Chris Johnson Of Telegraph Canyon Nails 47 Herkies
Talk about suffering for one’s art — look closely at the current issue of Fort Worth Weekly and you can see the sheer misery in the eyes of a few Telegraph Canyon band members who were freezing their asses off when the picture was taken.
Fort Worth photographer Jill Johnson shot the photo on a gusty Saturday morning in late January with temperatures dipping into the 20s.
Someone asked me if frontman Chris Johnson (shown leaping) was photoshopped into the picture.
Nope. That’s a genuine photo taken on a rural Parker County road just west of Fort Worth.
Jill Johnson took numerous versions of that photo, and in between takes the band members would run and jump inside the RV to get warm.
Chris Johnson (no relation) said he wasn’t quite as cold as the others because his blood was pumping — he was the only one being asked to jump up and down the whole time.
“I did about 47 herkies,” Johnson said.
“Herkie?” I said, unfamiliar with the term. “Where’d that expression come from?”
“I don’t know,” Johnson said.
So I googled it.
Turns out, a herkie is a cheerleader jump with a local connection.
Many decades ago, former SMU male cheerleader Lawrence Herkimer invented the jump, where one leg is bent towards the floor and the other is out to the side. This 2009 New York Times article calls Herkimer the grandfather of cheerleading.
Later rock ‘n’ rollers such as Pete Townshend, David Lee Roth, and many others incorporated versions of this jump into their acts.