The Rocks Off 200: Stacy Hartoon, Rudz's Punk-Rock Heir Apparent
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
We've wanted Stacy Hartoon in the Rocks Off 200 ever since she took over for Mike Sims, who left his post booking bands at Rudyard's in mid-April after a decade of steering hundreds (maybe thousands) of bands into a room many fans consider to have the best live sound in the city. Rudz is beloved among local musicians no matter their style (though punk, garage, glam, metal, hard rock and roots seem to be most common) for its unpretentious attitude and commitment to putting the bands first.
Photos courtesy of Stacy Hartoon
Hartoon has big shoes to fill, but she seems up to the challenge. Her email box starts with "Punk Rock Stacy" -- how cool is that?
Who? Hartoon started as a money-taker working the door at Rudz and eventually worked her way up to bartender and now band-booker; she also slings drinks at Westheimer cathedral Poison Girl and Little Dipper in the bar cluster around Market Square. She has a BFA in Fashion Design from the University of North Texas in Denton, and says she really started going to shows there in the late '90s thanks to "a few great friends."
"I also have been trying to get another degree but nothing has really clicked for me," Hartoon says. "I have decided to take a break so I can concentrate more my fashion design/sewing and booking the bands. I am very excited to have more time to focus on my family and music."
Home Base: "Poison Girl."
Good War Story: "I have only been booking a couple of months...so I don't have too many stories and I don't really want to single out any certain people at this moment," Hartoon wisely says. "As a patron at a show I was trying to watch Frank Black, who I love, and this girl kept bumping into to me and talking to me during the show, at which point I shoved her back several times and a fight almost broke out. My friend had to hold me back because I was so pissed off!"
Story continues on the next page.