|Wrecks Bell onstage at the Old Quarter, shortly before Hurricane Ike|
Rocks Off got an eyebrow-raising email this morning from Rex "Wrecks" Bell, owner of Galveston's Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, the Island's successor to the fabled downtown venue made famous by Townes Van Zandt and so many others. (Read John Nova Lomax's September 2008 cover story on Bell here.)
The email was titled "OQAC - Retiring," which of course instantly set off Rocks Off's - or is that "Wrocks Off's"? - internal alarm bells. "I turned 65 last year and I think it's time I announced my official retirement," Bell's missive began. "I gave myself a golden para-shoes."
Now we were really worried, so we sent Mr. Golden Para-Shoes an email asking what was up. Naturally, for someone so closely associated with the late Van Zandt, we didn't even have to ask if they were golden "Flyin' Shoes."
|The Old Quarter is a little better off than this today... but could be better still.|
After we scrolled down past all the upcoming Old Quarter shows, like Hayes Carll's sold-out Feb. 17 date, Texas City gypsy-punks Come See My Dead Person Feb. 20 and Shake Russell Feb. 27, we saw this: "Well, after the Super Bowl, I talked to Brett Favre and he said I hadn't thrown my last interconception yet, so I am coming out of retirement. Many thanks to Brett, my favorite athletic supporter, and both of my fans. Man it's nice to be back."
Well, it's nice to have you "back," Wrecks, even though Wrocks Off is still shuddering a little bit over the possible meaning(s) of "interconception." In all seriousness, though, we did go ahead and ask how things were going down on the Strand, considering the Old Quarter was nearly decimated by Hurricane Ike and the road back, to put it mildly, has been they type of long, hard one Bell or Van Zandt might easily sing (or have sung) about.
"Barely creeping back," he wrote. "The summer will tell the tale if we are back."
That gives us all about four months, by Wrocks Off's watch. Galveston ain't that far away, y'all.