I can't think of a stranger pairing than you and Michael Jackson.

I went into the control room with him and there were all these guys in suits. It was a pretty weird scene, but he was cool, and he was fun to hang out with.

That was long before his life seemed to become a prolonged tragedy.

Joe King Carrasco: guitar god, dog lover.
Joe King Carrasco: guitar god, dog lover.

I kept telling him to get back to his roots. I was trying to get him into African music, something with more soul. If he would have listened to me, he would probably still be alive.

When did you start up Viva Perros, your dog rescue operation, and what was the inspiration?

I got three Jack Russell terriers. I had some rent houses and people would just leave their dogs when they left. I started taking care of these dogs. I did a benefit for Kinky Friedman's Utopia, another dog rescue outfit. We recorded that show and gave the proceeds to different rescue organizations and then started Viva Perros. I've been doing it for a while now. In the end, I will probably give everything I have to dog rescue.

People seem to have more sympathy for animals than they do for other people.

My dogs have been with me nearly 17 years. They go on the road with me for every show. We have driven all over Mexico. I've known them longer than I've known any woman in my life. I feel like with them, I am paying back a favor. In Mexico, you see a lot of abused dogs and it is really heartbreaking. You can't save all of them. I want to take care of them all.

You've been playing music for almost four decades. Will you ever retire?

When the hearse pulls up. It's all I know how to do. I am always writing songs. It's what I do. I have two bands I play with. I like driving across Mexico with my three dogs.

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Hola Joey, it's time for a return to your roots in Dallas. Call Tom Garrison at the Stoneleigh P and make him an offer he can't refuse!

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