HANK WILLIAMS JR.; In concert at the Huntsman Center; Aug. 3; one show only.Well, it's finally happened.
Hank Williams Jr. has become a parody of himself.
Always the "bad boy" of country music, Williams slowly won the grudging respect of the industry because he could play and sing.
Now, he's turned himself into a joke and made the industry the patsy. I think it's time for some serious Hank Jr. backlash.
To begin with, this isn't a man who comes out and shyly introduces himself to the crowd, who passes the baton to his band from time to time and moves people to tears. This is a man who swaggers onto the stage with a loud "Do you love me?;" a man who finally gives the steel guitar player a chance to play, then runs over and sits on the steel guitar, breaking it.
This is a man who takes his shirt off, runs to the piano and plays it with his rear end; a man who makes lewd remarks to the young girls near the stage then contemplates playing the piano with his genitals; a man who throws beer and water around the stage and walks on the solos of the band members with riffs that are basically rip offs of great bands from the past.
This is a man who tells the crowd he loves and admires his legendary father so many times, the crowd leaves wondering why this guy hates his father.
This is a man every psychiatrist in America would love to get on a couch.
Williams has spent half his life trying to prove to the world he's not his father. After Wednesday night, he'll have to spend the last half of his life proving he's not a bad cover version of Greg Allman.
Derivative? I didn't hear one fresh guitar lick all night.
This guy is a kit. He comes packaged and ready to be wound up.
Oh, the man's honest. "If you don't like me, kiss my a--," he yells. And: "I only care about my people; people who let me play on MTV with Van Halen."
In a display of spontaneous songwriting skill, Williams filled a few classic songs with four-letter words and gave a rambling 10-minute monologue about his awards and his tragic life.
If you think Ghadafi is self-absorbed, Ghadafi ain't in Hank Jr.'s league.
Hank played his hits, of course. Last time he came to Salt Lake City he tried to entertain people with an hour of one-man blues tunes - half the crowd left. Now he's learned his lesson. We got "Young Country," "Family Tradition," "All My Rowdy Friends," "Buck Naked," etc.
He knocked off a couple of his daddy's songs and tinkered with some Marshall Tucker and old Delta blues.
In all, I've covered country music for 10 years now. This was the sloppiest, most self-indulgent, unprofessional performance I've seen.
The Nashville establishment voted this man Entertainer of the Year the past three years.
That tells us more about the Nashville establishment than about Hank Williams Jr.
As I left the arena, I thought I heard Hank Sr. calling down from heaven.
"Hello earth? How's Bocephus, that little snot-nosed brat of a son of mine doing down there?"
He's still a little, snot-nosed brat, Mr. Williams.
"Does he love me?" Hank Sr. called.
"I don't think so, Mr. Williams. I think he feels you deserted him when he was 3, and he's having a hard, hard time forgiving you."