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The Rome Inn


My Happiest days and fondest memories was when I got hired and worked at the Rome Inn.

It was so much fun, and no as time is going by, am trying hard to remember all the folks I worked with.

My name is Kerry, believe it was Mike Watson and his wife Arlo and Cindy and trying to think of the other bartenders. Of course the ever awesome C-boy who made sure we all had something to eat and kind remarks through our shifts.

Anyone from David Allen COe to Stevie Ray to the time Bob Dylan was playing in town,dropping in to Zorro and the Blue Footballs,Balcones Fault, Lou Ann Barton to whomever may come by to party. It would be an awesome venue now.

am really feeling old about this memory thing, but every night was a good night there. So many folks, The Allience Wagon Yard, where you could pick up a shift working to fill in for a Willie Show, folks came by to make sure all the help was tipped according to the Crazy Crowds.

So thank you The Rome in and Mike and Arlo for giving me real Austin Music in my life.

Clubs not mentioned


Does anyone remember these clubs

El Paso Cattle Company from back around 76-77-Forgot where it was in town
Had live bands and I went there a lot on Thursday night's

Had mainly cover bands-I went to her The Velvets

Also went to a small club in Riverside Drive call Abby Inn-Had beer, pool and electrical darts. No live music

There was also a club called The Bucket-I think it was off Guadalupe and had a DJ.

The One Knite Dive & Tavern

Bars | Bands

With my partners Roddy and Roger I ran this club from 1970 through 1976. Those who are interested can find a couple of Facebook pages on the place, one call The One Knite and the other called Survivors of the One Knite. The latter contains lots of my old poster art for the place and, later, for the Continental Club and La Zona Rosa, and it also contains recordings I made at the dive in the early 70s, of The Storm, Freda and the Firedogs, D.K. Little, and Moon Pie.
click here
Scroll down to Older Posts to find the recorded music.
click here

And, for the guy who remembered on your site the Last Bash on the Hill concert -- we threw that in 1973 on Crady Bond's land on the way to Lake Austin, just before the land was sold out of Crady's family.
It was Willie Nelson's second gig after moving to Austin -- his first had been at Roundup, and, though he agreed to play too late to make my poster, he did appear onstage before The 13th Floor Elevators, briefly united after Roky's release.
The media claimed it drew 10.000, after Dallas and Houston radio started reporting on it. Admission was free, and we took in enough contributions from hippie businesses to give out 70+ kegs of Lone Star.
click here

Rome Inn (for the record)


Hi Austin, My name is Arlo Watson, my husband Mike and I bought the Rome Inn, 1975 (Italian Restaurant) from Jack Davis and with a little help from our friends, Dan Clements and Ian Ridgeway ( carpenters from habitat Vancouver Canada)turned a restaurant into a night club. I booked the talent and Mike ran the business I did not book a style of music just good music. Alvin Crow with Johnny Gimble (twin fiddle night) Jimmy and the thunderbirds did my Blue Mondays one of my most successful nights, Paul Ray and the Cobra's, played Tuesday with the late and great SRV on guitar and the pinball machine on his break. Thanks to a lot of other great musicians, David Allen Coe, Rusty Weir, The Denims, Asleep (thanks Ray) I had to extend the sides of my stage to accommodate everyone, but worth it. 'Two Hot for Snakes' (willies band) had a guest list that filled the club and to the late and great Doug Sahm and the first version of the Texas Tornadoes with the SA west side horns and one of the best rhythm sections in the world George Rains and Jack Barber.There were so many more bands I would have to write a book. At best the club only broke even and we having to much fun, but it was time to do something else. C Boy Parks ran the club for duration of the lease and Stevie had the venue all to himself, a great way to end an era. Again, Thank you, Austin Texas, for the memories, Best to All, Love Arlo Watson (co owner of the Rome Inn)

I ran Spellman's for over a year.


I became a bartender there in 1977. I ended up booking the music each month. This is when Hal owned, after Victor. Oh, yeah. I can name names. Good names, that is. Bill Neely and Larry Kirbo, Science Fiction Band, Buda Buzz Band, Roky Erikson's mom and brother, Dave...

Great times.

The Chequered Flag


My introduction to the Austin music scene came in 1971 at Rod Kennedy's Chcequered Flag on the SE corner of 15th and Lavaca. Long before the Kerrville Folk Festival, Rod had championed folk music at his club, and was one of the first to book the artists that would become known in the Cosmic Cowboy scene of the early to mid 1970's.

My buddy Barry and I went down there the first time to see Doug Kershaw. The Cajun fiddler was red hot at that time and was in full red velvet regalia, backed by a "local pick-up band" aka Greezy Wheels. God knows what I would think of that show now, but that night Barry and I were blown away by the intensity - the moral (!) equivalent of ten lines of Columbian Blue Flake. Being 18 helped I'm sure.

Another evening was equally notable -probably 1972, a Musician's Union Benefit, featuring Bobby Bridger, Michael Murphy, Jerry Jeff, Rusty, Layton and John, Jimmy Richie and certainly others I've forgotten (maybe Willis Alan Ramsey?). A seminal night in the development of the 70's Austin scene.

Ski Shores... another one bites the dust

Bars | Outdoors | Restaurants

Well, I really received a shock the other day. We had some guests from out of town who had spent enough time in Austin to know the cool spots. It was decided that we would all trek to Ski Shores for an afternoon of burgers, beer, and old-time Austin vibe. I suppose two out of three ain't bad but that vibe is long gone. Ski Shores has turned into little Disneyland with a bar... kids everywhere.

I don't fault the management for making a decision that will probably keep the business afloat and with us for many more years to come. It is just another notch on the list of "long gone" Austin places that personified the culture of our town. What passes for Austin culture these days seems to come out of a mayonnaise jar. Whether it's the artificial Bohemia of South Congress, the hipster popularity contest of East-side cocktail bars, or plastic playscape-themed conversions of previous dives, it all seems a little desperate.

Back in the 80's, Dallas seemed to "wake up" to what was happening in Austin and tried to manufacture hip culture: South Greenville, Deep Ellum, etc., were 100% contrived attempts at cool. I would look upon these with the smug satisfaction that here in Austin, we had the real thing. I look around now and and it seems that the pre-fab forces are gaining on us.

The Treehouse Restaurant

Bars | Restaurants

The Treehouse restaurant was a fairly highbrow eatery, its name came from the fact that the main dining room was built on stilts, in the treetops. You parked below.

You can still see the remains across from the Doughetry Arts Center on Barton Springs near South Lamar. It was open in the 70s, closed, then reopened briefly some years later. Its been shuttered for a very long time now.

Texas Tavern


Some of my fondest memories of U.T. were spent over a the Texas Tavern in the Student Union Building having a beer while I studied. Or pretended to study. It was huge, expansive with an enormous wooden bar. TV's all around. Always had this weird mix of people actually trying to study and the rest of us having a good time.

Sadly I will also remember it as the place I watched the final flight of the Challenger in 1986. Several hundred of us crowded around the TV sets trying to see what happened.

Remembering Ken Featherston

Bars | People

Ken Featherston was from my neighborhood near Oso Park in Corpus Christi. I knew his sister from school and the neighborhood, but just saw him around, cause he was older. We were all proud of him though. He was off in Austin working a staff artist (here's a cover he did for the Marshall Tucker band) and as a bouncer for the Armadillo. That lead to his death. In 1975 he was working security for a Pointer Sisters show at the Armadillo. Someone had been escorted out by another fellow, and unfortunately that person thought that they should come back and shoot and kill somebody. So we lost him. I just want him to be remembered. So, here's a link to some of his posters done for the Armadillo and for sale by wolfgangs vault. If you hunt around you can find more of the cover art he did for albums. Who knows how famous he would have gotten if he'd not been killed so young, but he was famous with me.