1988 Heavy Metal Cowboys
This is a synchronistic piece of film. Years after it was taken and I was cleaning out my films, I noticed a film I had never gotten developed. This was after Paul Hackman, my partner, bandmate, and friend had been killed in a car accident coming back for a western Canadian tour. Lo and behold, the film was of a time when we were playing in the U.S. and we had broken down with our bus (which did it on a regular basis). There was Paul with his Rockman headphones on (how he frequently wrote licks) rockin’ in the middle of the Arizona desert. Amazing…Ironcially (and weirdly) the lyrics of the song matched up with the footage with almost zero edits.
The song Heavy Metal Cowboys, which was written by Paul and myself for the Back for Another Taste album, was a “story song” about something that had actually happened to us. In 1988 we were touring the U.S. in support of the Wild in the Streets CD. We had just played in Uma, Arizona and were on our way to San Diego, where I was supposed to fly out to Vancouver to do press with Much Music, A&A Records, and Terry David Mulligan for the new album.
We had our manager Bill Seip with us, and wouldn’t you know it, two hours into the drive from Uma to San Diego, the bus broke down. Bill comandeered the equipment truck and with Roman (our lightman), myself, Bill, and truck driver Rick all in the front seat of the truck, we drove overnite to the San Diego airport, where I barely made my flight. To make a long story short, it was a long weekend with no sleep and then back to San Francisco to hook up with the band, who supposedly were going to meet up with me there. They did (barely) and then with almost no sleep the next day we had to drive to Reno for the next show. Anyway, Heavy Metal Cowboys is the song about that event. You can read about it in my autobiography “Gimme an R!” available at the merch section of the Planet Helix website.