Seconds
David Allan Coe: Monkey David Wine



ask my coworkers or my fellow church members: I'm the quiet one. I'm the moral guy you can count on. I'm industrious and I have above-average hygiene. But ask some people who know me better and you'll learn that I also might be the first to dance, I wear vinyl pants, and have had green hair. I suspect most of us are like this. If we're not split, our personalities at least stretch across a longer continuum than the outside observer might expect. Since I don't regularly punch, philander, or puke, I need some music that gets the Hyde his fix without the Jekyll having to sleep in the gutter.

David Allan Coe's yelp in the middle of "Monkey David Wine" is the sound of insanity. It's followed by some tongue-rolls and further yelps; this is the sound of a man running circles inside his prison cell. Later we get the laughter that would have ended The Treasure of the Sierra Madre if only Walter Huston had decided to stab someone. And then gotten drunk and turned into a monkey.

Not that I know if Coe ever killed anyone. He went to prison the first time for possession of obscene materials, contrary to popular belief. But he also drove a hearse, is covered in tattoos, and scares me. He's been a great songwriter ("Take This Job and Shove It") and an underground obscenetrician (just Google for these); a country singer and a bluesman; he's been controversial and he's ridden motorcycles on stage. But fuck him, I'm writing this about me.

Yeah, because this is when I get bad and nasty. Those yelps in that sucker's song are the sound of me kicking someone's ass for every time I put the passive in passive-aggressive. It's the sound of me recovering every beer I left in the keg, and chasing the skirts I primly looked away from. This is the karaoke renditions of the songs whose titles I blush to mention.

The song starts off with a standard blues shuffle, but you couldn't go nuts if the music hinted at anything other than normalcy. The music becomes padded walls, and Coe bounces off them as he describes the absurd recipes for his wine, drinks it, and freaks out. It's this noise that makes me drive home instead of walking in the dark.

It's also the sound of me lurking around a corner; it's the sound of me punching like Jake LaMotta and pissing on anything that needs a good pissing on. I have stubble and smoke and tell people exactly what I think of them. I spit indoors. I don't apologize.

This is me calling David Allan Coe a pussy.

Um, this is me backing up, and apologizing, and trying to decide if I can outrun a 60-year-old man.

"Monkey David Wine" only lasts a few minutes, and really that's all I need. I'm a good person. I don't kill or steal; I only sin in ways I can brush aside and I act kindly toward my fellow humans (though let's not get into what I think about most of them). But that doesn't mean I don't want to climb up on my desk every now and then and roll my eyes and scream gibberish. It doesn't mean I don't want to be bad—and not sexy-bad, just bad-bad. I want to be a good boy, and an outlaw.

I'll take care of half of it myself, but I confess to needing David Allan Coe to help me work out the other stuff. The fucker.


By: Justin Cober-Lake
Published on: 2005-10-12
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