Local Wire

The Reverend Horton Heat

Texas' state motto is "Don't mess with Texas." Texas psychobilly rocker Jim Heath (a.k.a. the Reverend Horton Heat) has his own take on it: "Don't mess with a man's hat." At a show in Indianapolis in 1999, a frisky female fan grabbed the hat off Heath's head and promptly received a fiery sermon on the evils of such acts. Wanna make him happy? Give him a whole recording room with nothing but spring reverb (his favorite guitar effect), like ex-Butthole Surfer Paul Leary did when he produced the band's 2000 album Spend a Night in the Box. The Rev loves to talk about his licks, and he's described RHH's early music as an "unholy marriage of Dick Dale, Carl Perkins, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Cramps, and Gretsch theatrics." Not much has changed. The band's still a blazing live act, thanks in part to Jimbo Wallace, the Rev's solid, showy upright-bass player.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea