Margaret Moser Tribute: Chris Gates

The power of print – and a 20-inch dildo

Photo by David Brendan Hall

My first awareness of Margaret wasn’t long after I discovered Raul’s, either in high school or still the earliest days of the Big Boys. At that point, she was predominantly part of the Texas Blondes, a roving group of insane, quasi-groupie girls that basically scared the hell outta me! I was just a kid, 18, so a lot of people that were part of Margaret’s crowd were grownups, people seeing how hard they could push you before you freaked out. It’s so hard to think of now, but Margaret was part of the establishment, as much as there was an “establishment” around punk rock. She was there in the beginning, and I was not.

A lot of people from the second and third generation of the punk scene had an us-versus-them mentality toward the Chronicle, but I never did. Starting the Chronicle at all was a very punk rock thing to do. It was so DIY. It was three or four people who literally had no money: “We don’t have jobs – let’s start a magazine!”

Later, I was in Dino Lee’s White Trash Revue for about a year, and I remember Margaret taking that Jam & Jelly Girl thing very seriously in the beginning. One was a great singer, but the other two were up there because they looked great in the outfits! I remember we did a Caligula-themed show at the Ritz not long after the movie came out. The two entrances to the backstage areas were done up like giant vaginas, and we had these two-foot-tall penis columns in the back. Everyone’s wearing togas and shit, and down at the front, all three of the Jam & Jelly Girls have these dildos they’re waving around. I’m fairly certain it was Margaret who had this double-ended thing that was about 20 inches long that she was waving around, and I swear to God, this girl in the audience just grabbed it out of her hand, put about half of it down her throat, bit it, and gave the other half back!

There’s something to be said for how Margaret came to writing by being a groupie, not through journalism school. She brought a different perspective to it. That first column, “In Your Ear,” was more of a gossip column than anything else, but without even realizing it, it gave a legitimacy to what was going on. I mean, who gives a crap about the stupid shit we’re doing, but it’s in print. Plus, everything else aside, you don’t stay in the thick of it that long without caring about it.

  • Margaret Moser Tribute: Leader of the Pack

    The importance of being Margaret Moser as told by 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

    Alice Berry

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

    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”

    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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Margaret Moser, Chris Gates, Raul's, Big Boys, Texas Blondes, Dino Lee's White Trash Revue, Jam & Jelly Girl, In Your Ear, Tim Stegall, Margaret Moser Tribute

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