Bill Kirchen

What, Me Worry?

Bill Kirchen

September 1, 2021
Malcolm Mills

Mad magazine closed down. What – me worry? Bill Kirchen’s long lost first-ever solo album Tombstone Every Mile is going to be re-issued. Phew!

What I love about this little musicmongery of mine is that I can release whatever I damn well like…and I damn well like this great Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun record from 1993 – and always have. It was only ever released on CD and was soon out of print. So now, from deep in the cavernous Kirchen vault, for your delight, here it is again but this time it’s also on 12” vinyl and digital as well as CD. Too much fun indeed.

Bill remembers… “In 1993, I made Tombstone, the first under my own name, on my own. We were a Washington DC trio, and drummer Dave Elliott had spent years with the great guitarist Danny Gatton’s band The Fat Boys. Danny was to produce the disc, but by the third day of recording he still hadn’t shown up, so I ended up self-producing with engineer Ed Eastridge. Bass man Jeff Sarli (who later ended up on a track of the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels album) had already played with artists on the Black Top label out of New Orleans, Robert Ward for one, so I pitched it there and they released it. Next Jake Riviera at Demon Records in England, who I knew from making our Moonlighters disc with Nick Lowe, released it in Europe. The disc reflects what we were doing working the Honky-Tonks in DC and points beyond. There had been a formidable migration from the Southern states during the WW2 war effort, and so DC, as well as being a great historic R&B town, was a hot bed of country music - Honky-Tonk, Bluegrass and Rock-A-Billy and their various permutations. I hadn’t been writing much material post-Commander Cody, as I was perfectly happy singing Dick Curless, Bob Wills and Buck Owens etc all night. I thought, why muddy the waters, and confuse the issue. So, I called on song writing friends like Blackie Farrell, Nick Lowe and Austin de Lone, who came through. I did manage a few serviceable originals, however, which remain in the repertoire to this day.”

“…a whole lotta things that I ain’t never done but I ain’t never had too much fun” wrote Bill Kirchen.

E. Pluribus Neuman.

Listen here