Nashville is awash in bedazzled bad boys that wear their so-called outlaw status like a poorly knocked-off Nudie suit. And not one of them is fit to polish David Allan Coe’s belt buckle.
From reform school resident to prison inmate to biker to Country singer/songwriter, Coe is the living definition of surviving and thriving regardless of bad breaks and hard living. In the ’60s, he experimented with his Country style (his sophomore album, Requiem for a Harlequin, was a psychedelically tinged concept album) and in the ’70s, his songs were No. 1 hits for others (“Would You Lay with Me in a Field of Stone” for Tanya Tucker, “Take This Job and Shove It” for Johnny Paycheck).
During the ’80s, he cracked Billboard’s Top 10 on his own (“The Ride” in 1983, “Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile” in 1984) and, in the new millennium, he’s released eight studio albums and two live sets and played with the Country/Metal project Rebel Meets Rebel, a band comprised of Coe and Vinnie Paul, Rex Brown and the late Dimebag Darrell from Pantera. Range doesn’t come any broader than that.
Over the course of nearly 30 albums and close to 300 songs, Coe has managed to write powerfully emotional material along with some of the most disturbingly filthy, misogynistic and racist tracks in the history of recorded music (“Pussywhipped Again,” “Cum Stains on the Pillow,” “Don’t Bite the Dick,” among many others), but Coe claims that doesn’t reflect his true feelings or philosophies. Coe has also acted in a half-dozen movies, written several books and maintained an almost constant presence on the road, accomplishments that would far outstrip the stamina and creative energies of most septuagenarians.From now until David Allan Coe’s cowboy boots are toes to the sky, he will take his job and love it.
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