Leader of the Pack

A tribute to Margaret Moser

“One man’s life touches so many others, when he’s not there, it leaves an awfully big hole.”

So teaches us the angel Clarence in 1946 Christmas parable It’s a Wonderful Life. Standing outside at Mohawk on Sunday, June 4 – hours after returning from a San Antonio rendezvous with Margaret Moser, who had entered hospice care that Friday – I reeled off the top of my head two dozen journalists alone she considered close peers, mentors, and protégés. more

“In May 1976, I quit a straight job to clean offices and answer phones at the Austin Sun,” Moser emailed last week. “I bullshitted my way into interviewing Spirit for an authorless column called ‘Backstage,’ and I repeated this until I ended up with the column. I kept it for a while, but there’s not a lot of long-form writing of mine until an interim paper, 1978-ish, between the Sun and Chron called Rumors, based out of San Marcos.

“That’s where I break in with Stevie and Lou Ann, Antone’s, and I think the Sex Pistols.”

Between the start of the Chronicle in 1981 and hanging up her press laminate 33 years later (revisit “Margaret Moser Retires,” May 16, 2014), this paper’s most popular and populist voice cut a radical swath through culture both high and low, and every facet of music in between.

Born out of education and advocacy – to Willard Cummings Moser, B.A., M.A., B.D., Ph.D. and Phyllis Jackson Stegall, B.A., M.A. – and alpha to three younger brothers (Scott, Stephen, and Bill), the Chicago-born, Gulf Coast-bred, famously uncollegiate lifetime scribe and Austin Music Awards chieftain documented the Texas state capital in print, onstage, for TV and film. Margaret made media, and media made Margaret – mutual beneficiaries.

As I fruitlessly tried to concentrate on Hurray for the Riff Raff activist Alynda Segarra, the Bronx-born Puerto Rican singer called to mind AMA go-to Alejandro Escovedo. What would he say about Margaret Moser’s importance to Austin music and beyond? Or Lucinda Williams, Roky Erickson, Jimmie Vaughan?

Suddenly, that chorus drowned out anything coming from the Mohawk P.A.

Forty witnesses speaking to four decades of dedicated scholarship could’ve been Top 40s of civic leaders, business owners, barbacks, doorkeeps, SXSW volunteers. Save for the sole two recipients of the AMA’s Margaret Moser Award, all interviewed are musicians. Our celebrant dedicated her life to them and so many more, and in doing so, Margaret Moser, 63, helped stake the Austin music scene as surely as Clarence saves George Bailey.

Margaret Moser Tribute 2017
Page Two: Leaving It Up to Her
On Margaret Moser: Happy together, then, now, and forever

By Louis Black

Margaret Moser Tribute: Leader of the Pack
Leader of the Pack
The importance of being Margaret Moser as told to 23 of her peers, mentors & protégés

By Raoul Hernandez

Margaret Moser Tribute: Susan Antone
Susan Antone
“If I could do in my lifetime half of what she’s done, I’d be a happy person”

as told to Thomas Fawcett

Margaret Moser Tribute: Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball
“She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

as told to Belinda Acosta

Margaret Moser Tribute: Lou Ann Barton
Lou Ann Barton
The blues belter on what it's like to have your career chronicled by the best

as told to Raoul Hernandez

Margaret Moser Tribute: Ray Benson
Ray Benson
Soap Creek Saloon on a 10-cent tequila night

as solicited by Ed Ward

Margaret Moser Tribute: Alice Berry
Alice Berry
On the Texas Blondes: “We were just cute girls who liked cute bands”

as told to R.U. Steinberg

Margaret Moser Tribute: John Cale
John Cale
Velvet Underground co-founder on first meet: “Up walks a petite blonde with all the swagger of someone 10 feet tall”

as sent to Ed Ward

Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow
Alvin Crow
Summer camp with the kids

as told to Christopher Gray

Margaret Moser Tribute: Joe Doerr
Joe Doerr
Pulling out a seat at Austin music’s banquet table

as told to Kevin Curtin

Margaret Moser Tribute: Joe Ely
Joe Ely
“She always stirred up whatever trouble there was”

as told to Doug Freeman

Margaret Moser Tribute: Roky Erickson
Roky Erickson
On Margaret’s personal and passionate way of writing about music

as told to Bill Bentley

Margaret Moser Tribute: Alejandro Escovedo
Alejandro Escovedo
“Her love for the Velvet Underground and John Cale was the same as I had”

as told to Tim Stegall

Margaret Moser Tribute: Rosie Flores
Rosie Flores
“Austin wouldn’t be Austin if it wasn’t for Margaret”

as told to Alejandra Ramirez

Margaret Moser Tribute: Gary Floyd
Gary Floyd
Promoting punk, Austin, Texas-style

as told to Marc Savlov

Margaret Moser Tribute: Denny Freeman
Denny Freeman
Remembering that “little blues cult”

as told to Bill Bentley

Margaret Moser Tribute: Chris Gates
Chris Gates
The power of print – and a 20-inch dildo

as told to Tim Stegall

Margaret Moser Tribute: Eliza Gilkyson
Eliza Gilkyson
The best advice she ever received? Keep your dogs clean.

as told to Belinda Acosta

Margaret Moser Tribute: Jon Dee Graham
Jon Dee Graham
A champion of Austin music – and Austin music writers

as told to William Harries Graham

Margaret Moser Tribute: Emily Gimble
Emily Gimble
“She’s such a positive force in the world”

as told to Doug Freeman

Margaret Moser Tribute: Warren Hood
Warren Hood
“She’s the coolest, hippest lady”

as told to Mike Hall

Margaret Moser Tribute: Tamir Kalifa
Tamir Kalifa
Mother Falcon's mama bear

as told to William Harries Graham

Margaret Moser Tribute: Barbara K
Barbara K
The power of music for fixing things and opening hearts

as told to Doug Freeman

Margaret Moser Tribute: Chris Layton
Chris Layton
Antone’s, 1979: Hurricane Margaret blows in

as told to Andy Langer

Margaret Moser Tribute: Paddy Moloney
Paddy Moloney
"You felt you were in safe hands with Margaret"

as told to Doug Freeman

Margaret Moser Tribute: Jason McMaster
Jason McMaster
“She’s as metal as anyone – maybe even more”

as told to Michael Toland

Margaret Moser Tribute: Augie Meyers
Augie Meyers
“You can’t replace Margaret. There’s no more people like her.”

as told to Joe Nick Patoski

Margaret Moser Tribute: Eve Monsees
Eve Monsees
The confidence booster

as told to Chase Hoffberger

Margaret Moser Tribute: Derek O'Brien
Derek O'Brien
A great writer, and a great partier, too

as told to Joe Nick Patoski

Margaret Moser Tribute: Rose Reyes
Rose Reyes
“She was the leadership in Austin journalism that made sure women, Latinos, blacks, and youth weren’t overlooked”

as told to Belinda Acosta

Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

as imagined by Christopher Gray

Margaret Moser Tribute: Shawn & Shandon Sahm
Shawn & Shandon Sahm
Beautiful Texas sunshine

as told to Joe Nick Patoski

Margaret Moser Tribute: Larry Seaman
Larry Seaman
“I don’t want to be greedy, but I want a little more time”

as told to Greg Beets

Margaret Moser Tribute: Charlie Sexton
Charlie Sexton
The United Nations of Margaret

as told to William Harries Graham

Margaret Moser Tribute: Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith
The case for San Antonio as the true heart of Texas music

as told to Jason Cohen

Margaret Moser Tribute: Angela Strehli
Angela Strehli
“Margaret was always exuberant, cherubic, and mischievous simultaneously”

As told to Bill Bentley

Margaret Moser Tribute: Jesse Sublett
Jesse Sublett
When the Queen calls, you come

as divined by Jesse Sublett

Margaret Moser Tribute: Tiarra Girls (Tiffany, Tori & Sofia Baltierra)
Tiarra Girls
“She will always be such an important part of our story”

as told to Doug Freeman

Margaret Moser Tribute: Kathy Valentine
Kathy Valentine
Right place, right time, right woman to share the joy with

as told to Michael Bertin

Margaret Moser Tribute: Jimmie Vaughan
Jimmie Vaughan
“Everything back then felt like us versus them – and she was one of us”

as told to Andy Langer

Margaret Moser Tribute: Patricia Vonne
Patricia Vonne
Shine a light

as told to Christopher Gray

Margaret Moser Tribute: Monte Warden
Monte Warden
The career kick-starter

as told to Kevin Curtin

Margaret Moser Tribute: Lucinda Williams
Lucinda Williams
The life of the party

as told to Abby Johnston

PHOTOS: 50 Margaret Moser Cover Stories

Thu., June 29, 2017

“Thank You, Margaret Moser”
“Thank You, Margaret Moser”
I’m glad you are a monkey woman, too

by Kevin Curtin

MORE LOVE FROM THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY

KUT

NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)