Tampa songwriter Blake Yeager covers Joe Exotic’s ‘Tiger King’ song ‘I Saw A Tiger’

He called the exercise a “dance on the line between sanity and insanity.”

click to enlarge BLAKE YEAGER/YOUTUBE
Blake Yeager/YouTube

A Tampa guitarist and songwriter is looking to pay homage to the men behind Joe Exotic’s music.

You probably know this by now, but Exotic—who’s the hook of Netflix’s “Tiger King” docuseries that focuses on his feud with Carol Baskins of Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue—is not responsible for the vocals on his meme-ready country music. The crooning can actually be credited to Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton, who responded to an ad Exotic posted asking for theme songs for a reality show.

The best reactions to Netflix’s ‘Tiger King,’ which you should be watching right now

As TMZ points out, Johnson and Clinton did the work for free, and recorded three albums worth of songs for “Tiger King” before Clinton died from a heart condition. “Archival Footage” is the credit the boys got from producers of the Netflix hit.

Blake Yeager has changed that by recording his version of “I Saw A Tiger,” with proper credit to Johnson and Clinton.

“Even though Exotic did not write, or I believe even sing any or most of the songs, he does play the gay country lip-syncing cowboy very well in several outstanding videos,” Yeager, a Swamp Logic alum who plays guitar in Tribal Style, told Creative Loafing.

Like every other musician in the world right now, Yeager, who’s also a photographer, has no gigs and is stuck at home trying to stay occupied while entertaining himself and others. He called the exercise a “dance on the line between sanity and insanity.”

Yeager—a self-professed “crazy cat lady man” who believed in the cage-free life—sees the Netflix series as an anthem of a pandemic that’s left the world looking for strange and light entertainment to distract ourselves from the world collapsing around us.

“At the core of it all I think we mostly all feel that no animal should be kept in a cage,” he added. “So even though the world seems to be celebrating Joe Exotics irresistibly loveable and insane character, it has drawn much attention to the dark side of the exotic animal industry and appears to be contributing to the increased awareness of the practices of those involved.”

Grab a locally-brewed "Tiger King" beer, then check out the clip—where Yeager’s dreaded in a borrowed thrift store jacket that’s a dead match for one worn by Exotic in the series—below.


Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Follow @cl_music on Twitter to get the most up-to-date music news, concert announcements and local tunes. Subscribe to our newsletter, and listen to us on WMNF 88.5-FM’s “Radio Reverb” program every Saturday from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his intro letter and 2021 disclosure. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The Daily Beast. Products...

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage last year, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at rroa@cltampa.com