Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I have heard Johnny Cash sing something titled “Heavy Metal Don't Mean Rock and Roll to Me,” which may actually have been written by Guy Clark.

The problem is I have never found any Johnny Cash album containing this number — nor does there seem to be one by Guy Clark, for that matter.

The song is presented from the viewpoint of a heavy equipment operator, particularly a Caterpillar D-10 bulldozer driver.

My collection of Johnny Cash albums is not complete without it. Did he ever record it and, if so, can you point me in the right direction?
—Gareth W. Wright, Tampa Bay, Fla.

DEAR GARETH: I have so many answers for you I hardly know where to begin.

“Heavy Metal Don't Mean Rock and Roll to Me” is indeed written by Guy Clark, along with Jim McBride.

When Johnny Cash appeared on the Austin City Limits Show in 1987, he sang this song, thus creating interest in it from his fans.

If you watched that performance, you may recall him being joined by the Carter Sisters (Helen, Anita, June), June's daughter, Carlene Carter, and his younger brother, Tommy Cash — a family affair with a good time had by all.

The album you're missing, released that same year, is “Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town” (Mercury 823031).

Rounding out this collection is: “Big Light; Ballad of Barbara; I'd Rather Have You; Let Him Roll; The Night Hank Williams Came to Town; Sixteen Tons; Letters from Home; W. Lee O'Daniel and the Light Crust Dough Boys;” and “My Ship Will Sail.”

You'll be pleased to know “Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town” can also be had on CD (Mercury 82341-2).

For Guy Clark's version of “Heavy Metal Don't Mean Rock and Roll to Me,” point your Caterpillar in the direction of “Old Friends” (Sugar Hill 1025), Guy's 1988 CD.

DEAR JERRY: As a viewer of all three “Law & Order” TV shows, I see one of the regular characters on “Special Victims Unit” is played by Ice-T.

Is this same person that caused such a stir some years ago with his recording about killing cops? If so, how ironic is it that he now earns big bucks playing a police detective?

Is this a forgiving country, or what?
—Jack Scofield, Sheffield, Ala.

DEAR JACK: Born Tracy Marrow, but known as Ice-T, he is the same man who, a decade ago, fronted the rap group known as Body Count.

One of the profanity-laced tracks on their debut CD, titled “Cop Killer,” caused such a stir that the label recalled the disc and replaced that cut with a somewhat less offensive one.

My answer to both your second and third questions is “very!”

DEAR JERRY: I hadn't known of your column until this last week, but what perfect timing for my dilemma.

There was a very popular song several years back involving the a guy driving a Barracuda, and with the rest of the song made up of takeoffs on marine-related terms. Please help me find the title and artist of this song.

Also, does your column appear every Saturday?
—Nancy Hart

DEAR NANCY: Essentially the same question is asked by Claudia M., of Pittsburgh, so now you both shall know the nutty, nautical truth.

The correct title of this tune is “Wet Dream,” a 1984 release, by Kip Addotta (Laff 320).

This cult favorite, which did not chart but received a lot of exposure on shows featuring novelty records, is on the 1991 CD, “Dr. Demento's Greatest Novelty Records of All Time” (Rhino R2-70743).

Since you didn't mention your location, I can't tell you about the local publication schedule. Simply contact the Features department of your local paper for that information.

IZ ZAT SO? Controversy usually fuels collector interest. The Beatles Butcher Cover is probably the best example of that.

The withdrawn “Body Count” CD, with “Cop Killer,” is no exception. It now sells for $30 to $40, about five times more than the second issue.

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