The Legend-News

Monday, 2001 May 7 : Volume 4, Number 10

What We Got Here

Relatively unimportant Administrivia; CONVOY The Motion Picture on cable television; Bill answers his fan mail in Re: McCall; some new links for Surfin' With The Rubber Duck; and a scary Song A’ Th’ Week, "Milton".


George @ twinvalley: you would be receiving a copy of The Legend-News in your mailbox, and you would be joined to the Other Wild Places list, but the e-mail address that you're using doesn't exist: all replies to that address ('gdqbl') are returned as 'user unknown'. I would have sent you a message, but…

CONVOY The Motion Picture

In case you missed the previous showing, TBS will be showing CONVOY again this month, on May 17 at 2 P.M. EDT. Set your VCRs on record! Until They release a new tape or DVD, this is all we've got.

And don't forget to visit David Frederick's site, where you can learn almost everything about the movie.

Re: McCall

Got a question for Bill? Send it to But before you ask, check out the questions on the Re: McCall Repository; you may find your answer there.

Q. Bill hasn't recorded as C.W. McCall since the release of the 1990 album The Real McCall: An American Storyteller, but that hasn't stopped his fans from hoping. From Bill, a.k.a. 'Federation X':

Dear Mr. Fries,

Hello, my name is Bill, i'm 24 years old and a big fan of your music, have been for years. My father introduced to me to your music at a very young age, and to this day when we see each other we often exchange pleasantries by reciting some of your songs in unison.

Now that I'm all grown up I sing in a Northwest rock/punk/blues band called Federation X. We work really hard touring and I release records of our own and the records of our friends on a small label called Molasses Manifesto. I have always been impressed with the way your music was arranged in regards to the music and lyrical solidarity both. I was wonderin' if you have worked on any projects as the "C.W. McCall" character lately.

Best regards,

A. Thanks, Bill. No McCall projects lately, but keep on hoping. I wish you the best in your career. — Bill

… and from Tom Cooper:

Hi Bill. Do you ever have a hankering to do more recordings?

A. Yes, Tom; but then I'd have to go out and promote them. I don't think so.

Surfin' With The Rubber Duck


In the Re: McCall article in this issue, there's a mention of a band called Federation X. The Duck found a review of their album, Four Wheel Drive, a review of a live show from 1998, and the mention of an upcoming show in January 1999. But the Duck can't find a place to buy the album online! How about it, Dirty Bill?

Over at Joe Horn's Archive of Great Poetry, he knows a good rhyme when he hears it: "Convoy". And the Duck is pretty sure he knows from where Joe copped the lyrics and other stuff on that page. Go ahead, make my day.

Well, the U S of A Presidential election mess was five months ago, but the Duck just found this parody of "Convoy": "Hand Count", by Keith K. Higa.

Song A’ Th’ Week

Terror comes in many forms. To some, the sight or suggestion of an animal or insect can provoke fear. To others, the mere thought of being in a crowd is paralyzing. And then there's the tour manager for the band…

(Ron Agnew)
From the album C.W. McCall & Co.

Now, I'll tell ya a tale that'll bust yer heart
That only a few people knew, ta start
It all took place when our concert tour was booked at the SeaTac Hilton?
I'll guarantee ev'ry word's the Gospel truth
Got witnesses ta prove it, too,
'Cause we all toured with a fella by the name a' Milton

Now Milton was o-fficial tour director,
Electrical piano-playin' plug connector
An' the slave-drivin'-est travel conductor
That we ever seen in our lives
He'd say "Whaddya mean, ya need more rest?
"The world don't care whether ya look yer best!
"Simply show up promptly at six A.M. with your instruments ...and your wives!"

[Choir; in sorta of "Bringing In The Sheaves" way]
Shall we gather at the airport?

He'd always arrive in the nick a' time
A good five minutes ahead a' flight time
A-lookin' like he'd been drug through a needle's eye
He'd stand there, stoned and about ta choke
On his Egg McMuffin an' his giant Coke
An' then he'd throw all the tickets on the counter and say
"Check the bags and let's fly!"
"Well, whaddya mean, this is too much weight?
"We only got forty-six pieces a' freight!
"And if it don't go, who's gonna explain it to our fan club in Tacoma?"

We'd all get embarassed an' head for the plane
While Milton stood there, bein' profane
But somehow he always managed ta get on board sort of a coma

When the drinks were served up yonder...

Well, we deplaned at th' other end
All the trouble seemed to commence again
Though Milton had ordered three station wagons, a pickup truck and a limo
And though he'd phoned ahead to that Number Two
Cussin' an' fussin' an' turnin' blue
We'd always end up with two Datsoons and a Pinto

Now Milton took all a' that stuff in stride
Laid on the floor, an' kicked an' cried
But we always looked up to him for hope and salvation
But we'd sink to the bottom a' trav'lers hell
When he'd check us in a remote motel
And he'd grab the clerk by his shirt an' tie an' say
"Whaddya mean, ¿no reservaciónes?"

Milton's getting bolder...

He'd shut himself in room one-oh-four
Let nobody in 'til he swept the floor
Adjusted the lampshade, aligned the TV, fixed the faucet, called the promoter
"Well, whaddya mean we're the warmup show?
"You're puttin' me on! We're stars, ya know!
"And this ain't the way we was treated last summer at Six Flags Over Dakota!
"Now we gotta have a hunnert percent top billing,
"Two-thirds in advance, a' course, you silly!
"I'm sure we prefer a chauffered limosine and two air-conditioned dressing rooms, please.
"I'm what? Well, so's your wife! She's not? Well, to each his own.
"Beg pardon, stick it in my what? Well, really, Merle who?"

William Morris, keep us working...

Now, Milton was a real good friend a' mine
An' we'd stuck together on down that line
But there was one or two points over which we just had to dee-bate
Like takin'-your-clothes-off-an'-hangin'-from-a-cross-in-front-a'-the-Tri-County-Fairgrounds
Is not necessarily an assurance that the crowd ain't gonna start throwin' tomatas
An' when ya arrive at four for a five o'clock show
An' the stage ain't built an' there's no electricity
About all ya could do is sit on yer butt an' cut bait
However, you give ol' Milton four strong bodies, a nine-foot grand, a beer and a cigarette
An' you just knew that show was gonna be ...outta state

Bringing in the bread
Bringing in the bread...

Now one night up there in Washington
We didn't get paid for a show we'd done
An' poor ol' Milton couldn't live with that; his brain just shorted out.
Well, he locked himself in the bathroom
An' then when he didn't come out for an hour an' a half
We figgered that somethin' was wrong, but we had to remove all doubt
We stood transfixed in shock and horror
When we busted down that there bathroom door
And I hope I never see a sight like that again; no, I don't
There was nothin' to do but close our eyes, an' bow our heads, an' vocalize
With a silent five-part acapella hymn, for him

What a friend we had in Milton...

Now we're gettin' ready, come next December
To put another concert tour together
And I'm sad to say ol' Milton ain't a-gonna be with us
No, it ain't gonna be exactly the same
When they introduce us without his name
So Milton, wherever you are, we hope you miss us!
See, Milton has moved on down the road
Over the rainbow, lookin' for gold
Yeah, he's up there where the stage lights is always on
But we can't forget that curly hair
When last we saw him a-settin' there
Holdin' his tambourine, suckin' his thumb, an' sound asleep on the john

The Legend-News is Copyright 2001 TechRen Enterprises. "How about 'Disco Rubber Duck'?" "Excuse me one moment, Mr. Dees, while I get my baseball bat." Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music.