Being a chain sports bar, Famous Sam's is not the kind of place you'd expect to find The Scariest Band in the World. Nevertheless, that's where we found ourselves on 14 February 1998 for the Scariest Valentine's Day Show in the World, and that's where we found Deadbolt. After a theatrical show, the band hosted us in their posh room at the Tropicana across the street.

Tell me how this whole Yuma thing came about.

(Goofball Wasted Hanger-on proceeds to ramble for five minutes, telling some fictitious story about the founding of the city of Yuma.)

3rd Degree Burns: No more beer for you!

So that's how Deadbolt ended up in Yuma....?

Les Vegas (to hanger-on): I think we're talking about Deadbolt here!

I think the most important question here is: Who is Cockeye? Is "Cockeye" dialogue from a movie or something?

Harley Davidson: Cockeye was a guy that my brother--

3rd Degree Burns: He is Cockeye!

Harley: --used to work at a restaurant with. The guy had like a . . . [He points one eye straight ahead & one at his nose] . . . a cockeye like this here, and he was a Mexican, I think he was a busboy there. My brother used to work with him. They used to hang out, y'know? "Hey, this is Cockeye!" [Does the Cockeye face again]

He didn't have a problem with being called "Cockeye"?

Harley: Oh, yeah! Yeah! And then Sancho--you know who Sancho is?

Well, I've just heard the song, so...

Harley: Sancho is the guy that, when you're workin'...

Johnny Yuma (Yuma promoter): Sancho...[to Goofball Hanger-on] translate Mexicano: "Sancho."

Goofball: It's Sancho in English!


Harley: Sancho is the guy--you're workin', and Sancho is the guy who's with your wife or girlfriend when you're at work. "Sancho!"

Goofball: Oh, that Sancho!

Johnny Yuma: "Oh, that Sancho!" Shuddup, you aardvark-fuckin' anteater dick! You never circumcised your kids!

Harley: So I figured it'd be a good song, y'know?

You were right. That was the first thing I ever found of Deadbolt. It was just the 45, the one with the Strangers on the other side--that's you, too, right? The Strangers?

Harley: Yeah, yeah.

Johnny Yuma: Where you guys from?

Phoenix. We just came down because I saw the show listed on the [Deadbolt] website, & I thought, yeah, come to Yuma for a show--that's gotta be epic!

Johnny Yuma: Never heard of anybody who picks up on shit in Yuma!

I also wanted to know about "Twang Zombie." Is that from the powder Twang? Do you know about that stuff?

Harley [confusedly]: Noooooo... No, it's the guitar twang sound. See, there's this imaginary guy...he's dead...white zombie.

Vegas: Twang, it's like a creepy-world thang.

3rd Degree Burns: Nah, it's that orange drink.

That was Tang. But you're close. It's a powder. You can get it at 7-11s in Texas. [I've generously omitted the explanation of Twang--if you wanna know, go here.]

Vegas: You can buy that hair spray, to make hair, too!

I was thinking maybe you guys were traveling around, eating Twang, and became Twang Zombies. I don't know.

Johnny Yuma: That was pretty fuckin deep for roamin the honky-tonks!

Who wants to tell the Deadbolt story? It doesn't have to be true.

Harley: BZZZZZZZ. [Tries to shave with the tape player]

Johnny Yuma: One day he [Harley] was on a construction site, he fell off a plank on the third story. He's the guy that had the tube through the head.

Oh, the rebar. The rebar through the temple.

Johnny Yuma: Yeah, that's where he came up with the idea for reverb.

Harley: Cockeye! Cockeye!

Vegas: Then he saw a deadbolt laying on the ground.

Harley: Been around eight years or so, started during the pre-Pearl Jam days, grunge days. Everybody was politically correct. You'd go to shows in San Diego and, y'know, everybody was playing shows for the whales, & this and that. We started just cos we were pissed off.

Vegas: It had to be stopped.

Harley: Started like a shitty three-piece, we'd just play and it was like an outlet for cutting down people & making fun of their little, y'know--

Vegas: "This album was printed on 100% recycled paper."

Harley: Yeah! We got so tired of bands just looking at their feet and spilling their guts to everybody. Music doesn't have to be that depressing.

Vegas: "I had a bad childhood!"

Harley: And all these political events & stuff. We were supposed to play an acoustic show one day, so we showed up with our electric instruments.

"Hey, monnn! S'posed to have acoustic--"
"Go fuck yourself!"
Hollow guitar, hollow mind.

When we first got here tonight, I was talking to one of the waitresses over at Sam's, & I asked her if she'd heard you guys last night. She goes, "I do not approve." [Howls of laughter at this, of course.] I asked her why, & she said, "They're racists."

Harley and the "Wall of Thunder"
(two bass guitars!)
Drunken Female: Then I better get the HELL outta here, 'cos I'm like the only Mexican here!

Harley: Don't worry, honey, we got a mop & bucket here for ya! We're not gonna kick ya out!

Vegas: Ma'am, I was never on the track team.

Drunken Female: Because I wanna know! I...wanna know--as a Mexican--I wanna know, why white people are so much better. Cos if y'all are all that, I wanna be white, too!

Harley: Anyway...

Vegas: We make fun of everybody. Even ourselves. We're not racists.

Have you had many bad reactions on the tour?

Vegas: We were banned in Berkeley. But not for being racists.

Harley: Nah, not at all. We're just doing something a little different, y'know? I mean, not too many bands cut down the audience. Some people take it wrong. Just, uh, having fun, y'know?

So you're not really looking for trouble, just--

Johnny Yuma: It just finds 'em.

I notice you played a Link Wray song tonight. Who would be some of your other--I don't want to say idols, but...

Vegas: Influences?

Yeah, who do you like?

3rd Degree Burns: Who's your daddy?

Harley: Oh, different ones, uh, there's not really one true one.

3rd Degree Burns: The Surfaris.

Harley: Dick Dale. Old country.

Vegas: Johnny Cash.

All: YEAH!!

Drunken Female: How about the Rolling Stones? You like the Rolling Stones?

[Everyone cracks up]

How about Bon Jovi? [She sings drunkenly:] "You give luuuuuuv, a bad name!"

Vegas: Ok, someone kill her!

Sure you don't wanna bring those guns out?

Vegas: The Animals. All the great guitar bands. Duane Eddy. Twangy guitar, a lotta reverb.

Harley: See, what we're doing, Deuce, is startin' a new sound. We're pioneers of the Voodoobilly Sound. It's sort of the dark side of rockabilly. Now, you know, yeah, we got the Cramps there, we stole a lot from the Cramps there--

Vegas: Little surf in there.

Harley: But then we kinda part directions there. But, uh, and then it's like, how many songs can you sing about, ok, your girlfriend, your job, this or that, blah blah blah. So each album we got like a theme going. Last one, Tiki Man. Tijuana Hit Squad. Next one's gonna be Zulu Death Mask.

When's that coming out?

Harley: Whenever the artwork's done.

You've got a visitor here.

[A cockroach crawls down the wall, toward Harley's rolled-up newspaper.]

You like Hasil Adkins at all?

Vegas: He's great!

[The phone rings]

Drunken Female: Hello? [To Harley] What is's name?

Harley: Deadbolt.

Drunken Female: Deadbolt speaking.

[The room breaks up]

Drunken Female: They hung up on me!

Harley: You're hired!

Deadbolt Shaves My Head

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