The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy got his start as a one-man band performing at supermarket openings in Texas during the late 1960s. The image of this bona fide weirdo twitching around and screeching before a confused group of small town locals may be his greatest asset. But if you've never heard his signature tune "Paralyzed," he's worth checking out; few recordings from that period (or since) are quite as bizarre. Imagine Mojo Nixon's goofy sense of humor filtered through early rock 'n' roll and then stripped of any structure or continuity. The rudiment-abilly foundations are punctuated by incoherent howling/braying, and bugle farts provide a military march ambiance. But "The Ledge," as fans call him, is more than a good-time novelty act. His live sets (backed by a red-hot Rockabilly band since the '80s) reveal a searing, put-down aggression in his between-song banter. He approaches the stage muttering "What are you happy for?" and kick-starts the disintegration of his Cowboy from Mars mythos with a nihilistic version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky." Considered a footnote in the "discriminating" realm of rock journalism, the Ledge nevertheless stands as one of the truly uncompromising -- if a little silly -- characters that populate the Psychobilly world.