January 12 – Cowbells Added Refreshment To TV Show

Sunday night TV viewers got to know a new family this day in 1997 – Hank Hill and his animated clan on Fox’s King of the Hill. It had the then-enviable spot following that other animated smash, The Simpsons. While King of the Hill did have Tom Petty doing voices, and ZZ Top did a guest appearance on one episode but it mostly was of note musically for the cowbell-laden theme song, “Yahoos and Triangles” which helped The Refreshments find a whole new audience.

They were a struggling Phoenix-area band, contemporaries of and friends with the Gin Blossoms and Meat Puppets, but with a bit more of a Mexican taste than their counterparts. That indicated the interests of lead singer and main writer Roger Clyne (also credited with some guitars and the kazoo on their records), a Tucson lad who spent part of his childhood in Mexico and did his university thesis on Mexican mariachi bands, which sometimes influenced his band’s sound. They had some success a year earlier with the tongue-in-cheek story of a cross-border robbery, “Banditos”. That one hit #11 on American mainstream rock charts and the Canadian top 20 as a single. However, they didn’t follow that up and they felt their label, Mercury, didn’t back them much (they canceled the band’s tour of Australia so they could record a second album, then failed to promote it when the CD was done) and they called it quits after just two albums and about four years.

However, somehow their manager heard of a “casting call” from Fox TV for a theme for their new Texas-based animated sitcom, and suggested they submit “Yahoos and Triangles.” It was a lively little bit they used regularly as a sound check, and so they played it at a show in Wichita. Brian Blush of the band says “we asked the crowd if they would help us out in getting a pay cheque for this little thing” and they cheered wildly while tape was rolling. Fox liked it and flew them to L.A. to record it.

The band broke up after only two records, but the TV show kept playing their tune for 13 years. Roger Clyne’s kept busy since mind you, taking drummer P.F. Naffah from the Refreshments for his new band, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. They also had a little unusual commercial success, creating the theme song for the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team and performing at the D’backs games in Phoenix several times. More of a nod to his Mexican interest, Cloyne has his own line of gourmet tequila and a bar there called Banditos. Which Hank Hill might not approve of… but you can bet he’d have an Alamo Beer with Clyne!

16 thoughts on “January 12 – Cowbells Added Refreshment To TV Show

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    I liked both Banditos and the Peacemaker song. I wonder how much they made off of the theme to King of the Hill? I’ve never heard the song all the way through…pretty cool…seems like they drink forever. I love that show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Banditos’ was one of the funniest songs of 90s that actually sounded good.
      King of the Hill… love it too! Liked it a lot years ago but after moving…mygawd, Arlen IS Waco, I tell ya what!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max)

    While looking at some King of the Hill things…I found this: On March 17, 2021, writer Brent Forrester stated that a reboot is currently underway, stating in a Tweet, “I am sure Greg Daniels and Mike Judge will murder me for sharing this but… HELL YES. They are in hot negotiations to bring back King of the Hill.” The reboot will possibly feature “aged-up characters”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It could only happen in Texas. Judge grew up in Richardson and Garland Texas and used his life experience for the show. Hank and his family could be any typical family in North Texas. Great song, thanks for the back story. I wish the show would return. Luann Platter is a discount dish at Luby’s Cafeteria, thus the name of the poor girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RIP Luann… come to think of it she and her guy Lucky (aka Petty) have both passed away. I didn’t know about the Luby’s tie in. But yeah, it certainly rings true to the area right down to the Whataburger for a treat! I’d like to see a return of it too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like Rosa’s!. They’re building a new one about a mile up the road from me, which I look forward to… right now there’s one in town but it is a bit of a drive and always busy. Never been to a Lubys though, but have heard about them.

        Liked by 1 person

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