Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tex & the Saddletramps find a home at The Lyon's Pub in Dallas

Ahhh, the Lyon's Pub!!! Tex & the Saddletramps straddled some eras. First gig as a rockabilly/C&W side-band from The Nervebreakers was opening for Joe King Carrasco and The Crowns at Big D's little punk hangout, DJ's. Then lots of gigs followed at The Hot Klub. As that fizzled out, alot of the Hot Klub bands transitioned over to the new wavey Ground Zero, off Upper Greenville Avenue, (DJ's had been at Lowest Greenville Avenue), but not us. Somewhere in the middle of all this Mike Haskins & Bob Childress left The Nervebreakers & the Saddletramps to form Bag Of Wire with Curtis Hawkins & Clarke Blacker. Paul Quigg & James Flory (from the band Superman’s Girlfriend) replaced them in both bands, & then both bands ceased to exist. Sometime in 1982, I met & started jamming with a cat named Key Kolb. Well, one thing led to another & we got together with Mike Haskins again & started a new Tex & the Saddletramps, recruiting the supremely talented Donnie Ray Ford to play bass & bringing back Russell Fleming, the only Saddletramps drummer through all these incarnations. Ford was more self-destructive & an even worse drunk than I was. So one Sunday after a gig at the tony 8.0 bar in which Ford had repeatedly grabbed the microphone slurring & cursing, BOTH guitarists called me separately & said, "we gotta find another bass player." The original Saddletramps' bassist, Linda Shaw, was given a call & she consented to return to the fold. Kolb soon left too & it was back to the original Mike, Linda, Russell & I. Sshhuuw! Enough background info...

Tex & the Saddletramps at Zebo's "Rockabilly Night"...

So we bounced around playing gigs wherever our manager, Curtis Hawkins, could scrounge one up. Out of town we played in Denton, at The Bowery in Oklahoma City, or Steve Dean's AusTex Lounge in Austin. In-town, at the aforementioned 8.0 Bar, "Rockabilly Night" at Zebo's, & the old Circle Theater on the infamous Harry Hines Blvd, a spectacular old movie theater, where I had attended movies on Saturday afternoons as a child, that had been converted into a massive hard rock/metal bar. Where after one set, they asked us to not play our scheduled second set, just take a less-than-agreed-upon amount of pay & leave...

Tex & the Saddletramps
posing in front of the Circle Theater on the infamous Harry Hines Blvd. (Left to right) 
Mike Haskins, me, Linda Shaw, & Russell Fleming...

Finally we ended up at the Lyon's Pub, in a kind of shabby older building on Yale Blvd. across Central Expressway from SMU. There, we found a home. A place that actually liked us, ALOT. At our first gig there, we learned the local Rugby team, the Dallas Harlequins, drank there after practices & games. They whooped & hollered with wild abandon, & swung from the light fixtures hanging down from the ceiling during our set. It was there I met some really fun gals who both worked & hung out there, a redhead named Carol Box & Dallas Alice, whom I'm still friends with & correspond with to this day. It was at the Lyon's Pub that I first met Bubbles Cash's wild offspring, the mohawked Keiley, that I ran with for awhile back then. She was probably then underage, but I never asked. I remember one night she & Bobby Soxx & I were stopped by the cops, with me driving. Bobby & I were experienced enough to "yes sir/ no sir" to all their questions, but Keiley was pissed off that we'd gotten pulled over. They found a tomahawk in her purse & arrested her on-the-spot. Which left Bobby & I to have to drive over to Keiley's mom's apartment & inform her, "Bubbles, your daughter's been hauled downtown for a concealed weapon." 

Things were going well with our regular gigs at the Lyon's Pub. We got some of our old punkabilly crowd, but also regular folks too. Add in some bikers & rugby players & we generally had a good time. Until one night right in the middle of one of our sets, a gentleman in a suit approached the stage, flashed a badge & cut us off mid-song. He was from the TABC, the state alcoholic beverage commission & they were closing the bar down. He informed us that "this gentleman here," pointing at one of his cohorts, "will watch you unload your equipment from the stage & out the back door. Do not remove anything else from this bar, just your own belongings. Do not finish your beers or take them with you." I later learned we were lucky. When they shut down a bar, they generally padlock the doors & can confiscate everything in there. We were lucky they let us leave with our gear. I later heard that Chris, the bar owner, had been passing around one alcoholic beverage license to several other bars at different locations, to have on hand for scheduled inspections. How that worked, I don't know, but that was the end of the Lyon's Pub...

(Special thanks to Curtis Cottrell for brightening up the first & third image)

Monday, January 30, 2023

The Very First Out On Parole Gig in 1985 at Austin's Continental Club

I’ve been trading comments with Cowboy Hank whose been posting his reactions to a bunch of George Jones albums he snagged ”recently at an antique mall in Cabarrus County” on his @just_record_stuff page on Instagram. I was telling him about George & Melba Montgomery’s great tune, “Feudin’ & Fighting” (https://youtu.be/znoBWksdyTo) about bickering couples.
It reminded me of the very first incarnation of Out On Parole right after I’d moved down to Austin in 1984 or ’85. So I dug out this photo, don’t remember who shot it, at the first OOP gig ever, at The Continental Club opening for the LeRoi Brothers.

To the left is the ‘Hillbilly Intellectual’ Joe Dickens on guitar, Mike Buck somewhere back there on drums, me & Alice Berry (AKA Lorena Jo Bodine) upfront in almost matching outfits, Linda Shaw on bass, swigging a last minute beer before the show started, & lurking in the shadows someplace, Wayne Buckner AKA the Reverend Ottis Moon on pianer. Included in the set was a version of the aforementioned “Feudin’ & Fighting”, where Alice & I had to spit that wordy song out at the breakneck pace we played it at. Yes, some of the lyrics got mangled…

Alice Berry (Lorena Jo Bodine) commented on the Facebook version of this post:
"Definitely matching outfits. I even wore a black wig and painted on a gap in my teeth to match my feuding partner LOL
Such a great band. I'm really proud to have been part of that."

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Today in 1983, The story of Tex & the Saddletramps in Oklahoma City, how I became "Tex" & where did I get this saddle?

Today in 1983 in Oklahoma City, we played a Friday/Saturday pair of gigs at The Bowery, a club in the basement of a building, that our manager, Curtis Hawkins had booked to get us out of Dallas.
The Oklahoma liquor laws were interesting. Liquor-by-the-drink could not be sold legally at that time in Oklahoma. So behind the bar, sat rows of liquor bottles with names taped on them, alleging that each patron had brought their own bottle with them for the bar to make them mixed drinks. Which of course was not true, but necessary, for the club to be able to create the facade of following the law. I later learned Texas had been the same way up through the 1960s, but by the time I had turned of legal age, liquor-by-the-drink had been legalized.
In Oklahoma City, we met lots of cool people. Basile & Miho Kolliopoulos, Greek brothers who had a band called The Fortune Tellers. Basile had previously lived in New York City & played with the great band, The Senders, for short period. Wayne Buckner & his then-wife Stava (who was French), let me crash overnight at their home. Much later, in 1984, I would start a band in Austin with Wayne, who became the Reverend Ottis Moon, & named our new outfit Out On Parole.
The photo on the flyer is funny. Because I was a city boy & had never owned a saddle, or ridden a horse more than a few times as a kid visiting a relative's ranch down in south Texas. But one of the girls I ran around with, Barbara LoMonaco, came from a family that was well off & owned horses & saddles. She also dabbled in photography & took the shot used on this flyer. However, I did already own the hat, by the way...
A couple of years before, my fellow Nervebreaker Mike Haskins & I, had started a rockabilly/C&W side band, & named it Tex & the Saddletramps as a joke. Thus I became "Tex" & here I was carrying my saddle...

Thursday, January 26, 2023

"Formerly Street Queen" the first Nervebreakers original song...

"Formerly Street Queen" was the very first song I wrote with my Nervebreakers songwriting partner Mike Haskins. I am guessing that was perhaps 1975 or ’76, when I was around 21 years old. “Formerly Street Queen” is an excellent example of it’s time & what is now referred to as “proto-punk,” with alternating fast & slow parts topped off with an epic-sounding final long section, building up to a resolution with a spaghetti-western turn at the end.

My old band from that era, The Nervebreakers, have a new/old album (FACE UP TO REALITY) released last year by Freddie Krc’s SteadyBoy Records, filled with original songs written & performed during the band’s late ‘70s heyday, but never documented & recorded until a 2009 band reunion. Got that? New in 2022, but recorded in 2009, but composed before 1980. "Formerly Street Queen" is included on this release.

Please check your local record store to see if it’s in stock. If you don’t find it there, I have some available here on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/155359139433
The ‘street queen’ illustration included here was one I lifted from a social media post, with no attribution listed for it’s source, that I ran across recently. Since we had a song with that in the title I posted it to Facebook with a link https://youtu.be/OHUHncPED2w to the song. Lo & behold, the wonderful Miriam Linna of Norton Records commented & informed me: “That image was hacked out of Bad Seed mag!” Bad Seed was a famous groundbreaking fanzine she & her late husband, Billy Miller, put together many years ago. So I quickly inserted in my posting the real source for this image that you see here, with apologies. Miriam’s one of the coolest, cutest dolls around but I know you don’t wanna get on the bad side of the original “bad seed."

Sunday, January 15, 2023

T. Tex Edwards & Out On Parole - Pardon Me, I've Got Someone To Kill

 T. TEX EDWARDS writes: 

Way back in the 1980’s, Mr. Mike Buck gave me a cassette mixtape he made called THE RUBBER ROOM, comprised of old C&W songs about murder, madness, jails etc. but mainly about murder. Nowadays it’s a whole genre of it’s own. But back then it was just tapes of weird old tunes that record collectors like Buck shared amongst friends.

I had a friend named Danny Whittington back in Austin with some recording equipment at his house & on a lark, I suggested we record some of those songs next time I was back in town visiting from my then-current home in Hollywood, California. That was how this album came about. What started out as a kind of sick joke turned into a semi-serious music project.

As it turned out, the songwriting on the most part was strong, the musicianship of the friends & friends-of-friends who were recruited was sure, & somehow my drug-sick, mumbled warbling fit right in & some minor magic was created.

Weirdo Austin artist Bob “Don’t Call Me Robert” Frye, another friend-of-a-friend was tagged with coming up with some coverart. Something along the lines of Porter Wagoner’s COLD, HARD FACTS OF LIFE (one of the songs included) & this fantastic creation of Bob’s was the lynchpin in convincing Long Gone John, indie record guy & collector of transgressive art, to release a vinyl LP of the project on his Sympathy For The Record Industry label.

Much, much later, after the century turned & I had moved back to Austin, Jeff Smith of Saustex Media, consented to re-releasing a CD version in 2007.

Which brings us to the present where I still have some of those CDs left to peddle to you here on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/155359257397


'Pardon Me, I've Got Someone To Kill' is a re-issue of the classic 1989 Sympathy For The Record Industry release (also New Rose in France, 1991) by T. Tex Edwards & Out On Parole. T. Tex is a true Texas Punk pioneer dating from his work in the 70's with the Nervebreakers and his later Hollywood outfit the Loafin' Hyenas. 'Pardon Me,...' is a collection of obscure C & W 'murder' songs rendered in Edwards' singular style. Top-notch backing on the disc is provided by Austin Roots luminaries Mike Buck (Fabulous T-Birds, Leroi Bros.) on the drums, John X. Reed (Doug Sahm, Jesse Taylor, Lucky Tomblin Band) on a variety of guitars, and other lesser-known but equally talented weirdos. 14 tales about drinkin', cheatin', killin' and prison rendered in high Texan fashion for your listening enjoyment. Includes the previously unreleased 'Last Will and Testimony (of a Drinking Man)' by Tex and the Affordable Caskets.