poison

music pictures by Pat Blashill
 

“Texas is a mystique closely approximating a religion...People either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox…For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley, 1962

Bill Anderson, Poison 13: “We just wanted to play loud rock songs about drinking, fucking, and killing.”

Steve Collier, the Big Boys:
“In 1979, the Varsity Theatre in Austin showed a double feature of The Who movie "The Kids are Alright" and the Ramones in "Rock 'n' Roll High School." Conversion completed. I loved both movies, but I remember that ‘a-ha’ moment of realizing The Ramones could actually be BETTER than The Who.”

Chris Gates, Big Boys: “We’d been hanging out at Raul’s Club and going to shows. I’d been playing in a heavy metal band and was saying, ‘I can do that [punk music.] That’s not very hard.’ I asked Raul’s owner, ‘What does it take to play here?’ And he said, ‘When do you wanna play?’”

Gary Floyd, the Dicks: “I was drunk one night in Raul's. Some band was playing and I was staring at two guys in the back of the club next to the bar. They didn't really look like punks, but more like off-duty terrorist thugs - the "ready to fight" types. I knew I had to get to know them. Buff Parrott and Glen Taylor were from San Antonio, Texas, in Austin for some drinks and music. Before the night was over, we had not only become friends but had made beer-drenched plans to start a band together. I already had the name - The Dicks - and they loved the idea.”

Bob Mould, Hüsker Dü: “I remember one time passing through Austin--the insufferable heat, the dust-filled front yards, the skaters, acid-damaged art punks throwing empty beer cans at the bands on-stage at the Ritz, the Dicks. Maybe they were all those impressions rolled into one. The instigators, the perpetrators, the participants, the targets. Wherever it was, there they were.”

Chris Gates, Big Boys: “We don’t perceive much of a line between where we stop and everyone else starts. We’ve always invited people up on the stage, whether they’re dancing, singing or thrashing.”

Steve Albini, guitarist, Big Black, and producer, Nirvana: “[Scratch Acid’s first record] is one of the first punk rock records that sounded like there was a really coherent aesthetic to its presentation. The sound of the record, the balance of the band — it's a landmark. You got the feeling watching them [play live] that they were being put through some sort of ordeal. It wasn't shtick.”

Kathy McCarty, Glass Eye: “I think a lot of people expected more of a Southern Rock sound, because that’s what they think about Texas: Southern Rock, Z.Z. Top, stuff like that. They weren’t expecting a band that sounded like us at all.”

As their sound developed, so did their ability to judge between right and wrong.
Butthole Surfers promotional biography, ca. 1983

Gibby Haynes, Butthole Surfers: “I got stabbed in the arm, but we played it up a bit later. People thought I had been stabbed in the intestines and would have to pee in a bag for the rest of my life. Stabbings are always good.”

Paul Leary, Butthole Surfers: “Our bass player Jeff Pinkus just got married. In a cave somewhere underneath Georgia.”