Getting Kinky

Blue Door audiences catching Kinky Friedman’s solo Saturday-night performance should expect music, political commentary, Q-and-A and a book signing from the singer/songwriter/novelist/failed gubernatorial candidate from south of the Red River.

Friedman, probably best-known for his “Asshole from El Paso” cover that parodied Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee,” embarks on his “Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011.” The Oklahoma City gig will be minus his backing band, The Texas Jewboys.

“It’ll be great seeing the home of Woody Guthrie and Will Rogers,” he said. “Maybe I have an overobsession with Texas, where the men are men, and the emus are nervous.”

This will mark his first state appearance in decades. He performed with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in 1976, and recently escorted Willie Nelson to a Riverwind Casino gig in Norman.

“Like Willie says, ‘If you fail at something long enough, you become a legend.’ Right now, I’m 66 years old, but I read at the 68-year-old level,” Friedman said. “Willie gave me some good advice: ‘If you’re going to have sex with an animal, always make it a horse.’ That way, if things don’t work out, at least you know you’ve got a ride home.”

Known for mixing politics and religion in his music, Friedman performs such numbers as “Ride ’Em Jewboy” and “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore.” He still occasionally contributes columns to Texas Monthly magazine.

During his foray into his state’s gubernatorial race in 2006 — a campaign for the “dewussification” of Texas — the independent candidate received 12.6 percent in the vote.

“The Republicans and Democrats are just the bullies of the playground,” said Friedman, who once promised to keep Texas out of war with Oklahoma. “They and the media get together and just make it hell for the independent. And that’s still that way. That’s why I’m calling for term limits on all elected officials right now. I say limit all of them to two terms: one in office and one in prison.”

Concertgoers can expect to hear Friedman talk frankly about his opposition to the death penalty, which he claims is not a “Christian” process.

“What is the definition of a Christian?” he said. “I’m a better Christian than most Christians, and I’m not even a Christian. If you think being a Christian is holding hands together around a platter of chickenfried steak or something and singing a song — is that what it is? How can you put anybody to death, even if the guy is guilty? You don’t do what he did.”

Although Friedman doesn’t have additional political aspirations, he’s happy to sign copies of his book “Heroes of a Texas Childhood.”

“I’ll sign anything but bad legislation,” he said.

For the less literary locals, Drew’s Tobacco World sells the eponymous Kinky Friedman Cigars — or “KFC,” as he refers to them — made by ex-Cubans now living in Honduras.

Rob Collins

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