Guitar icon stops at tattered cover

Guitarist Jesse dayton played on records by country legends Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, toured with punk band X and raucous rock band Supersuckers, wrote songs for Rob Zombie films and directed Malcom McDowell in his own horror film , Zombex. But his career really started on a family trip to Boulder, where he became addicted to the guitar.

The musician writes in Beaumonster, his new memoir published by Hachette Books, that he was a teenager in a Boulder Holiday Inn when he met an older black man named Granville Cleveland. Cleveland taught him the D, G and A chords as well as the “Three Heys” – “Hey Good Lookin” by Hank Williams, “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” by Neil Young and “Hey Joe”, rendered. famous by Jimi Hendrix.

Dayton, a longtime Austin resident who grew up in Beaumont, Texas, is currently on tour to promote Beaumonster and its soundtrack of ten songs that accompanies it. The soundtrack, also titled Beaumonster, includes songs written by musicians found in the book, such as “Burning House of Love” by X, “Pretend I Never Happened” by Willie Nelson, “Wild Man From Borneo” by Kinky Friedman, “At the Crossroads” by Doug Sahm, “Social Distortion” from “The Story of My Life” and more.

Dayton will read from Beaumonster and play some songs at Colfax Ragged blanket on Tuesday, November 30. he will play Globe Hall on Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4 and the Soiled Dove on Sunday December 5th, with Jim Dalton & Amigos.

Dayton was in Colorado about a month ago on vintage motorcycles on Mount Evans and Pikes Peak with a group of people. He says he’s happy to be back in the state where his obsession with the guitar started.

“Now when we come back to play Colorado, I just [try to] always give them that extra thing that I can find in me on stage, ”Dayton says.

On one of his family’s many trips to Colorado to escape the Texan summer – what he calls “the devil’s armpit” – Dayton recalls going to the Little Bear in Evergreen, where Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson were playing songs to about eighteen people in the bar.

Decades later, in 1996, Dayton met Kristofferson while recording the Nashville TV show. Crook & Chase. As Dayton describes it in Beaumonster, the two then shared a joint on the way to a private evening tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory. The next day, Dayton got a call from country icon Waylon Jennings, who saw Dayton on TV the day before and invited him to come to Woodland Studio to record. When Dayton knocked on the studio door, Johnny Cash greeted him.

“My jaw hit the ground,” Dayton writes in the book. “Sorry, but this next sentence deserves the severity and intensity of a good old F-bomb. Outside, of course, I’m just trying to fit him in and be cool, but inside, I was freaking out! I have an entire chapter later devoted to my hyperventilation.

Dayton says having the chance to play with legends like Cash and Jennings was very humbling.

“I’m happy with the education I got, because I just tried to shut up and play some really cool, simple stuff that wasn’t too outrageous,” Dayton says. “I’ve done everything for the vocals. Everything on these records should be just a way to sustain the vocals.”

During their trip to the Gibson factory, Dayton had the chance to tell Kristofferson about some of his favorite writers: Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson, he recalls. Colfax Avenue, where Dayton will have his reading, is often mentioned in one of his favorite beatnik novels: On the road, by Jack Kerouac.

“We haven’t been on tour for twenty months,” Dayton says, “and we’re on tour right now, and I thought about On the road non-stop. There’s something about doing a book on Colfax that’s kind of related to Kerouac. It’s an exciting one for my inner book nerd.
Right before his tour began in early November, Dayton performed Elvis Presley songs with Glenn Danzig in Hollywood for Halloween. Dayton was a huge Elvis fan growing up.

“It’s funny when you see the aesthetic of a person and their uniforms and how much loyalty to the stage they have, how much loyalty they have to the genre,” Dayton says. “You can watch them and see, ‘Okay, that’s what this person thinks a rock star or country star is supposed to be.’ For me it wasn’t the Beatles; it was Elvis. That’s why I tried to look like him, because I was like, ‘Oh wait, this guy has a southern accent.’ I have more in common with him than with these Englishmen.

Dayton has long straddled the country and punk worlds, but he says he still feels like an outsider in both.

“I’m super proud of this,” Dayton says. “I like to think I’m a good shot. I don’t have a lot of snark or judgment in me. And I’m just gonna try to have fun and improve everything, you know?

During the pandemic, he says, he looked back on his career and feared the tours would never happen again. So he spent six months writing about 100,000 words for Beaumonster, and the next three months, editing and rewriting it.

“I got to play with all these people,” Dayton says, “so there was a lot of meat on the bone if I wanted to write a book. I’ve had a very varied career, with films with Rob Zombie, and [music with] Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell, and in punk rock … I was like, ‘Okay, let’s go and let’s go.’

“I’m the only one I threw under the bus in the book,” he continues. “It’s all the love and admiration, but I’m kind of that idiot with enough common sense to get out of the rain, and that’s the way I approach the book. people understand that my sense of self-deprecation is genuine. ”

Jesse Dayton presents Beaumonster: 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 30, Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue; with the Railbenders, Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4, 8 p.m., Globe Hall, 4483 Logan Street, $ 22.50, and with Jim Dalton and Amigos Holiday Brunch, 11 a.m. on Sunday, December 5, Soiled Dove Underground, 7401 East First Avenue, $ 25.

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