Pony Payroll Bones TaLkin Randy Travis - Part 01
by Matthew PonY Bones
“I’ve been diggin' up bones / resurrecting things that should be left alone.”
Country music is about broken things breaking other things, then finally fixing a healing upon the sorrow and sadness. On the other hand, healing don’t last. Country music is about puns. Country music is about fools.
I know so because I’m a God damn fool who plays broken country music.
Country music is simultaneously the high church of salvation and damnation. Country music is about the grace of defeatism. One finds the miracle of life in fatalism, always and forever.
Randy Travis is a country singer whose music has become one with his life. He is a high priest of twang. Since all forms of music are magic, he is a man of the occult. Magic is mystery and the occult. One lives out one’s songs through unknown prophecies and holistic cycles. As a singer of songs, he is a conduit. He is a practitioner of the occult, mysticism and alchemy. He only does it with smooth voice lacquering a sodden drunkenness.
Country music and religion often convey luridness. Travis reached his last apex commercially for his gospel music. Now he gets in fights within church parking lots. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
His official sanitized biographies describe him as a juvenile delinquent. He was a high school drop out. He was running wild with his brother. This is an understatement. In fact, he was a teenage criminal. The man celebrated the death of childhood by embracing reality’s dark slinky underbelly, greasy that is, inherently greased with KY Jelly, motor oil, bad whiskey and blood. Travis stole cars and broke into people’s houses.
The judge said he’d be seeing jail a long long time and he’d be a long gone man. The judicial system put the young Randy Travis in the “legal guardianship” of his manager, Elizabeth Hatcher. He moved in with her, a married woman. Her marriage failed. The two became lovers. They fucked. They decided they needed each other. They got married. Life is lurid and complicated. Money got involved. Lots of money. Money is not good for anything except more booze.
Initially, our hero was bitch slapped by Nashville’s fascist tendencies. The accusation stood he was too country. He had the tenacity to keep on too country. As Hank Jr., the Dionysian death-god sang, “why you gotta live out the songs that you wrote.”
Travis’s breakthrough album, Storms of Life is gregariously haunting with black joked fatalism. The album is his masterpiece. He sings about regret, adultery, drugs, chicken wings, corpses, easy chairs, and low down darkness. He sings about getting high every time he’s feeling low. He has a near perfect backing band of session musicians. On the front cover he’s cocky in the fading twilight, leaning on that Ford.
How things change. You become a dog, even though you’ve always been one. Tioga, Texas. Mr. Travis and the wife after many years together decided they do not need each other. Both are now mortally wounded through the ghostly tinnitus of divorce. Tioga, Texas, the birth place of country icon Gene Autry. A quiet place for a maniacal man, revisiting and becoming the darkness of his troubled young adult years. Here, Mr. Randy Travis has begun diggin' up bones and tossing them with drunken abandonment at the devil. The devil is a black dog with rabies who visits those with metaphysical deaths and damnations. Randy has been very randy slopping it up in the news with his exploits.
This man has not lost God or the salvation he proudly stood rooted into. In fact, he is in more touch with God’s visceral nature.
His antics have become visceral. The necessary contradiction to his clean image. He must destroy the visual image purveyed on his second album Always and Forever. Here he is pictured, flashing arms crossed, glassy-eyed, with a heavy bling gold watch and ridiculous rich man’s ring. He looks drugged and perverted by marketing managers. He looks like he is one of the New Kids on the Block sodomized into shyness. This is a curse.
He was found naked, screaming, drunk, rolling around on the highway in the wee hours of the night. He threatened death to the state troopers who did not understand. He is a man of vision. He has seen monsters.
Most recently his truck was found flipped over in the middle of a field by cops in rural Texas. Travis made the claim he had not seen that truck in three months. Transparently, this is an occult manifestation. Travis conjured up some ghosts and they wrecked that metal coffin in a field and scattered off into the blazing mysteries. How did the truck feel? The man is haunted by the visions of the Holy Ghost. Lord, bless him with more visions so be may bestow more blasted splintered passion plays in this dim-witted physical realm. Reality sucks, and Randy Travis’s supernatural stand up comedy is what this troubled ponderous slack-jawed nation needs. Lord, let Travis take down some cops next time who decide to interfere with the supernatural.