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Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 07:34:19 -0600
To: Ronald Joe Record 
From: Ken Drew 
Subject: Re: Beat Farmers
Status: RO

To all my fellow BFer freinds and fans:
I have to report the sad news to all of you. It appears as if Country Dick
passed away last night in Vancouver. I have a call into their agent but I
must go
home in 20 minutes so I will not be able to report anything until tomorrow.
Below are 3 separate posts that I just received. I do not know what to say.

Long ago during Dick's cancer battle, Jerry and Joey both said that the BFers
are one band and if Dick passed away, it would be over. Today, November 9,
1995 marks the day that the BFers ended their great music.

Country Dick Montana: I will truely miss your great sense of humor and fun
times. I hope that we all share in the sorrow of his passing. One last time:

Hubba hubba........


From: (Camille)
Subject: Bad News

Ken, I have bad news and I don't know how else to say this so I'll just
blurt it out. Country Dick passed away last night on stage in Vancouver,
apparently from  a heart attack. I really don't have much else to say other
than I feel tremendously sad.  I'll write more when I have more news. Right
now, I am just devasated. What a tragic loss.

From: (jbuffit)
Subject: Country Dick's Death

Hey kdrew, I was at the Beat Farmers show last night (11/08/95) in Whistler
BC, and at the beginning of the third set Dick dropped dead!!  I wish I was
joking but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Whistler medical clinic!
Not fun...


Subject: Country Dick Montana Dead

Country Dick Montana died last night on stage in Canada of an apparent heart
attack. An autopsy has been scheduled to be performed in Vancouver. I work
with his aunt, who was awoken this morning with the bad news. You might want
to spread this unfortunate news on the Internet. His aunt just had dinner
with him two weeks ago here in Phoenix prior to their show at the Rocking
Horse. She even brought me an autographed photo of the band.


*The Beat Farmers : WWW page at:           *
*   *
*Webb Wilder : check these guys out!        *

*The Beat Farmers : WWW page at:           *
*   *
*Webb Wilder : check these guys out!        *

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Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 08:52:41 -0600
To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,,
From: "by way of (Ken\
Subject: Country Dick
Status: RO


Fuck....I just hopped over to the BF'ers WWW page and it is true.....this
sucks.....The best fuckin' band is over.......Is there gonna be any type of
memorial service for him in SD?  Just looking at my Country Dick
"Chug-a-lug" autograph on the back of a beer coaster from Street Scene '95
brings tears to my eyes.....he will be missed......

A shitty day in Music History,

Keith C. Fischer

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To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,
From: "by way of (Ken Drew)" 
Subject: I can't beleive it ...
Status: RO

What can one say ... there are not many famous people that I have been really t
ruly sorry at their passing ... Keith Moon ... Alex Harvey (a great scottish ro
ck singer) ... Groucho Marx ... Country Dick

I have seen the Beat Farmers about a dozen times over the years ... the last ti
me was about a month ago. It wasnUt a great show as BF shows go but it was stil
l better than most ... I didnUt know the new songs yet as the album wasnUt out
in this area ... my wife was unable to go  ... she figured that they would be b
ack through in the next six months or so ... they usually were ... not this tim

I first saw the Farmers in about 84 ... they played at a local bar in Des Moine
s and ripped the place up ... Dick got sprayed by some guy in the audience (thi
s was before flying beer became normal at BF shows) ... and jumped on him ... a
s I told them last month (or so) nothing made me happier ... it was some creep
I knew in high school ... and no one deserved it better ... I think that since
then I have only missed one show that I could have gone to (I had pneumonia) Th
ey were one of the first bands that I completed my CD
collection of (once I got a CD player ... IUm an old vinyl junkie) I now have a
t least two copies of everything ...
I have taken so many friends to shows ... and recommended them to so many other
s ... I suppose that I can be considered a member of the FarmerUs Hardcore ...
I do have a definition for that ... someone who considers Joey to be the Snew g
uyS ... I really hope that the remaining members continue in some form ... Joey
 and JerryUs songwriting has gotten stronger and stronger over the years (I rea
lly sincerely think that Manifold is their strongest album yet) and I really ha
te the idea that I may never see them play again ... donUt give it up guys ...
even if itUs not the Beat Farmers any more ... keep working .. keep giving us g
ood music ...

WeUll miss you Dick

Eric Coleman
6016 Lincoln Way
Ames IA 50014

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From: Ken Drew 
Subject: UPDATE: Country Dick dead at age 40
Status: RO

I want to personally thank all of you for your warm e-mails. I plan
to forward these to the list. We all grieve with the loss of Country Dick.
I am hoping to get the press release soon as well as post it to the net
and WWW page. As of now, I have no information on the services.
If you feel the need to send a card, please send it to:

The Beat Farmers
PO Box 2128
El Cajon, CA 92021

There is no word about the BFers future. Many want the band to continue.
Many realize that it can never be the same witout our beloved Country Dick.
Time will tell. Jerry, Joey, and Rolle will certainly let us know as soon
as they
know. Please have a safe weekend and, if you are like me, you will be playing
a few BFer CDs in memory of Country Dick Montana.

We miss you big guy........

I'll talk to you all soon. Again, thanks for all the kind words.

*The Beat Farmers : WWW page at:           *
*   *
*Webb Wilder : check these guys out!        *

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To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,,
From: "by way of (Ken Drew)" 
Subject: My moment with Country Dick
Status: RO

Dear Ken,

Your news about Country Dick has greatly saddened me.  However, whenever I
saw him perform, through my smiles from his charismatic antics, I always
feared for his life.  And now that my fear has become reality, I thought I'd
share my most recent memory of him with you, from just a month ago.

I looked forward to October 7 for weeks.  Having spread the word as best I
could, I gathered a few friends and went to Tramps in Manhattan that night.
 I told the newcomers this show would change their lives.  By the end of the
first song, most agreed with me.

It came time for "Happy Boy," and I was all set with my official Beat Farmers
kazoo.  I was one of the small group of four who joined the band on stage
(mentioned in The Aquarian Weekly review) .  At the end of the song, Country
Dick looked at me and I looked at him with all my admiration.  He came over
to me on stage, put his arm around me, whispered in my ear that I had done a
great job, and kissed me on the cheek.  I felt like Marcia Brady after Davy
Jones kissed her cheek, only he kissed me in front of a club full of people.
 My friends were all impressed, and afterwards, I called friends and family
around the country to share with them my moment with Country Dick Montana.
 May he rest in peace (and maybe just a little bit of immortal craziness).
 Hubba hubba...

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To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,,
From: Chriss 
Subject: RE: Country Dick Montana: SAD NEWS- he passed away
Status: RO

Dear Ken:
This truly saddens my heart.

I was introduced to the BFer's music when my husband and I spent part of our
honeymoon with his brother and girlfriend. Each morning I was awakened by my
brother-in-law singing the refrain from Happy Boy. He played the entire song for
me one day and I was pleased. Several years later when my mother died I received
a wonderful sympathy card from him and a tape he had made for me of a number of
different artists, (John Prine, Tom Waite, Bonnie Raitt) and three BFer songs,
Happy Boy (of course), California Kid and King of Sleaze. I was hooked.

My husband and I attended a perfromance (Viking Lullabys release party) at the
Cabooze bar in Minneapolis in 1994. We had a great time!! I bought 3 BFer's CDs
for my husband for Christmas (Poor and Famous, Live, Loud & Plowed and Viking

A friend from work and I attended the BFer's 1995 performance at the Cabooze.
Country Dick signed my Manifold CD "Tenderly, C. Dick Montana."

I didn't know the man but I will truly miss him.

Ken, thanks for keeping us informed. I would appreciate it if you forward any
other messages people send about this. Also, if you receive any information
about memorial services/wake/funeral, etc. I would appreciate knowing about that

Thanks for reading this, I needed to share with someone who could appreciate it.


To all my fellow BFer freinds and fans:
I have to report the sad news to all of you. It appears as if Country Dick
passed away last night in Vancouver. I have a call into their agent but I
must go
home in 20 minutes so I will not be able to report anything until tomorrow.
Below are 3 separate posts that I just received. I do not know what to say.

Long ago during Dick's cancer battle, Jerry and Joey both said that the BFers
are one band and if Dick passed away, it would be over. Today, November 9,
1995 marks the day that the BFers ended their great music.

Country Dick Montana: I will truely miss your great sense of humor and fun
times. I hope that we all share in the sorrow of his passing. One last time:

Hubba hubba........


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To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,,
From: "by way of (Ken Drew)" 
Subject: very sad news
Status: RO


   what can be said at a time like this? i was shocked when i read my e-mail.
it was less than a month ago when the beat farmers played here in boston and
dick seemed fine.he even rolled his eyes when i asked him about his health.
   remember that as stupid as this sounds he most likely wanted to go out at
a show (ok so not in canada) and that"thats the way he wants to be when
someone digs his grave"  it is truly a shame that the farmers never got the
recognision that they deserved.

                                                  hubba hubba, pal

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From: Russ Hval 
Subject: RE: Country Dick Montana
Status: RO


I'm shocked and extremely saddened.  Seems like the Beat Farmers were
gaining momentum, then this tragic loss.  What a rotten deal - I spoke with
Dick briefly in New York last year at a show and asked him about the
throat.  He put his hand on my shoulder, thanked me for asking and said he
thought they had gotten it all this time.  Only to die of a heart attack?!

I'm really going to miss him...

Thanks for letting us know.


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Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 08:42:33 -0600
To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,
From: Ian Baker 
Subject: Re: Country Dick Montana: SAD NEWS- he passed away
Status: RO

oh man. what a shame, but you gotta think that dick got a kick out of the
way it happened. i will hoist a few shots his way tonight. jagermeister
and rumpleminze, right? my condolences to you on the loss of your friend,
and to all of us beat farmer fans.

|                                                                             |
| Ian Baker                                                                   |
| Mission Research Corporation/ASTER Division                                 |
| P.O. Box 466                                                                |
| Fort Collins, Colorado 80522-0466                                           |
| (970)282-4400   ext.25                                                      |
| (970)282-9444 (fax)                                                         |
|                                                             |
|                                                                             |

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From: Ken Drew 
Subject: Recent article review: BFERS
Status: RO

The Beat Farmers New Album: Manifold

=46red O'Hara/Lilia Mar=EDn

"The world moist with anticipation...asking `Could it be?'"
A new record from the Beat Farmers.
Pulling up to a Beat Farmers show you might expect to see Country Dick
Montana's horse tied to a hitching post outside. On stage, they are
dressed in black like cowboys gone bad in their search for justice. Rolle Lo=
bass and Montana's drumbeat drive behind the forceful rhythm of guitarists
Jerry Rainey and Joey Harris, conjuring images of locomotives, wild horses, =
the wide open plain. They sing about love, undying and unrequited. Rebelliou=
and sarcastic. Lonesome and lovestruck. Dick is the charismatic master of
ceremonies in the Beat Farmers traveling circus. In a voice that has been
described as unbelievably "basso profundo" he sings about how his baby
left him, he dances around and proceeds to dump the contents of his pitcher =
the floor and dives across room on his belly. The crowd encourages him by
chanting "Dick! Dick! Dick!". His bawdy camp fire sing-a-longs are a big
hitwith the crowd. Dick never passes up an opportunity to serenade a pretty
girl. A consummate showman, he is also a minister of the Universal Life
Church. Their live performances are filled with joy and abandon. This
contrasts with the fine structure of their studio works.

During the recent shows at the Silver Eagle the band reflected on their
efforts leading to their latest release. Joey Harris narrates "My uncle
Nick Reynolds was in the Kingston Trio in the early sixties. So there was
always music in the house, a lot of big band, folk music, and things like
that. I
just got in from the beginning. Right after high school in '75 I got a job
with another ex Kingston Trio guy named John Stewart who is a song writer
in sort of the Tom Waitts, Randy Newman, John Prine kind of vein. By the end
of that four years I started writing a little bit by myself.

"At the end of 79 is when we started The Fingers. That's when all the punk
stuff started to happen so I cut off all my hair and dyed it purple,
bought a lot of leather outfits and then we started The Fingers. I started
back then, it was just kind of goofy songs because it was what everybody
else was writing. Then I did a solo for MCA Records called Joey and The
Speedsters. While waiting for that to come out Dick and I put together a
band called Country Dick and the Snuggle Bunnies. That was a bunch of local
musicians playing a lot like what we are doing with the Incredible
Hayseeds now."

Rollie explains "I come from heavy metal style of music but that is back
in the seventies. Then I went to playing the upright bass and I got in to
playing my roots, even listening to mariachi and norte=F1o stuff. I kind of
got into that country style from there I just got hooked up with the Beat
=46armers when I was 19. We all had an interest in the same music. It just w=
out, I got lucky really."

>From the first few records the Beat Farmers got a lot of critical acclaim
and they were doing really well. "This was when The Blasters and Los Lobos
came out," Joey recalls, "there was this whole sort of American music sort o=
American rock and roll roots sort of band thing. They just did really well
on the first record in Europe. When the Speedsters went down I was just kind
of not doing much around San Diego. I put together a little band with Paul
Kamanski called the Electric Suns. Meanwhile the Beat Farmers went off and
got a record deal, went to Europe, and all that stuff. Then Buddy Blue
suddenly wanted to quit after the second record. I sang background vocals
on both of them and contributed songs. So by the time Buddy left they just
had just asked me to join and play guitar. The first tour I did I was actual=
promoting the second Beat Farmers record and everyone thought that I was
Buddy Blue.

"The Beat Farmers have done three different tours to Europe. The fans
there are funny. Half of them come just to see an American rock and roll ban=
they don't even care who they are or know, and about the other half are Beat
=46armers fans. When they see Country Dick guy throwing beer everywhere they
go crazy. The Germans really identify with him. We are supposed to go to
Europe to support this album. In the past we have done all the Scandinavian
countries, Germany and England. This time we may do France as well. There
is always talk about an Australian tour. I believe they have a good
distribution deal down there now for this album."

The Beat Farmers played for the grand opening of the Hard Rock Cafe in
Tijuana in 1992, sponsored by 91X. They also played in Iguanas. They would
like to play in Tijuana again if the right job comes along. Jerry says "I
think we scared them, they said `These guys think they are John Wayne'."

The Beat Farmers had also been known to perform under different musical
identities. In 1989 and again in 1993 they toured as The Pleasure Barons.
This was a Las Vegas style review inspired by the greats like Elvis, Tom
Jones, and Dean Martin. A grand undertaking by an eleven piece band
featuring Mojo Nixon, Dave Alvin, John Doe, and others. More recently they h=
played as The Incredible Hayseeds with Steele Bone Dick (Tim Cook) on the sl=
guitar and trombone. Here they are able to express their country alter

So Joey continues "Our audience in San Diego is great. We are also well
received in Minneapolis and Santa Cruz. Vancouver is probably my favorite.
We can do anything we want and they just go nuts. We go around the country
once a year. The band is twelve years old now and the people who came to the
first show are still coming. We haven't had to get day jobs yet but it has b=
pretty close the last few years. There has not been a lot of money around
anyway but now everybody has a band. There are all these kids out playing
for 200 bucks. They got their dad's station wagon out there and sleep in it,
but we are a bunch of old guys, we need hotel rooms. We are about to start a
tour with the Blasters, it is going to be about five weeks. I think we will
tour in California in November.

"The band drinks a lot , Dick drinks a whole lot. For a lot of years I was
just doing it for the work and it was not very exciting. I found myself
saying `OK, three more songs and then I get off the stage.' It was a kind
of weird for a while. The good thing about getting sober for a while it was
that I kind of rediscovered the music. It is not easy, because your life is =
a bar it is very hard not to drink". It hardly ever happens that someone is
so drunk that they cannot play", Jerry adds, "You may not be that good in be=
later on but you can still be good on stage. Day times are hell after a
show, but who likes daytimes anyway?" Jerry is the funniest one in the whole

Dick is an anarchist in the truest sense he is anti everything. During the
show he comments "No we don't have day jobs. Would you hire us? We tried
to get jobs. But... we don't even know how to do this."

Joey goes on talking about the Beat Farmers' media relations, "The story
behind our appearance on the David Letterman show is that we were with
still Curb records and we just released the live record Live, Loud, and Plow=
Our manager at the time got a call from the Letterman people who said `we ha=
been looking for you guys for months, Curb Record says you are not with
them anymore', when we were. It just goes to show how little they got involv=
in our careers. At first we felt we had to do something wild, because this
was going to be a big shot on national TV. The word came back that David
Letterman loved this song Hideaway. I still feel that doing King of Sleaze
or something like that wold have been great, but they said no. Everyone
really had a fun time during it.

"The record company didn't do anything to take advantage of that. Curb
just dropped the ball and for the next two years we just spent all the time
just trying to get off that label and get them off our backs. Those years we=
tough. You could not even buy the records in San Diego for long time.
George Varga would write a good piece for us and that was about it. We did a
video for Hollywood Hills. MTV played it for a while. We had been looking=
 for a
new record company and also looking for a new manager. We finally found Alex
De Felice. He is our manager now. Our new label is Sector 2 Records."

There are many kinds of music in the new album called Manifold. Jerry came
up with the name that describes something made of many parts. There has
always been something hard for people to understand and work with in the ban=
It's not one singer and not one type of music. There is a lot of rhythm and
blues. Everyone in the band is inspired by the British invasion bands. Dick =
the president of the Kinks' Society in southern California. Rolle being a
little younger came from sort of kind of heavy metal style. Rolle and Buddy =
very involved in a rockabilly kind of band right before they put together
the Beat Farmers. This is the seventh studio release. The recent "Best of"
album was done without the band's knowledge. It's hardly a true representati=
of them best work. The interest in Viking Lullabys was very strong, enough s=
that Curb got out all the old records again.

"I really think Manifold is a superior record due to the songs", Joey
continues, "we did it ourselves in a great studio in San Diego, nobody was
between us and the tape machine so there is a lot more, the guitars are
loud because the guitar players wanted it loud. I think it is something real=
good. I have a rule when it comes to recording, if we are going to have
effect like an echo, a guitar, a solo, a drum fill, you turn it up loud,
the whole mix can come up, everything. It is a lot more important than setti=
it and letting it run by itself or trying to outthink it by finding just the
right amount. There 's 14 new originals by the band on the album and we do
one song by Bob Dylan Positively 4th Street.

"I think this time Jerry is going to have the songs that get the most
attention. Got It Bad For You is great. Memphis to Nixon is about Elvis
got all hopped up in drugs and forced his way in the White House to get an F=
badge saying `We are going to bust the Beatles for drugs and I am the guy
who can do it.' Texas Heat is a great example of something we never could do
before. Dick and I are singing with just a little acoustic guitar. I tried
to do that in past records and the idea was rejected by the producer."

 If this goes as well as they think they will bring on extra musicians
like another drummer so Dick can play piano. He is really modest about his
drumming. Before the last record he said he did not want to play because
he is not a drummer. Part of what makes him a really great drummer is becaus=
he is such a musicologist. He has so many references in his head to pick

Dick comments "If I am really a bad boy in this life I am going to come
back in the next life as my own drum set because I beat hell out of them. I =
through about 10 sets a year." It is his intense strength and enthusiasm
that makes his performance a pleasure to see.

Dick explains "We are going to do everything we have to do to promote the
album. We are going to give party hats, confetti and there will be nudity
all over the place. I don't think people realize how much it helps to have t=
fans call the radio stations and ask for the songs. "

Interestingly enough the band has also been gaining popularity through the
internet. Ken Drew is a club manager we met in Chicago and a big fan. He
has an online fan club with postings of recent Beat Farmer activities at his
e-mail address He has received letters from all
over the world. They also have a local address of PO Box 2128 El Cajon, CA
The annual publication of The Beat Farmers Almanac is an amusing prize
full of advice and biographies of the band. When you get the chance, check
these guys out, bring a kazoo, and check your prudence at the door.

Country Dick Montana died of a heart attack Nov. 8, 1995 in Alberta Canada
playing to a sold out crowd.

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Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 08:42:02 -0600
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From: Pam Croskey 
Subject: Country Dick, I miss you
Status: RO

Hi....  This has to be without question one of the saddest and most heart
wrenching days of my life. I can't imagine what Joey, Jerry, Rolle, Tom
and Ross must be going through. I have been a fan of the Beat Farmers
since 1984 and have been fortunate enough to count them as friends for
the last 5 years or so. They have brought such joy and happiness into my
life, that I don't even have words to describe the sensations. I keep
reminding myself that the music and the spirit will never die, and that
those of us that knew Dick will always carry a part of him in our hearts
forever. I loved Dick with all of my heart and will miss him more than I
know how to express.

I wanted to ask those of you who also loved Dick and are fans of the Beat
Farmers to show Dick (and the guys) what we think of them. And I have to
say that right now I don't feel like flipping the bird. I want everyone
who is moved to, to DO something. It could be almost anything, like
sending flowers to wherever the family requests, sending truckoads of
cards and letters of thanks for the music and the love, buying up their
albums and cd's, or even calling your local radio stations and requesting
Beat Farmer songs. There is more, but do something! Don't let the Beat
Farmers or Country Dick's wonderful and unique contribution to our lives
simply fade away as the shock wears off. I, for one, do not EVER want to
forget or to let go of the joy they brought to me over the years. I don't
ever want to forget my memories of times I spent with Dick, watching him
do all those crazy things that made him so special.

I wrote this open letter because I want my friends to know how much I
truly do love them. The shock of our loss will lessen with time, but we
should never let go of the love. Ok, I'm rambling now (like someone we
know), so I will sign off. Should anyone care to respond by email, I can
be reached at:


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From: "by way of (Ken Drew)" 
Subject: Re: Country Dick Montana: SAD NEWS- he passed away
Status: RO

    What can I say...  I'm shocked.  It always felt to me that these guys
were eternal - especially the Man With the Hat.  There were undoubtedly my
all time favorite musicians/partiers/friends.  This thing takes on a wholly
different meaning to me for what Dick did once.
    The night after my room mate Scott (aka "Dinger") was killed in a
military aircraft accident (Jan 20 1992) I saw the Farmers at the Belly Up in
San Diego.  I talked to Dick before the show and asked him if he would
dedicate a song for him.  During the show Dick came out and said "People die
all of the time.  Every once in a while we lose a good one.  This one's for
Dinger."  He and the band went on to give another awesome rendition of
"Lucille".  I won't forget that night because I knew Dinger would have been
proud to have that one performed in his honor.
    Well, I guess it's time to dedicate one to the culprit himself.  People
die all the time.  This day we lost a good one...

You picked a fine time to leave us, Dick.  Call Dinger a "maggot" for me when
you see him, will ya?

Jim Larson

Ken, feel free to put this on the net if you'd like.  Jim

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To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,,,,
From: Ken Drew 
Subject: PRESS RELEASE from Sector 2 Records
Status: RO

It is sad to report that Country Dick Montana, the drummer and vocalist for
what is probably the one of the preeminent bar bands in the world, the Beat
Farmers,  died on November 8 at the age of 40, on-stage, while the Beat
Farmers were performing at the Longhorn Saloon in Whistler, British
Columbia in front of a sold-out crowd. According to Montana's label, Sector
2 Records, the cause of death was an apparent heart attack, and he was
pronounced dead at 11:40 PM (PST).

Montana began his career in the music business when he not only ran one of
the first underground record stores in San Diego but  led the Kinks
Preservation Society. Jumping out of the frying pan, into the fire, he went
on to join the garage rock the Crawdaddies, releasing two albums along the
way. Moonlighting as always, he also performed with the San Diego band The
Penetrators before forming the Beat Farmers in 1983. The band first release
was "Tales Of The New West" on Rhino Records in 1985,  before moving onto
Curb/MCA where they released three studio albums (Van Go, The Pursuit Of
Happiness, and Poor And Famous), a live album (Live Loud and Plowed), and a

"Best Of" collection. Most recently the Beat Farmers found a home at Sector
2 Records in Austin, Texas, where they put out "Viking Lullabys" last year
and, most recently "Manifold".
Country Dick solo album has been recorded for some time and now may be
released early next year.

We are all saddened by this untimely death, but Tom Ames, the road manager
for the Beat Farmers perhaps said it best: "He died on-stage, doing what he
loved, in front of a sold out crowd."

*The Beat Farmers : WWW page at:           *
*   *
*Webb Wilder : check these guys out!        *

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To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rr@sco.COM,,,,,
From: Ken Drew 
Subject: Country Dick: tenative public service
Status: RO

I was informed that a tenative public service for Country Dick Montana
will be held Monday evening at the Belly-Up Saloon in San Diego, California.
This is NOT for sure so please check first if you plan to attend. A private
will take place Monday afternoon for family and close friends at an undisclosed

The band is currently driving home to San Diego from Canada. There is no
news as to the future of the band. They may stay together, they may disband.
It is too early to tell.

If you want to send bereavement gifts, cards. etc., please send them to:

The Beat Farmers
PO Box 2128
El Cajon, CA 92021

We all miss Dick. His sense of humor permits me to say this:
Jesus, are you drinkin' with Dick? Let's hope so.

More updates to follow as soon as I hear them.

*The Beat Farmers : WWW page at:           *
*   *
*Webb Wilder : check these guys out!        *

In memory of Country Dick Montana 1955-1995

It wasn't long ago when I was back in my home state of California, working
on my graduate degree at UOP in Stockton, and listening to KDJK on the
radio. Another simple contest, one that I had garnered me a record or two
before. Yes, Virginia, they used to give out vinyl at radio stations not
too long ago. I won a copy of "Van Go" by the Beat Farmers (BFers). The
year was 1986. I had heard the song "Riverside" on the radio. I had even
heard the Budweiser beer commercial made from that song- you remember when
Bud used to take a popular song and have the band redo it with Bud lyrics.
Something about that album caught my attention.

I liked the music and all of the songs but the song "Big Ugly Wheels" was
different. It was sung by some guy named Country Dick Montana. He had a
real deep voice and made me laugh with his interpretation this song. I
looked at the album to find Dick as the drummer and leader of "beer runs".
Hey, that's pretty funny stuff. All in all, I was impressed.

Another year passed as I saw that the BFers were playing up in the Bay area
again. I tried to find time to make it there but couldn't. Then a new album
came out. "The Pursuit Of Happiness". It was awesome. I had to see these
guys. I had already backtracked and picked up their first album "Tales Of
The New West". This had the morning show cult classic "Happy Boy" on it.
The new record once again featured more outstanding work. The combined
guitars and voices of Jerry Raney and Joey Harris (who had replaced Buddy
Blue) were more than just music to my ears.

Once again, Country Dick sang some songs as only he could. "Big River" was
classic Dick material. Finally, I was going to see the BFers in San
Francisco at Slim's. It was packed and I was treated to one of the best
live shows I had ever seen and believe me when I say that. I have seen many
a show while growing up in the Bay Area. To see a band that was having so
much fun was a real treat. The crowd loved it. Soon I heard chants of
"Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick,....". Then from behind the drum set stood this
6'4" man with a cowboy hat and a long coat. He made his way to the
microphone, jokingly calling the crowd "maggots". Dick begins to sing "(You
Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me) Lucille" as only he could- "400 kids and a
crouch that won't heal" and "you picked a real bitchin' time to leave me,
Lucille". Beer was everywhere. It was unbelievable to watch Dick twirl beer
bottles, drink a full bottle with only his feet, and put a full bottle on
his hat and do a turn around in a circle.

Soon, I was a regular at the shows. I would talk to people I knew. I would
bring friends. My brother would bring friends. Friends would bring friends.
They all enjoyed the show. It was something that could not be described.
The music was great. The atmosphere was great. But most of all, people
loved to see Dick. He would have an entire audience sitting on the beer
soaked floor as he said "it was time to go camping". He would tell various
insane anecdotes and sing "Lakeside Trailer Park", "Little Ball Of Yarn",
"Mondo", or some other great sick little song.

The band was always (and still remains) very accessible. Dick could often
be found wondering around the bar passing out the BFer Almanac, signing
autographs, or having a beer. He would often stop and talk to me for a
while. We would comment on the opening band. There was the time that Buck
Naked and The Bare Bottom Boys opened up for the BFers. Buck wore only a
plunger strategically placed between his legs. Dick said "that guy's
crazier than me! And he is only get paid $10".

After enough shows, I was lucky enough to go backstage and talk to Jerry,
Joey, Rolle, and Dick. I saw a side of the band that most didn't know. The
side of the band that made me feel part of this large extended BFer family.
Tom Ames, the tour manager and sound man, would always say hello and tell
me about the current tour. The guys would give me info on new album
releases and such. We would talk about  our families. We would talk about
everything not just music.

I learned how the BFers came together. When a young Country Dick (then
known by his real name Dan McClain) as student body vice president at
Grossmont High, invited Jerry Raney's band Glory to play a dance. The
student body was not very receptive so Dick stepped to the microphone and
gave a speech. "What's wrong with you guys? This is the best band around
Can't you act like you appreciate some music? Do you have to hear it on the
radio before you can appreciate it?" His charisma back then made an
impression on Jerry. One that would ultimately lead to the formation of the
BFers. The BFers started when Jerry received a phone call from Dick, who
said, "Hey, Jerry, you wanna start a rolling musical pleasure unit or
something?". The BFers were born.

The next thing I knew, another album came out. "Poor And Famous". This one
didn't do so well. It didn't help that CURB decided to not promote the
band. A typical label problem that every band has to deal with. The tours
never stopped though. The crowds were always there. Then suddenly Dick was
informed that he had cancer. He went through several surgeries to cure this
throat cancer and there was a possibility that he could never sing again.
He pulled through it as only he could. His sense of humor always present.

I recall a letter he wrote me in September 1993. The letter started out
"Always good to hear from people with good taste". He went on to tell me
about his solo album and the "ten hour, quite the fuckin' radical ear to
ear surgery" he was recovering from. His return address: "The Human Pez
Dispenser, Spring Valley Inn". You see his surgery left a scar from one ear
to the other around his neck. Yet he was determined to continue to play
with the BFers. Nothing would stop him.

Soon, I was off to the midwest. Stuck in South Bend with little chance of
seeing the BFers on a regular basis like before. For sanity's sake, I
started the BFers e-mail list on the internet. It continues to grow today.
I was able to get tour info to the fans and converse with numerous fans not
only across the country but all over the world. There were occasional
swings to the Chicago area so I was fortunate to see them play. One of
these swings was amazing since Dick's doctors found a reoccurrence of
cancer yet there he was. Dick was on stage in front of the crowd. He was
too weak to play drums and as soon as he returned to San Diego, he was to
go in for more tests- this time on his thyroid.

Dick was determined to get healthy. He lost weight and actually cut down on
those beer runs and shots at the shows. Sure, there was an occasional fun
time but he was in this for the long haul. The BFers must continue. And
they did. They released two albums on Sector 2 Records. The first was
"Viking Lullabys" spelled that way because Dick liked it! Most recently,
"Manifold" was released. This new record is considered by many to be the
strongest BFer album to date.

Dick's solo album, a "concept album" he told me not long ago, was done and
he was hoping to get it released soon. All things were looking up. Then
suddenly on a Thursday night, November 8th, while playing drums in
Whistler, Brittish Columbia (about  one hour out of Vancouver- a BFer
strong hold!) the unthinkable happened. Country Dick was stuck down by a
heart attack at the age of 40 during the show.

The indestructible, fun loving, deep voiced, friendly, extremely humorous
giant was gone. There are no words that can describe how any BFer fan
feels. Country Dick Montana was a talent that can never be equaled. He had
charisma to burn  and it was that charisma that made the band into
something greater than the sum of its parts. Sure he wasn't well known but
anyone who ever saw a BFer live show could tell you that Dick was at his
best- on stage. His presence will never be replaced and I know that the
remaining BFers do not want to replace him- they know it would be
impossible. Whatever shape the BFers take, it will never be the same
without Country Dick Montana.

Country Dick: I knew you as a friend and I know that God does have a sense
of humor and that you are where you belong- on that stage in the heavens.
You are truly missed.

Ken Drew

*The Beat Farmers : WWW page at:           *
*   *
*Webb Wilder : check these guys out!        *

My friend from the Crowded House list lives up near Vancouver so I thought
I would forward this to the list:

Hi Ken,
As you might see on the CH list, I weent to a show last night and at it
I ran into acouple of people who had second-hand knowledge of the sad
Beat Farmers news.

They said that according to their friends who were at the show, there were
two paramedics in the audience (there as concertgoers, not as official
first aid types) who saw Country Dick slump over even before the band noticed.
They were up on stage within a minute and did CPR, and an ambulance got him
to the hispital within 10 mins (WEhistler is a pretty small place, just
basically a ski town) but poor Dick was dead on arrival. The paramedics said
they figured he was dead beofre he hit the ground.

The band had stopped for a beer on the way up to the show (Whistler is about
90 mins drive north of Vancouver) but Dick has been "clean" for the last dfew
years and to the best of anyone's knowledge had not been on any kinds of
drugs or drinking heavily. When they had a beer on the drive, they had A beer -
he was not drunk by any stretch of the imagination. Although he had been
living well for the last while, apparently much of his heart waxs damaged
from his previous lifestyle (blocked artieries) and his heart just shut

Naturally everone in Vancouver is very sad. Part of this I heard from the
promoter of the hall that I went to the show at, where the Framers had
plyaed many times. He really liked Dick and the band and was very unhappy
at the news, although as he said "I bet he was happy when he went, because
he loved to perform".
I was also told (and I thought you would like this!) that on Friday night
there was some band playing in Vancouver, a local act, that halfway
into their set started going on about how Dick was a drunk and a wastrel,
etc., good riddance, etc., etc., and the audience booed and heclked and
thre things at them so that they couldn't finish their set - and actually
had to leave the club because they feared for their safety! heheheh!

That's what I found out, anyhow. Hope this is of some cheer to you.

Cheers, Fiona

PS Excuse the typing but I'm doing this from a telnet and can
t figure out how to make the editor work :)

a.k.a. Country Dick Montana.

Below you will find two article which appeared in the local VAncouver
newspapers.  (Reproduced without permission, sorry.)


        Vancouver Sun
        Nov 10, 1995
        John Mackie

        Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers collapsed and died on
stage at Whistler Wednesday night.  He was 40.

        Renowned for his wild onstage antics and incredible sense of humor,
        Montana was out front leading his band when he fell to the stage.
        Paramedics were in the audience and jumped up to administer CPR.

        But Montana failed to regain consciousness, and was pronounced dead
on arrival at Whistler Health Centre.

        "He died the way he wanted, where he wanted, in front of a full
house playing live on stage," said Beat Farmers booking agent Garth

        Montana had battled throat cancer in the past, but had recovered
        sufficiently to sing and drum with the Beat Farmers and Pleasure
        Barons, a roots-rock all-star troupe.

        "He seemed to be in great shape, in good spirits," said David
Branigan of the Longhorn Cabaret, the bar where the band was performing.
"He seemed to be as clean and sober as I've ever seen him."

        Montana's real name was Daniel McLean.  He was born in Carmel,
        California, and lived in San Diego for most of his life.

        Adopting the Montana persona, he became infamous as one of rock's
true wildmen.  He would have made a great bad guy in a movie western:
tall, thin, and fond of wearing big black cowboy hats and long gunfighter
        coats, he looked like one ornery character.

        The image was reinforced by his voice, perhaps the deepest, darkest
        croak in contemporary music.

        His forte was playing live.  Country Dick would do anything on
stage. He perfected the art of flipping a beer in the air, foam flying
this way and that, and catching it like it was a baton.  He would don a
        jockey cap and climb on an audience member's shoulder, riding
around a club while singing.  He would personalize songs like 'Lucille' and
        'Take A Letter Maria' by adding hilariously lewd lyrics.

        His sense of humor was legendary.  The Pleasure Barons were Country
        Dick's version of a Vegas revue.

        "We want to deliver Vegas to the people where it belongs, get it
out of the hands of these mangy old whores that have been running it for
so long," he explained.

        "There's no reason why people with good taste in music shouldn't be
        entertained in Las Vegas as well.  It can't just be put in the
hands of the Tony Orlandos and Wayne Newtons and left to rot in the
uninspired hands of these hacks."

        The Beat Farmers had just finished recording a new album,
'Manifold', and were set to preview their new songs at the Town Pump Saturday
        night.  All shows have now been cancelled, and remaining band
members, who were unavailable for comment, will be heading back to San

        An autopsy will be performed to determine cause of death.

        The Province
        Nov 10, 1995
        John Colebourn, Staff Reporter

        Country Dick Montana lived to create mayhem on stage.

        All that rowdiness came to a sad end when the outlandish singer
        collapsed while performing to a sellout crowd at Whistler's
Longhorn Saloon Wednesday night.

        The frontman for the San Diego-based Beat Farmers was rushed to the
        hospital and died a short time later of a heart attack.  He was 40
        years old.

        Montana delighted crowds of young people across North America with
his raw brand of satirical, off-color songs.

        He often sprayed fans with beer, left his drum kit to another band
        member and dove into the mosh pit to join the frenzy.

        "He was a complete character on stage, a great drummer, and had an
        unbelievable personality," said his booking agent, Garth Redmond.

        "He was a wild man -- no angel, that's for sure.  He died on stage
        doing what he loved in front of a sold-out crowd."

        Redmond said Country Dick and his band had a loyal following in
        Vancouver and many of Canada's ski towns.

        "He truly loved what he did," said Redmond.

        Guitarist-singer Joey Harris said his late colleague was "an
        inspiration to me, because he was such a character."

        Country Dick fan Ryan Brown was at the show and said the crowd was

        "It was really sad to see him collapse.  Everyone was stunned.  The
        town loved his brand of music."

        Montana joined the California garage-rock band the Crawdaddies and
        later the Penetrators before forming the Beat Farmers in 1983.

        The Beat Farmers have had several critically acclaimed albums.  The
        band was on tour in support of its fifth CD, Manifold, when Montana


He will be greatly missed.