My old friend Pat Blashill, writer and photographer, has just published a book of his pictures of the Austin punk>postpunk>80s-alt scene: Texas is the Reason: The Mavericks of Lone Star Punk. Pat came of age in the thick of the scene that included bands like Butthole Surfers, Big Boys, and Scratch Acid. Alongside the photos, there's guest texts from Richard Linklater (whose Slacker was filmed there and effectively documented that scene as it reached the '90s) Theresa Taylor the flame-haired Buttholes drummer (and Slacker actress), David Yow of Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard, and others.
Here's some excerpts from Texas is the Reason at The Austin Chronicle, plus an interview with Pat. Here's a quote where he explains the book's title:
'There’s a Misfits song called “Bullet” about the assassination of JFK in Dallas. It includes the line, “Texas is the reason that the president's dead.” I read a review of that single that made a really great point about how America, and maybe especially Texas, has a death wish. Texas is this crazy extreme place, and I think that extreme stuff is what made this music happen in Austin. The bands were reacting against racism, sexism, and conformity, and all of the things we grew up with. They messed around with this idea of being stupid, conservative redneck people. One of the interviews I did was with [Butthole Surfers drummer] King Coffey, who reminded me that when they started the band, they were well-versed art students, and you could say that about a lot of people in the scene. The Buttholes really tried to portray themselves as these weird perverts from the backwoods. None of us really were that, but some people could play with it and turn it on its head.'
The book is available from Bazillion Points, the publishing imprint specialising in heavy 'n' hard musics launched by Ian Christe.
Me on the Austin slackerdelic vibe when it reached the shores of the U.K.