Literally having to write this in between gigs, I feel that I need to share the glamorous world of rock n roll that we were a part of this morning. Being hired as publicity people for a local venue here in town full of live music history both local and internationally, we knew this was going to be rich with characters as flavorful as the music.
This morning we are working with Travel Channel who has come into the venue to film for a series they are doing about Tex Mex meets Bluegrass, a series that visits a lot of the old Texas dance halls and recounts the stories and musicians that made them legendary. We arrive at the location of filming, a place that constantly smells like the grassy aroma of ‘Willy’s Bus’ and join the film crew on a tour of the location which is full of music memorabilia from old Austin and musicians including Janis Joplin.
Every closet is full of collectible posters, videotapes, and priceless photographs of the people and the music that set this venue on track to be a leading part of Austin’s live music history. The owner, a boisterous, grandfatherly type with a southern draw, tells story after story about what it was like to work and be friends with such people. The TV in the lonely living room is playing a DVD about the history of the venue and reminds you that this is Austin’s version of what it was like at Woodstock turned Hard Rock Cafe style.
Being in this location, you are surrounded by the many people who come and go in a place like this. Johnny Cash’s piano player for twenty years, Earl Poole Ball, is among some of the people that come and hang here till all hours of the night playing on the giant piano sitting in the middle of the living room. I’m sure this living room has seen many famous and legendary faces in it’s time.
Today we were greeted by a young woman straight out of the San Francisco scene, really, and landed in Austin working at the venue. She looks like she’s led a hard life already and you can tell she likes to play just as hard. It ‘s an awkward meeting of trying to play nice, but keeping your distance right away because of her intensity and lack of boundaries. She is really loud, dirty from last nights partying, and full of thoughts she outwardly shares whether you want to hear them or not.
The kids and I pile into one of the rooms while the film crew and Greg , who is also capturing film, move into another one. It’s all quiet in the house so that the film crew can capture the stories the owner is giving while we sit and listen. Ms San Francisco sits on the couch in the den and stares at us for awhile – the kind of stare where you just smile and act like it’s not bothering you at all. You find ways to make fake conversation with the kids, because she is just sitting there watching you quietly observing your every move.
She starts a mixture of laughter while smacking her shoveled food into her mouth. The film crew is in the next room, condensor microphones picking up the most subtle of sounds.
Out of nowhere, myself and all three kids randomly look over at her and make the eye contact. The stare party gets awkward and like a true lady she busts out at the top of her lungs
‘YOU GUYS ARE SO FUCKING COOL FOR HOME-SCHOOLED KIDS!
HA! SNORT! HA HA! SMACK.
YOU KNOW, MOST HOME-SCHOOLED KIDS ARE FUCKING WEIRDOS!‘
F’in right we are…