Sir Douglas Quintet's Augie Meyers Remembers Huey P. Meaux
To say that Huey Meaux was a complicated man is an epic understatement, but one guy who prefers to remember only the good in the late Crazy Cajun is Augie Meyers, keyboardist in the Sir Douglas Quintet. Though touring prevents him from attending Meaux's funeral, Meyers says he will be there in his heart.
Meyers says unequivocally that without Meaux, he and Doug Sahm might never have made it out of San Antonio. Meaux told the young South Texas kids to woodshed for a while, come up with a fake English name, and he would make them big stars.
After recording "She's About a Mover," with Meyers's Vox organ acrest a bouncy, hard-charging and beery San Antonio polka, Meaux told Meyers "Brudda, give me five months, and dis'll be a hit."
"Five months later, we were touring," Meyers says.
Of course, Meaux paid them little more than booze and hotel rooms, most of the time. According to Meyers, the trick was not to ask for money. He recalls falling seriously ill in California.
Unbidden, Meaux sent him a check for the then-considerable (very) sum of $1,000. "He told me to use it if I needed it," Meyers remembers. "I sent it back to him, and he said 'I knew you'd do that.'"
Not that Meyers was unaware of Meaux's shenanigans. It was just that he fleeced people with such charm... He told of another artist in the Crazy Cajun stable who couldn't comprehend a certain clause in a recording contract.
"He said 'I don't understand paragraph 18 here," Meyers says. "Huey told him, 'Don't worry about that. It's only there 'cause if it wasn't, there'd be a big blank space.' He didn't tell them that paragraph basically said he would make them big stars but he would also keep all the money."
"Freddy Fender used to say that Huey took him to the cleaners," Meyers continued. "I would tell him, 'No, you took yourself to the cleaners.'"