Bonnie "Prince" Billy is performing at the Pageant tonight, with labelmate White Magic. In this week's paper, ex-RFT staffer Randy Roberts spoke with the man himself. Part of the feature I had to cut mentions the first time Roberts saw Billy, which was in 1993:
I saw Oldham perform for the first time that year, in what, he now tells me, was the band's first show outside Louisville. It was in Columbia, Missouri, that the Palace Brothers opened for a reunited Big Star. I had become obsessed with the film Matewan -- especially Oldham's Danny Radnor character -- and at that show, in a gravel parking lot behind the University of Missouri basketball arena, he looked nearly the same as in the film, manifesting that same preacherlike fervor. "I Was Drunk at the Pulpit" was about a fall from grace; "Riding," about sibling lust; "O Paul," a tender ode to Oldham's ailing brother.