Meet The Miranda Lambert Songwriter Who Grew Up In A Strip Club

Managing Editor, Music
01.06.17

Considering Miranda Lambert’s late 2016 record The Weight Of These Wings is one the best country albums of last year, it’s worth diving into the backstory of one of the songwriters behind some of the album’s songs — especially when his backstory is so fascinating. Today, Rolling Stone featured Luke Dick, a former philosophy professor turned Nashville songwriter who helped pen the tracks “Highway Vagabond” and “Pink Sunglasses.”

While Dick’s reminiscing on songwriting and the turn of a phrase is interesting, what’s even more compelling than the typical songwriter shooting-the-sh*t quote or two is the documentary about his own life that the songwriter has put together. Entitled Red Dog, after the strip club where his mom worked while he was growing up, Dick interviews her about her life as a dancer raising a toddler on her own, and reflects on his own very positive experience spending time at Red Dog as a child. The clip for the film is lengthy — about ten minutes of background — and gives a good perspective on what the full doc will probably encompass.

Dick spent about five years as a child living inside that Oklahoma City strip club, and his documentary will capture that experience, as well as feature his own original music when it’s finished. One thing’s for sure — it’s a tale right out of a country song. Here’s his synopsis of the film, which is due out later this year:

I spent my toddler years living in a strip club. During the 1970’s oil boom, The Red Dog was the rowdiest and most popular topless bar in Oklahoma City. Every miscreant, outcast and lost soul found themselves inside the Dog at some point back then. For a five year stretch it was the only home and family my mom and I had. She was a teenaged runaway, dope-addicted single mother, stripping with a fake I.D., and I grew up amidst the drug deals, stabbings, backroom blowjobs and never-ending party. Now some 30 years later, I’m light years away, and I’ve got my own family, making my own living as a songwriter in Nashville. I want to go back and talk to some of these people I thought of as uncles and aunts, cousins and dads, and see who made it out and who never did. At least get someone to corroborate my mom’s insane stories.

Watching the preview, one of the best parts about it is how Dick humanizes his experience, and is able to find normalcy and empathy for these people, who he was very close to, instead of trying to sensationalize them. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we heard this narrative worked into a massive hit sometime in the future. Country would better for a song about strippers that doesn’t just demonize or stereotype them. For now, you can watch the trailer above.

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