Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Armadillo World Headquarters

I love the way this guy, Fred Reed, from LRC writes. He really has a way with words and he often writes about Austin.

You gotta understand. Austin in the Seventies was the great symbiotic corn-fed Texas-plus-hippy evolutionary musical weirdness center, with these blond strong kids from the fields who came in from the farm and hit the freak years, ker-blunch. Young America, the part that mattered anyway, was wobbling around the continent like carmine particles in some sort of macroscopic Brownian-motion. I’d drifted in from – either it was NYC or it wasn’t: I’m sure of it – to see a friend who lived in a cardboard shack mostly up on Montopolis on Crumley Lane, I think. Or somewhere else. It was not a factually fastidious time.

Now, Armadillo World Headquarters – this is getting difficult. You probably didn’t know that armadillos had a headquarters. Well, they did. They’re more organized than you think. It was an open-air music-and-lotsa-beer joint where wild bands played seditious music for dirty rotten anarchistic hippies, like me, and all these Texas gals, the which there ain’t no better on this or any other earth, except maybe in Arkansas, (well, or Alabama, or….) wandered around in tight cut-offs and the music soared and flew and flapped and you hollered “LSD!” at the waitress, who brought you a whole mug of it. (It meant Lone Star Draft. At least during working hours.)

Actually, the ‘Dillo wasn’t alone. There was Soap Creek Saloon where you’d get pitchers of beer and listen in thumping dark to some really good band, which Austin crawled with like ticks on a backwoods dog, and girls would jump on the tables and dance to the twang-and-whoop – we’re talking banjos here, five strings and twelve fingers – because in those days it was still America.


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