Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Nervebreakers flyer with the fetish model & the story of DJ's & The Hot Klub in Dallas


Pat Blashill posted this old Nervebreakers flyer yesterday with a note that said: “Nervebreakers show at DJs, Dallas, 1980. The much beloved Nervebreakers pre-dated punk in the Big D, and are said to have had a quasi-New York Dolls phase. DJs was one of the first punk clubs in the city, although not as well known (or funded?) as The Hot Klub. Poster by Nervebreakers singer T. Tex Edwards. The woman in the photo is Tana Louise, who was once known as the Cincinnati Sinner, and like Bettie Page, was also a fetish model for Irving Klaw (ID courtesy of the lovely Mae Barone.)” 

My two cents: DJ’s was before the Hot Klub. There was a very short period of time where they overlapped. "Better funded" is an understatment. Punk stumbled upon Delores Nolley, DJ’s proprietor (who had some sort of Jack Ruby connection in her younger days). When some punks in a band called The Infants (ex-Dot Vaeth Group members David & Doug Townsend on guitar & drums, Linda Shaw on bass, who later played with me in Tex & the Saddletramps ’79-’82 & the early version of Out On Parole ’84-’85, & a limey cat named Jeff Westley on vocals, who hung out at the clothing store next door on lower Greenville Avenue, approached Delores about letting them set up & play in her tiny bar, a scene was born. She was ill-equipped to be booking bands above the local punk level, who just wanted any place to play that would let them come in & bash away for tips. Eventually, bands from Austin would come up to play DJ’s. I don’t know what payment they were promised, someone from one of those bands would have to chime in on that. But I do know that the first time The Cramps came to Texas, they played Austin & Houston, but no-showed DJ’s in Dallas because the word had gotten around that she didn’t always come up with promised guarantee She also promoted what I think was the first “punk festival” in Texas, ‘DJ’s First Annual New Wave Retreat’ at the historic Yello’ Belly Speedway in Grand Prairie.

The Hot Klub was a venture run by much more experienced Dallas musicbiz guys, Mark Lee (who had managed & promoted Dallas garagebanders Kenny & the Kasuals in the late 1960s) & Danny Eaton, formerly of Eaton-Page who ran The Palladium, up on Northwest Highway in Dallas, where The Nervebreakers had opened shows for John Cale, The Police, & The Clash on their first run through Texas. Coincidentally, The Clash show was the same weekend as Dolores’ New Wave Retreat (October ’79?) & Joe Strummer referenced it onstage into the microphone on that night. Just months later Lee & Eaton astutely saw where music was headed, & opened up The Hot Klub on Maple Avenue in a building that had formerly been a good sized Hispanic Disco, right across the side street from a Jack-In-The-Box drive-through burger joint. Local bands now had a bigger, more organized room to gig at, with a built-in good sound system & soundman. And every new wave, ska, neo-rockabilly, post-punk, up & coming touring band that came through Dallas in that 1980-83 period played at The Hot Klub. From Jeffery Lee Pierce wailing on his bugle, to the Stranglers’ roadies tossing Bobby Soxx out of the upstairs dressing room & down the stairs & Soxx subsequently slashing all tires on their rented Ryder truck parked out front. It was always hopping at the Hot Klub

Above is the original image of Tana Louise I recently ran across, that I swiped from Andy Warhol's Interview or another of those New York City rags for this flyer & was later used for The Nervebreakers' first album coverart...

Also, check out Pat Blashill’s great ‘Texas Is The Reason’ book, plus he is currently working on an oral history of Lone Star punk for UT Press.

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