Music » Livewire

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy and the Altamont Boys

With Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival, Blk Tygr, and Miss Firecracker. Saturday, May 19, at the Beachland.


Even if you've heard it before, "Paralyzed," the Legendary Stardust Cowboy's 1968 hit, will smash your head with rubber-mallet insanity. With its whoopin' 'n' hollerin', guitar abuse, and manic drumming, you might dismiss the tune as gratuitous noise, but then the bugle solo ties it all together -- and pushes it off a cliff.

In a letter to, NASA mission controller Terry Watson confessed to employing "Paralyzed" as one of the astronauts' wake-up calls for the 1973 Skylab mission. But due to a flurry of complaints, NASA banned the song from waking further missions.

Those astronauts just weren't crazy enough to enjoy the Ledge (born Norman Carl Odam in Lubbock, Texas, in 1947). But David Bowie loved him and used the Cowboy as an inspiration for Ziggy Stardust. By the '80s, psychobilly and outsider-art fans took notice, affording the Ledge the chance to perform in clubs and not get his guitars smashed by drunk rednecks (which happened on occasion back in the '60s).

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy is now backed by the Altamont Boys, led by Dead Kennedys' western-music weirdo Klaus Flouride.

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