Margaret Moser Tribute: Joe Ely

“She always stirred up whatever trouble there was”


Photo by David Brendan Hall

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.

  • 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

    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

    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, Joe Ely, the Clash, Texas Blondes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Flaco Jimenez, Austin Sun, Doug Freeman, Margaret Moser Tribute

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