We may need Kinky Friedman to run for president. He lost to Rick Perry for Texas Governor but he made it interesting. Politician, mystery novelist, alt-country singer-songwriter, bandleader of Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys, animal rescue hero, good friend to a guy named Willie and author of such great songs as “They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore,” “Ride ‘Em Jewboy” (which Nelson Mandela reportedly listened to every night for a few years while in prison) and “Get Your Biscuits In The Oven And Your Buns In The Bed,” 2016 is the perfect year for his White House run. Hell, with the GOP Clown Car in full stride, Clinton slumping, Bernie ascending and Biden waiting to make his move, Kinky could sneak right in there, no? With a new album (The Loneliest Man I Ever Met), a new book (The Hard-Boiled Computer) and an upcoming tour that will land him at the legendary Stanhope (N.J.) House on October 14, it’s a full-blown Kinky Renaissance!

C’mon Kinky, you can do it! Throw your hat in the ring! I’d love to see you in on the upcoming Dem debates! You’d be a great president!

                Nah, 2016 looks to be my power year as it is. With my first new album in 32 years, my new mystery novel, and a little Hollywood thing I’m trying to cook up with Billy Bob Thornton playing me, I’ve got my hands full. Hell, if this movie is green-lit, it’ll be bigger than The Hobbit.

So I can’t convince you to run for president, can I?

Well, let me think on it, because, hell, as I said during my gubernatorial run, it was the professionals who gave us the Titanic and the amateurs who gave us the ark. When I called the Dems and the Repubs Crips and Bloods, people jumped all over me. Now they’re waking up as to who politicians really are and what the political class has really done to America.

Think about it. We need you, Kinky. My favorite track on the new album is your stirring interpretation of Warren Zevon’s “My Shit’s Fucked Up.” I always thought he wrote that about dying of cancer.

It’s about the state of the world today. Warren was a visionary. And our shit is, indeed, fucked up. And it’s irrevocably fucked up, I’m afraid. No matter who wins in 2016. The great philosopher George Carlin said it best. He called it “the illusion of choice.” Politics, man [snorts in disgust]. I think [singer] Ray Price was right when he told me Jesus would’ve lost had he run as an independent against Rick Perry. It’s a shame we didn’t win. We had all the young people. We had people who never cared much for politics before. It would’ve been a new day for Texas. Y’know, when people like Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln slip in, it’s a fluke, because normally the people will elect Arnold Schwarzenegger every time.

Go Bernie!

The most maligned people on the planet are Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders. You can throw Trump in there too. Those three guys catch a lot of hell but they’re not corrupt. And I don’t care how nice you are, once you’re in office for 30 years, you’re going to be corrupt. Harry Reid started out as a boxer, a feisty young guy who stood up like the old Democrats used to. People like Reid, Obama, Rahm Emanuel and John Kerry think they’re Democrats but they’re not really. Real Democrats are Harry Truman, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Sam Rayburn, independently thinking people who stand up for Americans. Democrats don’t do that anymore. And they’ve sure thrown Israel to the sharks. But the Jews still vote for Obama. At least a lot them did. But let’s stay out of politics. I got Willie’s sister, Bobbie Nelson, on piano, and Willie’s harmonica player, Mickey Raphael, a virtuoso. And I got Little Jewford from my band The Texas Jewboys also on piano. Little Jewford’s a Jew who drives a Ford. So the vocals had to be good. And those vocals don’t sound anything like I used to sound. Hell, I listen to some of my old stuff and it sounds like a different guy.

You name your new novel The Hard-Boiled Computer but you famously do not use computers at all.

Not yet. Willie’s pushing me. Willie’s saying that not having e-mail, Internet or the ability to text is not cool. He says it takes me out of the loop completely. Well, I don’t need to be voting on who’s the best Star Trek captain. I’ve always said that hypothetically, the Internet has an inherent danger to it. It’s so easy to perpetuate a fraud. A 57-year-old pedophile from New Jersey pretending to be a 23-year-old surfer from San Diego contacting a 13-year-old girl from Montana who really is a middle-aged vice cop in Miami, that’s the Internet. I want no part of it.

How does the new mystery novel stack up against your old books?

Well, my best books have always been the next one. This one I’m real happy with. It’s longer, some 470 pages. I think it works well, though. Still, there’s that fractured audience of mine. I don’t know if the book publicity people even know about the record or if the record PR people even know about the book.

Maybe a conference call is in order?

I just got back from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Man, over there I’m the new David Hasselhoff. I’m extremely popular with youngsters. No old people. The old German people still tie their shoes with little knotsies. They weren’t there. The young people were there and they sold out the shows. They know every lyric to every song and they’ve read every book. For a while there, y’know, when you play places like Munich and Nuremburg, as a Je-e-e-ew, you kind of develop a rage after a while. Willie once told me the reason he smokes dope is to keep down the rage but my rage built like I was on an Indian burial ground. Then I realized that those people who were there, weren’t there all those years ago. They weren’t even born. And, I’m tellin’ you, they may be the only people on Earth who have actually learned something from their own history. Americans sure haven’t. And they were a wonderful audience. Plus, they have a sense of humor. They even liked my German joke.

You have a German joke?

Want to hear it?

I’m not sure.

Well, I’ll tell it to you anyway. The Germans are my second favorite people. The first is everybody else.

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