Monday, July 19, 2010


You might remember Jimmy Webb's unusual song "P. F. Sloan," which he's sung on several albums (and re-covered with Jackson Browne on his new multi-star duet album "Across the River.") It somehow contrasted or compared Sloan's longevity with the disappearance and reappearance of London Bridge (now a tourist attraction in America), Nixon's comeback and presidential victory, and the case of Roy Rogers' horse Trigger, who died at age 33 in 1965, but was born again as a stuffed exhibit:

My old friend Trigger up and died
So now they've got him stuffed and dried
You know they've tanned his hide
he's crucified
he's starin' glassy eyed
Out through the parlor door

The song leaped to the top of my iTunes jukebox with the news that Trigger is on the move, thanks to a recent auction. He'd been on display in Branson, Missouri, the tourist mecca where old C&W singers and MOR artists perform, and the "Roy Rogers Museum" used to stand. With an understandable lack of interest in Roy Rogers these days, the museum had to shut down.

Roy Rogers Junior ran an auction, clearing out the museum. If Jimmy Webb's out on the road somewhere, and still covers "P.F. Sloan" amid crowd favorites such as "Macarthur Park" and "Galveston," he might want to revise the lyrics to something like...

Roy's old friend Trigger, stuffed and dried
could not find rest when Rogers died
No, with no sense of pride
the estate tried
to sell him on an auction site
For fifty bucks a pound...

And succeeded. Trigger was sold for $266,000. You'd think for that price, Junior would've thrown in Roy's dog Bullet, but no, that was a separate auction. Fortunately the same Nebraska cable TV network owner who bought Trigger, also bought Bullet (for an extra $35,000). Here's the deal. The cable station will use these props to call attention to re-runs of old Roy Rogers movies…hosted by Roy Rogers Jr. So there you are, a happy ending for all concerned. Junior is still making a living, and America's Western Heritage lives on, as people once again remember Roy Rogers as a squinty-eyed cowboy hero. Although the chain of Roy Rogers restaurants weren't bad…with the novelty of the "free fixin's" buffet where you could augment your burger with not just ketchup but fresh lettuce, onion and tomato slices. Frankly, Pardners, the best place for a fast-food burger if McDonalds, Burger King, Hardees, White Castle, Jack in the Box, Wendy's and Roy Rogers were lined up in the same strip mall...was Roy's.

Happy Trails, folks. Hopefully Roy Rogers (who died in 1998) and his perky wife Dale Evans (2001) were cremated. Otherwise…hell, they could end up sold and starring in a new movie from George Romero.

P.F. SLOAN song by JIMMY WEBB No 60-second wait-time from weasels who want money from you for giving you somebody else's property, no pop-ups or porn time.

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