The Rocks Off 200: Michael Dauzat Sr., a Rabbi and a Hate
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.
Who? There are several truisms in Houston music. Everybody knows somebody who will tell you they were there when the second floor of Fitzgerald's collapsed. Little Joe Washington is effectively immortal. And if you play punk bass or drums in Houston long enough, you will eventually be a member of The Hates. Just ask their current bassist, Michael Dauzat.
Photos courtesy of Michael Dauzat
Dauzat picked up an old electric guitar that had been a gift to his older brother and was abandoned when he left home. He figured that it was now his by default, drove a couple of nails directly into the box and neck, tied a piece of rope to them for a strap and set about walking around outside blissfully playing his heart out. Embarrassed, his father shelled out some cash to upgrade Dauzat to a Yamaha FG-340 II. He still has it, along with the pick he got with it from H&H Music.
While stationed with the army in the late '80s, Dauzat began jamming punk rock and metal with some other musically minded buddies. He wasn't terribly great, but it was fun. After returning to Houston and living here for a couple of decades (during which he became a rabbi among other things, no joke), he happened to be walking a treadmill next to Christian Kidd. Having remembered Kidd from shows before he left for the army, Dauzat walked past and said, "Hates rule!" The two eventually became close friends.
When Dave Deviant quit the band, Kidd asked Dauzat to put out the word he was looking for a new bassist. Dauzat had recently picked up the instrument for a friend's project that never materialized. He mentioned this to Kidd, adding that he doubted he was anything close to what Kidd was looking for, but Kidd said, "Let me be the judge of that."
Some patient guidance later, Dauzat is the latest in a long line of illustrious bassists who can proudly call themselves a Hate.
Home Base: The Hates have had a space at Francisco's for dog's years. For performances Dauzat appreciates the ease and comfort of Fitzgerald's and Scout Bar. His favorite place, though? Jamail Skatepark.
It's a nightmare to load in, you have to bring your heaviest gear because there's no sound system, and it can be hot enough to melt vinyl, but Dauzat thinks the raw energy of the skaters pulling tricks right in front of the stage is unlike any other playing experience in Houston.
Good War Story: "We were playing Big Star Bar and were already setting up late," Dauzat says. "Just as we were finally ready to play, Christian's amp wanked out on him."
He had to go back to the studio and get another amp. We looked like a bunch of monkeys trying to figure out which cables went where, tune up, sound check and finally get to playing. Halfway through the set some old wanker kept shoving his middle fingers in our faces and cursing at us.
Strangely, I didn't get pissed but instead kept playing while asking, "Is that the best you can do? Give me more! Throw some bottles! C'mon, give me more!'" Instead he started walking out as we finished that song. I said he must've been upset that we didn't play Bee Gees covers.
Everyone had a good laugh over that and we continued playing our set, which, despite the initial hiccup, came off pretty well.
Story continues on the next page.