Jackslacks’ song “Are You Going Back There Tonight” was heard in the Matthew McConaughey movie Killer Joe.
A founding member of Forbidden Pigs, Flipside Burners, and Hot Rod Lincoln, Americana/roots rocker Chris Giorgio took his stage name Jackslacks from the 1957 Sparkletones hit “Black Slacks.” He embarked on a solo career in 2002 with his Rock & Roll Dinosaur full-length, produced by kindred rockabilly soul Lee Rocker (the Stray Cats) and featuring ex-Pig mate Billy Bacon. As Jackslacks, he went on to release several subsequent albums and EPs that occasionally featured Bacon as a guest or songwriter, as on the 2013 Jackslacks EP Farm Jazz, with the Bacon co-written track “Don’t Mind Me.” Bacon passed away in August 2019 after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis.
“I have a brand new Jackslacks EP,” says Giorgio. “When Pigs Fly is a tribute to Billy Bacon with three former Pig guitarists. We recorded the new music with Mike Kamoo at his Earthling Studios in East County. Original studio engineer Steven Wetherbee did the mastering at local recording studio Golden Tracks.”
Giorgio describes each track. “‘Hog Heaven’ starts matters off, a fine tribute to fallen life-long friend Billy Bacon…. I’m joined by remaining Pigs Jerry ‘Hot Rod’ DeMink, Adrian Demain, and Tim ‘Steelbone’ Cook, plus pianist Dave Roof.”
“Up next, ‘The Way,’ a horn-infused little ditty imagined in a time machine dialed back to the Summer of Love. This track swings hard, highlighted by an uplifting message of hope, Billy Raven’s thumping doghouse bass, and driving hollow body guitars courtesy of DeMink and Gig Fortier. ‘Just For Me’ is a straight-up, red-hot rocker featuring the former Stray Cat, Tommy Byrnes, playing his big, fat, 6120 model Gretsch.”
Byrnes, a childhood elementary school friend of Giorgio’s who has toured and recorded with Billy Joel and Joan Jett, also played on the first Jackslacks album.
Billy Bacon & the Forbidden Pigs were formed in 1984, releasing their first single “Una mas Cerveza” a few years later on local label Swingin’ Records. “Billy and Pete [Conway, guitarist] had recently graduated from St. Augustine High School in North Park,” recalls Giorgio. “I myself [was] a recent transplant from Long Island and sporting my new Pig stage moniker Long Island Link. Just a three-piece outfit, featuring an old American Telecaster guitar, Kay upright bass, and vintage Ludwig drum kit.... Our monthly fanzine newsletter was appropriately titled Slop, which humorously lent itself to both our band name and some of our earliest performances.”
Even after being sidelined from most gigging, Bacon announced in 2012 that a new Forbidden Pigs album was in the works. Their song “Are You Going Back There Tonight” was heard in the 2012 William Friedkin film Killer Joe, starring Matthew McConaughey, and a final album, High Wide and Handsome, was released in August 2016.
As Jackslacks, Giorgio has continued to pay tribute to the vintage sound honed while with Bacon and Forbidden Pigs. His tenure with Hot Rod Lincoln included co-writing a Sun Records-inspired number called “Bank Account’s Too Small,” for the band’s Blue Café CD, which won best local recording at the San Diego Music Awards. The title track of that album was written specifically for Hot Rod Lincoln by fan and supporter, and lead Stray Cat Brian Setzer.
Giorgio also landed some prime gigs opening for his own musical heroes, including Jerry Lee Lewis and a Little Richard show that was co-headlined by Chuck Berry. “Getting to meet, hang out, and share the stage with three of my all-time favorite artists has been the highlight of my musical journey so far.” As for recent non-musical endeavors, "I took 20-months off from music to write a book entitled, A Wanderlust's Ramble, my five-year, five-continent hitchhiking mission."
When Pigs Fly is due November 1 via the Shield of Love label. The previous Jackslacks release was 2018’s Earthling Sessions, which included an ode to O.B. called “The 92107” and featured guest appearances from both Tommy Byrnes and Billy Bacon.
"Billy Bacon left behind a 15-year old daughter, Sophia, a very talented artist," says Giorgio. "All proceeds from the first single 'Hog Heaven' will go directly to her college fund." The song will be available for presale on iTunes starting October 25.