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Kinky Friedman Comes Home

At 74, is country music’s most rebellious renaissance man finally ready to be himself?

kinky friedman

Kinky Friedman, the Seventies country provocateur behind songs like "Ride 'Em Jewboy," looks inward on the new album 'Circus of Life.'

Ken Swartz

Kinky Friedman cracks a mischievous smile as a fan hands him a Kinky Friedman Talking Action Figure. Surrounded by a smattering of onlookers, Friedman, cigar in mouth, leans down and presses the button on the toy, a remnant from the country singer’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign in Texas.

“If you elect me the first Jewish governor of the state of Texas, I’ll reduce the speed limit to 54.95.”

“That one was hard to overcome,” Friedman, beaming, looks up and says before letting the action figure cycle through some of the irreverent Friedman campaign slogans.

“I’m not pro-life. I’m not pro-choice. I’m pro football!”

“I’ll sign anything but bad legislation.”