"The difficult ... you're supposed to do right away. The impossible ... that'll take you a few days longer." Building your own town
out near Tuscon, Arizona probably falls in the category of "the impossible," but Ed Keeylocko did that, a pickup truck of materials at a time. This is the story of Cowtown Keeylocko
, built by an African-American with red hair and swamp green eyes, who was abandoned by his mother, a self-proclaimed minority of minorities. He served in Korea and Vietnam
, and he returned to the US, where he took up ranching in Arizona. In December of 1974, he founded Cowtown Keeylocko, a western ranch that is "an odd mixture of the real and the fanciful."
The ranch/town expanded by 1989 to have a mayor, citizens, its own zip code, fourty-six head of cattle, three ranch hands, 10,800 acres of land, and five buildings
(Google books preview). The March/April 1996 issue of American Cowboy has a short article on Ed Keeylocko and his cowtown
, and here's a more recent (but still dated) website on the mayor and trail boss of Cowtown Keeylocko
, with stories from visitors and photos from a roundup.
The year is 2071. Humanity has spread across the solar system and the Space Police have reinstated the bounty system of the Old West: catch wanted fugitives alive, deliver them to the cops and get paid. Cowboy Bebop
chronicles the adventures (and misadventures) of a group of bounty hunters as they try to catch bad guys and make a living. [more inside]
I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
If you’re not familiar, here’s the song.
' [more inside]
Jess Nevins presents: Six-Gun Gorilla!
The story of one gorilla's quest for vengeance across the Old West. The archetypal cowboy ape, publicly available for the first time.
Originally published in 1939, Six-Gun Gorilla
is available as a result of Nevins' (completed) Kickstarter for the Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes
. [more inside]
- the tale of Boyd Linney, a ten-year-old bounty hunter determined to round up his outlaw family. Or as Chris Sims
puts it: "True Grit: The Animated Series".
When a cowboy says 'women,' he means two different kinds: There's the real kind and then there's the kind in his mind
. A song by Dan Reeder, for your edumatainment.
The stories and pictures
of the Wild West commonly feature white men
, with little notion of the diversity present in the later half of the 19th century beyond the various regiments of "buffalo soldiers"
. In reality, black cowboys made up a large portion of the cowhand population
, possibly a quarter of all cowboys. Estimations range from 5,000
to 15,000 cowboys being of African heritage
. Many have been forgotten in the passing of time, but some of their stories live on. For instance, the cowboy Nat Love
, the outlaw Cherokee Bill
, and (all sorts of awesome) "Stagecoach" Mary Fields
. [more inside]
Nicholas Gurewitch, the insane genius behind the surreal webcomic The Perry Bible Fellowship
, is now the co-creator of a new online live-action series, an Adult Swim-ish psychedelic-comedy Western: Trails of Tarnation
. The first episode is up...NOW
. [more inside]
Wanted: Jonah Hex
- on making a movie prop, and a little about actual Old West wanted posters.
Every episode of Cowboy Bebop
The Cowboy Bebop movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door
"It's like I used to enjoy firecrackers, but now it takes dynamite to get me high."
Brit Eaton takes Outside magazine on a safari for vintage clothing in the wild west. (via)
Desperate for money? Short on good sense? Bull Poker
might be for you! Last one to get up from the table and run for his life wins the pot!
All YouTube links. Warning: Some gore and blood. [more inside]
— In 2004 and 2005, photographer Robb Kendrick
traveled through Texas to take tintypes
of working cowboys and cowgirls
, capturing a part of American life that evolves with the times
is one of David Bowie's most famous and enduring creations. Bowie's inspiration for the name came from "Ziggy's," a London tailor shop, and from one of the most unusual performers of the period, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Bowie explains his fascination with "The Ledge" In this interview
, (topic starts at 2:00).
So what ever happened to The Ledge? Well, he's somehow morphed into a bad frat party act
!! (anyone else reminded of Otis Day and the Knights
Classic poetry of the Old West.
Alone on the prarie, with only their thoughts to comfort them these poets wrote. Not always the greatest of poems
, they still capture the essence of the romantic cowboy
The Original Rhinestone Cowboy.
"I was laying on my bedside just as lonesome as I could be. I was by myself and so lonesome the tears just come in my eyes. I was so lonesome I prayed and said: 'Lord, give me something to make me happy' Now, you won't believe this, but the Lord told me to make an outfit. I went downtown and bought me a suit and became Rhinestone, and I ain't had one moment of lonesomeness since."
He appeared on Laugh In, produced one of the truly weirdest 45s of the 60's
, and was one of many inspirations for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust.
Meet Norman Carl Odam
, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
Unless you are German you may not have heard of Winnetou
and Old Shatterhand
, characters created by Karl May
. A possible D.I.D.
sufferer, he had never set foot in America and began to write his Wild West stories whilst in jail. Popular with readers across Europe, his books
have been translated into over thirty different languages. Spaghetti Westerns partly came about because early 60s films [test your knowledge]
based on his books, inspired Italian producers to invest in Westerns
. His life story
was made part of Syberberg's trilogy in 1974
The Streets of Laredo: The Cowboy's Lament
was originally written as the Irish drover balled Bard of Armaugh
), which later mutated into A Handful of Laurel
, about a young man dying of syphilis in a London hospital, musing back on his days in the alehouses and whorehouses. Immigrants settling in the Appalachians brought their own version, The Unfortunate Rake
, sung as early as 1790, about a young soldier dying of mercury poisoning, a result of treatment for venereal disease, who requests a military funeral - a slight but important evolution from the previous version. The current lyrics are most popularly attributed to cowboy Frances Henry "Frank" Maynard
, who copyrighted them in 1879. While various versions
of the song were popular in the US before Maynard took pen to paper and needle to wax cylinder (under such titles as Locke Hospital
, St. James Infirmary Blues
, Tom Sherman's Bar
and Way Down in Lodorra
), his version is the one with which we are most familiar today.
beat the drum slowly, play the fife lowly / sound the death march as you carry me along / cover my body in sweet-smelling posies / for I'm the young
(rake, soldier, man, girl, lass, etc) cut down in
(or and I know I've done wrong
The song has been recorded by pretty much every country, western and folk-identified musical artist since recording music became practical, although the most popular versions must be those by Arlo Guthrie
(who once said it was "the saddest song I know," and who sings it on his album Son of the Wind
) and Johnny Cash
(who added a few verses
to his 1965 version, improving the song a bit and making it more emotionally complex). Roger McGuinn's
creative commons-licensed version is one of my personal favorites, as is Bobby Sutliff's version
Arthur Miles [mp3]
, the throat-singing cowboy, singing about the lonesome cowboy. Types
of throat-singing, with tips, brought to you by the International Association for Harmonic Singing