By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
But while many of LaBeef's liquor-guzzling, cheeseburger-eating contemporaries went on to the big time, Sleepy (who is a teetotaler, although for decades he had a five-pack-a-day cigarette habit) went on the road. Which is where he still is; while Elvis is pushing up daisies, Sleepy is pushing down the accelerator.
"I do the driving," he says, adding that the next day's jaunt is a scant 500 miles. "I've got a couple drivers, but I enjoy sitting behind the wheel. I've got a small Dodge RV on this tour, and I've got the diesel bus back home, too. I'm doing a little customizing on the interior, I wanna put me a good Fiberglas shower in it. I have to have one at least six-six."
And when Sleepy shows up at the club, this is what you will see. A huge man in a cowboy hat simply standing center stage, bellowing out a soundtrack to the history of rockabilly, C&W, blues, gospel, rock n' roll, and combinations thereof. No fireworks, no smoke screen, just the pure, undiluted Sleepy LaBeef who's packed the bars and dance halls from Houston to Hammersmith since Ike was in the Oval Office.
A LaBeef show is much like a snowflake; no two are alike. "I never use a set list," Sleepy scoffs. "Sometimes, the band has no idea--I might look back and say, 'We're going to start off with this particular song,' but from there on, we're winging it!