This Nov. 8 marks 10 years since Dan McLain, better known as Country Dick Montana, died-on freaking stage-during a Beat Farmers show at the Longhorn Saloon just outside Vancouver, Canada.
To commemorate, a group of former bandmates, friends and lovers of Country Dick called "The Self-Appointed Know-It-All Committee" is presenting a Country Dick Memorial party called "It's a Dick Thing-Ten Years without Dick."
For those too young or whose brains are too addled by narcotics to remember, there was a time when Country Dick Montana ruled this here patch of earth. His Beat Farmers were wildly popular in and outside of San Diego. They performed legendary shows, recorded several outstanding albums and created a number of successful spin-off groups, including the Pleasure Barons, The Incredible Hayseeds, Country Dick's Garage and the Off Brothers-all of which featured, if not revolved around, Country Dick Montana.
When he died, the whole goddamn scene died with him. It was startling and abrupt end to an era.
"Ten Years Without Dick." Ain't that just an entirely suitable name for the Dan McLain memorial. Because that's what he was-a great, towering, 6-foot-something guy who brought buckets of reverie to every audience he encountered.
"It's what he lived for," said Joey Harris, former Beat Farmer and member of the Self-Appointed Know-It-All Committee. "To transport the crowd from their workday hassles and worries into his big, scary, beautiful rock 'n' roll dreamland."
Ten years without Dick. Wow.
I was a big fan of everything Dick. I knew them all pretty well. I know Joey was devastated when Dick died. I can only imagine what these past 10 years have been like for him, and the other members of the Self-Appointed Know-It-All Committee.
Like Sooty, who almost married his unmarrieable ass. Or Lorna "Doone" Hamilton, who I saw at every show, every party. Or Edwin Nutting, friend and roommate to Dick. Or all the other musicians and bands that Country Dick Montana had touched, however inappropriately.
The best I can do is tell you what the last 10 years without Dick has been like for me, and what it's been like for me is something akin to total and utter suckassiness.
I still miss the fucking shit out of Dick. I can't even listen to a Beat Farmers album without an overwhelming sense of sorrow, which also totally and utterly sucks since sorrow is the last thing you want to feel when listening to a 6-foot-something guy in a black leather trenchcoat, black cowboy hat and snakeskin boots going "Hubba, hubba, hubba."
Ten years? No Dick? How could that be?
I would not be a writer were it not for my friendship with Country Dick Montana. My column, "Sordid Tales," is a direct result of my having known him. No bullshit. He inspired me more than none other. His songs, his poems, his onstage rants, his Beat Farmers' Almanac, our chess games, our late-night after-hours conversations in the bar till sunup-this was my education.
He taught me how to be irreverent and serious at the same time. He taught me not only to confess my vices, but to possess them. He showed me the elegance contained within a hairball. He encouraged me to use important socio-political critical language such as "dirtbag," "preppy-shitbag" and "scum-sucking maggots."
He taught me so goddamn much that anyone who reads my column knows that Country Dick Montana still roars like a bear from within."It's a Dick Thing (10 Years without Dick)" will feature members of The Beat Farmers, Penetrators, The Pleasure Barons, Snuggle Bunnies, The Off Brothers and The Incredible Hayseeds. With special guests Mojo Nixon, Candye Kane, Steve Poltz, Jose Sinatra, Rosie Flores, Aristotle Georgio and Juke Logan. Nov. 7 at the Casbah. $10. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. 619-232-HELL.