The thing about Mick Foley is that if he announced that he was hitting the studio to record a full length album of Christmas songs, we’d trust him. Sure, he isn’t known for his singing ability and there’s a chance that he doesn’t even know all of the words to the classic holiday hits, but if there’s a celebrity that has earned our appreciation and admiration over the years for being a jovial and cheerful, albeit sometimes-violent, bearded man, it’s Mick Foley. However, when it came to the news that Foley had recorded a “Christmas album” entitled, Crazy Christmas, we couldn’t help but be a little relieved that it was actually a spoken word story, written by Foley’s youngest son, Hugh.
On Friday, November 28, fans can get their hands on Crazy Christmas in the form of a limited vinyl record, as 1,500 copies of this 7-inch album will hit select stores for Black Friday. Mick will even be throwing on the Santa suit and hitting an unnamed store to surprise some lucky shoppers. Fans who aren’t fast enough shouldn’t worry, though, because on December 9, the story will be available for digital purchase on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, among others. To describe Crazy Christmas might be an exercise in spoilers, because the story is only six minutes long and simply needs to be heard to be understood and thoroughly enjoyed. Instead, we’ll tell another story today, one about how this record was made and, in the process, forced two worlds to collide, when you’d swear they should have collided years ago.
Crazy Christmas was produced by Black Country Rock Media, which is the label owned by country and Southern rock artist Shooter Jennings, son of the late, great Waylon Jennings. As such, the score for the Christmas story was also provided by Shooter, as he and BCR producer Jon Hensley have created their own bizarre-yet-wonderful tradition of creating 7-inch albums for celebrities who aren’t necessarily “traditional” musicians, but want to be heard in their own unique ways. That’s sort of how Crazy Christmas came together, except the story behind this record seems so much more… destined to be. It’s almost as if Mick and Shooter, 14 years apart in age, were supposed to team up and make something for us all to enjoy.
The funny thing about Crazy Christmas is that Mick and Shooter didn’t formally “meet” until after it had been separately recorded and edited. So when I had the opportunity to get them both on the phone to talk about Crazy Christmas and what went into making this charming and magical record, it was also the first time that they had ever spoken to each other.
Shooter, meet Mick. Mick, meet Shooter.
Before there’s an album, there’s an idea. A really vague idea…
In 1993, Waylon Jennings released the concept album Cowboys, Sisters, Rascals and Dirt, which featured the country legend performing some original songs that were written for children, but also one song that was a little more personal. On the final track, Waylon said, “It may sound a little silly for a grown man to be singing children’s songs, but to put it into perspective, you have to think of it as a big rascal singing about little rascals.” After all, Waylon dedicated this album to all of the kids that were just like him, those who refused to grow up, but “Shooter’s Theme” was obviously for one little rascal in particular.