John Doe, singer-songwriter-author-horseman

John Doe—co-founder of punk band extraordinaire X, the singer-songwriter released a new solo album, “The Westerner,” and just published his first book, “Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk”—starts our conversation addressing what horses mean to him: “They mean that I don’t think with the left side of my brain when I’m with them.” 005374566_500Doe discusses the other virtues of spending time with horses, a realm introduced to him some 30 years ago by his late friend Michael Blake (the author who wrote the novel “Dances With Wolves,” for which he wrote the screenplay of the Oscar-winning film). He also expounds on Protect Mustangs, the horse organization he most explicitly supports these days, while criticizing the Bureau of Land Under-The-Big-Black-Sun-A-Personal-History-of-PunkManagement’s Wild Horse and Burro Roundup program. He goes on to explain how he decided his first book would be “Under The Big Black Sun,” which interweaves his accounts of the nascent Los Angeles punk scene with recollections of that time from such key figures as Doe’s X-mate Exene Cervenka, Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s), and Dave Alvin (The Blasters), and comments on the impact and observations of some contributors’ pieces. In speaking about “The Westerner,” he recalls that the material and lean, johndoe4_autumndewilde-sm_teaseropen sound on this acclaimed new record were largely the product of Doe’s dovetailing objectives to spend time with his ailing dear friend Blake, who lived in New Mexico, and to record with Howie Gelb, the singer-songwriter-mainstay of Giant Sand and noted producer, based in Tucson. He talks about using Blake as a character in a few of “The Westerner” songs, and songwriting more generally (,,

COMEDY CORNER: Kevin Hart “Phobias” (portion) (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” John Doe’s “Get On Board,” instrumentals







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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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