"Can we, as a country, all
: January 2003: The
Reverend Horton Heat
I know about the Reverend Horton Heat I learned from
strippers. He seems to be universally adored by naked
girls. Perhaps it's his devotion to Liquor, Beer and
Wine, or maybe it's cuz he's as close as we're gonna
get to Dean Martin. Or maybe it's cuz the Reverend
Horton Heat puts on the greatest show on Earth! Anyway
I always imagined a sorta Baptist revival tent guy
in a western shirt with a bolo tie around his clerical
collar, putting his hands on women's tits and telling
them they'd be saved. By him. After the show. Then
he'd suck long and hard on a bottle of whiskey and
launch into another Cramps-y rock-a-billy song about
fancier stuff like martinis. Two hours later he'd
stage dive and pass out in mid-air.
my surprise when I found the Rev alone in bed in a fancy
Denver hotel, wearing nothing but mustard-yellow boxers
with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on 'em! He was struggling
through a hangover haze but too cozy beneath the sheets
to get up and mix himself a bloody mary from the wet
bar. I got a little star struck and started right in
with what for me passes as small talk.
you ever been to Portland's titty bars?
Texas? Portland, Maine?
We have the most titty bars per capita here, worldwide!
I thought Dallas did.
VIVA: No. We
do. We have like fifty or sixty or...I have no idea,
really. There's this chick downtown at Mary's Club named
Meara. She dances almost exclusively to the Reverend
Horton Heat, along with a little Dean Martin and the
Clash and, uh, Danzig, and lots of other stuff, too.
She's to die for. You have to see her! Ryan Adams said
that being in Portland is like being in the movie Grease.
It's all old cars and slick dudes and retro chicks and
booze...it's a total Reverend Horton Heat town, man!
It's like you christened it.
we've had some really great shows there, Portland
is one of our
best cities. We love it. But I've never noticed that
it was like the movie Grease.
when you're in town, I'm gonna make sure you see Mary's
Club. It's very Grease-y. You gotta see this
Meara chick! Now, for the ladies, please tell me What's
Sexy. What's the sexiest thing you've done so far
I scratched my balls.
the sexiest thing about waking up in a hotel room?
I can't think of anything.
not the stranger lying next to you in bed?
Well, I've had a few of those episodes before where
I've woken up scared...I slept really late today.
I guess I needed it.
superluxe to do an interview from bed. Did you play
We're doing this tour that I've always wanted to do.
Instead of going to all the major cities and playing
just one big show and one set, I thought it'd be fun
if we went for four days and played smaller clubs.
I'm selling just as many or more tickets, but I'm
here for four days and we have to change the set list
every night. So we're having fun, you know, it's challenging.
I was a little off on some of the songs last night
because we had to work up thirty-five extra songs.
That's a lot!
insane. Is it true you play 150 shows a year?
Heat: I think
we've been averaging 200 shows a year. We've had
years where we play 250 to 275. That's what I do.
My whole thing, my art form, is playing music, it's
not being a recording artist. I like recording,
it's fun to do, but it's not my main thing. I think
so many musicians wrongly focus their career on
being a recording artist, and that's a lot less
valid of an art form than just being a musician.
I suppose it's easier, though. Do you have a family?
Or a girl? How do you do it? Are you a dad?
yeah, I'm a dad, I've got girls. It's great. That's
the thing: I might be gone two hundred days out
of the year, but the other hundred I'm just there
the whole time.
Are you actually a Reverend?
no no. Not like the Universal Life Church or anything
like that...What would that give me the power
to do? Conduct marriages? Funerals? Those things
are at the bottom of my list of things I want
What's the most rock-a-billy town you've ever
What's the sexiest town?
Really? I've never been. What's the sexiest drink?
What's the sexiest thing you've ever done onstage?
Well, back when we were smaller we used to do
all sorts of antics...Play up on the bar, out
on the dance floor, and there was some pretty
silly stuff that happened when I did that.
Like what? Did you sing with your face between
a woman's butt
cheeks like Johnny Legend?
Yeah, yeah, I've done stuff like that.
What's the sexiest thing you've ever seen onstage?
There used to be this band in Dallas called
Billy Goat, and they had this girl percussionist/singer,
and she used to just get naked. Completely naked.
And percuss? And sing?
Yeah, yeah! And then stage dive...she had fun.
And she didn't ruin any clothing! I used to
do this thing where I'd get down on my knees
and I'd hump my guitar...I had this tremolo
bar on my guitar and I was actually able to
manipulate it with my crotch. It would go woo-ooo-woo-ooo-wooo-ooo...
And why have you stopped?
Because I kept ruining my clothes! I'd wear
the knees out of my pants. I guess I'd have
to eighty-six the pants. That'd be pretty risqué,
because I don't where any underwear onstage.
What's the best titty bar in the country? Taking
into consideration that you haven't been to
any of ours...
Well, I used to have a lot of fun at this place
called Star Garden in North Hollywood. It's
a real dump. If that strip bar were in Texas,
all the girls would be over forty and about
thirty pounds overweight. But since it's in
Hollywood, all the girls are just incredibly
What's the sexiest guitar you've ever played?
Well, I really like my '54 Gibson 175.
Sexiest song of all time?
Oh gosh, that's a hard one. How about "In So
Many Ways" by Brooke Benton. Or "Santa Baby!"
The Eartha Kitt version. Della Rees, too, has
a lot of really cool, sexy songs.
And "Why Don't
You Do Right" by Peggy Lee. In fact, there's a girl
that sings in Portland that's awesome. Her name
is Erin and they call her Miss B. Haven. She's super
you have a favorite Pretenders song?
Heat: I think
"Middle of the Road" is super hot. That's a great,
great rock-n-roll song.
on Main Street.
sexy about Texas?
sexy about Colorado?
I don't know... Snowboarding?
know, I always try to avoid Colorado. Finally, the
old Cramps standard, what color panties are you
wearing and how long have you been wearing them?
they're kinda yellow--no, mustard--and they've got
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on them. A fat caricature
of Rudolph. He looks really happy though. I'm really
into funny boxer shorts. I used to have Ren and
Stimpy ones. And of course the hearts. You gotta
have the hearts. Dollar signs. Funny stuff. These
Rudolph ones are great, because he's kinda fat.
His nose is fatter, too. It's not a cute little
red nose, it's kind of a big fat wide red nose.
alcoholic Rudolph! Now that's the Christmas spirit.
Well, Reverend, I can't wait to take you to Mary's.
It's my personal mission that you see this girl
rockabilly chick? That's great. Does she have a
she's very fair. Redhead, natural tits, very curvy....
those big-titted supertan girls don't do it for
me. They look like turkeys fresh outta the oven.
I never thought of that.
well, I better strike that from the record. This
is a stripper magazine, after all.
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