Straw hat and bandana, bad boy chewing on a chicken bone, thumping on the bass drum with one booted foot and thrashing manic on his beat-up guitar, this is how Hasil Adkins performs and learnt to play the songs he heard on the radio as a kid. Pa wasn’t membership secretary at the golf club. Growing up poor, in a black soot shack and knowing no different, the young Adkins assumed that the radio stars he loved, played all the instruments themselves on their hit records. With great resolve and single minded dedication he devoted his early days to mastering music and developing his one man band act, empty bucket for a drum, a self sufficient rock n roller in the making.
The wayward spirit of Hasil, or ‘The Haze’ as he’s often known, has been captured on many recordings over the years but ‘She Said’ must be his finest moment, an unchained slab of rockabilly wildness without comparison – ‘Gimme that commodity meat’. Hank Williams, Jim Reeves and Carl Perkins all influenced Adkins, he claims that he can play 9,000 songs, 7,000 his own compositions. He likes to sing about aliens, hot dogs and chickens. He dedicated a whole album to songs about chickens (Poultry in Motion), they mean a lot to The Haze and he sights Colonel Sanders as a hero.
Hasil was the rockabilly wild man in the wilderness, secure in his cult status and a hero of bands like The Cramps. The touring gradually came to an end in the 1990s but interest in Hasil has grown an grown. In his later years both Hasil and a neighbour down the road were deliberately run over in their front yards by a teenager on a quad bike. Adkins helped the police in conviction of the biker, ten days later the rockabilly wildman was found dead in his home.