Bryan Ferry is still infinitely cooler than the rest of us

Jesse Sublett, surrealist blues singer, Austin legend

photo of Jesse Sublett + acrylic sketch of courting grackle

UPDATE at 9 AM Thursday. Does Bryan Ferry need to redeem himself? I mean, after the disappointing “Olympia” and for not continuing to put out great releases to compare with Avalon, Stranded, These Foolish Things, Country Life, Manifesto, etc? I guess the answer is no. I admit that I was frustrated with him after Olympia, which was so awful, in my opinion, that it didn’t even bear listening to all the way through. The recent cover albums, the jazz versions, were all OK. And really, after you’ve given the world “Do the Strand” and “Virginia Plain,” “Avalon” and “Kiss and Tell,” to name just a few, I think you’re entitled to retire on your laurels. And last night, it was clear that Bryan Ferry is still vastly cooler than the rest of us, and even a Bryan Ferry who has fiddled around in the studio about 10,000,000 hours longer than necessary to come up with a new EP every five years or so, a Bryan Ferry who hires a bunch of young guns, including several proficient and inspired musicians who happen to be beautiful women, well, hell, what the hell? He’s a Picasso of rock stars, isn’t he? He’s creating masterpieces on stage in real time. He’s no Americana hipster Willie Nelson singer songwriter, is he? Nope. And that’s why I relate to him. When some of my contemporaries were letting their beards grow and wearing flannel shirts and cowboy outfit, I was following this muse. I guess I still am.

Bryan Ferry, Jesse Sublett, Surrealist blues singer

Bryan Ferry live 2014

It’s after midnight and we’re at the hotel on Wilshire Blvd, thinking about packing for our flight back to Austin, way too early in the morning. We came out here to see Bryan Ferry play at the Nokia venue in the Staple center downtown. Lois decided that we needed a break and I’ve got a big birthday coming up in May, so she bought tickets and got our hotel & air fair on credit card miles, and we came out to hang with our great friends, P&I, to do a little shopping and dining a couple of days ahead of time, plus a few other odds & ends. Last night was the blood moon, which we watched with Rocky Schenck on his patio in Beachwood Canyon. Anyway, I’ve been so busy I did no research at all about what kind of show Bryan would be doing, not even the makeup of his band.
I’ve seen Bryan Ferry about a half dozen times before, starting with the Roxy Music tour of 1975, when he stopped at the Armadillo in Austin. Other shows were at the Greek Theater in LA and the amphitheater in Santa Barbara. Those were fine, fine shows, and tonight was a revelation, an inspiration, a surrealistic illumination. The set list was heavy on Roxy Music material, starting with “Do the Strand,” as the first tune. The band was top notch and Bryan was in superb voice. He played keyboards a lot. In fact, he was back up in the back line on the keyboards singing more often than he was center stage, doing his modernistic lounge lizard moves.


I’m not going to sweat the details here. It’s late and we’ve got a flight to catch early in the AM. It was a great show by an artist who is older but still delivers the magic. Bands come and go, and so do trends and seasons and fashions, but Bryan Ferry is still super cool. “Do the Strand” and “Avalon,” “Slave to Love,” “Editions of You,” “Virginia Plain,” and “Manifesto” are still super cool, still sufficiently strange and vibrant. Reminds me of when I first picked up the bass guitar and started a band.

Blood Moon over Los Angeles



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It’s a grubby little world…

But so what? Mix me a redhead and tell me what you got that’s any better?

The Woman Chaser (1999) goes online May 1, 2014.

The Woman Chaser (1999) goes online May 1, 2014.

A few updates on yesterday’s post, helping spread the word about THE WOMAN CHASER (1999) going online starting May 1st. As you may know, I’m a huge fan of Charles Willeford, whose novels redefined noir fiction starting in the late fifties and early sixties. The Robinson Devor-directed adaptation of Willeford’s 1960 novel, “The Woman Chaser,” starring Patrick Warburton, goes online soon for your streaming pleasure, first to I-Tunes and Amazon May 1st, following with Netflix and Hulu in June 2014.

Here’s the official blurb:

Ex-used car salesman and filmmaker Richard Hudson burned down Mammoth Studios for butchering his masterpiece, “The Man Who Got Away.” Paroled after 14 years in prison, Hudson is still unrepentant
Watch the interview here:

The website is now live, with a team of busy digital ex-used car salesman elves working on tuneups, new additions and unbelievable deals: Visit: .

"jesse sublett, noir fiction author from Austin, Texas" + "Charles Willeford"

Me & Charles Willeford in New York Times

I know I mentioned writing about Willeford and The Woman Chaser for New York Times in 2000. In case you missed that little self-promoting item, here’s a blown-up version of the article, but it’s much easier to read online.

Brent Simon, at wrote of The Woman Chaser’s “cool, offbeat elegy for old school noir… a time warp Get Shorty with the experimental ethos of a student film and the studied composition of a [loving] homage.”

Jeffrey M. Anderson, writing at, wrote that “The Woman Chaser is a very off-kilter picture, and it’s bound to throw viewers for a loop.” Now, the uninitiated might see a line like that and assume it’s a negative assessment, but if your reading experiences include, for example, The Shark Infested Custard,  The Way We Die Now, or maybe Kiss Your Ass Good-Bye, … and let’s throw in The Black Mass of Brother Springer, you’ll probably have a knowing smile on your face.

Michael Dequina at wrote that Devor’s film version was “cool, offbeat elegy for old school noir… a time warp Get Shorty with the experimental ethos of a student film and the studied composition of a [loving] homage.” Dig it. Michael must be feeling vindicated at the news that Scott Frank, who adapted Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty as well as Out of Sight, is the screenwriter for the FX pilot Hoke, based on Charles Willeford’s great Miami homicide detective series, which was last brilliantly adapted in Miami Blues, and three other fine sequels will be source material if the series is picked up.

Mere Bertrand at wasn’t totally blown away by The Woman Chaser, but despite the caveats, he gave a rating of 4 out of 5, which ain’t bad. Would Richard Hudson would  burn down their website for not giving it a 5? Probably not. Again, from the context of the review, I don’t think Bertrand is familiar with the Willeford oeuvre. He compares Richard Hudson to Puddy, the role trademarked by Patrick Warburton on Seinfeld… as if Warburton had written Willeford’s novel. If you’re steeped in Seinfeld but haven’t read many Willeford novels, I suppose this short sightedness is understandable. Bertrand does, however, recommend the film, as we see in his conclusion:

By essentially reprising his TV role in a nastier form here, Warburton runs the risk of being permanently known for this one character. Lucky for him and, in the case of “The Woman Chaser,” lucky for us as well that he plays this humorously loathsome character so well.

Interestingly, the best reviews for The Woman Chaser seem to have been from California bloggers. Check out ex-San Diego writer Scott Renshaw, whose main gig is writing for the Salt Lake City Weekly, and he gave TWC an 8 out of 10 in a fab review. Sample quote:

THE WOMAN CHASER is different in all the right ways. It’s energetic and imaginative where other parodies are too often limp and witless. It skewers the ego of film-makers, but never loses its love for film-making. It even pokes fun at film noir without resorting to predictable gags. THE WOMAN CHASER is a surprise in every positive sense of the word, because really, it shouldn’t work.

Peter Stack at the San Francisco Chronicle also loved TWC. “THE WOMAN CHASER – A SWING AND A HIT–SWANK HOLLYWOOD SPOOF HAS A PULP FEEL” opens by calling it a “black comedy” and

“The Woman Chaser” is a teasy, cogent and funny noir spoof of dime novels and 1960s Hollywood. The title role is played with inspired swagger by Patrick Warburton, the handsome lug famed as Elaine’s thick boyfriend, Puddy, on “Seinfeld.”
Indie writer-director Robinson Devor, in his feature debut, creates a retro Hollywood of cocktail lounges, gimlet glasses and finned Caddies with confident style, capturing L.A. in a crisp mix of surreal and real. The landmark Capitol Records building — designed to look like a stack of vinyl records on a turntable — is a well-used part of the backdrop.

Based on a pulp novel by Charles Willeford (“Miami Blues”), Devor’s script is a clever satire that tells the mean story of a used-car salesman driven by mad inspiration to become a moviemaker, a character whose pimpish savvy is powered by a hopelessly dangerous blend of ego and cluelessness.
A standout scene — maybe a classic — features the bearish Warburton, half naked, dancing balletically with his ex-dancer mother (Lynette Bennett). “The Woman Chaser” is funny but edgy, too. Warburton’s obsessed salesman, Richard Hudson, is perversely charming. His main gig in life is self-aggrandizement. Trysts with a secretary, his virginal stepsister and a Salvation Army worker have no emotional impact on him — he’s fired up only by his quest to become an artist.

The car salesman’s bravado, deadpan delivery and bordering-on-psycho emotional makeup make for a strangely compelling character. Hudson turns over his business to oddball flunkies in order to chase his dream of making a film titled “The Man That Got Away,” about a trucker who runs over a little girl and her dog.
In a world strewn with the sort of amusing misfits who were staples of precorporate Hollywood, the salesman enlists the backing of his mother’s husband — a failed movie director — and lands a deal with a steely studio mogul. Ultimately, there’s a showdown over artistic freedom that costs “The Woman Chaser” some of its edge. But that’s a mere quibble with a film that’s so much fun.– Advisory: This film contains strong language and graphic sex.

At Village Voice, Amy Taubin really hits the film critic mainline (as in the Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray”), referring to Willeford’s style as “psychopulp” and stating that, “At various times, The Woman Chaser suggests Ben Hecht’s The Spectre of the Rose, a Curtis Harrington mood piece, and various underground flicks from Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detourto Irving Lerner’s Murder by Contract…” I like Taubin’s style, and recommend reading the entirety of her fine review.

Finally, Dan Lybarger at wrote a fine piece on THE WOMAN CHASER. Again, he makes the Get Shorty comparisonSample line:

The Woman Chaser has a Get Shorty-like bemusement at the silliness of the entertainment industry. It’s also bolstered by a remarkably effective film noir-ish atmosphere. In addition to being presented in black-and-white, the movie features an eclectic selection of 50’s-era music that’s both eclectic and refreshing. None of these fascinating tunes (played by everybody from Dave Brubeck to Tito Puente) ever plays on oldies radio stations, and they fit the eerie visuals perfectly. The supporting cast also look right at home in the Eisenhower Era surroundings. The actors, some of whom are non-professionals, look nothing like the ones who usually populate Hollywood flicks. Most have a 50s-style paunch that most contemporary filmmakers seem to ignore.

"Jesse Sublett, surrealist blues singer"

Me & my Robert Mitchum on wood by Abby Levine

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Filed under Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett, film noir, NOIR & TRUE CRIME

Willeford Cult Classic “THE WOMAN CHASER” Lives Again Via Streaming

“I’m not going to ruin my movie because of some stupid ruling that it has to be ninety minutes long. That’s just like adding three more plates to the last supper, or an extra wing to the Pentagon.”
― Charles Willeford, The Woman Chaser

Producer Joe McSpadden has announced that the 1999 adaptation of Charles Willeford’s “The Woman Chaser” will be available for streaming on I-Tunes and Amazon May 1st and Netflix and Hulu in June 2014. The announcement comes with a new trailer featuring a post-incarceration interview with Patrick Warburton, who played anti-hero protagonist used-car-salesman-turned-movie-producer Richard Hudson in the film. Watch the interview on youtube here.

The Woman Chaser, originally released in 1999, has new life via online streaming on May 1.

The Woman Chaser, originally released in 1999, has new life via online streaming on May 1.

“I’m not going to ruin my movie because of some stupid ruling that it has to be ninety minutes long. That’s just like adding three more plates to the last supper, or an extra wing to the Pentagon.”
― Charles Willeford, The Woman Chaser

Jesse Sublett, noir fiction author & blues singer

Some of the books from my Charles Willeford Collection

Jesse Sublett, noir fiction author & blues singer, fan of Charles Willeford

Charles Willeford novels

Charles Willeford, who died in 1984, is hailed by many as the greatest crime fiction novelist of the late 20th century.

“The Woman Chaser” adeptly captures Willeford’s philosophy and tone, which often has the reader or viewer laughing out loud at a slapstick moment just before things turn grisly–leaving some to wonder if they missed something or the writer was possibly putting them on. With Willeford, you may never know. This is the razor’s edge tap dance at which he excelled more than anyone else.

Jesse Sublett, noir fiction author & blues singer, fan of Charles Willeford

The Burnt Orange Hersey, by Charles Willeford

I wrote about “The Woman Chaser” and Willeford in a piece for the New York Times published in 2000.

“Just tell the truth,” Willeford once said, “and they’ll accuse you of writing black humor.”

Charles Willeford, probably the greatest noir author of the late 20th century.

Charles Willeford, probably the greatest noir author of the late 20th century.

This could be a really good year for Willeford fans. Last fall, Variety announced that FX had ordered a pilot titled “Hoke,” with Paul Giamatti in the starring role for a potential series based on Willeford’s great Hoke Moseley novels. The pilot has been described as a “dark comedy” about the “hardboiled… maybe insane homicide detective in 1985 Miami. Screenwriter Scott Frank adapted the pilot and will come on board as show runner if the pilot is successful. Frank’s screenwriting credits include “Get Shorty” and “Heaven’s Prisoners” (adaptations of novels by, respectively, Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke). Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential) is one of the executive producers.

Now, if you know anything about noir, you know that Miami is the home of weird crime in America, and that means that a number of very fine crime fiction writers have made art out of that tragically flawed environment. And then you would also know that Charles Willeford is the godfather of all that.

The Atlantic ran a fine article about Willeford in 2000 titled “The Unlikely Father of Miami Crime Fiction.”

Not long after I met Charles Willeford, he told me the secret to writing. “Never allow yourself to take a leak in the morning,” he said, “until you’ve written a page. That way you’re guaranteed a page a day, and at the end of a year you have a novel.” Here was Willeford in a nutshell: the crudeness, the humor, and above all the love of the lie. One doubted whether he followed any of the advice he was so fond of dispensing.
Willeford, who died twelve years ago this spring, might be called the progenitor of the modern South Florida crime novel. John D. MacDonald had put the region on the mystery map in the 1960s, with his Travis McGee novels, but that was an older, sleepier South Florida. Willeford’s last four novels (1984-1988) spanned Miami’s metamorphosis from vacationer and retiree haven to the nation’s capital of glamour, drugs, and weird crime, and these inspired the post-Miami Vice group of Miami writers, including Carl Hiaasen and James W. Hall. “Miami Blues [1984] launched the modern era of Miami crime fiction,” Mitch Kaplan, the owner of Books & Books, Miami’s leading literary bookstore, told me recently. “There’s a direct line from Charles through just about everyone writing crime fiction in Miami today.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Jesse Sublett, noir fiction author & blues singer, fan of Charles Willeford

New Hope for the Dead, by Charles Willeford

“A man should always observe fanaticism when he gets the chance.” (The Machine in Ward Eleven)

Fanaticism for Willeford’s writing certainly elevated my life. Living in Los Angeles in the late 1980s–early 1990s, I was a huge fan of Willeford’s novels. One day in 1991 I ran into Dennis McMillan in Vagabond Books. McMillan published boutique editions of a number of Willeford’s more obscure works. McMillan and I hit it off, and later, he loaned me a bunch of manuscripts of Willeford’s remaining unpublished works. Through this chance encounter, I ended up making an important discovery: The novel “Deliver Me From Dallas,” co-written with W. Franklin Sanders, one of Willeford’s pals from the service, had been published by Fawcett Gold Medal in 1961 under Sanders’ name and with the title “The Whip Hand.” I made this conclusion and announced it after comparing the manuscript with a great looking Gold Medal paperback I first seen in a little used bookstore up in Big Bear Lake in the late 1980s (I was collecting pulp fiction by the truckload in those days).

"Jesse Sublett" "Charles Willeford" "crime fiction" "Denis Johnson" "Grave Digger B

The 1961 paperback original was published without Willeford’s knowledge, apparently. The editor at Fawcett hated Willeford’s writing, but when it was submitted without his name, he bought this book.

After I made this discovery I told Dennis, who was astounded, and he told Betsy. I clued book dealer Lyn Munroe, who issued a special Charles Willeford catalog, featuring the Gold Medal edition, which shot up in value from $1.00 to as much as $400 at auctions. I wrote a piece for the Austin Chronicle about it, and Dennis ended up publishing Willeford’s original manuscript (superior to the Sanders/Gold Medal rewrite), with the original title (“Deliver Me from Dallas”) and my own introduction, which I completed with help from Betsy, who gave me info on Willeford’s dates in the Army and Air Force, and other facts that helped confirm my conclusions. At some point word was also passed on to Don Herron, the Hammett tour guide and Willeford biographer, though he doesn’t mention the chain of events in his survey of Willeford’s work “Collecting Charles Willeford,” but it’s still a good, informative article.

Novelist Lawrence Block wrote a great piece about Willeford for Mystery Scene.

Here’s another fine piece on the Mulholland books site, by Doug Levin.


Filed under NOIR & TRUE CRIME, Uncategorized

Spring is here



OK, you-know-what is over. But spring is here, in case you missed the redbuds blooming and other things popping up, breaking out into color and generally efflorescing. This afternoon I just happened to catch Marco Werman on PRI in time for Sabina Sciubba’s slot promoting her new solo release. I don’t know if the whole record is as great as the first song she played, but it knocked me out. Check it out here. If Sabina’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you might recognize the name of her band, the Brazilian Girls. If you’re not familiar with them, you’re on your own, but I will say that I liked them instantly, first time I heard them. They seem like a singles band and a live band more than a CD band, but that’s OK. You can watch the Brazilian Girls doing their song “Pussy” on this youtube clip.

Jesse Sublett, author, playwright, bassist extraordinaire, noir novelist, Minotaur Memoirist

Minotaur Ready for Combat in the 21st Century

Speaking of girls in bands, my biggest disappointment last week was missing Arum Rae, who played two shows in Austin but I had schedule conflicts both nights. Arum formerly lived in Austin and performed in a twosome called White Dress. I played on a bill with her a few years ago and again, it was instantaneous. You can sample her music on her minimalist home page or look her up on youtube also. She is supercool.

Arum Rae

Arum Rae


More about this upcoming gig later: Friday, March 28, 7 PM, at All Saints Episcopal Church, I’ll be performing as a storyteller. Unique venue, special concept, no props, just me. Check it out here, or just read the details, and check the home page here.

Friday, March 28th
7:00 PM

All Saints’ Episcopal Church
209 W. 27th St.
Austin, TX 78705

For Lent this year, we’re going to do something a little different. Let us set the scene. It’s dark in the church except for the beam of a single spotlight. There’s no noise. A person steps into the lit circle and begins to tell a story. The story will be a true one, from the speaker’s own life. That will be all. No musical accompaniment. No notes. No visual aids. No gimmicks at all. Just a person and a story. Afterwards, we’ll move the gathering to Kinsolving Hall for fellowship and discussion.

jesseNext up is one of Austin’s finest–rocker and writer Jesse Sublett. Although he’s best known as one of the founders of the Austin punk scene with the Skunks, his work encompasses jazz, blues, Americana, and the odd mystery novel. Jesse is intimately and profoundly acquainted with loss, renewal, and redemption.



Me (center stage) with Tim Stegall & Clint Shay & the rest of the Hormones singing "Gimme Some" at SXSW unofficial 2014 at the Legendary White Swan.

Me (center stage) with Tim Stegall & Clint Shay & the rest of the Hormones singing “Gimme Some” at SXSW unofficial 2014 at the Legendary White Swan.

PS. The above photo is by Julia Cohen, as you can see by the watermark. Thanks for letting me use it.

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Filed under all saints episcopal church, just music, the front porch, tories of redemption

The Skunks (1978) return for SXSW 2014

The Skunks after the first gig at Raul's 1978, Jesse Sublett, Bill Blackmon, Eddie Munoz, photo by Cheryl Smith. Austin history, The Skunks put Austin on the rock n roll map

The Skunks after the first gig at Raul’s 1978, Jesse Sublett, Bill Blackmon, Eddie Munoz, photo by Cheryl Smith

March 13, at their only SXSW 2014 showcase, THE SKUNKS (1978) are back. Original members Jesse Sublett, Eddie Munoz and Bill Blackmon will recreate the moment Austin, Texas was jolted out of its cosmic cowboy coma in February 1978, when the earthquake-shaking Skunks electrified a little Tejano bar on the Drag called Raul’s, just a month after the Sex Pistols show in San Antonio. With instant classics like “Earthquake Shake” and “Cheap Girl” and “Something About You Scares Me,” the Skunks set the stage for its Live Music Capital of the World rebirth. After 12 whirlwind months, Eddie left for the Plimsouls and was replaced by 19-year-old Jon Dee Graham, who continues to play with the Skunks as well as his many other roles. Spread the word! #TheSkunks1978 Facebook event page here. More bio on The Skunks here.

Check out the mp3s from “The Black LP” from The Skunks 1978 produced by the late Joe Gracey, released on Rude Records in 1981.

The Skunks (1978) will kick off The End Records showcase at 8 PM. Get there early to catch 40 minutes of sizzling, bonerattling rock ‘n roll. The lineup for the whole night follows.

Lit Lounge
215 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 236-8878

8PM The Skunks (Jesse Sublett)
9PM Marianne’s Wish (George Solonos)
10PM Ruby The Hatchet (John Scarperia)
11PM Okta Logue (Olli Frank)
12PM My Jerusalem (Jeff Klein)
1AM Rich Robinson (Randy Miller)

PS. Eddie Munoz will also be at SXSW 2014 rocking with Split Squad.

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Bookstore Party Gig March 1

Sometimes you know me as an author, sometimes you know me as a musician. This is one of my favorite times, when I get to be both. I’ll have books for sale, and I’ll be putting my music in the air. What could be better? (OK, I’m not asking for suggestions, it’s just a saying). More details to follow, and/or keep up with the bookstore’s own info here.

Jesse Sublett, author, musician, raconteur,

Jesse Sublett & The Big 3 Trio will rock the bookstore Saturday, March 1.

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Filed under Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett, JESSE'S GIGS


To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’ve put up a new page with my art, some stories about which I’ll share later… not all of them are happy endings, but you may get a chuckle or two on my expense. With no further ado, I’ll post the link here and ask you to have a look.

And I know we’ll see a bunch of you at Tertulia tonight, that quarterly community art event we all look forward to. I usually read a new prose piece, sometimes with my wife, Lois Richwine, but tonight I’ll be singing a new song.

Jesse Sublett, noir writer, blues singer, artist at large, Austin, TX

CHAVEZ ON THE MOON, about 20 x 16, signed limited print, $250.

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Get your tickets to our show here:   Cool show. You’ll dig it. We promise surprises. A portion of proceeds to benefit  HAAM. Your good taste & dollars will help support the health of Austin musicians.

Hosted & produced by Jesse Sublett & Kim Simpson. Featuring Jesse Sublett’s Electric band, with Jesse Sublett, Kim Simpson and Bill Blackmon (original drummer of The Skunks). We’ll be joined by Dashiell Sublett and Jon Dee Graham (also of The Skunks) and Steve Bernal. Solo performances by Steve Bernal, Kathy McCarty, Kacy Crowley, Jon Dee Graham, Kim Simpson… Also featuring the Reivers, Why Not Satellite and The Wild Seeds. Read about it in Austin Monthly (February issue) and other choice media, including Austin.CultureMap. These are all Austin artists for whom Lou Reed has been a seminal influence. It’s not a “Sweet Jane” marathon jam, but a tribute, a recognition of the legacy of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. Some of us got through dark times in our lives with the help of Lou’s music and the sonic, emotional space occupied by songs like “Waiting for My Man,” “Berlin,” “Stephanie Says,” “Sister Ray,” “Perfect Day,” “Heard her call My Name,” “What Goes On,” “Busload of Faith,” “Venus in Furs,” “Dirty Boulevard,” etc… the list goes on forever, like art itself.

Keep your eye on this blog. I’ll add more later, along with other links to stories about the gig. Oh yeah, we’ll be on KUTX-FM with Jay Trachtenberg at 2:30 PM Thursday, January 30. We’ll do a couple of songs, an interview. It’ll be cool.

Jesse Sublett

Lou Reed Music: An Austin Tribute, presented by Jesse Sublett, with Jon Dee Graham, Dashiell Sublett, Kacy Crowley, Why Not Satellite, The Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Kathy McCarty, Steve Bernal & others TBA


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I just rec’d the news that my friend, the great writer and strange man, Neal Barrett, Jr., has died.

My first reaction, on receiving the email from Kip Stratton, president of TIL, was this:

That’s terrible news. I was already depressed today, so this is the icing on the cake. But I guess I can get myself together somehow, because I can hear Neal in my head saying, “Cheer up shithead, at least you’re not dead. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool out here. See around.”


Neal Barrett, Jr.

Neal Barrett, Jr. , from Austin American Statesman

The above photo was borrowed from a profile about Neal in the Austin American Statesman.
Well, I could write more, like, give you some anecdotes about things Neal said or did when we were hanging out a lot a few years ago, me and Tom Garner, James Crumley, Dick Holland, and the other guys in the gang when Tom would load us up in his Lincoln Town Car and haul us out to Lockhart for barbecue… like when they brought me a big plate of ribs and brisket from Smitty’s when I was on chemo after having my mouth and neck overhauled, and I was down 50 pounds, skin and bones, and I took one bite and said, Wow, boys, thanks, I’ll try to eat more later, and their faces fell down so far… or the day that Neal turned 70 and he said, Wow, 70, what’s that about??? Anyway, here’s the facts.

PS, Nobody wrote about Billy the Kid like Neal. I’ll scan his Billy the Kid story later and share it with you, if you promise to buy one of his books.

Dear TIL Members:

I’m saddened to report that Neal Barrett Jr. died on Sunday. He was 84 years old.
Barrett was inducted into TIL in 1999 and won a TIL award for his novel, Interstate Dreams, the following year. As that novel proved, he was a gifted literary writer — who could be extremely funny. He tended to work in genre fiction, although he twisted and bent the genres to meet his artistic goals. He wrote all sorts of novels — Westerns, science fiction, fantasy, sometimes combining genres — and enjoyed a devoted following. He published around 50 books, 20 or so under his own name. He also used ten noms de plume. He even wrote two Hardy Boys mysteries under the publisher’s house name of Franklin W. Dixon. He was known for mentoring a number of writers, including our own Joe Lansdale, who considered him a close friend. Barrett won a number of other awards in addition to the TIL award, including the Nebula and the Hugo. In 2010, he was named Author Emeritus of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Born in San Antonio, he grew up in Oklahoma City, but called Austin home for many many years. Upon learning of his death, Joe tweeted, “The Great Neal Barrett has died. Great person and writer.” An apt assessment if ever there was one.
Here’ s a link Joe forwarded:
W.K. (Kip) Stratton
TIL President

A link to a Todd Wolfson photo gallery from our United Sounds of Austin Show, Jan 11, at the Moody.

One more link: Advance tickets to my Lou Reed Tribute Show at Cactus Cafe Feb. 1 are now on sale.

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Filed under Austin, JESSE'S GIGS

Advance Tickets for LOU REED MUSIC: AN AUSTIN TRIBUTE Feb. 1

Get your tickets to our show here:  Sponsored by HAAM. Cool show. You’ll dig it. We promise surprises.

Jesse Sublett

Lou Reed Music: An Austin Tribute, presented by Jesse Sublett, with Jon Dee Graham, Dashiell Sublett, Kacy Crowley, Why Not Satellite, The Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Kathy McCarty, Steve Bernal & others TBA


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