Boys Don’t Cry frontman praises Jesika von Rabbit for cover and video

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Ten years ago, Joshua Tree musician Jesika von Rabbit had the idea to cover Boys Don’t Cry’s 1985 hit “I Want To Be A Cowboy” with her former band Gram Rabbit. But the song never materialized – until now.

The former Gram Rabbit singer stumbled upon the unfinished track last year with former collaborator Todd Rutherford and Rancho de la Luna studio owner David Catching on guitar. She called up her friend and Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes to duet with her, filmed a music video at the Hicksville Trailer Palace, and released the video in May.

“I had talked to Jesse about doing a duet and I thought, ‘Oh, that would be a perfect song for him to sing with me,'” von Rabbit said.

The video travels back in time to the Wild West and shows von Rabbit and Hughes entering a saloon to play a game of poker gone wrong, with Hughes being arrested and released from prison by von Rabbit and two other women.

Jesse Hughes of the Eagles of Death Metal poses with a confetti gun on his motorcycle in Los Angeles, California on December 19, 2019.

Boys Don’t Cry frontman Nick Richards told The Desert Sun he received a Google Alert when the video was posted and said it was “fascinating” and “seemed more expensive” than the original . Friends in Palm Springs also told her about the video and told her who she was.

“I like it. It’s always flattering when someone covers one of your songs,” Richards said.

von Rabbit said she had been a fan of the song since childhood and did not expect Richards to see the video or contact her.

“It’s crazy to think back to when this song was first released and all these years later I’m talking to him and we’re friends, it’s pretty cool,” von Rabbit said.

Hughes was unaware Tuesday that Richards had seen the video and enjoyed it.

Jesse Hughes (left) and Jesika von Rabbit (right) from

“For me, it’s winning an award and like winning a Grammy,” Hughes said. “The things I’ll share with people when my ego is fully exposed and I’ll share the things I’m most proud of is always the endorsement of an artist who is a hero of mine for something I ‘ve done. no better than that.”

This isn’t the first time von Rabbit has caught the eye of an artist with a cover. His haunting cover of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” in 2017 impressed singer Boy George. He shared von Rabbit’s video on Twitter and found a photo of her as a small child holding a poster of him asking “Is that you?”

“I hope I started a trend,” von Rabbit joked.

Hughes described von Rabbit as a “rare and unique artist”, wanted to collaborate with her for years, and described the song as “astonishing” for its humor and innuendo.

“When I was a kid it was one of those songs where I got the idea that they could be about something else and not just cowboys,” Hughes said. “That’s sort of what the song is about, and I’d like to point out that it also implies that (Richards) isn’t a cowboy.”

The song was inspired by spaghetti westerns

“I Want To Be A Cowboy” was inspired by Richards’ love of spaghetti westerns, and he wrote the lyrics after watching Sergio Leone’s 1967 film “For A Few Dollars More” starring Clint Eastwood. The backing track had been recorded a year earlier.

“I said, ‘Do you remember that piece of music we put on last year? Let’s go listen to it.’ I just started saying ‘I wanna be a cowboy, you can be my cowgirl’ and it went from there and we wrote it in 10 minutes,” Richards said. “What was really interesting was that the Everly Brothers were recording (in the same studio) a comeback album and Phil Everly was the first American to hear ‘I Want To Be A Cowboy’. He loved it, said that it was going to be a huge hit, and when it did, he called me and was like, ‘I told you so.'”

Boys Don't Cry singer Nick Richards (center) said the song

The original video featured Richards lying in a bathtub wearing a cowboy hat and smoking a cigar with dream footage of riding a horse in a place called Dodgy City where he fights with three men, one of whom was Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.

“There are a few hints to the original video that I found quite interesting and cool,” Richards said. “There are three or four parts that were definitely an ode to Lemmy and everything. I thought it was good and the video looked expensive. Our video was shot in London and was a good video. market at the time.

Boys Don’t Cry broke up in 1988. Richards took over the band in 2009 and is the only original member. Each year, the band takes part in Lost 80s Live, which is a tour featuring bands from the 80s. Richards and von Rabbit discussed a possible collaboration live at the Los Angeles show next year.

“I’m thrilled, wish her all the luck in the world and hope to meet her next year,” Richards said.

During the pandemic, von Rabbit also released the singles “Who The Hell Knows”, “Bombay Beach Bunny”, and “Desert Dream Center”. She has a new album ready for release and said the release date is “close”.

Jesika von Rabbit

“I’m really excited about this,” von Rabbit said. “It’s different from my last two albums. It’s not as electronic, there’s a bit more emotion and organic instrumentation on it. I’m happy and excited for it.”

She has also enjoyed developing her songwriting skills through private commissions and has just completed a song for a woman who lost her beloved 19-year-old horse.

“It’s been a fun way to earn some extra cash,” von Rabbit said. “I get to know these strangers and write stories about their lives. It’s heartwarming and I enjoy the process.”

Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment for the Desert Sun. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bblueskye.

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