The Fighting Rooster of Rock   3 comments

Tom Russell wrote a song about a destitute young man named Carlos Saragosa who steals a prize-fighting rooster named Gallo del Cielo. As the story goes, Saragosa wagers his sister’s locket, trying to win enough money to buy back the land stolen from his father.

This morning I stumbled on a short article in Counterpunch by Lorenzo Wolff titled, “Thirty Years Down the Road – Joe Ely, the Fighting Rooster of Rock.” 



“The song is meant to be about Saragosa, his struggle, and his defeat, but when Ely sings it, you can tell that he’s not relating the protagonist. How could he relate to someone who is crushed after only one defeat? No, Ely isn’t Saragosa. He’s the rooster, Gallo Del Cielo. You won’t see him giving up, he’ll fight until he no longer can, and whether it’s his heart that gives out or his fingers, it sure as hell won’t be his spirit.” — Wolff

The article immediately brought back memories of when we first saw Joe Ely at “Rockefeller’s” in Houston. To this day, Joe remains one of our favorite Texas musicians, and his rendition of Russell’s song is legendary.


3 responses to “The Fighting Rooster of Rock

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  1. What a great song huh? Tom Russell is cowboy music’s renaissance man in my opinion. He also keeps a great blog

    Another thing about El Gallo Del Cielo is the geographical locations all the way up the west coast checks out accurately.

    I also Love many from the Texas scene including Ely/Flatlanders Jerry Jeff, Guy, Townes, Robert Earl to name a few.


  2. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:

    Throwback Thursday — kenne


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