The Dillo was the nickname give by Texan hipsters to the Armadillo World Headquarters, the legendary Austin music venue that closed its doors on New Year’s Eve 1980.
On Tuesday evening John Prine treated Stockholmers to a magnificent three hour concert. He mentioned the AWHQ when introducing his cover of Blaze Foley’s Clay Pigeons. After recording the song, he was told that he had actually hung out backstage for three days in Austin with the man who had written it. Easy to believe. What a remarkable place. A mixture of hippies and rednecks, jazz tobacco and tequila, rock, country, jazz and ballet: not too difficult to lose track of time and the get a little fuzzy about identity of the people you are spending time with!
The Nick Drake of Texas? Eccentric songwriter, Foley, who was shot dead at the age of 39, was well known in his home state but fairly unknown elsewhere. That is until he was immortalised by Lucinda Wlliams with her song, Drunken Angel, on Car Tracks on a Gravel Road.
The Armadillo World Headquarters put Austin on the live music map and ensured that many artists who might have by-passed Texas, came and played legendary gigs. It probably also sowed the seeds for South By South West, the city’s enormous music trade fair and festival that is now the place that every new band on the planet wants to be seen and heard. The AWHQ deserves to be talked about with the same reverence as The Rainbow Theatre, Filmore West, The Hacienda, Olympia, The Marquee Club, CBGBs, Birdland, the Del Monte Legion Stadium etc etc
Has anyone here visited Austin and any of its legendary music venues, past or present?
And are there any other local heroes like Blaze Foley, living or dead, that we really ought to have heard of?
I do hope that no one is disappointed that this was not a thread about the delights of the dildo or indeed Dido. They have different pleasures in the Lone Star State. “That’s the way the girls are from Texas.”