Austin, Eddie Wilson, Burton Burton discussed on KOA Programming
Eddie's probably best known for the Armadillo world headquarters, but he's also been running red gills ever since. And when we talk about the changing of the guard. Old Austin nuance. And it feels like a great place to dive back into the conversation with Eddie is just a just to tackle that head on. So how easy is it for you to love the Austin that Armadillo existed in and also to love the city Austin's becoming well it takes a little bit of purpose. You have to want to if you're going to get through. It's still here you have to seek it out now used to there wasn't much here. And it wasn't hard to seek out because they were used only one or two or three exceptions to the rule of dull and boring. And and now we have hundreds and hundreds of opportunities for people to enjoy diversity of every sort every kind of entertainment. And that was the Petri dish that we created at your model where we had ballet one night and hard rock the next and country music to next and in a show in a beer garden for. You know, cover all of that was going on right across the drainage ditch. But where the cafeteria got built. Miramonte cafeteria put up a big fit. So their customers wouldn't see the hippies in the beer garden and the hippies garden ended up going over to the cafeteria and eating Jimmy Vaughan may have been the first vegetarian I ever met really really when Stevie was just a baby were eating at the cafeteria. So we we provided good customers for the cafeteria. And that's where I met Mr. Crockett, our landlord always tells people that ask if he's candidate he Crockett, he always snaps back. Third third cousin by a second marriage or something like that. And he's he's the he's the guy that gave UT Longhorn marching band big Bertha and was the marching band director as a volunteer for five years until after time Darrell Royal came in with the with the new age. Crockett is is one of my favorite people. And it's not his fault that we're in such dire straits on the south side right now, it's just simply. The taxes and insurance and whatnot have gone up six hundred percent in the last six years. And so the cost of just existing in that space downtown. Is breathtaking. It's documented in the press. I think I read in the chronicle just a few weeks back where you weren't optimistic that thread gills might survive in that location past south by south west. But it might well I put up that flair to see if there was anybody out there that might be able to come up with a solution and some really really fine. People from Gary killer at Williams to a wonderful man named Gary sap from the. Hunt building corporation out of El Paso, recently, built those big apartments around the downtown's spot and then sold them, but. Sap is such a fan of Armadillo and back in the day that he's he's he said, he'll do whatever he can to help. So. That's all made difficult by money. And that's what's been aggravating me. Now by my entire adult life. I didn't come from it and never recruited and been successful. Getting a lot of attention. But somehow and other pass through one man brain radio on KLBJ, Eddie, I told you coming in. And we were gonna run outta show before we ran out of things to talk about you had come back anytime for sure, but I got time for a few more. So you dedicate the book to Burton and Sandra. Now, obviously, we've got Sandra sitting right here. Who's Burton Burton Wilson was a photographer that just passed a very few years ago. Ninety five years old and Burton showed up at the Armadillo with a camera during one of the first shows and said, I'll take pictures musicians are due mostly black and white work, and I would love to document some of your carrying and I said look. Look, you tell everybody that you own the place and new you'll never need a backstage pass and burden was the friendliest most respected revered but Burton Burton and his his beautiful sweet Victorian wife, Catherine. Tell us a lot about matters. Burton got a call one night at supper he said, I've got to go Kathleen wants to have her portfolio made that means nude pictures and Catherine said burden. I don't understand why you keep shooting. These new you've never sold a one man brand radio. Gail VJ. Eddie Wilson's our guest. The new book is out go written with local, author and music luminary. Jesse sublet it it's so singly titled Armadillo world headquarters. It's the memoir that actually like you said starts when you're ten, but, but it it tells the story of this iconic Austin institution, and as you've said, there's a lot of stories that didn't even make it in here. Let's get you out of here on this question. So man as long as. We're above ground in breathing. We're all works in progress. That means the memoirs still working what's left for you to do at this point. Survive a little longer. Yeah. But in terms of as it relates to music, bringing food and music, and and community is really what is the thing that I that. I think of as a guy who missed the Armadillo okay missed it showed up too late, and you know, I'm class of eighty five Georgetown high school, which means the vast majority of people in their thirties. One of the troublemakers that we had to put up with bad. But I was sadly, as I think I'm going to go on a tangent here for sake, but my friend, Ian, Moore was one of the one of the guys who famously talks about growing up at the parents will bring him and Cheney Cheney one of my dear friends, those guys they're and they're my age, right? But the vast majority of people in the thirties and forties and even into their fifties. Maybe missed what do they need to know about the Armadillo wh-? How do you succinctly tell them? This is what the Armadillo meant then. And here's what it means. Now meant that you could do whatever it was you you needed to do. Due to feel creative and get your ya Ya's in Austin, Texas, Austin has always been. The liberal bastion of a very very conservative state. The blue dot in the red red all those hippies that came here came here to join together. This is this is the place that well, we always called it to cultural Petri dish because people that were getting beat up with rubber hoses in Dallas came here because they wanted to play music and the people from Lubbock came here because they wanted to play music, Houston, San Antonio. We had we had music as the reason that folks came here. But in the meantime, we were bringing in national actually, we're having to try to expose in Austin all of these people around the country that they bought the records. And when we fed those people they went back out and told each other you really want to go play this place. They really treat you good. So hospital talapity has been a part of my existence since. Pasta, Tallahassee intending to kids. My mother ran a day nursery school, and I grew up serving little kid stuff. Sometimes I didn't want to eat. You had to learn to eat your cabbage. Because. My momma my momma founded a hold on a second. I didn't know that eating your vegetables was that, you know, central to the mission to eat your vegetables. Yeah. Well, it was catch you guide you through the day. We we couldn't afford a whole lot the little kids. They loved mama's spaghetti. They are always called it piscotty. And because it was cut up. You didn't have to twirling around a fork you could eat her spaghetti with a spoon. It was good red sauce sweet red sticky sauces that keyed almost everything. Go ahead. Monica do it. Yeah. This one man brand radio on KOA keeps saying we're almost done. But I keep coming up with things ask you. So so play along with me here if I could get in in the the way back machine, all right and be part of the Armadillo. I think the shows that I the shows I would want to teleport into just for just for the day would be Elvis Costello. Maybe maybe pretenders because I'm a huge fan Bruce Springsteen. Well, it would have only cost you a dollar on the first night. Right. Okay. So those would be my big three. What's the one? I'm missing though, what's the one that that that would define that? If you could tell a port back and do the time machine for one night, you know, what let's let's take it out of the hype. And I don't want you to make it about me. Which one would you go back? What night would you go back? And I'm always challenged twenty. I have the memory of Bette midler grabbing me by the shirt pulling me down into her face in cleavage har-. Let's were already on stage. Singing, Barry, Manilow playing piano. Getting ready for her to rush out and she pulled me down to her face. And she said, okay, I hear you the mouthpiece of this place. Tell me everything worth knowing about this one horse town. You got sixty seconds. Nice and spewed. And I've thought I did a pretty good job the longhorns had one. So the tower was glowing. And I made a. Erectile joke out of that. And. Bet shoved me off and maybe thirty seconds of my bladder and took off and went up on stage and turned what little I had given her into ten minutes of the funniest stand up routine. I have ever seen in my life. And so I'm always in that memory always trying to crank out everything about Austin Edward Norton as fast as I possibly can. I just don't talk that fast have much less think that fast, it's one man brand radio KLBJ with Eddie Wilson. Some watching the Tom petty documentary in talking about the time when he was touring with Bob Dylan, and how on stage every night was just like an accident waiting to happen, and essentially the way that petty recounted it was that the accidents. You know, even though sixty to seventy percent of the time. Maybe it could be a mess. It's those Dylan was always going for those magical moments, and that's why he will push them. So I'm curious what were some of the happy accidents? Of of the Armadillo that it was there. There were no best clans Thanksgiving Day, November the twenty second of seventy two believe or three seventy two. I had fed the Grateful Dead the night before in the Mt. Armadillo building because they were playing the Palmer auditorium night before thanksgiving. Okay. And I tell him like Jerry Garcia just look around and said, I would like to play here, and my heart was being so bad. I just almost swallowed it and said, well when would you like to do that? And he said well tomorrow believe it or not Thanksgiving Day. We're just hanging around the hotel because there's no have anything to do. I said, well, we can fix that. And then they went across the street played the Palmer, and his show was ending Garcia was about to exit the back door when it opened and Jim Franklin and Leon Russell were ten in there. And. Garcia said Leon. We're gonna jam tomorrow at two Armadillo you ought to come over. And join us. And what Tom and Garcia looked at me. He hated details. And so he looked at me, and it was my call and I said, three o'clock, ugly weather bad day. I got on. On a telephone to the radio station, the next morning couldn't use any names, of course. But I said, you know, a lot of people are disappointed that were closed on thanksgiving. We don't have any Turkey, but we got a little bit of beef stew. So we're going to have a little jam about three o'clock would just friends that just have nowhere to go and at three o'clock place. Just started filling up before social media. The words still got her. Jaguar Jared guard tuning up backstage. Let's wait on Doug. Doug, Sahm should be the bandleader for this goes more songs than anybody. Of course, Doug was the only person that was late and about fifteen minutes or so, but that thanks giving day seventy to jam with Mary Egan of greasy wheels on valley and Phil lash of the dead on base. A lot of a lot of good. Leeann said not long before he died. He was here. And he said that was the worst performance of his life so memorable though because he wasn't a jam guy. He's an arranger. And so he had a very bad memory of his performance that night, I assured him it was pretty good showed him a picture that you can see on the wall, it either threat yield of he wanted to know what Mr..