lifeblood: socs: 1995-02-22: chickenman (concert hall - brisbane, australia)


listen:

chickenman (14:26) (wav)

amy ray during chickenman:

we had a...long road...that took us to meet this person that we sing about. i became obsessed with the skins stretched out on the roadside and the...broken bones littering the median. i started counting everything, numbering everything...okay, so on this trip i saw 10 opossums, i saw 3 deer and 5 dogs, 5000 grasshoppers smushed by a headlight. i was up in montreal jogging down this street and i passed by these people, they were surrounding this woman...she had just been beaten up and left there...
so counting all this stuff, that in the midst of stopping at every fast food restaurant along the way for...years...and all the sudden we drive into the middle of texas and it's wildflower season and it feels like all the hope in the world and it's really cool. we're lifted up really high, we've had some...some really interesting gigs that have brought us down so we're gonna take part in a little bit of nature, i'm gonna drive the car, i'm gonna miss every animal i see that crosses the road, i'm gonna be magic, i'm not gonna touch it.
we're stopping at this flea market and going in and shopping around and this is...this is making me feel pretty good, shopping around in this flea market, this is really good, this is really pretty positive...and i look next door and...and i look over there and there's all these tables spread out with everything you could imagine it's...it's, um, it's bicycle parts and blenders and records and 8-track tapes and books and cameras and there's trailers and it's...it's a feast of material items for probably...under fifty cents each. and i'm thinking, i'm gonna go over there, i'm gonna get out of this state i'm in, i'm gonna buy some stuff and get some good deals, i'm gonna have a carload of stuff i'm going to carry away and spend maybe...ten...dollars and it's gonna be really really cool. because...well, you know...
so i'm looking at this stuff and i pull out a couple of different items and i'm looking at them and thinking, no price tags, hmm, must be really cheap...or really expensive. and this old guy walks out of the trailer and he's all dirty and kinda looks like he's lived on an island for a long time or something, he's living on the side of this highway, he's got dirt all over his skin and his hair's all matted and he's got bugs and shit all over him and he looks...really cool. i'm thinking, "this is my guru." this is my moment. i've waited for this moment for twenty years, this is it and i know this is it. so i hold out this item to him, a book or something coz i'm thinking i can open a conversation by buying something and it's like, "how much is this?" and he's like, "that's not for sale, not for sale." so i hold up something else and i say, "how much is this then?" and he says, "that's not for sale either." i say, "well?!?! what can i buy? i mean what can i get today?!?" he said, "nothin. you're in my front yard."
so this is a good lesson to learn. i'm thinking...i'm tresspassing, i'm being materialistic and i'm being rude all at the same time. and i'm gonna ask him something, i'm gonna search my soul coz i want to make myself feel better coz everything has been so dirty and ugly up to this point, it's just like this light shining and i'm looking up in the air and i see this sign and it says chickenman and i'm thinking this guy, he's got a combination of a chicken and a man, there must be something really special about this guy, this person i'm gonna talk to him...and so i'm thinking, okay, what can i say? and i've got all these questions in my head and i'm thinking, all right, i'm going to ask him, um, how did i get here, and okay, so i'm thinking i'm going to ask him, how'd your skin get that color and how long have you gone without washing your hair and do you have a girlfriend do you have a boyfriend do you have kids, an uncle or an aunt, where were you born? i mean, when you look out at the road and you see these cars go past do you ever want to hop in and just leave all this behind, are you in love with this one acre of land man and all this shit spread out all over your tables? i mean, what do you eat at night, are you a meat lover are you an animal lover are you an herbivore, i mean, what do you eat at night? when you look up at the sky and you see the stars shining down, do you think about god, do you think about buddha, are you an athiest? i mean, when you see this dog and it's been hit and it's in the middle of the road and he's biting and scratching and howling and he's gonna die, i mean what are you thinking, are you thinking this is freedom, is this the price of freedom, is this the food chain, is this all i'm ever meant to be? are you looking up at the sky are you beggin god are you saying god, please don't let me die! i mean, you see all this roadkill everyday and it's taking you farther and farther away and how come you're so damn peaceful?!?!
i was on the road to austin...


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