Trouble always seems to follow Bocephus

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hank Williams Jr. is in trouble again. Which is sort of like saying, &#8220Wow. The sun does rise in the east.” Some things just don't surprise you anymore.

Apparently, Hank Jr. came off like wrestler with the WWE, snagging a 19-year-old hotel waitress in a chokehold and asking her for a kiss. A romantic, he's not. It appears Hank Jr. still lives in the days of the caveman, when lumbering bruisers dragged their female counterparts back to the cave for a romp or two.

Hank Jr. has outlived his famous father, who died silently in his sleep back in the 50s thereby securing his legendary place in country and American music. The senior Williams, while a brilliant songwriter and singer, was a notorious drinker, hell raiser, and honky tonker.

So of course Hank Jr. is just carrying on an old family tradition.

Despite fame, fortune and near iconic status, life hasn't been all a bed of roses for Bocephus. First, he had to contend with an overly possessive mother in Mrs. Audrey, who stuffed young Hank into his daddy's suit and sent him on a tour of the south, singing his father's songs. Then, after breaking away and finally beginning to game some name recognition, Hank Jr. took a dive off a cliff in Montana in 1975, shattering virtually every bone in his face and even exposing his brain to the air. After nine surgeries he still wasn't comfortable with the way he looked, donning his trademark big black sunglasses and growing a beard.

Anyway, the 19-year-old hotel waitress, with the ever-so-unique name of Holly Hornbeak, charged the country star with assault. Bocephus, meanwhile, issued a statement claiming Hornbeak was a money hungry fiend who only came forward when he refused to cough up the big bucks.

Hank Jr.'s publicist said Hornbeak's lawyer sent a letter asking for an &#8220outlandish amount of money” on March 21, just a few days after the alleged assault.

Did it happen? Quite possibly. You don't earn the mantle of outlaw by obeying the law religiously. With his penchant for rebel flags, Jim Beam, and hard partying, Hank Jr. is a snub-your-nose-at-the-establishment poster boy.

But he's also a charitable individual, donating thousands to relief efforts along Mississippi's gulf coast following Hurricane Katrina. He also took time to visit the lone survivor of West Virginia's Sago Mine accident, Randal McCloy Jr. in the hospital.

Perception isn't everything.

But something tells me &#8220Rocking Randall Hank” doesn't really care how he's perceived anyway.

Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: