Right Between the Eyes

Promotional photo of Jesse Charles Hammock, II

Coming out of nowhere—or perhaps inspired by what might have happened in some 1978 hotel room where Jerry Reed, Jerry Jeff, and possibly the Bee Gees wrote a song together—“Another Empty Saddle” will bring a smile to any face that survived a divorce, and looks back on the whole thing with little regret and “honestly…not believing it would ever last.

Co-written by Fred Friction and Jesse, with Ben Bowie’s classic first line of the chorus, the tune has a disco cosmic cowboy feel. But lyrically, the song came about after Friction—Jesse’s long time friend and writing partner—learned about Jesse’s divorce troubles, and a near death head on collision with the aforementioned runaway quarter horse on a dark desolate highway in the Ozarks just weeks before his marital problems came to light.

“Fred called me and started talking about old westerns and how the town bank would get robbed or outlaws might run through town and do a #6 on the townsfolk. Inevitably the sheriff or a brave soul would ride out alone to track the bad guys, and soon, that brave man’s horse would return with an empty saddle atop its back. This sight would inspire a posse to go kick some ass. And Fred, as only Fred Friction can do, turned this absurd cliche into a metaphor for my recent trials and tribulations.”

After we finished writing “Another Empty Saddle,” I felt like that unlikely hero for a bit and ’ol Fred was my sidekick.”

Start over: A Songwriter Bares His Soul