The Vulcan Gas Company was a downtown venue where bands performed with psychedelic light shows as a backdrop. It was a place to see and be seen, to listen and enjoy. It may not have been a bar, but I vaguely remember alcohol's being involved somehow.
The Pink Lizard was a real dive located on the drag somewhere between the Orange Bull and 24th Street. It was a one story bar with low ceilings, wet floors, dim lights, and cold beer. The juke box was the best...Magic Carpet Ride, Hey Jude, lots of other great classic rock and roll table-top-dancing tunes. It was there in the late '60's and the 70's.
When I came to UT in '67, it was at the end of the alcohol burning big iron culture, just before the smoke fueled hip scene caught on, and the Drag (and even Speedway just south of the campus) was sprinkled with old dives that sold beer to students. The Orange Bull was one of those, on the Drag about 2600 block, above a dry cleaners.
When I became a Summer Orientation Adviser in '68, the group would meet there every Thursday after the kiddies went back to Dumas or Abilene. The Order of the UT drank too much beer and sang too many Hank Williams songs. Good times and fun people. I'm looking for pictures of the OB, if anybody has any.
I recently had the occasion to have dinner at Green Pastures with a fairly large group. It really brought back memories of this Grande Dame of Austin dining. The house and grounds were excellently maintained, the food was outstanding. It was a bit jarring to have a reflection of our modern times juxtaposed with the older standards: our waiter's tatoos clashed with the floral wallpaper.
However, I'm always happy to see a non-changing constant in our little town of rapid change. Green Pastures with its peacocks, its dark oak antique furniture, its grounds now in the epicenter of So. Austin gentrification does remain steady and as elegant as always.
Trying to remember where the Catfish Parlor was heading out by Lake Travis. Remember heading out there back in 1976/7 and thinking it took hours to get there. Also - trying to recall the name of the little store (again somewhere out by Lake Travis) that was the first in the area to sell Coors beer. Hey, when you're 21 ya did stupid things like drive 45 minutes for a 6-pak!
When I was a kid growing up in West Austin, my parents seemed to want to take me places I didnt care about darkening the door of, especially at the tender age of 7 years old or so. When my Mom met her future husband of 30 plus years we moved here from Ft. Worth with her to start a new life in 1966. We first met him, (my future step dad) at "The Tavern" at 12th and Lamar. It was still a beer joint then and owned by some of my step dads good friends Ticky and Lee Sulivan. My older brother and I waited in the car on this cool December night, but all the while we were mezmerized by the "Terminix" bug that sat atop of the rotating sign just across the street . We never thought our first visit would end up watching some larger than life sized cock roach spin round and round. We were finally asked to come inside and join the grown ups and this was the first of my many visits to the old swiss chalet looking building. This is where I literally cut not only my eye teeth but my initals were carved into one of the old oak wood tabels. My brother and I got bored rather quickly and one of the owners asked if we wanted to earn some extra money. We jumped at the chance to wash beer mugs in the kitchen. Just behind the kitchen was a quaint little spot that served as a pizza kitchen. That kitchen was a one man shop owned and run by the owner Buzzy Buck. Buzzy Buck's Pizza Kitchen must have been the first pizza delivery shop in Austin. Buzzy would take a phone in order, hand toss the made from scratch dough and pop a large pie in the oven and when it came out he locked the door of his tin shed behind the Tavern, jumped in his little orange Karmenghia VW, and off he went with a great piping hot delivery towards the campus area somewhere. This among other spots is just the tip of the old Austin iceberg that I will continue to share in later visits. Sorry gotta run...let me know if you want more and I will post as time permits....there are some great memories stored in my ol
There are many places of high-karma in Austin. These are those spots in town that are always in the center of culture and happenings. Over the years, these places consistently stay cool and must have good karma. Places like:
5th and Baylor
This spot has survived as the gateway to Austin's hippie house culture. This Hippie houses are now law offices and galleries... but still look like Hippie houses. This area also survived a serious attempt at bad karma when the Treaty Oak killing was attempted. Lot's of folks remember a cozy beer joint that was nearby
The Bremond Block
Elegance and family pride the Austin way. The B-Block is the place I have used over and over to show folks that Austin has always had style. This entire block is listed in the national register of historic places, the only listing like that. A 100% class act.
5th x 6th x Guadalupe x West Ave.
These few blocks have always been a happening area. In the really old days, Austin settlers gathered here to buy land. Later, this area was on the outskirts of downtown and the location of many a haunt and beer joint. As Austin grew, it was the site of both major debacles and timeless Austin.
The whole windy road. This was the way to get to Travis for generations. Along the way, you could look down onto Lake Austin and undisturbed vistas for miles. Even in it's developed state, it's still cool.
Bee Caves Rd.
Remember when a trip to Soap Creek felt like a long drive in the country? Did y'all ever keep going all the way to Hwy 71 and Bee Caves Rd.? If you ever took your blender to Rosie's Tamale House, you probably did.
I used to love to go to Virginia's Cafe down on S. 1st about half way btwn Barton Springs and Ben White. Around about 74-75 used to eat some of the best chicken fried steak, pork chops etc. with the usual vegetables; Virginia, whom was very old, would cook it, serve it and run the cash register. You could get along just fine as long as you didn't try to strike up a conversation with her. She was damned busy and did not mind telling you so. So just eat your damned food or talk to someone else.
I happened upon Austin at the invite of my best friend in high school(Upstate NY early'70's)in Nov.1974. I was in college in Okla. and he at UT. Sooo I went and experienced Austin on substances no longer the quailtiy they were back then. Imagine walking into the 'Dillo 3 days before Thanksgiving seeing that mural of Freddy 'Strait From Heart' King & drinking my first Lonestar and ordering up a chalupa and a Chocalate chip cookie. On that one visit I knew I had to live here. I quit college moved to Austin became a partime Rest. Mgr and full time part-taker of everthing musically-epicurian-artisan Tejas Hill country had to offer.
So my question is, other than the places, people, and things mentioned here does anybody remember:
1.The original 'Hole-In-Wall' off 'The Drag'
2.Mother Earth (I saw Tommy Shannon play there I think with the 'Fools').
3.Mad-dog and Beans (right anround the corner from Inner-Sactum.)
4.Ice Scream You Scream or even 'Nothing Strikes Back' ice cream parlour (if you had a serious case of the munchies, nothing like black-lights/deadheads and a chocolate-banana malt with whipcream and a nilla wafer).
5.BalconesFault (if you remember the 'Savages' you can't forget the 'Fault')
6.Too Smooth, The Electromagnets, 40times it's Own Weight.
7.Antones, Soap Creek, Blue Parrot, The Filling Station, Bee Caves, Mt.Bonnell......'Hippie Hollow'.
8.W.N.'s annual 4th picnic.
11.I'll need to be refreshed here, out by Lake Travis there used to be a co-op run eatery that served family style dinners great viddles!!!!
12.Shivas Headband (I heat they'll still going strong)Commander cody,Asleep at the Wheel.
I had the need to drive up Burnet Rd. the other day and I was brought back in time to a place that was but is no longer: the Char-Ex Drive Inn. You know the place, it was on the corner of Old Keonig and Burnet (that's "ole KAYnig and BURnet" to you newbies... get it right) Their chili was outstanding, their beer was cold, the people there were old school Austin. Today, the building is still there but it has the look of a flea market instead of a respectable beer joint.
What happened to the beer joint? These days, there are notable hangers-on such as Deep Eddy and Ginny's Little Longhorn but the vast majority of the neighborhood taverns have vanished. Austin's reputation for live music has always depended upon the beer joint venues (you don't hear Austin music here)
The people and places that have always been there to define the true Austin culture are starting to get very rare.