Feature Column
Exclusive to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame





Column #41 - published January 5, 2001

MACK STEVENS
+ HIGH PLAINS DRIFTERS
+ POISON OKIES


The red color of Mack Stevens' face is REAL, indeed this photo was not retouched!!
Mack is about to pop a vein, or two, while screaming out "The Girl Can't Dance", arguably the wildest Rock'n'Roll record since "Good Golly Miss Molly"!!


Ron: So here we are again, this is your what for Rollin' Rock??

Mack: This is my fourth CD.

Ron: Tell me how some of the songs came about?

Mack: as usual, when we were recording, Ron got smartie and didn't wanna do some of the songs we had picked out, so I told him I had a bunch of songs to bring the next day. When we got back to the apartment, I pestered everybody for a phrase I could write a song around.

When I asked Derek Dugger (of The Poison Okies), all he said was, no Mack, I'm not good with words, so "I'm Not Good With Words" was written in about the next four or five minutes!

Jessica Rooth ( Vegas Rockabilly Filly) came up with the phrase "I Grab It Out Of Habit", when she was reaching for the TV remote control. That made two songs in about 15 minutes.


Las Vegas' own Andy Lopez, from Dragstrip77, one of the hottest slappin' bass players in the USA!


The lovely Karina (Mack's wife) suggested "Fits Like A Glove". You don't need to know what we were talking about!

Now we were up to three songs and needed more, so Bobby Marlar (The original High Plains Drifter) gave me a song he'd been working on for me to finish, "Mess Around".

Finally, I drew further from the Marlar Legend and wrote "High Plains Drifter", a song about a lonely man and his horse, and the problems with loneliness on the old high plains.....

That gave us five songs in the space on an hour and a half that we recorded the next day at El Rancho Ronny, better known as studio Rollin' Rock.


Ronny, Mack, Derek, and Bobby paying their patriotic tribute to the Almighty Pink & Black Rollin' Rock Flag!!


Ron: So who are your new band members?

Mack: I've recently co-opted a new band, The High Plains Drifters, who are based out of Dallas, and center their wild kickass sound around the hot guitar of front man Bobby Marlar. Bobby is a hell of an exciting guitar slinger and always puts on a wild show. Never a dull moment with this sumbitch around! I consider him to be the son I never wanted.
      On drums I was very pleased to have Derek Dugger (the Tulsa homewrecker and heartbreaker) of the Poison Okies. The Okies are all great friends of mine (even the one with the foot fetish) and they are the only band around who give me a real run for my money when it comes to putting on a wild show! Derek 's style is very adaptable-he also LISTENS to me and Ronny when we're recording. He's a real big bastard, but also one of the nicest cats around. Thank God for that!
      On bass, I availed myself of the services of Andy Lopez of Dragstrip 77 fame. Damn, he's something else on that bass, ain't he? Andy is sadly shipping out to Korea real soon to help protect our shores. I feel a hell of a lot better.

Ron: OK, Derek, so tell me something about the Poison Okies?

Derek: We are a six piece Rockabilly band from Oklahoma City who are known for their wild wild shows. We've been around with different lineups for about six years.


Bobby, Mack, Ronny, Derek


Ron: Who formed the band, and why?

Derek: Robert Medley, our rhythm guitar player, formed the band with former Elvis impersonator, Brian Dunning. The name of the band came from the title of a book about Oklahoma Outlaws. The current lineup is, in addition to the aforementioned, David McPherson on lead guitar, Johnny Carlton on bass, and Mitchell C. Hamilton on piano.

Ron: so you're gonna play Viva Las Vegas 2001?

Derek: we will be playing VLV in the East Lounge on Friday afternoon at two o'clock, and also an after hour party Saturday night at 2:00 am across the street at the Rio. We hope to have our first CD ready by then.

Ron: well then, Bobby, what your story?

Bobby: I founded the High Plains Drifters about three years ago, that being my fourth professional rockabilly band. I went through several personnel changes like most bands, but our current lineup is: Nick Curran on drums, Ward Richmond on doghouse bass, and of course I play guitar, and front vocals. I got the idea for the band's name from Clint Eastwood, and I became the High Plains Drifter myself!!

Ron: You were telling me earlier you bought some Rollin' Rock during the 1980s???

Bobby: Probably my first Rockabilly record which I bought was "Forever Gene Vincent", Rollin' Rock LP-022. I even bought it without the sleeve. Ten years after I performed "Black Leather Rebel" in a high school talent show, I finally got the sleeve, thanks to you, Ronny!


The Texas-Oklahoma Alliance!


Ron: How do you think the CD came out, no profanities please?

Bobby: I was amazed, I think it's the best one yet, and all the drinking and partying and fornicating we did, while here in Vegas, did not go in vain!!!

It's truly an honour to be here recording at Rollin' Rock, with Ronny, Mack, and all the great musicians on this album!!

Derek: I'm very pleased with the recording, and think it's gonna be Mack's best CD yet, and I'm honored to have my name on it.

Ronny: indeed the songs Mack wrote on the spot here in Las Vegas are among the best.

Furthermore, for all of you (and it's quite a few out there) who have been asking me when will Mack write and record a followup to his haunting Western rocker "I Hate The Moon", well we've got it right here, the dark moody Western-tinged rockabilly tear-jerker, "All Alone", one of my all time favorite songs of the last 40 years! Gut wrenching!!


Andy Lopez and his killer slappin' bass make these Rollin' Rock CDs sizzling hot!


FOR A FOURTH TIME, WELCOME BACK TO ROLLIN' ROCK, MACK STEVENS!!!!

Always Rollin' The Rollin' Rock,
Rockin' Ronny Weiser
The Rockabilly Rebel Westerner From Las Vegas, The Wild Wild West!








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ROCKIN' RONNY WEISER'S PAGE PAGE -

Original Cool's Ronny Weiser Interview






Ken Burke Reviews Rollin' Rock's Discography


THE ARCHIVES OF
RONNY'S ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAME COLUMNS

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000


Col. #40 for 12/00 - WHATEVER HAPPENED TO COUNTRY MUSIC?
Col. #39 for 11/00 - KATS LIKE US
Col. #38 for 10/00 - JERRY LEE LEWIS IS 65<
Col. #37 for 09/00 - THE STARLIGHT DRIFTERS
Col. #36 for 08/00 - ALVIS WAYNE AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. #35 for 07/00 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA 2000
Col. #34 for 06/00 - THE CHOP TOPS AT ROLLIN' ROCK!!
Col. #33 for 05/00 - VIVA LAS VEGAS 2000 PIX!
Col. #32 for 04/00 - DRAGSTRIP77: TEARIN' IT UP!
Col. #30 & #31 for 02/00 & 03/00 - VIVA LAS VEGAS 2000!
Col. #29 for 01/00 - ROCKIN' 2000!
Col. #28 for 12/99 - JOHNNY AND THE BLADES AT ROLLIN' ROCK!
Col. #27 for 11/99 - AN UPDATED IMPROVED SOUND?
Col. #26 for 10/99 - TIME TO RECLAIM "THE ROCK"
Col. #26 for 10/99 - TIME TO RECLAIM "THE ROCK"
Col. #25 for 9/99 - YOUNG ROCK AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. #24 for 8/99 - COMETS RECORD AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. #23 for 7/99 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!
Col. #22 for 6/99 - FINLAND IS A ROCKABILLY LAND!
Col. #21 for 5/99 - THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN
Col. #20 for 4/99 - ROCKABILLY REBEL: A SHORT HISTORY
Col. #19 for 3/99 - PINBALL MILLIONAIRE
Col. #18 for 1/99 & 2/99 - VIVA LAS VEGAS 1999
Col. #17 - 12/98 - INTERNATIONAL ROCKABILLY REBELS MEET & GREET
Col. #16 - 11/98 - GROOVEY JOE POOVEY: Reminiscing
Col. #15 - 10/98 - CHARLIE FEATHERS
Col. #14 - 9/98 - NARVEL FELTS AT ROLLIN' ROCK!
Col. #13 - 8/98 - IT'S WESTERN WEAR!
Col. #12 - 7/98 - THE JORDANAIRES
Col. #11 - 6/98 - ROCKABILLY HOF - 15,000 HITS!!
Col. #10 - 5/98 - MAC STEVENS RECORDS AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. # 9 - 4/98 - VIVA LAS VEGAS
Col. # 8 - 3/98 - KAY WHEELER
Col. # 7 - 2/98 - 10 ROLLIN' ROCK CDs
Col. # 6 - 1/98 - SAM COOKE
Col. # 5 - 12/97 - LAS VEGAS IS A 1950's TOWN
Col. # 4 - 11/97 - GOD BLESS TEXAS
Col. # 3 - 10/97 - FATS DOMINO
Col. # 2 - 9/97 - RAB DISCUSSION GROUP
Col. # 1 - 8/97 - 25 YEARS OF ROLLIN' ROCK RECORDS