The Beat Farmers march to their own drummer


While other bands that yearn to be successful are doing anything and everything their record companies tell them, The Beat Farmers seem to go more and more in the opposite direction.

The quartet of crazies from San Diego is the antithesis of all that is normal about rock bands.

Their ages, ranging from 28 to 40, seem more suited to a play-around-town kind of band, but instead, they spends six months a year touring the country.

When it was time to release its fifth album earlier this year, The Beat Farmers committed what some consider the ultimate recording sin -- they released a live album called "Loud and Plowed and . . . LIVE!"

"Everybody told us it was suicide but we said, 'Release it anyway,'" says Jerry Raney, who like "Country" Dick Montana and Joey Harris, plays drums, guitar and handles vocals. "We wanted to give our fans something back, and this is it. It captures the sound of the live show pretty well but its a little too raw-sounding for radio. But, believe it or not, we've gotten just about as much airplay as we did with the last studio album."

If you're interested in the onstage anarchy that is The Beat Farmers, they roll into town Sunday night for a show at Max's On Broadway.

'We proudly call ourselves an energetic live band," Raney says. 'It's all in good fun. We have a couple of beers, the fans have some beers, and Dick kind of gets a little crazy spraying beer all over the place."

If there's any question about the band's sense of humor, it's quickly answered with one glance at "The Beat Farmers' Almanac," a 12-page program of sorts, handed out free at all shows, which spoofs the real "Farmers' Almanac" and gives some wacky information about the band.

But for all of their non-conformist qualities and bizarre antics, at least give these guys their due for public relations value.

Three weeks ago in San Diego before 12,000 fans at a street party, Harris was married onstage with Montana serving as the minister, representing the Universal Life Church.

"We told him he was crazy," Raney said. "But it was fun. There were some TV cameras there and a big crowd. The bridesmaids even came up and danced while we played."


The concert calendar . . .

Poison and Warrant will appear at the Capital Centre in Landover on Nov. 13. Tickets are $20 and go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. at all TicketCenter locations. Call 481-6000 to charge by phone.

At Hammerjacks: YNot? (tomorrow), Stryper (Saturday), Joe Jackson (Sunday), Kix and Manitoba's Wild Kingdom (Oct. 18-20).

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