Blaze Foley 065

Blaze Foley 065

Look closer for seven lyrics: “You know sometimes I write happy songs, but then sometimes little things go wrong”(If I Could Only Fly); “Take me by your nail-scarred hand”(Let Me Ride in Your Big Cadillac); “Didn’t I hear you say, ‘It’s alright. It’s alright. It’s alright.’”(Election Day) “Go to church on Sunday, learn the golden rule”(Small Town Hero); “Turn Night into day”(Clay Pigeons); “Said I was funny and sweeter than mama’s pie”(Fat Boy); “I could do it all better if I could do it again.”(Cold, Cold World)

Michael David Fuller (12-18-1949 – 02-01-1989), known by his stage name Blaze Foley, was an American country music singer-songwriter, poet, and artist active in Austin, Texas. Foley’s stage name was inspired by his admiration of musician Red Foley and a burlesque performer Blaze Starr.

Foley was born in Malvern, Arkansas. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas and performed in a gospel band called The Singing Fuller Family with his mother, brother, and sisters. As a child, Blaze contracted polio, and one of his legs was shorter than the other, causing him to drag his foot while walking. He was nicknamed “Deputy Dawg” early in his career. In the spring of 1975, he was living in a small artists’ community just outside Whitesburg, Georgia when he met Sybil Rosen. Rosen and Foley were in a relationship and decided to leave the artist community together to support his music. He went on the road and performed in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and, finally, Austin, Texas. Together, they ended up in Austin. Foley tried to get into songwriting, but after the move, he experienced a lot of career pressure. Foley started drinking more and the bar scene complicated his relationship with Rosen, which eventually ended.

Foley was close friends with Townes Van Zandt and was greatly influenced by him. 

Music and Lyrics

The master tapes from his first studio album were confiscated by the DEA when the executive producer was caught in a drug bust. Another studio album disappeared when the master copies were stolen with his belongings from a station wagon that Foley had been given and lived in. A third studio album, Wanted More Dead Than Alive, was thought to have disappeared until, many years after Blaze died, a friend who was cleaning out his car discovered what sounded like the Bee Creek recording sessions on which he and other musicians had performed. This was Foley’s last studio album. He was scheduled to tour the UK with Townes Van Zandt in support of the album. When Foley died, his attorney immediately nullified the recording contract. The master tapes then disappeared (reportedly lost in a flood).

Foley’s 1979 song “If I Could Only Fly” was covered on Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson’s 1987 duet album Seashores of Old Mexico, with the song reaching Number 58 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs singles chart. It was covered again by Haggard on his 2000 album If I Could Only Fly. Joe Nichols recorded it as a duet with Lee Ann Womack on his 2007 album Real Things. Nanci Griffith recorded it on her 2012 album Intersection. Kimmie Rhodes recorded it on the aforementioned 1998 Foley tribute album Blaze Foley: In Tribute and Loving Memory…Volume One.

His song “Election Day” was covered by Lyle Lovett on his 2003 album My Baby Don’t Tolerate.

His song “Clay Pigeons” was covered by John Prine on his Grammy Award-winning 2005 album Fair & Square and by Michael Cera on his 2014 album True That.

Death and Legacy

On February 1, 1989, Foley was at a house in Bouldin Creek, a neighborhood in Austin, Texas. He was shot in the chest and killed by Carey January, the son of Foley’s friend Concho January. Foley had confronted the son accusing him of stealing his father’s veteran pension and welfare checks. Carey January was acquitted of first-degree murder by reason of self-defense. He and his father presented completely different versions of the shooting at trial. Concho January, who has since died, liked to drink, proving an unreliable witness, though he tried to testify against his son.

At his funeral, Foley’s casket was coated with duct tape by his friends. Townes Van Zandt told a story where he and his musicians went to Foley’s grave to dig up his body because they wanted the pawn ticket that Foley had for Townes’ guitar.    

                                                            -credit wikipedia

Original illustration done in graphite and prisma colors: Silver because he is known as the duct tape Messiah; Pink for the label that re-issued the album, “Blaze Foley” in 2012; Crimson Red for his namesake, Red Foley; Sun Yellow for the Sundance Film Festival where Ethan Hawk directed the 2018 biographical film, “Blaze”; Olive Green; Green Ochre; and Indigo Blue.

drawing done in September of 2022 – ©Tobin Signs, LLC/Look Closer Illustrations 

DERIVATIVE Work photo credits: Hat and Beard – al_com – blaze-foley-041511jpg-f706749c130c0af9; Face and shirt – fanpagepress_net – pinnsdaddy – Blaze-Foley-sexy-0

What you get:
$40 (36.95 + 3.05 tax)
11 x 14 Print Package with Authenticity Sheet
signed and numbered (run of 30)
Domestic Priority Mail $8
 (Free shipping)

Blaze Foley 065

Blaze was known as the Duct Tape Messiah.


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