The San Diego Union-Tribune has a nice write-up on local legend Country Dick Montana of The Beat Farmers. Country Dick passed away behind his drum kit while the The Beat Farmers were performing a gig up in British Columbia on November 8 some fifteen years ago and surviving members of the band as well as Dave Alvin, Mojo Nixon and Candye Kane are getting together this evening at The Belly Up Tavern for "Pay Up Cheaters: A Country Dick Celebration".
Having moved to San Diego some twenty years ago we were informed that The 'Farmers were the band to see and indeed we probably saw them 15-20 times before Country Dick passed. And without hyperbole, we can say that they were easily the best live act we've ever seen.
Country Dick was a larger-than-life showman of the highest order. And much like a box of chocolates, because of Country Dick, you never new what kind of show you were going to be treated to. Often times, before shows, Country Dick could be found at the bar holding court and downing beers and tequila shots. And strangely enough, it was those same times when later while the Beat Farmers were performing, Country Dick would pass out while playing the drums. Not to worry - roadies would swoop in to collect Country Dick while the drummer for the Dead River Angels who frequently opened for the Beat Farmers would hop behind the skins and start banging away, missing only a few beats all told. Sometimes Country Dick would make it back to complete the set in triumphant and wildly delirious Willis Reed-like fashion, other times, he wouldn't. No harm, no foul.
Those were the fun, sloppy Beat Farmer sets. When Country Dick was straight, however, the band played clean, tight sets, blazing through their 3-1/2 minute two-guitar roots-rock songs with bad intent but great efficiency.
Pickings were slim on YouTube so we figured we'd go with a classic and crowd favorite, "Lucille".
R.I.P., Country Dick. You are missed.