This month's issue of Texas Monthly is pretty special, and not just because an ad for New Braunfels' Pour Haus, photographed and designed by The NB Scene, graces page 61. But, seriously, look at that spread.
Nonetheless, King George, or George Strait to those non-Texans reading this, dawns the cover, and I just got done reading a great article on the man who "has composed or co-written 55 songs for Strait, including 19 singles, 11 of which went to number one."
Dean Dillon is his name, and his story is pure entertainment for even the casual George fan. From his childhood,
I’m told it cost my grandparents a lot to have me at the hospital, and my dad hadn’t helped pay for it, so when he came to see me for the first time, pulling up in the driveway in a new Cadillac convertible, my grandfather stepped out on the front porch with a double-barrel shotgun and pulled the trigger. He hit him in the arm with the first shot, and then my grandmother knocked the gun up in the air, and he missed him with the second. And my dad pulled out of that driveway, understandably so, and never came back.
to meeting George for the first time after he had cut several of his songs,
...he’s this good-looking Texas cowboy with his cowboy hat on, and here I am, maybe three years younger, but just an absolutely wild, young long-haired song-slinger who does not give a shit about anything or anybody but writing songs. I sit down and look at him, and I’m smoking a cigarette and blowing cigarette smoke everywhere. He looks at me and goes, “Man, do you mind putting that cigarette out? Smoke really bothers me.” And I looked at him, took a big drag on that cigarette and blew it out. I said, “Oh, you mean that smoke?”
He looked at Erv and then they both looked at me, and finally, I said, “Alright, I’ll put it out. I was just fucking with you.” Then we sized each other up and down, and it was kinda strange. ’Cause he’s thinking “Who’s this crazy son of a gun?” and I’m actually a little intimidated. It wasn't anything he did or said but just that he was having huge hits, which is what I wanted for myself. So I think, “I’m gonna roll with this, ’cause I love this guy’s singing.” And I told him so. And from that point on, we always had a mutual respect for each other, but for the longest time, I always kept my distance from George. I’d go to his shows, but I’d stand over in the corner and I wouldn’t say much. But the respect was there
to writing "The Chair" with Hank Cochran:
By about four in the morning, I had drunk so much whiskey that I had actually drunk myself sober; I didn’t know you could do that, but I did it. I was tired though, and it was four in the morning again, like it always seemed to be for me and Hank. And I don’t know what happened, but then Hank sat down in a chair across from me, and I looked at him, picked up the guitar, struck a G chord, and started singing, “Well, excuse me, but I think you’ve got my chair.” And he said, “Have you written that song?” I said, “No.” And he said, “Well, we’re about to.” And 45 minutes later, we’d written “The Chair.”
Check out the full compelling article at TexasMonthly.com.