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Music / Kinky Friedman

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Musician, author and-would be politician Kinky Friedman (Born November 1, 1944) is the former leader of the band The Texas Jewboys. He has written several murder mysteries about a musician, author and would-be politician named Kinky Friedman, who also dabbles in private detection. While most of the books are set in New York City, one or two are set in Texas.

This is a partial list of his novels:

  • A Case of Lone Star
  • Armadillos and Old Lace
  • Blast From The Past
  • Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola
  • Frequent Flyer
  • God Bless John Wayne
  • Greenwich Killing Time
  • The Love Song Of J. Edgar Hoover
  • Musical Chairs
  • Roadkill
  • Spanking Watson
  • When the Cat's Away


  • Answer Song: "Asshole From El Paso" to Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee".
  • Dual-Meaning Chorus:
    • In the song "We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To You," the narrator is denied entrance to a cafe with the title words, as he looks like a Communist and a Jew.
      • In the next verse, the rabbi at the synagogue tells him that because he doesn't have a ticket and tie, "We reserve the right to refuse services to you."
      • The next verse takes a more serious anti-war tone as the narrator wishes he could refuse military service to U.S. troops in South Asia.
      • Finally, the narrator fears that when he tries to get into heaven, he'll be told, "Our quota's filled for this year / On singing Texas Jews, / We reserve the right to refuse service to you."
    • The same goes for "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore", which starts off with an anti-semite accosting Kinky in a bar with the title phrase, and ends with Kinky punching him out with the words
      They ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore
      We don't turn the other cheek like we done before
      You could hear that honky holler as he hit the hardwood floor
      Lord, they ain't makin' Jews like Jesus anymore!
    • Pretty much every line of "Ride 'Em Jewboy" counts. The song is ostensibly framed as a cowboy song in the manner of "Git Along Little Dogies", but it's dense with references to Judaism and in particular The Holocaust ("six million miles", "smoke from camps a-risin' ", "on your sleeve you wore the yeller star").
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: His backing band, The Texas Jewboys.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore" has Kinky's "redneck nerd" antagonist list all the people he's prejudiced against, starting with magnate Aristotle Onassis and circling through a long line of slurs before ending with Kinky himself. Kinky knocks him out with the words
    If there's one thing I can't abide, it's an ethnocentric racist
    Now you take back that shit you said 'bout Aristitle Onassis!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ratso. He’s rude, crude, cheap and garish, and his personal hygiene is questionable at best. But despite everything, he sticks by Kinky’s side, even at great risk to life and limb. For example, in ‘’When the Cat’s Away’’, he nursed Kinky back to health after he (Kinky) is shot with a tranquilizer dart, and barely survived a shootout between rival Colombian cocaine families. However, later on he saved Kinky’s life by sacrificing his beloved coonskin cap. He didn’t even ask for it back.
  • Our Product Sucks: Friedman's campaign slogans for his 2006 campaign for Texas governor included "Why The Hell Not?" and "How Hard Could It Be?"
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • In the mid-90s, he was invited to the White House and handed a Cuban cigar to Bill Clinton right in front of a bunch of reporters with the words "Don't think of it as supporting their economy, think of it as burning their crops."
    • “The Ballad Of Charles Joseph Whitman” is a bouncy country song about a mass shooting.
  • Third-Person Person: Friedman is known for referring to himself in the third person, though it's tongue-in-cheek on his part.
  • Uncle Pennybags: One of Kinky Friedman's friends in his novels is a "decamillionaire" who's happy to help him if he needs a flight to Hawaii or something.