By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"What is that?" Jett inquires.
"That's a Korg D1600 portable recording studio," replies Hank III. "These kinds of machines are putting the labels out of business, in a way, as far as engineers and recording people. Took us two months for the whole process to be done. Pretty grueling, but I guarantee you no one else on Music Row has recorded that way before."
"What's the new album gonna sound like?" I ask.
"Compared to what most country music sounds like today, there'll be a couple of songs that are more pure, but a lot of the album is pretty un-pure, as far as sex, drugs, Satan. All that stuff that doesn't come out of the Bible Belt quite as much. There are some weird effects on it. It's definitely going to be a lot different from Lovesick, Broke and Driftin'."
"So the Assjack stuff you can only get through the official bootlegs on your Web site, right?" wonders the J-unit.
"The plan is, a country record, a rock record, then another country record, and then I'll be able to start my own record label. I'll be out of 'the machine' for good. But in the meantime, I'm making more Assjack bootlegs. My next two rock albums are on [the Korg] already. It's just a matter of having the time to knock it out."
I notice that H3 is hunkered down, and not paying attention to the Jettster's exposed flesh like most fellas would. He confesses that the rigors of the road have been messin' with his health. So after chatting a bit more, we leave him to rest before he has to hit the stage and belt out that nasal twang of the country set, followed by the manic roar of the metal.
When we get back inside the Marquee, H3's opening act, a demonic trio of temptresses known as the Hazard County Girls, is onstage rocking like some unholy blend of Sonic Youth, Black Sabbath, and Sleater-Kinney. A trickle of folks are making their way to the open space in front of the stage. Back and to the sides, chairs have been set out for the older folks who're here for H3's first set only. They seem a little confused by the Hazard County Girls, but the people our age are feelin' them.
Jett's smitten with bass player Jennifer K., a curvaceous gal with her hair in pigtails. Me, I've got the fever for Christy Kane on vocals and guitar. She's a skinny, blond hottie wearing knee-length stockings, black Mary Janes and a blue gothy-pseudo-Victorian getup that appeals to my dark side. (Not to knock drummer Sharon Heather, another babealicious one.) So of course, when their set's over, we ease backstage to talk with these rock dimes. They tell us they hail from the Big Easy, and we quiz 'em on how they hooked up with Hank.
"We're friends with Shelton, and we tour a lot, so we'd bump into him on the road," Kane confides. "He's got roots in Louisiana, too, so we kind of jokingly said, 'Hey, take us out on the road.' He said, 'What are ya doin' in February?' So here we are. This is the first time we've done Phoenix. Closest we've gotten before was Albuquerque, touring with Rasputina."
"I love Rasputina," I say. "That's a wild mix, what with you doing hard rock, and them with those strings. Interesting. You and Melora Creager of Rasputina have sort of a similar look, too."
"We like a lot of the same stuff," she says. "It was awesome, finishing our set and getting to watch them afterwards. Same with Hank III."
"Where did the name Hazard County Girls come from?" asks the Jettster, eyeing Jen K. in that bi-lusty way of hers.
"We were talking about County Girls, or something like that," replies Kane. "But my uncle's actually from Hazard, Kentucky, so we thought Hazard County Girls had a nice ring to it, and we liked the idea of being hazardous. Still, there's always some guy in the audience going, 'Where are the Daisy Dukes?'"
I can tell Jett's about to jump Jennifer K.'s bones, probably imagining her in Daisy Duke short shorts! Before she gets us kicked out of the concert, I bid adieu to the glorious gals of HCG, and drag her back to the front of the Marquee to wet her down with a couple of Kiltlifters.
"Don't you know when to shut up, Kreme?" asks the belligerent bi-gal, as she drowns her heartbreak in the crush of cowboys and gutter punks getting liquored up in prep for H3. "I was gonna try to make it with the bassist."
"Have another drink," I tell her. "I can't play bass, but you'll love the way my lard ass looks in the moonlight . . ."
She does a spit take, spraying suds: "Not unless you slip me a handful of roofies and pull a bag over your head, boss."