Beer-drenched Beat Farmers get a boner for Vancouver at the Commodore

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1990

By Steve Newton

Before the Beat Farmers hit the stage last Friday (November 23) for the first of two weekend shows at the Commodore, a flock of young women—entrants in the La Hunt for La Goddess contest—was paraded before the assembled multitudes. But the crowd only had eyes for one big bearded mountain of a man, La Country Dick Montana.

Who needs imitation goddesses when there’s a real live Rock God in the house?

When Montana did come out to lead the San Diego band in a rowdy version of “Big Ugly Wheels”, he was sporting the trusty ski goggles that keep beer from stinging his eyes—and they came in real handy. Huge gouts of foaming brew were cheerfully heaped on the drummer/singer/MC, who stood there unflinchingly throughout the strange ritual that opens all the group’s Vancouver shows.

Montana may still be recovering from surgery for throat cancer, but the self-proclaimed “King of Sleaze” still delivered a wicked revamping of Kenny Rogers’ “Lucille” and sang a pseudo-rap tune before declaring that rap was officially dead. The Commodore crowd seconded the motion.

“I’ve got a boner for this town!” crooned the rude dude, in the closest he could get to a Frank Sinatra impression.

While Montana was the visual focus of the Beat Farmers show, the other band members certainly pulled their weight. Jerry Raney drove the band with his rugged rhythms, and fellow guitarist Joey Harris shone on a kazoo solo during “Happy Boy”. Tattooed bassist Rolle Love kept things together with his straightforward bass runs, dodging kamikaze beer bursts and stage-diving hooligans with uncommon skill.

The overall feeling in the Commodore throughout the Beat Farmers’ crazed set bordered on pandemonium; the antics of both the band and the crowd were enough to have you laughing out loud.

At one point during the proceedings it appeared that a huge fight was breaking out near the front of the bar—a mass of people tumbled into a table and wiped it out, comically dragging a string of balloons down from the balcony above. Then I noticed a pair of cowboy-booted legs dangling in the air on top of the mob and realized there was no cause for alarm. It was just Country Dick on his return trip to the stage, after being carried to the bar for a tequila.

Boy, some guys have it rough!

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