Houston International Festival Director of Performing Arts Rick Mitchell's recent remembrance of great showshe sawat Rockefeller's got LOM to thinking about great shows next door at the funky old Satellite Lounge. We spent way more nights in the Satellite, our favorite hangout in the '90s, than we ever did in Rockefeller's. Suffice it to say LOM prefers rowdy bars to listening rooms.
1. Jason & The Scorchers: The Scorchers had cured some of their "illnesses," had just released A Blazing Grace and were on the comeback trail in 1995. A group of us had been to Blanco's to see the Hollisters first, and when we got to the Satellite, there was a sign on the door saying the venue had lost its liquor license, so the event would be BYOB.
We drove to the store, grabbed a case of beer and couple of styrofoam coolers and went back. We weren't prepared for what we encountered inside. There were people with those huge Igloos filled with every alcoholic substance known to man. People were passing bottles of Jack Daniels around. The Scorchers killed, and by the time the night was over, the entire floor was littered in bottles and cans like a scene from the Patrick Swayze movie Road House. Donna, who bartends at the Big Top nowadays, said that was the most trashed she'd ever seen a bar.
2. Beat Farmers/Blasters: The Beat Farmers had finally escaped from the legalistic clutches of Curb Records and were touring hard on their new album Viking Lullabies. The Dave Alvin-less Blasters had just added Keith Wyatt as their lead guitarist, replacing James Intveldt. The crush was incredible up front when the Farmers started, and it was just a totally electric set by our heroes.
The Blasters did what the Blasters always did: they stepped on stage and simply exploded. The highlight of the evening was when Phil Alvin called Country Dick Montana to join the Blasters for a couple of outrageous send-ups. Country Dick would be dead within a year. The Blasters play Fitzgeralds May 8; look for our interview with Phil Alvin in the print edition that week.