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‘The Sexiest Man That You’ve Ever Seen:’ A Look At 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic's Country Music Songs
In between running his Oklahoma zoo and trying to have his rival Carole Baskin murdered, Joe Exotic imagined himself as a country music star.
If you’ve been watching the new Netflix doc-series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” then you already know that exotic animal breeder Oklahoman Joe Exotic — born Joseph Schreibvogel — does it all.
He once owned the Greater Wynnewood Zoo, ran his own anger-fueled YouTube channel, unsuccessfully ran for governor, made his own condoms and beauty products, and married two people at the same time while trying to blossom into a reality star. To boot, he did it all while sporting a mullet and bedazzled shirts.
Sure, most of these endeavors went up in flames — the reality show footage literally did, as the docu-series showed — or resulted in criminal charges.
However, nobody can debate that he had ambitions, however tinged by delusions they were.
One of those ambitions was apparently country music. He put out 28 songs and did music videos for at least 16 of them.
Baskin was quick to tell Oxygen.com that Exotic didn’t actually sing any of the songs. He lip-synced his songs, which were written and performed by a duo out of Washington State, New York Magazine reported last year.
That duo is The Clinton Johnson Band. Vince Johnson would write the songs and Danny Clinton would sing them, Johnson told Oxygen.com. Clinton has since died and Johnson is auditioning new singers. Johnson told Oxygen.com that Exotic found them through an ad. He'd give them a subject or a vibe of a song he wanted and Johnson would take it from there.
Johnson referred to Exotic as a "seedy" yet "likeable creep."
These songs that Exotic commissioned — and their corresponding videos — are something to behold. We’ll walk you through his some of his most notable:
The video for this song features clips of tigers hugging people and epic shots of Exotic, dressed like a cowboy, juxtaposed with dramatic footage of a thunderstorm.
“Do you ever wonder who's wrong or right?” Exotic “sings” before what appears to be a staged clip of a person portraying a law enforcement officer taking a wolf away from its owner, leaving her in tears. The same person is then seen entering a home and removing a tiger cub from a similarly distraught woman.
The video concludes by asking viewers for donations to “help us fight for your constitutional right to be able to keep whatever kind of pet you want.”
In this video, possibly Exotic’s most infamous, he uses a woman resembling his rival Carole Baskin to suggest that she killed her rich husband and fed his remains to tigers at her own wildlife sanctuary.
“Here kitty kitty, momma’s got some treats for you. You can’t find this taste in the zoo,” the lyrics state as the Baskin stand-in, decked out in her familiar leopard print attire, feeds pieces of meat to several big cats.
Her husband, Jack Donald Lewis, did go missing in 1997. Greg Thomas who worked homicides and cold cases for years in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department told Oxygen.com that Baskin had been a person of interest in Lewis' disappearance. He confirmed that rumors circulated about her feeding him to her tigers but made it clear there's no evidence to suggest that Lewis is even dead. His disappearance is not considered a homicide.
"He hated Carole, that’s no secret," Johnson told Oxygen.com, adding that he researched Baskin while writing the song.
In emails between Baskin and Johnson, provided to Oxygen.com by Baskin, she told the songwriter, "I don't care what Joe says about me, or what he pays you to sing about me. I won't hold it against you at all."
This is a song dedicated to one of Exotic’s former "husbands," John Finlay. (Exotic held a wedding ceremony between himself, Finlay and another man, Travis Maldonado, in 2014, though Finlay and Exotic were never legally married, according to court records.) The pair were together from 2003 to 2014, beginning when Finlay was fresh out of high school, according to the docu-series. Finlay even had a tattoo above his groin reading "Private Property of Joe Exotic" which he got covered over by the show’s conclusion. He left Exotic for a female park employee at the zoo, whom he got pregnant, in 2014.
The music video for “My First Love” features the former couple frolicking around in the snow and Exotic “singing” in cowboy gear, often from a pickup truck. Sometimes he is crooning to a single candle, with lyrics like: “You were my first love, the one that's going to last. Million miles later, I'm a ghost from the past.”
This is a cover of A Great Big World's "Say Something," laid over video clips showing the aftermath of a chimpanzee's apparent death at Exotic's zoo.
“The day animal rights poisoned my best friend. Because they think being dead is better than being in a cage.” the description for the video reads, suggesting someone killed the chimp, though it's not clear who.
The footage shows Exotic apparently trying, unsuccessfully, to resuscitate the chimpanzee.
He and Finlay then slip a black "Tiger King" T-shirt over the chimp’s corpse as other park workers dig a shallow grave. The video ends after dirt is thrown onto the primate’s final resting place.
This 2017 video version of this song was dedicated to one of his other husbands, Travis Maldonado. Exotic met Maldonado in 2013, when he was just 19 and an employee of Greater Wynnewood Zoo, according to the docu-series. As the docu-series shows, he died after accidentally shooting himself in the head on G.W. Zoo premises in 2017.
This video, which features footage of Maldonado riding ATVs, skydiving and shooting a gun, serves as a tribute to him. Among the footage is a clip of Maldonado punching a truck — which we know from the show he did out of anger toward Exotic. It also bizarrely features a close-up of a thumb with a cut on it. And even more bizarrely, it has a brief clip of Maldonado gesticulating with what appears to be a caged animal partially stuffed into his pants.
“How could I have been such a stupid man?” Exotic lip syncs.
An earlier version of this video doesn't feature Maldonado. Instead, it presents Exotic in a coffin out in a field.
“I’m a pretty woman lover, I’m an ugly woman’s dream.”
"He wanted me to write a fun song," Johnson said of this banger. He told Oxygen.com he was watching wrestling when one of the villains bragged that he was a pretty woman's lover and an ugly woman's dream.
"For some reason that stuck in my head," Johnson told Oxygen.com. "Hence his fun song."
The music video features a leather-clad Exotic driving his motorcycle around and women fawning all over him. They want him so bad, they even try to climb into his trailer.
"I'm pumping iron and I'm looking nice, got a tattoo on my shoulder and I'm melting ice. Women want to love me and they call out my name. I ain't no candle, I'm a red hot flame,” he pretends to sing, posing in front of a tattoo shop with other motorcycle riders.
He also refers to himself in the lyrics as a “good loving daddy” and “the sexiest man that you’ve ever seen.”