Home with the Armadillo

Always fun to run across artifacts that tie together threads from different quadrants of my world. Consider the video below, which has connections to my latest book as well as the first one I ever wrote. It shows Asleep at the Wheel onstage alongside Commander Cody on a hot version of the old Tex Williams classic “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)”; and there’s my “Comin’ Right at Ya” co-writer/subject/star Ray Benson, sharing a microphone with Lost Planet Airmen guitarist Bill Kirchen.

That’s the new connection. As for the old one, that would be with my 1985 University of Texas journalism master’s thesis, “Music, Media and the Metropolis: The Case of Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters.” This video is from the Armadillo’s final night, New Year’s Eve 1980, before the place went under the wrecking ball in early 1981 — undone by Austin’s boom-town growth, which continues to this day.

Cody figures very prominently in both these books. But while “Comin’ Right at Ya” is easy enough to find (and cheap, too!), I’m afraid the only place one can find my masters thesis is the University of Texas library.

HT Joe Nick Patoski

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