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      PANAMA RED in North Miami Beach

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      March 22, 2013

      Friday   8:00 PM

      775 NE 125th Street
      North Miami Beach, Florida 33160

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      PANAMA RED

      1972. I became Billy Joe Shaver's guitar player, and we wrote a couple of songs together, one of which, Bottom Dollar, has at this time been recorded upwards of forty times. It has become a standard country song, but standards don't pay; hits pay, but not standards... I was standing on a street corner one day, gazing up at Billy Swan's apartment house when I hear a voice over my right shoulder saying, "Do you think I ought to call myself Rich Friedman, Kinky Friedman or Big Dick Friedman?" It was, of course, Kinky. Now of course he uses all three on his answering machine at the ranch. We became friends, and he ultimately coerced me into playing guitar on his first album, Sold American. Later, when I joined the Jewboys, I started using the name. When we were working on Kinky's second album, I heard Peter Rowan's tune, Panama Red. Ah, well, I thought, it'll pass. More untrue words have never been spoken; the idea of Panama Red as an alias has so grabbed the imagination of the masses that there must be a million of us out there...but I was the first, I think, anyway, predating the song. No matter. I played in the Jewboys and I toured under my own flag until 1980, when Felix Pappalardi recorded a song of mine, somewhat watered down, called Negro, and then invited me to work for him in Miami back at Criteria. I accepted, because of the opportunity to learn how to produce records from The Man himself. Felix meant a lot to me, and I invested a lot of my career potential in working with him. I became a 'made man', and was poised to finally make the big time, which there was one of then, when Felix died at the hands of his wife, Gail. There is nothing more that should be said.

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