by Robert Bell
A few years ago, The Onion published a standalone with this headline: "David Allan Coe waiting outside to kick your ass." Below was a grainy shot of Coe in his tattooed, trash-talking, long-haired redneck splendor, looking like George Clinton by way of the San Quentin beauty salon.
The former inmate and Outlaw country pioneer turns 72 next week, and while it might seem logical to presume he's not cracking too many skulls these days, why take that chance? Everybody knows Coe's massive country hits — "Take This Job and Shove It," "You Never Even Called Me By My Name," "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)?" and others.
But you've got to check out his second album, "Requiem for a Harlequin." Country it ain't. It's one of the most out-there albums ever put to wax — an acid-fried, paranoia-soaked, spoken-word freak-out in two acts. Then, of course, there are the notorious "unofficial" albums — inspired by Shel Silverstein no less, and filled with ditties that could charitably be described as extremely un-PC — that were sold exclusively (where else?) in the back pages of Easyrider.
All of this is to say that they just don't make 'em like Coe anymore. And he's playing at the Electric Cowboy for Christ's sake. Cody McCarver opens.