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The Alamo Hotel and Lounge

Bars | Places | Politicos

Talk about spooky... The Alamo Hotel even looked like it was haunted... which it was. Haunted by the ghosts of old Texas politics, haunted by the residual effects of time and social stratification. However, the Alamo Lounge was one of those places where the counter culture seeped into, bit by bit, and took it over. Much like Spellman's, The Lounge was the venue for many a-starvin' Austin picker. Probably the most interesting product of the Lounge is Lyle Lovett. He seemed to be the leader/headliner for a weekly picker session.

In those days, it seemed like the Alamo stood alone at the corner of 6th and Guadalupe. Now, it's hard to imagine that spot could have been so isolated even though isoaltion was what many of it's denizens craved.

I just watched "Be There To Love Me", the Townes bio-pic, and was reminded that the video for Willie and Merle's "Pancho and Lefty" was shot at the Alamo Hotel during its final days. Watching that video, actually looking "through" the video to see a snapshot of old Austin is very rewarding. Here is an outstanding memoire on the Hotel and the shoot: Pancho and Lefty, Part 1 and Pancho and Lefty, Part 2

Alamo Hotel

And don't forget, LBJ's brother lived there. I seem to remember he was still there in '79 or '80 when we would slip in to hear music. I remember his residence seemed eerie and "normal" at the same time.

We used to eat Chinese food at a restaurant in the basement we I was very young.

The Gentlemen's Club

Does anyone remember the massage parlour that was there? I think it was called The Gentlemen's Club. I worked there in the early eighties!

pancho and lefty video shot at alamo hotel bar

I worked offshore in the early 80s,and stayed at the Alamo Hotel regularly.I have great memories of the old place,screen doors on the rooms,smokey bar,with great music,massage parlor in the basement.I have seen the original pancho and lefty video shot in the bar,i love it,brings back the old days.Why can't I find it anywhere,anymore??? Help,where can I find it?

Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories clex.

I lived in the Alamo for two months in 1978, while "backpacking" round the Western USA and working illegally for beer money, and frequented the bar there. Frequented? Practically lived there. It was nicer than my room.
Never been back. I wonder what happened to Swami Steve and the Nun, Catfish and others?

Alamo and Catfish

I knew Catfish and wonder about him too. I think he is now in the town he was born in ....Madison Wisconsin.

The Alamo Revisited

My parents were regulars at the Alamo and you may have bumped heads with them a time or two. Seemed to me that Eli Garza was the owner at the time. I was too young to remember the music in there but gosh they all are known now huh? My parents kept a bottle or two of scotch in their trunk and went in after work and would stay for hours while my brother and I would wait at home for dinner. When they got home Mom brought mexican food from the Tamale House located at 1st and Congress. Gosh I wish I had some of that good ol greasy food now.....It was a pretty cool place though as I look at it from an adults perspective.

Tamale House on 1st

That Tamale House could easily be thought of as the beginning of the end of 70's Austin downtown. I say so because I remember clearly the day they announced it's sale so that developers could get the land and build a sky scraper. The fellow that owned it and cooked there, I think, walked away with over a million $$$. That began the transformation of downtown that continues through today.

Tamale House on 1st

The owner's name was Mo Vasquez. And yes, it was the beginning of the end.

alamo hotel and lounge

I lived at the Alamo for a period in the 80s.....Interesting times to say the least...Spent many an afternoon at twilight shows at the loung...Butch Hancock...Jimmie Dale....Nanci Griffith.....Lucinda Williams...Robert Earl Keen....Lyle Lovett....Steve Earle....Rank and File....Townes van Zandt....Unbelievable really....Followed them all to Emmajos....i also remember living off the french fries at Mad Dog and beans....i think that was the name....well great Site here....great memories...You can also see the Alamo in the Clash video Rock the Casbah....and in a Peter Fonda movie shot in Austin called Outlaw Blues

Alamo Hotel Lounge

This place was really old by the time I ever went there in the late 70's. The lobby was dank and dusty, but the jackpot was finding the bar. It too seemed run down, old and steeped with history, but it was a great place to catch live music. Bill Neeley was a regular performer in this small venue. He was good friends with and had played with Kenneth Threadgill and had met and been inspired by the lengendary Jimmie Rodgers. He was old, but his sets were authentic and outstanding.