Dan Epstein - Honky-Tonk Tourist: The Night Buck Owens Almost Got Me Killed
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In this amusing and bittersweet tale of musical obsession, Dan Epstein looks back on the ever-evolving role that country music has played in his life since he first discovered it as a child via Buck Owens and Hee Haw. The story culminates with a pilgrimage to see Owens himself at his Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, a trip that goes horribly awry and forces the writer to confront some harsh truths about his notions of “authenticity,” and his relationship with country music in general.
“Dan Epstein’s Honky Tonk Tourist is a bourbon-soaked blast, a concise music history and a confession from an outsider. From his unconventional childhood and love for Hee Haw through hipster skepticism and hungover epiphanies, Dan Epstein narrates his long journey to Buck Owens. At either end is the story of a near-beating in a dive bar in Bakersfield, where Epstein learns a hard-won lesson: “loving country and being country are two distinctly different things.” I can’t wait to read Honky Tonk Tourist again.”
—Joe Bonomo, author of Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found and Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band
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