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Paradise of Bachelors

Cowboy and the Stranger

by Terry Allen

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  • CS-PoB/LAL-054

    + Transparent red cassette with deluxe six-panel, full-color J-card featuring Allen's artwork from the exhibition and track-by-track liner notes.
    + Limited to 500 copies.

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N.B. Our copies of this cassette have sold out, but you can still purchase via L.A. Louver:

Also N.B.: There is no digital edition of this release at this time. You can hear the song "Cowboy and the Stranger" here:

A1: "Roses Red Roses" 10:45
B1: "Cowboy and the Stranger" 3:55
B2: "Truckload of Art" 3:27
B3: "Red Bird" 3:23

Cowboy and the Stranger is a co-release of L.A. Louver and Paradise of Bachelors (LAL-054/PoB-054), on the occasion of Terry Allen’s retrospective drawing exhibition The Exact Moment It Happens in the West (Stories, Pictures, and Songs from the ’60s ’Til Now) at L.A. Louver, Summer 2019. Limited to an edition of 500 cassettes.

All recordings are previously unreleased demos and work tapes, 1968/2018, (p) Terry Allen.
All music and lyrics © Terry Allen, Green Shoes Publishing Co., BMI, administered by BMG Chrysalis.
All rights reserved.

All audio was restored and mastered by Patrick Klem, Klemflastic Sound.
Notes by Brendan Greaves. Design and layout by Keith Knueven and Elisa Foster, Keith & Co.

L.A. Louver, 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291,
Paradise of Bachelors, PO Box 1402, Carrboro, NC 27510,


Recorded at Kitchen Sink Studios, Santa Fe, NM, November 2018.
Engineered by Jono Manson.

And all that had happened
Happened over again

Written in 1968 “under mind-expanding and/or mind-dismembering circumstances,” this long narrative ballad, a brutally violent Western tragedy about the travels and tribulations of a gunslinging Shawnee “girl of mystery” who “fires her long rifle at the sun going down,” remained unrecorded (“ancient and buried”) for fifty years.


Recorded in Los Angeles, CA, c. 1968.
Master tapes transferred by Curtis Peoples, courtesy of Texas Tech University.

The cowboy is lying under blood-cloud sky
The cowboy is dying under blood-loud sky

Cowboy and the Stranger, a “prelude to JUAREZ,” was one of Allen’s early attempts to combine music and image in non-illustrative counterpoint. The show, exhibited at Michael Walls Gallery in San Francisco in 1968, featured framed drawings with tape reels affixed to their backs, as well as ambulatory musical performances in which Allen wheeled a piano to various pieces and performed different songs in conversation with them.

Precious objects are scattered
All over the ground

The occupational anthem of art handlers everywhere, “Truckload of Art” is a centerpiece of Lubbock (on everything) (1979). But an earlier recording, featuring Don Everly and James Burton, appeared in Monte Hellman’s cult classic 1971 road movie Two-Lane Blacktop, starring James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson as cross-country hot-rodding heartthrobs (listen for it briefly blasting from the radio of antagonist Warren Oates’s GTO). This demo version likely predates that recording.

I been born, and I’m gonna die
Blood-red wing, gonna make me fly

“Red Bird” is one of Allen’s first compositions that “felt like a real song” to him. “Written sometime in the fall of 1962,” he performed it three years later on the TV variety program Shindig!, pounding the piano and tooting a kazoo while the teenaged studio audience, which included the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, screamed.


released June 19, 2019


all rights reserved



Terry Allen Santa Fe, New Mexico

Legendary Texan artist Terry Allen occupies a unique position straddling the frontiers of country music and conceptual art; he has worked with everyone from Guy Clark to David Byrne to Lucinda Williams to Bruce Nauman, and his artwork resides in museums worldwide.
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