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Clark: Eddie Ray’s yellow brick road ending at graybar hotel

So Eddie Ray Hall – Spokane’s notorious methperado – is off to federal prison for 16 years.

Today we mark this judicial development with the last installment in my trilogy of Eddie Ray tunes.

I give you “Goodbye Eddie Ray Hall,” a makeover of Elton John’s 1973 smash, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

Nobody can say Eddie Ray didn’t earn the attention.

He’s played the system for a fool since the mid-1970s, racking up at least 16 felony convictions, scores of dope and burglary-related arrests, and at least eight trips to prison, not to mention the bail jumping and escape.

But the big hammer came down Thursday in a Spokane courtroom. It was a sad scene. Eddie Ray, dressed in his Sunday best, read a tearful letter that made him out to be a repentant and changed man and perhaps the biggest victim of all.

U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley didn’t buy it.

Only time will tell if Eddie Ray really has changed. I hope so. But his lawless, over-the-top ways have long struck me as song-worthy material.

The first effort came after Eddie Ray was released from a prison stay in 2004. “The Ballad of Eddie Ray Hall” was based on the Johnny Cash classic, “I Walk the Line.”

Four years later, he escaped from a Yakima lockup and led police on a six-day manhunt.

That drama inspired “On the Lam Again,” a parody of Willie Nelson’s signature “On the Road Again.”

For Part III, Joe Brasch, my bandmate and best bud, suggested the aforementioned “Yellow Brick Road.”

Sold! I’ve always wanted to channel my inner Sir Elton. Besides, the pop star performed in Spokane recently.

And so I put together some lyrics from our story about the sentencing.

Friday morning found me in the studio where Brasch, as always, took care of all the complicated production stuff while I warbled to a prerecorded instrumental track.

Hear what we came up with at Or sing along with your own internal soundtrack.

I give you …

Goodbye Eddie Ray Hall

All decked out in your sport coat.

You even combed back your hair.

Hoping for some courtroom kindness,

But there wasn’t a drop to spare.

All the arrests and mountains of meth,

Have finally come down on you.

You’ve ripped us off for the last time, Eddie.

Allow me to put it bluntly – you’re screwed!

So goodbye, Eddie Ray Hall.

Sayonara. Farewell. Adios.

Sixteen years in the slammer.

I think it’s safe to say that you’re toast.

You tried to tell the judge how sorry you are.

Even let the teardrops fall.

But he paid it no mind and gave you the time.

So long, Eddie Ray Hall.

Going to the Handcuff Hotel.

So many things to do.

Toilet wine. Sharpen your toothbrush.

Maybe get a new tattoo.

But sleepin’ at night when the joint is quiet,

Do you dream about Spokane?

And all of the songs I sang about you.

Remember the time you went – on the lam?

So goodbye, Eddie Ray Hall.

Sayonara. Farewell. Adios.

Sixteen years in the hoosegow.

You look like you just seen a ghost.

But before you go, a word of advice:

Be careful in the shower stall.

Ah, don’t bend over if ya drop the soap.

And so long, Eddie Ray Hall …

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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