It’s been a frustrating day at the office given that my main reason for being here in the first place was pretty much canceled. Just. Fucking. Perfect. And after the day I had yesterday getting here, well, let’s just say I’m pretty cranky about it. Perfect opportunity then to blow off some steam and let loose with a 7.5k interval run around Woodlawn Lake, my go-to place for running while in San Antonio. Making it even more ideal is that I have the ideal Texas-style motivation to accompany me, the awesome ‘Deguello‘ album by ZZ Top.
Released in 1979 on Warner Brothers Records, this 6th album by the beards – next to ‘Tres Hombres‘ – is right up there with my favorites of the bunch. Basically, a “Deguello” means to “cut or slit somebody’s throat” (which, honestly, is not a fantastic omen given the local in which I am currently running) or, idiomatically, when something is said to be “a deguello” in Spanish, it means “no quarter” as in “no surrender to be given or accepted” – a fight to the death, per se. Perfect motivation for 8 x 400m speed intervals in the Texas heat and humidity, wouldn’t you say?
Locally, the “Deguello” was the title of a Moorish bugle call that was used at the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. So, it has some present significance as well. Look at me bein’ all cultural n’ shit…but back to the music.
This album was the first to go platinum for the beards. As the story goes, the Top returned after an extended layoff in 1979 with a renewed vigor to record. During the time off, they hadn’t really changed their sound much – shit, their sound never really changed much did it? – but it did harden a bit. The grooves became harder, sleeker, and their off-kilter sensibility and humor began to dominate as ‘Cheap Sunglasses‘ and ‘Fool For Your Stockings‘ will well attest. Ironically, this was probably their wildest album lyrically, without the same raw booziness of other albums. In essence, you could consider this album as the prototype for the sound that would later be defined for them on ‘Eliminator‘ (which, I’m sure will make an appearance on future Texas playlists). Highlights include, a steamy rendition of Isaac Hayes’ ‘Thank You‘, a salacious ‘Hi-Fi Mama‘ and a brash and boastful ‘I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide‘ which careens on the edges of good taste, not that the beards ever cared about who they might offend.
And with this workout in the bank, I wandered down to the Pearl District to rustle me up some grub as a reward for persevering through the planned workout. After inquiring about good eats with a bunch of local cyclists (seriously, when a guy in a cycling kit point out a decent place to eat, you can take that recommendation to the bank) I settled on Sam’s Burger Joint where I had the most amazing Guacomole/Jack bacon burger with a plate on onion rings that would make you up and cry.
Yeppers, this is about as Texas as it gets this evening; the perfect end to a less than perfect day.