Straight Shot

LONNIE VAN NIFTERIK (died 1991, cause undisclosed), cultish country-folk singer/songwriter: The fuckin’ winter sky, man.  With the Northern Lights—pale green and purples.  Those colors are trouble, boy.  Certain nights them lights are stronger than others, more silvery—dancin’ like hell’s flames gone cold, man.  Damn near approaching dissipation…of something.  The dissipation of spirit.  Ted has that.  Teddy is them flames, man.

PETER HAYGOOD, satirical American singer/songwriter and pianist:  Most of us did our best work when we were younger.  You have the energy then.  You’re stupid but brilliant, if you take my meaning.  Ted is as good now, old and wrecked, as he was then, but now he’s brilliant and brilliant.  There’s no trick to him.  He just came from rock and roll and then made it more of what it already was.

MARYANNE GIFFIN, American country singer/songwriter and musician:  There’s no one like Ted.  He lasts, almost on this mystical level.  When he hits a chord—No, less than that….You ever hear the noise before a record starts?  It’s gotta be records cause it don’t work on CD’s anymore.  But that ambient noise.  You put The Dusk StreamTower, or any of his records on without me knowin’ and I’ll tell you right off it’s him.  Right there in the ambiance.

TERRY SUN, guitarist and co-found of the alternative rock band, E.K.G.: Ted just does whatever the fuck he wants.  That’s inspiration, man.  Where would he be if he never left Winchester.  He’d still be with those assclowns playing reunion shows at some bumfuck casino.  He was right to leave.  Damn right he’s an inspiration.

JOHNATHAN SWITCH, English musician, actor, producer, and arranger known for the intellectual depth of his music:  I like Ted.  Very much.

CHARLEY SPRITE, English singer, musician, and occasional actor known for his suave visual and vocal style, earning him the epithet ‘The Neon Fog’: What can you say?  If he plays country, he’s got it.  Loud music, soft music, he can move you.  It’s a complex thing he’s got.  In’s and out’s, different facets to this guy.  That’s why people who hate him still respect him.  So, yeah, do I hate him?  Sure.

PHILLIP MOVE, American guitarist singer/songwriter best known for his work with Winchester Sun and Three:  What?  For walking out on Winchester?  Sure I’ve forgiven him.  I forgave him in ’67 right after I knocked him in the teeth with a Cuervo bottle.  Then in ’69 when we spent a funky night in Miami.  I can’t remember what went down, but Ted claims it was a seizure to this day.  You have to forgive a man in the hospital.  He told you I didn’t forgive him, din’t he?  He walked out on us just two years ago at a benefit concert, man.  How cold is that?  That’s all we’ve been doing is forgiving that bastard for selling a million records without mention of Winchester or Three, like he never gave a shit about us to begin with.  Yeah…Sorry Ted.

DARREN FOLSON (died 1996, complications due to cerebral edema), American musician and singer/songwriter who served as the lead vocalist and one of three guitarists in the American rock band Lion’s September:  I don’t know what to say.  You see him, like what, last week?  He killed it.  Killed it.  The guy can hardly walk but put a guitar in his hands and then he can do that knee shaking tromp.  He’s Elvis, man.  Hank Williams…the Beatles if Sgt. Pepper was recorded in a dumpster…if Lennon went the other way.

CLINT SULTON, Sanatoria Records Employee and longtime roadie for Winchester SunThree, and Ox Bow: We’re in Cleveland for the Last Chance tour.  He’s with Ox Bow and they’re all just blitzed out of their minds.  That band was and still is quasi-criminal.  They drug themselves near comatose—tequila, blow and something they called Honey Downers that Benny Townsend would cook up.  They play the dirtiest rock.  I mean Ox Bow were hardly musicians, but Ted’s deal was that they felt right.  That’s the way he liked it, no talent but raw.  So the audience expects Ted to be Ted at that point…you know, whiny folk songs like Wheat Train, or whatever shit he did with The Whiskey Sun or Phil.  Instead he’s mumbling into the mike random gibberish, playing like he’s trying slay a zombie horde with his guitar.  The whole time they’re about to fall apart.  By the end of it no one is left in the building.  Ox Bow is still on stage.  They never gave a damn if people showed or not.  And that was it.  They did seventy shows just like that.  People booing, throwing shit, leaving early.  The fans hated it.  The critics loved it.  The label fired them.

HOWLIN’ JOE HOLLAND, American bassist best known for his work with TEDDY BOONES’s backing band Ox Bow: Damn right Ted was different after Benny died.  For the longest time it was Benny and Ted, Ted and Benny.  We’d play Ted’s song and it’d be this rumbling train wreck—about to fall apart, but, you know, that was our deal.  That’s how Ted got off.  No polish.  Nothing.  After we’d record that Benny’d disappear for a week, maybe more…on a needle binge, whatever.  We weren’t too concerned—this was how the times were then.  He’d return from whatever dive he was staying in, alley maybe, smelling like shit, but he’d have something better.  Funkier, worse, badder.  Shit, Ted’s best ideas came from Benny because Benny got to that darker side…that other level—he lived it, you see.  Ted never let himself go that far.  Man, Ted rode them rails for what they were worth—great shit really—but Benny could derail the motherfucker.  I think Ted knows this and since Benny died you don’t see Ted anymore.  You see Ted trying to be Benny.  But as much as he tries he can’t get off the damn tracks.

LINDA LARSON, American popular music vocalist and entertainer: Every time you people ask me this what can I say?  I haven’t spoken to him.  Our relationship lasted as long as it took to record Over the Downs.  That was it.  Good while it lasted.  Thought it would go longer, but Teddy did what Teddy does.  Disappeared.  We were supposed to visit his family before the tour—it was the holidays, obviously.  Poetic, right?  He canceled the tour as well.  It’s hard not to think it was because of me.

EWAN LEGATTO, English musician and vocalist best known for his work with TEDDY BOONE and PHILLIP MOVE in the seventies super group, Three: Ted could’ve said, ‘Hey, I’m outta here.  This ain’t workin’, I’m gone.’  He doesn’t.  He ends up in New York with Ox Bow or whatever trash he finds, and records some other bullshit when we weren’t yet half done.  Papers were signed.  Sanatoria was beans deep into this one.  Not to mention Phil and myself.  We were invested.  The schmuck up and leaves because he’s a coward.  That’s how he deals with things.  It hurts people; he doesn’t know that.  He’s been that way since the beginning.  What the devil were we supposed to call ourselves?  The pretentious fuck named our group Three, probably knowing damn well he’d leave the moment he and Phil got into it, which was always.  Phil and I weren’t going to start the tour and say, ‘Hey, we were Three, but Ted pissed off again, so now we’re Two.’

WILLIAM STEWART THOMAS, also known by the former stage name BILLY PISS, British rock musician and lyricist, best known as the lead vocalist of the seventies punk rock group KLANSMAN GRACE: He didn’t hurt it if that’s what you mean.  The movement was already out there.  I mean we were doing it, but we didn’t have the crowds Teddy had.  He was big enough to piss off a stadium full of people.  That means loads more than pissing off the same eight punks who always came to our shows back then.  We were there at the Manchester show during his Last Chance tour.  Ox Bow was bleary-eyed incoherent, but that was the point of it, was how I figured.  Some sort of catharsis since it was shortly after that guitarist died.  Teddy’s friend, Benjamin something.  Maybe we got some ideas from that utter release thing they had going.  It’s all just anti-pop.  I can tell you this: We never left when things got crazy on stage.  We never booed when Ox Bow left the stage after the first and only set.  No encore, but that was the show.  We got what we came for.

BENJAMIN (BENNY) SHARTRAND (died 1973, overdose), American singer/songwriter best known for his work with TEDDY BOONE and Ox Bow, and for penning the hit song “I Hear Her,” which was recorded by super-duo PHILLIP MOVE and MARYANNE GIFFIN:

My darling comes here at last

To take me from this earth

And I will go without one regret

Last Lyric of Benny Shartrand

Written hours before his death

THEODORE BONIFACIOUS (TEDDY BOONE), Singer/songwriter, actor and filmmaker:

I left my companion there

Lyin’ in a heap of dust

And that dust did rise

Like ghosts gone to rust

Lyric from Teddy Boone’s hit “Risen Dust”

Written shortly after Benny Shartrand’s death

DOROTHY (DORTH) BONIFACIOUS, mother of TEDDY BOONE:  Golly … when he was in the hospital, nearly dead or dead already, I tell you they—them doctors—din’t know what to make of it, and I tell them, ‘It’s the typhoid, you ingrits.  Ain’t never seen no boy as yeller as him.’  They took me out.  They wouldn’t let me with Theodore and he wanted his mama clear as rain…so close to shakin’ hands with Jesus hisself and they send his mama out on her ass.  We put him in there fat as a stuck pig and he come out thin as a worked mule.  What do you make of that?  No more meat on his bones for the rest of his life.  Two days! If doctors don’t kill you they’ll make you wish you were dead.  That’s why he’s always singin’ all them doom-type Devilly songs about dead people and decayed things—none of ‘em make much sense to me.  He saw the other side when he was just a boy.  Doctors.  Gawd Ahmighty!

RISEN DUST RANCH, Final Deed of Purchase:

Cabo Azul Incorporated is hereby confirming that the final deed of purchase and sale concerning plot 7 of ZDTG of Medera and Algoquerta, located in Medoza Valley, California was signed on behalf of Theodore Boone on 14th September 1974.

Through the signing of this document, the ownership of the above mentioned plot was transmitted from the State of California to Theodore and Crystal Boone, husband and wife, with the exclusion of any other persons or entities.

LANSTON CLEEK, childhood friend and former bassist for TEDDY BOONE’S first doo-wop band, The Jesters: After awhile, after he got big, or whatever, he would just waste money.  I followed him around, you know, like any sad puppy and watched the waste.  It made me furious for a time.  That’s why I left.  Well, I got busted, too—heh heh.  Sellin’ weed to all his roadies and groupies.  It was written off, though.  I was operating under some bullshit title like Director of Operations.  Ted’s idea.  All I wanted to do was get some of mine as well, you see.  If Ted was gonna have me around, I would make damn sure they were, well, feelin’ right.  Anyway, man.  It was the waste that got me the most.  New socks everyday.  Who does that?  He looked like shit all the time, projecting a—you know—look-how-shitty-and-poor-I-am vibe, or whatever.  The guy had like two pairs of pants, three shirts, and the same stinking boots, but new socks everyday?  I didn’t get it, so I left that circus.  It wasn’t right.

CRYSTAL MISCKIEWICZ (died 1988, cause undisclosed), American actress and first wife of TEDDY BOONE:  Ted never gave a shit about women.  He’s had them, lost them…he gets no motivation from them at all.  He left—not for another woman—it took years for me to figure that out.  He says he just couldn’t handle it.  I thought he was full of shit.  Handle what?  Being a husband and father?  Even when my mother killed herself Ted never came to support us.  There was no tour.  He was working on a recording, but when wasn’t he?  It’s just how he is.  He wants to make art—Ted art.  Nothing else matters.  To be honest I think he hates mothers.  He always wanted to kill Dorothy, and once I became one he was gone.

BJ KLINE, Canadian radio host and voice-over talent and first to record TEDDY BOONE’S solo work:  How can you not know his reputation?  I know his propensity to start things and never finish them, leaving you hanging.  It fucking hurts.  I had all this…this shit built up over the years.  In our sessions…Well, it’s enough to say they were something else.  I knew how great he was from the beginning.  So he invites me back something like thirty years later.  He was just a kid when I saw him.  I brought the tapes.  Still had them in the basement just waiting for something like this.  What he told me was that he had car trouble.  That’s why he never came back to record a proper album.  Stupid as all hell excuse—made me cry is what it did.  We listened to his tapes at Risen Dust…just as good as we remembered.  Of course he won’t release them.  He never releases his best work.

LINER NOTES TO YEAR OF THE BULL (SANATORIA, 1974), written in Greek, widely assumed to be by TEDDY BOONE: The pachyderms fell in herds, as one, creating storms of the sands that spread across the land, and once settled, their carcasses lay baked, rotten, then preserved in the heat of an unforgiving sun.  As they blackened and were consumed in that slow flame that was the dry winds, their flesh fell like ash, their bodies dotting the landscape the way shrubbery had long before.  Their kind gone, but their bodies left, the herds themselves became like villages of dark and macabre huts for the smaller, livelier creatures that lived off decayed and stringy meat, young pale maggots and black flies that increased in size by the passing decades.  Then these, too, fell to the salted sands and were thence caged by the sun-bleached bones of the once mighty herds of pachyderms.  While to the shifting sands these bones were not bones at all, but pale markers for the dwindling populations and decreasing masses of the recently deceased.  For it was true of this future place that though its face had changed from lush to dust, life would mindlessly go on.

LINER NOTES TO YEAR OF THE OX (SANATORIA, 1971), written in Arabic, widely assumed to be by BENNY SHARTRAND: The Saint in the Cauldron’s skin melted from his bones.  His flesh blistered, his eyes imploded, his soul was torn.  His wails to heaven could be heard from the fields to the plazas but no further.  They say the ears of heaven heard only his pleas for mercy to the Roman executioners, who stood idly by the steaming cauldron, speaking of everyday Roman things—of glory, of old philosophies, of helmets…. Still, people sung of this saint’s bravery, since brave he was.  They prayed under his idol for grace, incanting the times he cried the Lord’s name until the moment of his passing.  They even dreamed.  These most devout souls dreamed of the fair saint who decried the Lord’s grace, bled the blood of all martyrs, and succumbed willingly into the arms of God only after first being passed through the arms of his inquisitors.  And that meaty flesh sizzled free of his bones, smelling for a time like fried swine until it was charred black and turned to soot.

A FAN, an excerpt from a discussion thread at the TEDDY BOONE fan site www.risendustrocks.com:  Hello Duster and pG-
I am racken332 from Iowa.  You guys are great.  I’m 65 years old, been following Teddy since his good old Winchester days.  I’ve seen 33 1/3s replace the 78s, collected 45s for years, and played in just about every kind of 60’s garage band imaginable.  I’ve seen Teddy rise and fall only to rise again.  Things have gone from analog to digital, reels to bits, records to mp3, but I’m with it and can’t wait to order the blu-ray compilation.  I have a beautiful Sony Wega just for the occasion.  I’m amused by the techie banter about BD’s and whatnot.  Just chill out and let the funky times pass, friends.  This old hippie is gonna sit back, ‘spliff’ open a beverage and bliss out with Teddy.  Thanks Duster and pG.  Long live the Ted Man!

MICHAEL GOUGH, famous critic of TEDDY BOONE who was briefly a keyboardist in Three, but more widely known as a cultish figurehead of a hippie group responsible for murdering porn star, VALERIE BUCKSMORE:  Thing about the Youth is that they stay the same age…know what I mean?  Their lobes are rotten and will stay rotten because the Youth does not age.  Old pumpkin smeared on concrete…ground beef blood caught in cellophane…foaming pink sewage in the river.  This is the Youth.  It is how it is.  And Boone, my friends…well, he’s the creator.  He is the psychobabble of the techno-age that fails to connect on epic fucking levels.  He is the sledgehammer to the steer.  He is the pneumatic piston to their heifer souls, doddling through the fast-piped lines, zagging ad infinitum et al nauseum.  So, no the Boone Retrospective isn’t worth the dead skin stuck to a capitalist’s nose hair or the [incoherent…] worth the piss to shit… [incoherent…] back in ‘62 at the junction he and I… [incoherent…] What was that?….No, no I haven’t listened to it.

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