My friend and colleague Luke Borders first introduced me to folk-country-punk renegade Wild Bill a couple of years back, when Bill was doing his weekly gig at Flipnotics. I was the unsuspecting individual with the slightly bewildered expression. Onstage, there sat a long-haired, mustachioed, dark shades-wearin’ freak with a cast on his leg (no, that wasn’t a prop for the show, but a soccer injury that had kept him out of commission for awhile), whose t-shirt bore the words in fabulous DIY-chic: “QUESTION AUTHORITIES, NOT MINORITIES.” Borders informed me that the t-shirts varied each week, everything from “NOT AS STUPID AS I LOOK” to anything reiterating that Wild Bill was born to FAIL.
This would not be your typical show. I left my attitude and expectations at the door. And from then on out, I happily spread the word about the “the delightfully warped, twisted and badass cyclone that is Wild Bill.” I was hooked.
The Austin-based songwriter takes no prisoners, engaging his receptive audiences with a rather twisted sense of humor and an eclectic mish-mash of rock, folk, classic country, punk and anything funky in between. There’s room for it all, in a way that only Bill knows how to make it work, through a whirlwind of bad jokes, crazy tales, misadventures – and deviled eggs. You have to be there.
In a 2011 interview with the mind behind the Wild Bill persona, Bill Ogden, I learned that the idea behind the show was simple: Enjoy yourself.
“Wild Bill is pretty much a culmination of a bunch of failures, and an experiment in what if you didn’t care so much and did what you wanted to do,” Ogden explained. “Because really, where does it all go? If you’re not doing what you wanna do, who cares? And that’s kind of what I try to push, I guess. People shouldn’t expect that people just want to show up and hear their songs. You’ve gotta give something to your audience. I like to have a good time. I like my audience to have a good time. If we’re not all having a good time, then what’s the point? Nobody’s making any money!”
If you haven’t seen him, a perfect opportunity has arrived. Check out Wild Bill & The Lost Knobs tonight at a fab new joint, The Buzz Mill, 1505 Town Creek Dr. The music starts at 8 p.m. And if you’re without a sense of humor, then…well. You’ve been warned. Recommended.