Margaret Moser Tribute: Joe Ely
“She always stirred up whatever trouble there was”
as told to Doug Freeman, Fri., June 30, 2017
There's so many stories of Margaret. I met her back even before the Chronicle was invented, back in the old Austin Sun days. I was living in Lubbock at the time, but was playing Austin a lot in the late Seventies. Wherever there was music playing, you would see Margaret and [local welcoming committee] the Texas Blondes.
I remember they all came to Dallas with us when I brought the Clash to Texas on their first run. A bunch of Austin people came up and Margaret was the leader of the pack. She always stirred up whatever trouble there was, and we all appreciated that because we were always looking for a good time.
When she went on the tour with us [see "On the Road With Joe Ely," April 2, 1982], it was a big road show with everybody following each other. That was one of those times that puts an indelible stamp on a crazy era in Austin music, where rednecks and punks and all had their own cultures, but they intermingled in the music world. Margaret fit in with all the cultures, and everybody looked out for each other.
In those days, Austin was a lot simpler, and a lot easier to get around, and everybody knew everybody. It was a tight community, and Margaret was right in the middle of everything always writing about it. You would just go from place to place, and always something really fascinating was going on. Margaret had this sense for knowing exactly where the most interesting combination of people might be playing at the same time.
I remember one time, probably in the late Seventies, Stevie Ray [Vaughan] and Flaco Jiménez got into a jam session at Antone's, and boy, talk about two extremes of music just whipping the blues. We would've never found out about those things if it wasn't for Margaret putting out her antennas and knowing exactly where to go. She influenced all of us playing music at that time.