, and by next month will know if he has been elected the state's Agriculture Commissioner, wielding a budget of about $500 million.

And Kinky has just finished a whirlwind one-man music tour of Europe -- 34 shows in 36 days -- and starts touring Australia soon.

He has been here before -- the last time with craggy-faced actor Harry Dean Stanton who did readings from Kinky's stable of Raymond Chandler-style crime novels, spiced with real-life popular culture characters.

Kinky and his band the Texas Jewboys (yes, really) played country songs that made Kinky infamous, from the redneck ditty A**hole from El Paso to the deliberately provocative Get Your Cakes in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed.

"We had a good time," Kinky says, more slowly than you might expect.

"I like Australia. We should be more like you.

"More open. Friendly.

"And the Guinness is good. …

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