Margaret Moser Tribute: Alice Berry

On the Texas Blondes: “We were just cute girls who liked cute bands”


The Jam & Jelly Girls, Continental Club, 1984 (Photo by Martha Grenon)

I credit Margaret for getting the name of our band out to the Clash, which led to us opening up for them on the second night at City Coliseum in 1982. She was going around town with Stuart Weintraub, their manager at the time, and they saw the band I was singing with, the Trouble Boys, at the Continental Club. When Stevie Ray Vaughan was booed off the stage on the Clash's first night, the band asked us to replace him. Margaret made it happen. Margaret was also the first press coverage we ever got.

One of the best experiences with Margaret was performing with her as a Jam & Jelly Girl in Dino Lee's White Trash Revue. I don't know if Margaret had ever performed in a band before that. It was such a delight to see her on the other side of the stage and to see what it's like to have other people look up at you from the audience and think you're cute.

As for the Texas Blondes, I suggest you read Pamela Des Barres' book, I'm With the Band. Basically, Margaret organized a posse of girls called the Texas Blondes who wanted to hang out with rock stars. She modeled us after Pamela Des Barres' GTOs. We were just cute girls who liked cute bands, and we wanted to show some Southern hospitality. Some of the girls liked to show more hospitality than others.

Margaret had girls of different types. E.A. Srere was a part-time Blonde and she was the smart one if a rock star wanted intelligent conversation. I was the chauffeur, the nice girl who hung out with rock stars wanting to remain faithful to their wives and girlfriends.

The Blondes became so well-known that bands coming through town would request us. Margaret would ask us if we wanted to get into a show for free and then we'd decide. We still laugh about the bands we turned down – Tommy Tutone and maybe Loverboy.

One of her crowning achievements as queen of the backstage was when she had 20 people as her plus-ones for the Talking Heads show at Palmer Auditorium. In addition to having 20 people on the list, she also orchestrated the great "pass-switcheroo," which meant after she got into a show with a pass, she would look for friends who had already gotten in and ask them for their passes, then went outside to slap them on people waiting there to get in. Then she'd instruct us to do the same to get in more friends.

In some way, she lived the line from the Big Boys: "If you like our band, go out and start your own." Margaret encouraged everyone to go out and support live music. She tried to not be too hard of a critic. She knew bands would always get better.

  • Margaret Moser Tribute: Leader of the Pack

    The importance of being Margaret Moser as told to 23 of her peers, mentors & protégés
  • Susan Antone

    “If I could do in my lifetime half of what she’s done, I’d be a happy person”

    Marcia Ball

    “She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

    Lou Ann Barton

    The blues belter on what it's like to have your career chronicled by the best

    Ray Benson

    Soap Creek Saloon on a 10-cent tequila night

    John Cale

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

    Alvin Crow

    Summer camp with the kids

    Joe Doerr

    Pulling out a seat at Austin music’s banquet table

    Joe Ely

    “She always stirred up whatever trouble there was”

    Roky Erickson

    On Margaret’s personal and passionate way of writing about music

    Alejandro Escovedo

    “Her love for the Velvet Underground and John Cale was the same as I had”

    Rosie Flores

    “Austin wouldn’t be Austin if it wasn’t for Margaret”

    Gary Floyd

    Promoting punk, Austin, Texas-style

    Denny Freeman

    Remembering that “little blues cult”

    Chris Gates

    The power of print – and a 20-inch dildo

    Eliza Gilkyson

    The best advice she ever received? Keep your dogs clean.

    Jon Dee Graham

    A champion of Austin music – and Austin music writers

    Emily Gimble

    “She’s such a positive force in the world”

    Warren Hood

    “She’s the coolest, hippest lady”

    Tamir Kalifa

    Mother Falcon's mama bear

    Barbara K

    The power of music for fixing things and opening hearts
  • Chris Layton

    Antone’s, 1979: Hurricane Margaret blows in

    Paddy Moloney

    "You felt you were in safe hands with Margaret"

    Jason McMaster

    “She’s as metal as anyone – maybe even more”

    Augie Meyers

    “You can’t replace Margaret. There’s no more people like her.”

    Eve Monsees

    The confidence booster

    Derek O'Brien

    A great writer, and a great partier, too

    Rose Reyes

    “She was the leadership in Austin journalism that made sure women, Latinos, blacks, and youth weren’t overlooked”

    The Rolling Stones

    That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

    Shawn & Shandon Sahm

    Beautiful Texas sunshine

    Larry Seaman

    “I don’t want to be greedy, but I want a little more time”

    Charlie Sexton

    The United Nations of Margaret

    Jeff Smith

    The case for San Antonio as the true heart of Texas music

    Angela Strehli

    “Margaret was always exuberant, cherubic, and mischievous simultaneously”

    Jesse Sublett

    When the Queen calls, you come

    Tiarra Girls

    “She will always be such an important part of our story”

    Kathy Valentine

    Right place, right time, right woman to share the joy with

    Jimmie Vaughan

    “Everything back then felt like us versus them – and she was one of us”

    Patricia Vonne

    Shine a light

    Monte Warden

    The career kick-starter

    Lucinda Williams

    The life of the party

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Margaret Moser, Alice Berry, Texas Blondes, the Clash, the Trouble Boys, Pamela Des Barres, I'm With the Band, Dino Lee's White Trash Revue, E.A. Srere, R.U. Steinberg, Margaret Moser Tribute

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