The New Legend-News
“Lies, Half-truths and Stuff That We Made Up”
What We Got Here
What we got here is one lazy writer/editor/publisher, who finally got the courage to pound out another issue of the newsletter with the worst publishing schedule — a schedule that’s even worse than MWJ’s.
So here’s the line-up: “The Ides of November”, “C.W. McCall Has Left The Building”, “New Critters On The Block”, “Talking with C.W. McCall”, “Convoy 2010”, and “Do Not Enter!”.
The Ides Of November
November 15th is a week-and-a-half away, and you do remember whose birthday it is, don’t you? Bill Fries, the Great and Glorious Creator of C.W. McCall, will be 79 years old.
You may send your birthday greetings to Bill at P.O. Box E, Ouray, CO, 81427-0589.
Please do not request autographed pictures from Bill! He really doesn’t have any. But if you have something that you would like Bill to autograph, please read the second question on the Re: McCall page.
[Yes, I know that the ides of November actually occurs on the 13th of that month. — Ed.]
C.W. McCall Has Left The Building
I occasionally receive messages for Bill, asking if he would be willing to perform at some event. The answer to this request will always be “No.”
Bill Fries no longer performs live. He’s retired, and welcome to it. As Bill told me, in response to a performance request from last September, “Mr. Fries does not perform anymore. He is 13 months shy of 80.”
Bill’s last performance was the recording sessions for the 2003 C.W. McCall / Mannheim Steamroller album American Spirit. There are no new songs or spoken word pieces in his plans. We’ll just need to be content with the recordings that we have.
New Critters On The BlockThere’s been a lot of splashing in the Pool since the last time the lifeguard was on duty. Time to flush the filter.
Paul Johnson (Snohomish, Washington)
I was using Microsoft Streets and Trips to plan this summer’s motorcycle excursion. I always program it to ignore the superslab. I will be traveling from Washington to Minnesota to the Grand Canyon, and back to Washington. As I was perusing the proposed route, I saw two words that forced me to immediately pick up the phone, and call my son: “Pagosa Springs".
I discovered C.W. in the ’70s, bought every album, and fell in love with “There Won’t Be No Country Music". As time went on, I only played the music in my head as my wife didn’t like “that stupid old stuff".
The wife is now gone ("Thank God and Greyhound") and my son grown. Two years ago he stopped by the house and said he had a CD he just had to let me hear, because it was the greatest thing ever. It was C.W.’s Greatest Hits.
I amazed him by reciting (without error) “Classified". Not only am I a Crispy Critter, but I inadvertently raised a Crispy Critter as well!
I can’t wait for this summer’s ride!
On our honeymoon we traveled 5000 miles and did the C.W. McCall trip of Colorado; that was 20 years ago. We ended up in Ouray and saw the San Juan slide show that featured Bill himself! We planed that trip from all the songs we know, stopping at all the sites that Bill sang about. I’m 50 and C.W. is still my favorite. Hope all is well with Bill and his wife.
Matt “Elmer Fudd” Cesare (Millinocket, Maine)
I have been a Critter since i was 8 when I took a road trip with my father and a friend of the family. Our friend brought the _Greatest Hits_ and I was immediately in love. When we returned our friend burned me a copy of the CD which I still listen to regularly. I am now 15 and know the words to most of the songs on the _Greatest Hits_ album and many more songs. Bill Fries and Chip Davis are musical geniuses. My grandfather used to own a CJ-5 (sadly it was driven out of existence before I was born) but it is still a family legend. Bill’s music has encouraged me to learn CB lingo and the 10-codes. We used to have CBs in all of our vehicles and still have a (now inoperative) Washington base at our house. Our house was the “Eagle’s Nest". When I get a pick-up truck it will definitely have a CB with a whip antenna. I very much enjoy Bill’s music and I spread the joy every chance I get.
Matt “Big Bad Wolf” Kodadek (Vining, Minnesota)
I’ve been a fan since I first saw the movie _Convoy_ at the age of four. Man, then my daddy played those C.W. McCall albums back when we lived in Kentucky, I was hooked. “Wolf Creek Pass” and “Aurora Borealis” are still two of my favorite songs. Hell, I’m a trucker now, I guess I’m fairly Crispy.
I grew up in Missouri Valley, Iowa, right in the heart of all his songs. I used to work at the ol’ Conoco station right by the the ol’ I-680 ramps. I sang “Convoy” at karaoke at the Old Home Bar (which is the back side of the Old Home Café in Pisgah, Iowa). By the time I even knew who he was I had driven every old backroad — and some of the cornfields — that he talks about. So, I guess you could say I was born to be a critter. Anyone else notice, if you drive through Audobon, everyone in that town waves? Kinda odd, but oh well. Who else has ever thought of stealing Albert the Bull? If you are asking yourself who Albert the Bull is, then you need to visit Audobon, Iowa.
I’ve been a fan since the beginning; my first C.W. album was _Wilderness_. C.W. was one of the people who inspired me to write songs. He made it look so easy!
Dan “Flatwater” Schildhauer
I listened to C.W.’s records since I was just a little squirt. “Aurora Borealis” still gives me chills…
Brian Taylor (Harvey, Western Australia)
Been a fan since “Convoy” and “There Won’t Be No Country Music”…
I actually became a critter a few years ago, but my name’s gone from the list! What happened?
[Well, there was this break-in at the office… — Ed.]
I belong to Community Radio Station down in the South West and do a morning show once a week. C.W. gets played on my show. Mind you, the tape’s getting a bit fragile now.
Mike Mullay (Maple Valley, Washington)
Yup, I am most definitely a Critter too. I first heard “Convoy” on my old Buick’s AM-only radio back in early 1976. I started buying C.W.’s albums almost immediately. I have every record he ever produced. Yes, still on vinyl LP’s. I also acquired a cassette of Wolf Creek Pass sometime in the early 1980s and most recently discovered and purchased two different C.W. McCall greatest hits CDs from eBay. And oh yes, back during the CB craze “Convoy” set off I had a red Chevy Stepside truck with a 4-speed, and of course a C.B. radio with an eight-foot steel whip antenna mounted on the left rear fender.
I am such a Critter I can still recite most of the lyrics from “Classified”, “Black Bear Road”, “Wolf Creek Pass”, and of course “Crispy Critters”!
A C.W. McCall fan from the gitgo!
Talking With C.W. McCall
I’ve added a new page to the site: “Talking with C.W. McCall”. This will be a collection of interviews with Bill, wherein he talks about, well, C.W. McCall; and other related topics.
The first entry is the 2006 edition of Bill’s annual interview with Shadoe Steel of WKRZ-FM in Pittson, Pennsylvania (which may be suburb of Scranton, or a suburb of Wilkes-Barre; your choice).
’Way back in the mists of time — the year 2000 C.E., to be specific — an intrepid group of fellows attempted to re-create the cross-country trip that was described in the song “Convoy. These three hearty men began near Shakytown and, in the space of five days, traveled nearly three thousand miles to the Jersey shore, avoiding bears, potholes, construction zones and traffic jams — despite the unintended “non-convoy” run from Gallup, New Mexico (or Shamrock, Texas, depending upon your point of view) until a reunion near Breezewood, Pennsylvania.
Two of these fools are contemplating another attempt at this coast-to-coast run, to be undertaken in the Spring of 2010. Details will be provided as planning progresses, assuming that the parties involved do not come to their senses and abandon this project. The current route is planned to be from Santa Cruz, California to Cape May, New Jersey. Yeah, it’s not the “classic” route, but have you ever tried driving on a freeway near Los Angeles?
So if you have been thinking about an excuse to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, in five or six days, along boring stretches of Interstate highway, and experience the shock of paying for 6000 miles worth of gasoline, please pencil in the first two weeks of June 2010 for the vacation (ha!) of a lifetime.
Do Not Enter!
Do not, under any circumstances, go to OldHomeCafé.com. There is nothing to see there. Move along. Do not speculate. Do not attempt to divine its purpose. There are some things man was not meant to know. Warning! Warning! (flail arms)
The Legend-News is published randomly by TechRen Enterprises, way down deep. Copyright 2007 TechRen Enterprises. Send complaints, kudos, suggestions, news and other contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. “The Blue Beetle still has work to do!”