Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Geronimo's Cadillac

Cosmic Cowboys

There's a great article in Texas Monthly (not a subscriber) on the Austin music scene and the rise of the "outlaw" country scene throughout the 70's. An exhaustive analysis done via interviews with the major players in the scene, I've included some choice quotes below. What I found particularly interesting was the crossover and influence by the San Francisco psychedelic music scene, in particular the Grateful Dead. Nice to know that wherever you may roam, there are sure to be some freaks out there on the horizon.  

BILLY JOE SHAVER I got into that dang peyote and got to thinking I was Jesus. I was just walking around, healing people. I baptized a bunch of them.

BILLY JOE SHAVER I was booked to play the ’Dillo in front of the Grateful Dead but got there a day late. Eddie was ticked but didn’t make a big deal of it. Actually, he chased me down in the parking lot and said, “Billy Joe, the Dead left you something,” and handed me this roll of toilet paper that had a hit of acid on every square. For about two years, I walked around with that toilet paper in my pocket. I couldn’t hit it every day. I would hit it every other day.

 HERB STEINER Some of us took acid one day and then worked up “Wheel.” “Wheel” is us on LSD.

WILLIE NELSON A lot of acts were pissed because what’s-his-name, Kung Fu, got to go on—David Carradine. What was funny too was that Kung Fu, David, was out there barefooted. So I said, “If he can go out there barefooted, I’m going out there barefooted,” and took my shoes off. In the meantime, people had thrown a bunch of roses with thorns onstage; I walked right over the goddamn things. I thought, “Maybe I’m not as tough as Kung Fu.”

RAY WYLIE HUBBARD We recorded an album for Warner/Reprise, but then while we were on the road, somebody at the label said, “This is a folk-rock record. Country radio is not going to play this.” So they put girl singers and steel guitars on every track and just broke our hearts. I called my lawyer and said, “They put rope letters on the cover of the album. What can I do?” He said, “I suggest you start drinking.” So I did, for about the next twenty years.

WILLIE NELSON I never liked it. Eventually I told everybody, “You’re wired, you’re fired.” If you’re going to play music, you better all be on the same drug. You can’t have a guy up here wailing away on cocaine while you’re laid back on a little pot. It just don’t work.

JOE NICK PATOSKI The Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967 marked a huge cultural shift. But when you look back on it now, the psychedelic music that came out of it had a pretty brief run. What started in Austin in that fuzzy 1970 to 1973 period is still playing out. There’s a continuity that you can’t say about any other regional music explosions in the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century. And that ain’t blowing smoke.