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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by easywriter Location: North Texas on Aug 17, 2008 at 12:42 AM
    Well now, if THC isn't good enough to make it, why did they sell over 800 CD/DVDs, hundreds of T-shirts with their picture, gobs of other paraphenalia at Rocklahoma? Why did the crowd flood the tent after the stages collapsed from rain to see them, screaming so loud it hurt ears? Why is it they were treated to free meals and beer, free lodging and had personal assistants and bodyguards? How come they were immediately booked for Rock the Bayou in Houston, Ride for Dime in Dallas, five other gigs and have three songs requested every day on Oklahoma radios? Why were they interviewed by over thirty TV, Radio, newspapers and magazines including Rolling Stone and VH1? Why were they allowed to make three professional videos using Chaotic Studios and an actress and not pay a dime? How come over 120,000 people have visited their website? Why does the UK already have a fanclub? Why were they given free top quality equipment and thousands of dollars in the last month?
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Apr 3, 2008 at 11:35 AM
    What a joke. I was kinda impressed that THC was opening for MC. BUT, considering that they aren't, and they are just playing a side stage (which doesn't constitute opening anyway) and they straight up lied to the news, I've lost a lot of respect for them. Even if they thought they really were opening for MC, don't you think they should have done a little research before running to Channel 12 to make sure it was really happening? Instead they have made fools of themselves... again. Nothing against their music or the people who like their music, but that shows pretty poor character, even for a "Band of Outlaws"... It's just unprofessional.
  • by Tonya Location: Paris on Mar 19, 2008 at 05:40 PM
    someone..in response to your question "who would play for a children's benefit", the same thing could be asked of the people who came to Carlotta's Cantina, where THC was scheduled to play for a children's benefit... especially if as you say "anyone might expect this." My point is...if you don't want to hear profanity, then don't go to/camp beside a bar where a Metal band is playing. The whole scenario seems ludicrous to me. It's like going to a Boxing match and then complaining about the violence. Not trying to judge anyone...I actually Googled Carlotta's Cantina and it looks like a great place that I will definitely visit when in the area. As far as THC, I met a couple of those guys recently and they are some of the nicest people you will ever know. Their live show is amazing. It is quite raw with brutally honest rhetoric. We should be thanking Carlotta's Cantina, as well as THC, for stepping up and doing something to help out, instead of sitting back and criticizing those that do.
  • by someone with a clue on Mar 18, 2008 at 08:32 PM
    to Tonya in regards to the Matt statement....whether at carlitas, or anywhere...who would play for a "childrens" benefit & fill the performance with profanity....you are however right about going in if they are playing a bunch of filth laden songs...but "hello"...a childrens benefit.....that's just tacky & what anyone who knows them might expect...they've smoked their brains & can't see what would be wrong with that.....be honest.....
  • by Matt on Mar 18, 2008 at 06:37 AM
    Ummmm? Wasn't a complaint. Just a statement.
  • by Tonya Location: Paris on Mar 16, 2008 at 09:49 AM
    Matt, I am not understanding your complaint...were the children inside the Cantina or just camping next to it? Either way, it would seem unreasonable to ask an establishment/or band that caters to a "party" crowd to censor its content because a few self-righteous individuals did not have the good sense not to go inside it or park next to it.
  • by Matt Location: Norman on Mar 15, 2008 at 07:31 AM
    Who would want their children to listen to THC? I have seen them once for about 3 songs at carlotta's cantina playing a benefit for kids. Why only 3 songs you ask? The park rangers had to repeatedly ask them to keep the foul language down due to the campers. Big Rich made an ass out of himself and let the language only get worse and louder. They were asked to leave. I just found it ironic that at a benefit for children THC didn't have enough respect for the children and their families that were camping to clean it up a bit. It just seems to me that they already think they are a big deal, and don't have to go by the rules.
  • by Jim Location: Sherman on Mar 14, 2008 at 10:58 PM
    I was turned on to these guys by a friend of the bassist and let me tell ya they are the next Pantera in my ears. we will all miss the original but these guys I beleive are the next to, never replace but carry on the sound. A true headbanger knows what it being said here.. KEEP IT RIPPIN HIPPIES.
  • by Tonya Location: Paris on Mar 14, 2008 at 03:01 PM
    Just wanted to jump in here and say something. I recently had the opportunity to see THC play at a local benefit concert. Most of the people at this event, including myself, had never seen THC live before. There were people from many different backgrounds/musical genres...including men, women, teenagers, and children who had came in from all over who absolutely LOVED these guys! I personally thought that they put on an a great show, but what impressed me the most was their music seemed to transcend traditional musical boundaries.
  • by TexasGirl Location: Your Mama on Mar 14, 2008 at 02:29 PM
    Hey you...THC DAUGHTER, you say "why do you continue to write comments if you do not like them?"....well, why do you keep coming back to read them if you don't like what people have to say? Narrow minds think alike, huh?
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