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Merry Airbrakes - Merry Airbrakes Vinyl LP - direct audio

Merry Airbrakes - Merry Airbrakes Vinyl LP

Scissor Tail Editions

  • $ 1998


Merry Airbrakes Merry Airbrakes Vinyl LP

Well-known bluesman and one-time Oklahoman Bill Homans, known in the blues world as Watermelon Slim and known by '70s rare psychedelic vinyl collectors as Merry Airbrakes found work as forklift driver, funeral officiator, small-time criminal, newspaper reporter, saw miller, and truck driver for industrial waste among others. In 1979, Slim and a friend came to Oklahoma and wound up in Pushmataha County, where he bought a piece of land and took up watermelon farming. That vocation didn't last, but the nickname he got doing it did.

It was in Vietnam, while laid up by an extended illness at a Cam Ranh Bay hospital, that Homans negotiated in French the five dollar purchase of his first guitar from a "papasan" in a tiny commissary on the hospital grounds. "It was the nastiest old guitar you ever saw, but it did have all six strings on it," he said. There, with a Zippo lighter and a broken shard of a coffee can top, he began to teach himself to play his unique, backwards style of bottleneck slide.

After returning stateside he would join the ranks of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and in 1973 recorded with his brother and friends an LP titled Merry Airbrakes, a protest album he categorized as "psychedelic folk." A cut from that record eventually appeared on a Country Joe McDonald compilation of music by Vietnam veterans. However, his music career would soon tank. A brief career in petty crime ensued, which he would forsake by 1978.

Merry Airbrakes Merry Airbrakes Track Listing:

1. Vigilante Man
2. Frog Song
3. The Bearded Man
4. Quang Tricity
5. Even Those Among Us
6. Draft Board Blues
7. Three Hearts
8. A Happy Song for Hanoi
9. Preacher Song
10. Tribute to Frankie


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