Texacala Jones

By Geordie Pleathur
(SugarBuzz USA)

SugarBuzz Magazine


"What has changed, is that nothing has changed... that's what has made me more unhappy than everything else..." (-Willie Nelson)

"But you know, the system almost destroyed itself, while it was goin' on, trying to destroy us..." (-Waylon Jennings)

“I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.
(-Johnny Cash)

"I ain't gonna piss in a cup, unless Nancy Reagan's gonna drink it up..." (-Mojo Nixon)

"Tell the truth. Sing with passion. Work with laughter. Love with heart. 'Cause that's all that matters in the end..."
(-Kris Kristofferson)

"You've got to have something to eat, and a little love in your life, before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave..." (-Billie Holiday)

"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'll be just fine..." (- Jeff Spicolli)


The Horseheads came out of the original, poor and famous, "insurgent country" movement, a decade before there was a "No Depression" magazine, or an Uncle Tupelo, or Ryan Adams, or an "adult-alternative" public-radio station format. They were pioneering, bar-fightin' action shakers, back in the eighties cow-punk scene, along with the Beat Farmers, X, the Gun Club, the Blasters, the Joneses, Jason And The Scorchers, Blood On The Saddle, K.D. Lang, Green on Red, Rank and File, Dwight Yoakam, Lone Justice, Long Ryders, Wall Of Voodoo, the Knitters, etc., etc.

Texacala Jones is not merely the quick-drawin', Nihilistic-Gospel And Reckless Country Soul-Beltin' Patron Saint Of Hellacious, Hootch-Guzzling Mad-Women. She's the Mae West of death-rock, the Etta James of gutter-sleaze, the mesmerizing enchantress of post-punk C&W, the Marie Laveau of Hollyweird hell-raisers, like Wanda Jackson packin' brass knuckles, our Mad-Max Dale Evans...who paved the way for loads of untamed singers, like me and you, and Frankie C. Starr, Inger Lorre, Bryan Small, Texas Terri, and our sadly fallen, Coma-Tones genius, Giovanni Vitanza. The name, "Gio", did not instantly ring Texacala's bells and whistles, as you'll see below, but he had offered his tender condolences, when her friend, Brendan Mullen passed, on her Myspace page, so I had wrongly assumed they knew each other. He was clearly, a fan. His close friend, Mister Bobby Durango, from the legendary Rock City Angels, says, "Tex is the ultimate character, for sure, ha ha! I met her waaaay back in the day, when the Horseheads were just starting out, and I was smitten...Then, a few years later, we ended up playing with them in South Florida, and Mike Martt and I had a sort of adversarial run-in, which ended, in us becoming good friends! Later on, we would write together, and Texacala would become my next door neighbor. I would kill to still have some of the stuff we worked on..."

Bobby's fellow native Floridian, Jinx from Mad Rockets and Saigon Saloon, only wishes he had interacted with them: "I would love to make up some shit-how me and Texacala were naked together, for three days, eating Mexican food off each other, because I love the band, and would love to be a part of your article, about them, but I would be lying, because I don't know them, personally." White Trash Debutantes vocalist, Ginger Coyote, remembers that,"Texacala was a pioneer in the L.A. punk scene. She was a real trail blazer, with her sassy Tex Mex sound." An inspiration for desperado troubadours, the world-over, Texacala is the missing link between Patsy Cline and Tex Perkins, from the Beasts Of Bourbon. As Scott "Deluxe Drake" from the Humpers, and Vice Principals, remembers: "At their prime, Tex and The Horseheads were the drunkest, most retarded band on the planet....and I mean that as the highest compliment. They also happened to be amazingly talented, if that makes a difference to anyone."

Bobby Durango, continues reminiscing..."Texacala is one of the most original, exciting, and extreme performers in the history of rock'n'roll. With a voice that can alternate between a whiskey and sandpaper growl, to a sweet babydoll murmur, Tex' voice has always been a turn-on to me, from the very first time I saw Tex and the HorseHeads play at the old Cathe de Grand, (now the China Club) way back in 1982-3. Right up at the front of the "stage", the band knocked it out, while Tex rocked and writhed on the ground, in front of me, on her knees, and bent over backwards, like a voodoo priestess - pretty heady stuff for a 17 year old kid, on his first speed trip, ha ha. A few years later, I was back with my Florida band, Rock City Angels, when we got a call that the Horse Heads wanted us to open up for them, at The Cell, and I couldn't wait! While in town, they were staying with my ex-girlfriend and her girl, (it's a small, incestuous scene in Florida) so we hooked up, and got to the club. I was excited to be playing with them, and during our set, praised them no end. However, when they started their set, Mike, who was a bit drunk by this time, started to slyly slam us in a condescending, ironic way. I responded, by hocking big spit balls at him, and verbally assaulting him back. After 10 minutes of that, to his credit, and my eternal gratitude, he invited me on stage, to share his bottle of Jack Daniels with him, and we buried the hatchet, actually becoming good friends.

Texacala was rather oblivious to all of this, and just concentrated on putting on another great show. Perhaps 'concentrated' is the wrong word, as it always seemed so effortless to her, that girl IS rock!

In '89 or so, I'd often see Mike Martt at the place he lived in Hollywood, and we always got on well, even working together on a song or two, and Texacala became my next door neighbor where I lived. Always a sweet, caring person, she is one of my true rock'n'roll heroes".

TEX AND THE HORSE-HEADS' chaotic brand of glass breakin', high-velocity, torch and twang influenced every Yee-Hah country-punk band to ever cause a furor at the Flying J, from the Rev. Horton Heat to Zeke. From Maria McKee to the Candy Snatchers. From the Rave-Up's to the nineties "Twangfest" bands. Her salacious, gun-slingin' image was copied by half of Hollywood, though graciously, she denies that Madonna's stylists brazenly copped the whole look, in her "Like A Virgin" days. Her sultry, bluesy vocals, wanton lifestyle, and provocative performances captivated the imaginations of all the early West Coast punks. All four Horseheads used to look just like Seventies Keith in France recording, "Exile On Main Street"...and her rootin' tootin', good times hedonism is still being imitated by every rowdy band of semi-destitute, wild partying, hotel destroying, motorcycle crashing, hard livin', fun lovin', risque torch-singers, who ever stumbled stylishly, down the sidewalk, swingin' their bottle, in rosaries, spurs, black lace, and red cowboy boots. England has Patti Palladin. Australia has Chrissie Amphlett. We have the one and only, TEXACALA JONES!!! The often amazing songwriting talent, Ginger from the Wildhearts and Michael Monroe, recalls,"I picked up a copy of 'Life's So Cool' on the strength of the album cover, hoping it wouldn't be L.A. glam-metal. Fuck, how glad was I when I put it on, and the filthiest rock 'n' roll punk came leaping off the turntable, and into my angry little heart. 'Spider And The Peach' and 'Big House Part III' are still two of those songs that I can play anytime, and revisit that time of innocence, and belief that rock n roll can change the world."

Tex oozed genuine article personality, playfulness, heart and soul, just like in that old Buck Owens song, "Act Naturally", and she also, had the tremendously good fortune of being backed by an absolutely killer band of exceptionally devastating musicians. Some called them the hillbilly-hip, Lords Of The New Church. Texacala left her bourbon stain on everyone from Los Lobos to Lucinda Williams. Bands as diverse as the Bottle-Rockets, Jayhawks, Gaslight Anthem, Hickoids, Whiskey Dicks, Antiseen, Reverend Horton Heat, The Supersuckers, Nashville Pussy, Dogs D'Amour, Paige Darling, P.J. Harvey, Adler's Appetite, Hank The Third, and the Dwarves, all owe a tip of the black Stetson to the soulful and saintly mistress of the blooze, the immortal Texacala, and her brave band of badass mofo's, the untouchable, Horseheads! Nowadays, people think country music is that insufferably insincere, contrived, sanitized, radio shit made by S.U.V. driving, pudgy, boy-band rejects, singing sub-Goo Goo Dolls ballads, baptized in Kero syrup; or spoilt, whining, jailbait, teenage girls, from show-biz dynasties, whose sterile music's indistinguishable from bratty mall "punk", Avril Lavigne, except for the presence of an occasional pedal-steel guitar part, or fiddle. Tex and The Horse Heads made volatile, and beautiful, outlaw-country punk, and pained, pastoral, Americana, in the spirit of Hank Williams Senior, stomping the floor lights out, onstage, at the Grand Ole Opry....Texas glitter and tombstone tales, from beyond the valley of the ultra-glam, rabble rousers.

Lately, she's been recording beautiful and bewitching "tortured twang" songs about love and desire, heartbreak and death, full of ethereal beauty and longing, grief-stricken ache, just type her name into Youtube, to see what I mean. Some of her yearning music is more like Orbison than Iggy. Haunted, romantic, velvety, just lovely...The Horse-Heads were an exceptional band-gifted, fearless, fun, authentic, and heart-felt. You can't get this stuff no more. Sal Canzonieri, from Electric Frankenstein, was dead-right, ten or fifteen years back, when he first started telling people there was an, "Anti-Rock Conspiracy". The oligarchy, police-state, two-party dictatorship, military industrial complex, the shadow elite, the corporatocracy-whatever you want to call it, deliberately determined they would silence any rebellious, passionate, unique, or humane voices from the air-waves. Obviously, MTV has not played anything close to real rock'n'roll for twenty years, they took all the smart and angry hip-hop, off the air, too. 'Killed Tupac Shakur. Now, they're doing everything possible, to turn art and music into sports and competition, with their neutered Disney brands, and non-stop unreality programming-where the only "real people" we see are being kneed in the neck, and dragged away shirtless on "Cops", or already incarcerated, on twisted, voyeuristic, prison shows on the police state operated, "Discovery" channel. All the so-called "talent" shows exclude anyone with a message, a look of their own, a trace of originality, or creativity, or a voice unsuitable for Broadway, until what we are left with is dumbed-down, techno-banging disco, and generic, greeting card, ballads sung by mediocre, ass-kissing robots with emo-haircuts, and a phony baloney "back story". Even old rockers like Iggy Pop and Steven Tyler have succumbed to appearing on the gross-out dog and pony shows, that are only about obedience, conformity, and proper pitch, cos how else can they continue to sell themselves in the limited marketplace of the consolidated media-monopolies? Those fancy homes and gardens ain't gonna pay for themselves, but look what we've lost, collectively. Where will we find the next courageously real, instinctive, rule breaking, song-writing, paradigm smashing, truth telling artists of conscience, with something valid to convey? Not in the corporate media. Bring back music with individuality, guts, and soul. Bring Back Tex And The Horse Heads!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Where did you grow up and what was your family of origin like?

TEXACALA JONES: Mostly L.A. We're all from the U.S. And I think I know what factory we were made in.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Weren't you in bands as far back as high school, who were your first really driving inspirations that made you want to become the legendary punknroll super-heroine, Texacala Jones?

TEXACALA JONES: Yes, but we only played in garages....It might have been more natural selection, than inspiration. I had to, so I did.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What kind of impact did Lux and Ivy have on your work?

TEXACALA JONES: The first time I saw them was at Mask 2, and it was like, this musical sacrifice, but it was golden, and their impact was more hypnotic.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What were some of the highlights of the Horse-heads experience, what other groups did you feel were your kindred spirits?

TEXACALA JONES: There are so many highlights, it's like a flash. But the very first show at the Cathey De Grande was quite mad!!!!!!! After a few 12 packs, any band we played with, was our kindred spirits. Anyway, we all played at the same clubs, you know.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Lots of folks think the John Doe produced, "Life's So Cool" was an absolute masterpiece. What do you remember about recording that one, and what other songs and albums are you most proud of? "Even If"? "I'll Quit Tomorrow"? I like the debut...

TEXACALA JONES: John knew us pretty good and fully understood our music. He didn't put up with any horsey poop, but at the same time, he was cool and calm. He used his expertise and made our song sound wonderful. He got me out of my comfort zone, which wasn't a very big zone any way and I still use some of the things I learned from him in the studio today. Yes, "Even If", "Dining With The Devil" and all my solo tunes are special to me, because they're new, but all my songs are part of me, always.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Weren't you friends with the heroic poet-star, Giovanni Vitanza? Please discuss your memories of the under-rated Comatones...I thought he was the best rock star, since you...

TEXACALA JONES: Don't believe I knew him, sorry I can't comment.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Were Guns N Roses a bad influence on the Horse-Heads, or vice-versa?

TEXACALA JONES: Honestly, we didn't need each other to be bad. It was all honest nuttiness, on all our parts.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What do you remember about making that movie, Dubeat-e-o?

TEXACALA JONES: The food fights, partyin' and general mayhem. But also the way Mr. Sharky made everything natural and easy and how Alan put up with our craziness. Oh yeah, and hangin' out with Hester, El Duce and watching the unforgettable Joanna Went perform. It was all so fantastic.


TEXACALA JONES:I don't know who's house it was, but it was in Silver Lake and it was a beautiful, sunny day. They gave me my lines, and I did ad-lib, a little. I was so amped and it went very quickly, as magical moments often do.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What do you recall about the Flesheaters....Patricia Morrison and Jeffrey Lee Pierce?

TEXACALA JONES: We played shows with Flesheaters since the beginning, we were always pretty good friends. In fact, our very first Tex And The Horse Heads recording was on a flexi-disc inside, "Take It" magazine, out of Boston, in the 80's, with the Flesh Eaters and the Meat Puppets. The song was "Got Love" and the guitar is screamin' so good. Sadly, I no longer have a copy. Anyway we played a reunion show with the Flesh Eaters, in '07, at a club called The Casbah, in San Diago. They were incredible, of course.

JLP was not only greatly talented and a whole lot of fun to go record shopping with, but he was also a gorgeous glamour boy with huge, pouty, sexy lips of which we were so proud. In fact, we thought it might be a good idea to have them insured. Sorry, but that's the only JLP anecdote for today. Saving the rest for my book.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Were you pissed when Madonna imitated your look?

TEXACALA JONES: No, I never entertained the idea that she was imitating my style. With her amazing talent and genious, why would she? To be honest she probably doesn't know I exist.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you mind being called the female Stiv Bators?

TEXACALA JONES: I've heard it said once or twice and it doesn't bother me, cause I really liked him. But of course, I'd rather be known as an original. You know, TJ, dat's me.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Ever know a guy named Robert Stoddard from the Black Cherry/L.A. Guns/Joneses/Dogs D'Amour crowd?

TEXACALA JONES: Yes, I use to know some of those folks, but it's been a while.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What were the origins of the Ringling Sisters?

TEXACALA JONES: We were all singers and poets from around the hood who cracked up over the same stuff and our collaborations reflected that. We just always kept it fun and entertaining, but we also put forth some brain twisters, just to keep folks on their toes. The Ringling Sisters were: Iris, Pleasant, Debby, Debby, Annette, and for a short while Johnette and myself.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Any recollections of the Tropicana motel?

TEXACALA JONES: Last time I was at the Tropicana I almost got seriously beat up by a big scary, mean tempered leather clad women with a pair of gladiator hands that could snap ya like a little ole spaghetti noodle. For some reason the sound of my voice sent her into an uncontrollable rage. She warned me too. She said, "If I hear you say one more word, if I hear that idiotic laugh of yours one more time, I'm gonna knock you down into the floor, then I'm gonna sucker-punch ya till you're just paint on the wall, you skinny f- - - - - g bitch!!!!!

Believe me I respect the beautifully large, but after a few beers I forgot. Well, when I saw them giant knuckles coming my way, I ducked....So she ended up nailing the girl who was standing right behind me. And that girl was even bigger and loads meaner than her. When the room riot broke out, a blanket was thrown over me and I was rushed out to the van. We pulled out of there quicker than lightning but consequently we were stopped by the police and that was my last visit to the Tropicana Motel.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Mike Martt, Smog Vomit, Rock Vodka...where are all the other Horse-Heads, now?

TEXACALA JONES: Most of them are out in California, playing and touring. In fact, David Thumb (Rock Vodka) and Hot Rod Steve just started a duet called "The Lounge Butchers". They played at Ba Ba's B-Day Bash at The Lodge out by the beach and I heard it was a whole lot of fun. So next time I go to Cali, I'm there!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Whatever became of Alistarr from the Ultras, and Billy G. Bang from Shooting Gallery?

TEXACALA JONES: Don't know the answer to that question.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you like Jason And The Scorchers? Hope Nichols and Fetchin' Bones?

TEXACALA JONES: Yes, I love them.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Levi And The Rockcats? Wall Of Voodoo? Concrete Blonde?

TEXACALA JONES: Yes, I love these bands and the people in them.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What is Mandy, from Amanda Jones and the Lame Flames up to now? Will there ever be an Amanda Jones reunion?

TEXACALA JONES: Don't know, sorry. Maybe the Water Buffaloes could tell you. Think they're on Facebook.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Ever see Motorcycle Boy, Top Jimmy, Miniskirt Mob, the Hangmen, or Chuck E. Weiss?

TEXACALA JONES: Yes, I saw them lots and lots of times. They're all mad geniuses.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you prefer Motley Crue or Hanoi Rocks?

TEXACALA JONES: I think they are both great for different reasons.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Many of us consider you one of the greatest Front persons of all time...who are your favorite singer/performers?

TEXACALA JONES: Man, I have so many favorites, here's a few:
Billy the Kid for his amazing escapes
Calamity Jane for whoopin' it up
Bella Lugosi for pure charm
Billy Holiday for mood
Bessie Smith train riding hard rockin ma ma
Etta James, unique, beautiful and so rockin
The Three Stooges
The Squidbillys.......I could go on and on, really!



SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: The Screamin' Sirens?

TEXACALA JONES: Super love them...

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Please discuss the various bands and other musicians you've collaborated with in recent years. TJ Hookers, Texorcist, Los Platos?

TEXACALA JONES: All the bands and musicians I've played with just in recent years is making my head spin. Whoa! I like to play music with my friends and it never ends. I don't know what to say about everyone, or the music, except that it can be better understood by hearing it.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Has anyone endeavored to write a book, or piece together the definitive history of Texacala Jones for a documentary?

TEXACALA JONES: No, no one has, but I'm the only one who knows the story. The real story.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Current operations...plans for the future?

TEXACALA JONES: Have some new songs coming out on itunes and plan on putting them all on cd soon for the website I'm working on. I want to make as many of my recordings available as possible, posters, flyers and everything good and fun.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Where do you live nowadays? Are you happy? What do you do for fun?

TEXACALA JONES: I live on Boggy Creek in Texas and it's not what most people are used to. Once in while, we get supplies, but most o' the time, it's a fight for your life type of existence. Usually, by the midnight hour, the wind is howling through the leafless trees, and the branches crackle and break with a deafening, SNAP! And as the moon peaks through the fog, an angry monsters blood curdling screams makes my heart JUMP, and I pray that I will see another day. And then, as the sun slowly rises, I look out, to see the crows in the trees, feasting on God knows what!!! Yes, of course I'm terribly happy. For kix every summer, I go into the desert, and let my hair dry, then, I crawl back to the swamp, grab my guitar, and sing at the moon. Sometimes, I see actual people and we say, "CHEERS" and clink our beers.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: If a young fan was to acquire three albums from any stage of your career, that best define what you're all about, what might they be?

TEXACALA JONES: Not many of my recordings ever made it out there. The Tex and the Horsehead albums are now bootleg cds and I heard they skip and are of a horrible quality. So I would recommend finding an lp on E-Bay, or somthing like that. Texacala Jones and her TJ Hookers has some of my favorite tunes.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Where can the rocknroll people purchase your more contemporary sounds and merchandise?

TEXACALA JONES: Untill my website is ready all I can offer is: Texacala Jones and her TJ Hookers (available on Amazon)

My solo songs on "Hundred lb. Baby":
Spider Baby
Even If
Wrong Side Of Town
Dining With The Devil
(available on itunes)

Also have 3 new Tex and the Tx Horsehead tunes coming out on I-Tunes, shortly. Anyway, CHEERS to one and all, Texacala

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Thanks fo' bein' you...Hopefully, we'll be hearing more from all the old Horseheads, in the near future!

Tex and the Horseheads at Facebook
SugarBuzz Magazine