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The Lotions, The Armadillo


We used to follow the Lotions around wherever they played, mostly. They were a big part of the raggae movement in Austin. I can't believe no one has mentioned the Armadillo World Headquarters yet, gee whiz Wally, I spent way more time there than I did at my high School, the beer garden was always a place to score, eat, drink, socialize. I even saw Rush play there, Turk Pipkin performed, hundreds of bands did, usually admission was only 8 bucks! The only time I ever got to see Zappa was at the 'Dillo. All the way out cool artwork on the walls from Michael Priest and others. I remember being at the last dance at the 'Dillo, their last show, on New Years Eve, During Kenneth Threadgills set, our friend Rusty fell under the stage and passed out, the front of the stage had a curtain across it, so when he fell, the curtain sung back, and rusty disappeared behind the curtain, and we couldn't find him till he woke up at the end of the show when the hall cleared out.. yeah good times!!

Skating down the hill at auditorium shores on a cardboard box, during the free Sunday concerts, I remember taking our bong into those.
We even took our bong into city colosium, (the old army hanger by Palmer auditorium), we saw Styx there and Fleetwood Mac.

Used to have breakfast, or lunch with Clifford Antone at Trudy's pretty often, Cliff was good people, don't believe the horseshit, he gave lots of guys their break, and lots of people a job.

Miss the Stallions slightly green gravy on the CFS, a good meal, I cried when those places were torn down, I still have a t-shirt with an angry armadillo coming over the top of Texas Bank.

I worked on and off, (mostly spent the night on the couch), at Riverside Sound Studios, and worked or hung out with Herschel C, Eddie H, Bill J, Ricky M, Lloyd M, Jim Yanaway, Bob Livingston, I fondly remember very sweet Connie Hancock, and all the Hancock ladies, Tejana Dames, the jazzmanian devil himself, and lots of others, it was the place that made the Austin Christmas Album..... and Austin Records put a lot of bands on the Austin music map.... It closed in 1989... I was the guy that ripped out most of the electronics...I really missed that place.

Janis Joplin at Greg Gym

Bands | Scenes | UT

I took pictures that night, but this is one I captured off of the web, from earlier in her career. Kindly and I were just swapping text about that concert on FaceBook last month. She had tickets, and we went together on a friend 'date'. JJ was with her Full Tilt Boogie band, and was cranked that night, on Southern Comfort and whatever she had left from the plane trip. She was best on stage, and was the 'in betweens' that took her from us later that same year... She never found the love she sang about, but left us all with blues in the night. Kindly Kay and I stood on the folding chairs like a couple of teeny boppers. ;-) Farnham

Outdoor concert


Just moved back to Austin after 26 years in SF. We're loving it!

I remember an outdoor festival in '76 or '77 (believe it was somewhere off 183). They had the (then) heavyweights on the bill. Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, and others. Anyone else remember? I couldn't make it - love to find out where exactly it was.

Also, I know a few have left us, but any updates, stories, on Balcones Fault. Must of seen them 50 times in my 3 years in the 70's.

Last Bash on the Hill

Outdoors | Bands

Probably the last time I got to see Willie Nelson live would have been at an event held somewhere out near Lake Travis (at least I think it was - time erodes memories...)

It was an all afternoon and evening event called "The Last Bash on the Hill", and featured all sorts of bands in an outdoor setting. it was an ampitheatre sort of hill, with the stage at the bottom so just about everyone (and their dog - there were lots of those, too) could see and hear easily.

Willie came on just about sunset, doing his ever polished set. And about that time, the full moon rose from behind him! It was fantastic.

I missed one chance to hear Willie here in New Zealand back in the 70s, but nothing since. I can't help but think I got one of the best performances ever that night back outside of Austin.

And then walked back afterward to find that my truck, like the vehicles of many, many other people - had been *towed* for parking something like 3" onto the pavement of the road. Bugger...

Concert at Clark Field - Sept 1970?

Bands | UT

Several years ago, I corresponded briefly with Robert Burns, after seeing that he had copies of old Austin posters, and I mentioned that I remembered one very well.

Robert was the art director, I think it was, for the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movie, back in 1973 or so. I need to do another posting about the house for that on its own!

Anyway, the poster that Robert had was of a concert held on the baseball field just as UT was starting up again for the year. I say Sept 1970, but could have been 1971?

Anyway, the lineup for the day was:

The Allman Brothers
Leon Russell
It's A Beautiful Day
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (I don't remember them, but that was common for the time...)

It was a *fantastic* day of music, for sure.

While I was writing this up, I came across the following quote from Willis Alan Ramsey that relates to that concert (from

"Willis Alan Ramsey, his one and only album, at once captures that intimate milieu of folk songs and stories, then leaps well ahead of its time, owing in part to Ramsey's idiosyncratic tastes and a fortuitous encounter with Leon Russell. "I was booked into a motel called the Villa Capri in Texas, and staying at that hotel were the Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, It's a Beautiful Day and Pacific Gas & Electric. I saw their show and made it a point to knock on their doors. Leon was nice and receptive, and I was kind of cocky at that point. I thought I was writing some tunes that he should hear. Leon told me to break out my guitar. He and his road manager listened and gave me their numbers in California.

"They said I should come see them. Greg Allman and Dickey Betts were really nice as well. They invited me to come down and see them in Macon. This was right before the Allman Brothers took off. So I went to see all of them. Greg recorded a demo on me, and then I went out to see Leon, and he made a demo on me. Leon said, "I'm getting ready to tour. If you like, you can stay in my house and record in my studio at night.' That pretty much sold me! It all happened quickly. I was pretty confident in what I was doing, and suddenly I was over my head. I went from playing college coffeehouses and then I'm in Leon Russell's home studio and people like George Harrison are coming over. It was a completely different environment."

Cosmic Cowboys

Bands | Hipsters | Scenes

Austin was the birthplace of a musical genre that really deserves more attention. During the early 70's, the vibrant Texas rock scene had broken down and moved on. Big name (aka Big Business) acts dominated the music scene. As it always does, Austin responded by reinventing many of the rules and established notions and created the Cosmic Cowboys.

The true leaders of this movement never got the public credit they deserve but are usually cited as major influences by those that did make it big. My favorites are:

Willis Alan Ramsey - huge Austin influence. When you hear early Lyle, your hearing Willis

Michael Murphy - prior to his Michael Martin Murphy, horse riding cowboy days, Murphy kicked around Austin and produced what still could be an anthem for the town: "Alleys of Austin" Anyone have the lyrics? Update! I found them... see below.

B.W. "Buckwheat" Stevenson - Everyone has heard his "My Maria"

It's interesting to note that those three performers all came from Dallas from around the same period of time. South Dallas has produced quite a list of musical pioneers, SRV notwithstanding. Update: Here's a good listing of Oak Cliff notables. Anyone here heard of the "Oak Cliff 'Oh'"?

Not on my list are big names like Willie or Jerry Jeff. I think that the Cosmic Cowboy theme was already going when these guys showed up. I'm not saying that they didn't make great contribution... they just owe a debt to Austin and the true pioneers.

Alleys of Austin
(Michael Martin Murphey)

Out in the alleys of Austin,
There's a song on the side of the wall,
The bricks and the bottles and the mongrels
Are trying to make sense out of it all,
and the moon looks all too familiar--
The kids say "There ain't no man in there";
While the laid back baboon
By the light of the Texas moon
Is combing his auburn hair.
He's just combing his auburn hair.

Doug Sahm

Bands | Hipsters

Doug was a San Antonio boy but made it to Austin as quick as he could. I can't recall the name of the album recorded live at Armadillo in the mid-70's but Doug told a story from the stage about being in California and "Everyone told me that Austin was happening. So here we are." Doug and Augie did a lot to foster the Cosmic Cowboy genre and their Armadillo and Soap Creek shows were legendary.

The last time that I saw Doug was not at a music show... it was at Dan's Hamburgers on S. Congress around '81 or so. I pulled into the parking lot and parked next to a huge silver Cadillac that appeared to be full of stuff. Clothes, guitars, equipment, paperwork, basically the life support gear for a working musician. At the driver seat was Doug. We said "Hi", he went in and picked up a to-go order and drove away.

The Gibby And Robbie Show

Bands | Hipsters

Relatively late in the old Austin scheme of things but perhaps the ultimate expression of what it all means to keep it weird- The Gibby Haynes and Robbie Jacks Show on 101X!

Never heard it? Never knew about it? Claim that you have Austin cred? Don't think so.

Here's a bit to get you started:

So Austin. So strong. So early in the morning. How did they do it?

Double Trouble


You want to know why Stevie Vaughn got so good? It was because he spent so much time onstage waiting for Lou Ann Barton to show. I recall shows where the band would do two full sets and Lou Ann would show up for the last song or two. Still... it was good. Really good. Stevie would absolutely rock the house and get every butt in Rome Inn on the floor. Lou Ann would come on and take it to another level.

Uranium Savages


aka "Some Ukrainian Salvage" These guys (seemed like there were about 20 of them) played a huge role contributing to what is currently considered "Weird Austin". Who can forget their songs like:

  • Walking the Drag
  • Idi Amin is my yard man
  • Willie
  • Party with the Pope

  • Who's been to:

  • Spamarama
  • Halloween downtown where you must walk in a circle

    They were all things Eddy and 709. Who/what the hell is Eddy and what does 709 really mean?