Sunday mornings at Live For Live Music are usually for recapping last night’s shows, but March 2020 is weird, so let’s talk about Tiger King. Even if you haven’t seen Netflix’s new true-crime docuseries/exquisite dumpster fire about the bizarre lives of “big cat people” like Joe Exotic, you’ve surely seen enough memes about it to know that it exists (take it away, Stefon):
While this ridiculous saga and its central focus, “gay, gun-toting redneck with a mullet”/exotic animal hoarder/living cartoon character Joe Exotic, offer plenty of strange tangents to sink your fangs into, the show spends a not-insignificant amount of time spotlighting Joe’s favorite side hustle: his burgeoning country music career… Okay, calling it a “music career” is a bit generous, but Joe does make a point to highlight his various albums featuring 3,000 tracks and 25,000 music videos (or whatever) as a point of personal pride.
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The most surprising part of the “Joe Exotic, Country Music Heartthrob” storyline winds up being that the songs are so bad, they’re almost… kind of… good? Just try these two on for size: “I Saw A Tiger” (which is about exactly what it sounds like it’s about) and “Here Kitty Kitty”, in which Joe flexes his (actually plausibly true) conspiracy theories about how his archnemesis fed her missing husband to her tigers (with help from a spot-on Carole Baskin look-alike).
Joe Exotic – “I Saw A Tiger”
Joe Exotic – “Here Kitty Kitty”
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Joe Exotic didn’t actually write (or sing, or play) any of his songs [pause for gasps of shock and awe]. As TMZ reports, Exotic commissioned The Clinton Johnson Band to create his timeless catalog. Citing a conversation with the band’s Vince Johnson, the report explains that Joe initially retained the band’s services for an advertisement for his upstart reality TV show and promo materials for his tiger park. Eventually, he began sending them ideas for songs, which Johnson and his now-deceased partner, Danny Clinton, would write, record, and send back to him. Unsurprisingly, Johnson also notes that Joe Exotic has never really sung or played an instrument professionally [another pause for even more shock and awe].
Johnson also tells TMZ that the band had recorded three albums worth of songs of their own before linking up with the Tiger King. With the recent buzz surrounding Tiger King and the songs he wrote for Joe, Johnson is hoping to get some calls from record companies.
If there was ever a time when you might get your big break, Vince, this is it. Go get that Netflix money, buddy.