New Heathens

Rocked Rodeo Like a Bronco, DBT, Bye to a Journalism Legend

Oh baby, if playing a gig at Manhattan's Rodeo Bar was like a REAL Rodeo, then the New Heathens took home the top prize on Saturday night.

People danced so hard it was as if New York didn't HAVE a cabaret law. Fans shouted out requests, yowled along with me, and bought up New Heathens CDs and t-shirts like they were Rodeo Bar margaritas. They even danced all the way to the back of the Winnebago. A couple people even threw roses at us!

Our friend Dusan Sekulovic, director of the movie "Pussyfoot" said, and I quote, "I feel like somebody just made love to my ears."

I'm 90 percent sure that's a compliment.

I forgot my camera, but NH Superfan Anne Scatto sent me this picture:

Yes, I was totally blissed out.

The band rocked like a damn bucking bronco. Domenick's slide guitar turned my head around, literally. I've never seen a crowd go monkey-crazy like when Butch tore into Pig Pen. One of my favorite ever New Heathens moments came during our last tune, "Rockin' in the Free World" when Butch and Dom stood toe-to-toe trading licks.

You shoulda' heard the rhythm section! Brandy's shot the songs full of sick sounding low-to-high bass note runs (all while wearing shiny gold shoes and at times dancing the Riverdance). The word "rock" applies to Eric, not as a verb, but as a noun because he played as hard, heavy and solid as a great big one.

I even sang pretty good thanks to my good friend Charlene McPherson . Charlene gave me my first ever singing lesson on Friday. She showed me how to sing scales and be conscious of my breathing. Her most important lesson: warm up for 15 minutes before going onstage.

The only problem with warming up is that in the divey, rock 'n' roller bars we play there aren't any backstage areas, nor are there, say, dark corners where a dude would feel safe singing, "Fish and chips and vinegar, pepper, pepper, pepper, salt!" So before our Rodeo gig I wandered into some alleyway and sang my "Do-Re-Mi's." And nobody kicked my ass.

On Wednesday night Butch, Dom and I all went to see the Drive By Truckers. Great band. Great show.

Patterson Hood of DBT

On a sad note, my friend Dith Pran died of cancer on Sunday. Pran worked as a photographer for the New York Times and was a living journalism legend. The movie The Killing Fields was based on Pran's life and his escape from Cambodia during the genocide in the 1970s. Pran spent most of his life campaigning for human rights.

I don't think I've ever met a nicer, friendlier, more upbeat guy. It was a honor to call Pran a colleague and a pleasure to call him a friend. I said goodbye to him in the hospital last week.

Dith Pran

Anybody kept up with the body count on this blog? To everyone who knows anybody in the New Heathens I am hereby putting you on notice: you are not allowed to die. Nope. Sorry. Gotta' keep living. To Drew, Jonathan and Pran, I salute you brothers...

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