The Austin Chronicle

Kinky Friedman

In Person: Kinky!

November 22, 1996, Books

Friday, November 8 at Citiview Bed & Breakfast Benefit for the Humane Society of Austin

The man in the black hat strapped on a modest, duct-taped acoustic and launched into a gloriously twisted number that any normal performer might not have thought appropriate as the opening salvo in this room of mostly liberal, mostly wealthy, mostly feminist benefactors of the Humane Society. But this was no normal performer: This was Kinky Friedman. Delivered by almost anyone else, "(Get Your) Biscuits in the Oven and Buns in the Bed" might have otherwise pushed the bzzzzzzzt P.C. buttons, but Friedman's immediate charm set the small room at ease. These good ol' gals & guys seemed aware of the significance of this very intimate setting with Texas' Cowsmic Jewboy. Through the picture window of the Citiview's living room, Austin's alluring night skyline draped the backdrop, bursting with neon and twinkle this clear Texas night. The cigar-chomping/lighting/slooooo-owly inhaling/yarn-spinning Kinky remembered his days at UT as a Plan II major, "an advanced Liberal Arts program distinguished by the fact that every student had some form of facial tick," before going off to the Peace Corps to "help people farm who had successfully farmed for 2,000 years." This bit of sardonic reminiscence led into "Wild Man From Borneo," unveiling Friedman's uninvited backup singer, the B&B's resident macaw, Charlie Girl. Not to be upstaged by a goddamn bird, the Kinkster pulled out the tearjerkin' Red Foley classic "Old Shep," working this crowd of animal lovers. What dry eye had a chance at the crooning cowboy's, "He is gone to the place where the good doggies go..."? Lest anyone think him a real pussycat, Kink ended with "Old Man Lucas" ("...had a lot of mucus"). Though Friedman's whisk through town was primarily to attend at the Texas Book Festival, he donated his time and signed copies of his latest, The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover, to this Humane Society gala auction. If dog pound benefits have a heaven.... -- Kate X Messer

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.