Rocking Texas hippies

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

DENISON, Tex. -- From “air guitar,” to the videogame Guitar Hero, even singing in the shower. Most people only dream about being a rockstar, playing for thousands of people. One local band is making their dream a reality.

"I want to open a show for 50,000 people for someone like Motley Crue,” says guitarist Randy Cooper.

It was his dream, and now it’s coming true. After years playing local joints and beating the streets to promote their band, the Texas Hippie Coalition is going to be opening for one of their favorite bands: Motley Crue.

"It was like, ‘Oh man you’re kidding me,’” says John Exall, the group’s bassist. “We grew up idolizing those cats and it's a great honor to even be included in Rocklahoma.”

“I was just completely stunned,” says ‘Cowboy’ Scott Lytle, the drummer. “I didn't know what to do, ‘MC’ is my all time fav band ever, I was speechless, first thing I did was call my mama,” he says.

“I couldn't believe it, I'm still kind of shocked,” says Michael Heyes, the rhythm guitarist. “I'm overjoyed by it and I'm really looking forward to it,” he says.

With long tresses and sunglasses, it's no surprise these guys like the hair metal. Cooper started by knocking on agent's doors. They weren’t looking for more money, but the chance to live the dream. With a new CD in hand, a big venue like Rocklahoma seemed like the chance of a lifetime.

One day, fate was on the Hippie's side. Cooper knocked on a lucky door and played their CD for agent Max Baker. Once the music started playing, the magic started happening.

“I started playing and about 30 seconds as soon as it starts, heads started banging and by the time if was over, 8 people were in the office,” Cooper says.

The agents really liked what they heard.

“Two of them were playing air guitar like Guitar Hero, and the solo came up and I said excuse me do y’all mind if Ii play this solo and by that time I knew it was following in our direction,” he says.

By the time the executive jam session was over, the band had a spot opening for Motley Crue.

“Man he typed our name in there and said how doe this sound, right after Tesla, right before Motley Crue,” Cooper says. “Man the emotions, the touchdown sign went up, we played a little more air guitar, the emotions were running high.”

The hippies think of each other like brothers and say each person is partly responsible for their success.

“It's all 5 of us persevering, whether it's loading the equipment, booking the shows, you know, coming and picking the other one up because he got a flat tire,” says ‘Big Dad Ritch,’ the vocalist.

No matter the obstacles they have to overcome, this motley crew is ready for the big stage.

If you want to see the Texas Hippie Coalition, they'll be at "Rocklahoma" in Pryor with several other bands July 10-13th.

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