He Ain't Working Here No More


It's a sad day for country music. Johnny PayCheck -- singer, songwriter, drinker, and convict -- is dead.

PayCheck, born Donald Eugene Lytle, was best known for his hit version of David Allan Coe's "Take This Job and Shove It," one of America's great anti-authoritarian anthems. But I'm almost as fond of his equally populist anti-tax number, "Me and the IRS":

So erase my name from your records
Take me off your mailing list
You can write me off, 'cause I ain't givin'
a dime to the IRS

The IRS itself eventually sued PayCheck for $103,000 in back taxes, in what was neither the first nor the last of his brushes with the law. He had a troubled life, and a lot of his troubles were of his own making. But he also made some terrific records along the way.