From 17th Avenue Revival, out March 16 on Lightning Rod Records.
We live in trailers and apartments too
From California to Kalamazoo
My first concert was the Oak Ridge Boys at the Ionia Free Fair during the summer of “Elvira.” I don’t remember much about the show except that the guy who looked like Grizzly Adams was wearing overalls with no shirt and his armpit hair went down to his waist. Now, I’m pretty sure that isn’t accurate or even anatomically possible, but it’s burned into my memory so deeply that it’s all I can picture whenever I think of the Oak Ridge Boys.
My only other memory of that day was that there was an old cop car, and for five bucks you could whack it with a sledgehammer. This too seems extremely improbable in retrospect, but all I can say is that 1981 was still the seventies at the Ionia Free Fair.
And now the Oak Ridge Boys are back with a scootin’ cover of a Brandy Clark jam. Any song that namedrops Kalamazoo in the first verse is okay by me.
From 12 Stories (Slate Creek, 2013)