Muthas of invention: five genre-defining artists you may never have heard of
3. Hasil Adkins – She Said (1963)
Hasil (pronounced ‘Hassle’, as it should be) grew up in a shack in West Virginia. He began writing and recording primitive rockabilly songs in the early 60s. He preferred to record as a one-man band, often stomping his feet on the floor in lieu of drums as he battered his out-of-tune guitar into submission.
His music was like nothing else being recorded at the time – the lyrics were often violent and filled with horrific imagery, and the music was a swampy assault of unhinged noise. Essentially, the Haze invented psychobilly almost 20 years before the genre actually existed. His head-hacking lyrics inspired 70s ghoulpunks like The Misfits, and his chicken-scratching hillbilly howl eventually gave birth to The Cramps and the Meteors.
Once he became an underground outsider hero, Haze was afforded the opportunity to record more frequently. Ever the prolific songwriter, he released hundreds of songs and claimed to have written thousands, most of them about hot dogs, chickens, and chopping off people’s heads. He died in 2005 after one of this neighbors ran him over in their ATV. She Said is the b-side to one of his first singles, The Hunch, released in 1963. He was attempting to kickstart a new dance craze. It did not catch on.