A photo retrospective of iconic, Houston-based metal institution, deadhorse – spanning their triumphant reunion performance from 2011 to the present!
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT © WES DODSON
A great big, 12-yard dump truck full of muchos gracias is in order for Allen ‘Aplo’ Price, Michelle & Michael Argo, George Dennis, Krixten Hawley, Greg Martin, Charlene Burrell, Bob Harrell, Garrett McCall, and sure… two thumbs up (the ass) to Ray Zombeano Grindle!
In Eternal Memory
(31 August 1938 – 29 August 1963)
by Wes Dodson
Fifty years ago today my uncle, Leo Simpson, was employed by Titus Paint Company in Houston. He was 24 years old, recently married, and a resident of Pasadena, Texas. Leo and his co-worker, Dallis S. Nobley, were tasked with painting an air conditioning duct outside the Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Houston. They set about their task on the 22nd floor. By 11:15 AM, they had made their way down to the 10th floor of the building when their hoist suddenly collapsed. Both men fell seven stories to their deaths, landing on the roof of the three-story Woolworth’s building next door. Both men were laid to rest in Pasadena two days later on what would have been Leo’s 25th birthday.
The day before, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I have often wondered if Leo and Mr. Nobley were listening to that speech on a little transistor radio as they worked. The Beatles had released “She Loves You” the week prior. Could they perhaps have had a fleeting glimpse into what would become Beatlemania before they departed this world?
Sadly, not one solitary member of my family present at the time survives today to answer any questions.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of his death, I have collected some data to help paint a picture of 1963, with a particular emphasis on the last month of Leo Simpson’s life.
In retrospect, 1963 was a fascinating, historic year of triumph and tragedy. Politics, music, innovation, and civil rights each left long standing impacts on modern culture. Fifty years ago, the coins in your pocket were made of 90% silver. Today, the dollar bill isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. A half century later, we have DOJ investigations into rodeo clowns, movies about flying sharks, and a reduced-sodium fast food menu that can’t kill you fast enough. The George Wallace racism of 1963 has now been replaced with an equally disgusting reverse-racism. This cannot possibly be what Dr. King had in mind! In many regards, 1963 was the height (and death) of a golden age of accomplishment, self-reliance, social reform… and dignity.
The average cost of a new house was $12,650
The average income was $5,807
The average cost of a new car was $3,233
A loaf of bread was 22 cents.
A bedroom air conditioner was $149.95
Debuts in 1963:
Audio Cassettes (Philips)
Lava Lamp (or The Astro Lamp) launched by Edward Craven Walker
AT&T introduced touch tone phones
Pull top can used for soda by the Alcoa Company
The first prototype Learjet took flight
First US State Lottery (New Hampshire)
American Express introduced credit cards in the UK
Kodak introduced the Instamatic camera
Mississippi physician, James D. Hardy, performed the first successful lung transplant
Elizabeth Taylor became the first actress to earn $1,000,000 for a single film – ‘Cleopatra’.
SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FROM 1963
11 – The Beatles released their second UK single, “Please Please Me”, which reached #1.
14 – Alabama Governor, George Wallace, vows “segregation now, segregation forever” in his inaugural speech.
29 – Died: Robert Frost (poet)
17 – Born: Michael Jordan
21 – Medicare submitted to Congress by President Kennedy (passed under President Johnson).
25 – The Beatles released their second US single, “Please Please Me”, with no impact on US Charts.
5 – Died: Patsy Cline (singer)
18 – The Supreme Court ruled in “Gideon v. Wainwright” that a fair trial “cannot be realized if the poor man charged with [the] crime has to face his accusers without a lawyer to assist him”.
18 – Construction of the Astrodome began and was completed six weeks ahead of schedule in 1965.
21 – Alcatraz prison, off San Francisco, CA, closed its doors.
22 – The Beatles released their debut album, “Please Please Me”, in the UK
Harvard Professor, Timothy Leary, lost his teaching post after providing students with LSD.
3 – Died: Pope John XXIII
6 – Born: Johnny Depp
U.S. “Zone Improvement Plan”, or ZIP codes, initiated.
3 – The Beatles performed at The Cavern Club in Liverpool for the 275th and final time.
3 – Born: Metallica front man, James Hetfield
7 – Born: Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, son of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy, five and a half weeks early. He died 39 hours later.
8 – Kingsmen released “Louie Louie” which radio stations labeled obscene.
9 – Born: Whitney Houston
15 – Eddie Mays, 34, was the last person to be executed in the state of New York in the electric chair at Sing Sing prison.
21 – Martial law was declared in South Vietnam.
23 – The Beatles released “She Loves You” in the UK, where it went to #1 for four weeks.
25 – Paul McCartney was fined £31 and given a 1 year suspended license for speeding.
28 – “I Have A Dream” speech was delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.
30 – Hot Line communications link between Moscow and Washington DC installed.
Billboard Number One Song:
August 31 – September 20th: “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels
22 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, assassinated in Dallas, Texas
22 – “With The Beatles” released.
29 – The Beatles released “I Want To Hold Your Hand” single, charting at #1 in the US Hot 100.
U.S. Congress authorized JFK half-dollar coin.
8 – Frank Sinatra, Jr., was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Released unhurt three days later.
20 – Studebaker ended production.
Sunday marked Victoria’s first Radfest. Put on by Danny Kuykendall, the event itself was stuffed full with music, art, and poetry. The field in front of the new amphitheater was littered with people from all walks of life coming out on a Sunday to enjoy the sights and sounds and the performances, every single one of them, were heartfelt and full of energy. I loved it. I loved the energy from the crowd and the performers. I loved the feeling of comradery. I loved the idea of all these people working together to create something new and something, well, rad.
I’d like to extend huge amounts of gratitude to Danny for putting this together. But not just him. Thank you to the musicians, the poets, and the artists who put their creative energies out in the open for all the world to see. Lastly, thank you the the fans who came out to support the event itself. Without all of you, this event would not have been the success that it was. Once again I can say that I am proud to call Victoria my home.
My co-host Tim said it best, “No cover bands. No admission charge. No stuffy sponsors. Just a collective of musicians poets and artists doing their thing for people getting day drunk. You hear what I’m putting down city of Victoria?” And even two days later, I’m still on a high from the event itself.
Why? I’ve been searching for the words all day and I’m still at a loss. So I’m going to try to explain myself but will more than likely fail miserably. There’s a storm growing from the scene here in this town. Egos are being put to the way side. People are working together for a common good. Creatives of all types are bonding together and creating a huge family with a common goal. I’ve been seeing it not only at this festival, but at regular local shows, at art gatherings, and even at gatherings of just a few friends sitting and sharing ideas. We can make this town something to be proud of and we’re well on our way. I’ll end with this note. Victoria, I hope your ready. I have a feeling this isn’t the last you will see of events like this.
Rubio and Crispy from The Antagonist Movement sit down with us to talk about the movie “The Dolls of Lisbon” and their projects.
Interview by Timothy Danger.
Listen Now :: Antagonist Movement Interview
We met up with Ted from Never Records and Jason who directed the film NEVER RECORDS YOU ARE NOT LISTENING, to talk a little about the movie which made it’s first ever debut last night.
In true NEVER RECORDS fashion, he recorded it using his equipment and cut it to vinyl.
Interview by Tim Danger.
Listen Now :: Interview with Never Records
Making their way to the Victoria TX Independent Film Fest is Les Sales Cons, a French based comedic hip hop group invited to Texas to perform at the Roundball afterparty on Friday April 5th at the Golden Gecko. Les Sales Cons is a featured artist on the Roundball soundtrack and their performance is being recorded live as part of the festival’s many unique activities that incorpate festival goers with not just film, but music and art to engage participants.
Les Sales Cons took time out to talk with Timothy Danger of OMBG about the group and coming to the film fest.
TD: Let’s talk band history. How did you guys form?
LS: It’s a very old story…
The band formed because we don’t have anything else to do… (laugh)
It was the time when everybody in the world did rap, and also in a very easy way especially in France.
So we decide to create a rap band against rap and to do it in a easier way by bringing the old manner of rapping (I mean with real topics of society and a different flow) but in a real sarcastic and a critical way.
So the band born more or less like a joke.
All members of the band are musicians, Mac Traitre is guitarist and La Note is Bassist and percussionist, so we want to have a first concert to know what the impact could be on our city.
And surprisingly, it worked… People started to talk about us and to spread the word that a new white trash rap band was born. So we kept on until now and also we succeed in bringing our instruments we play live on stage and to give a real comical way (stand up way) to our show (in French).
TD: Tell us about your songwriting process. Humor seems to play a big part in your video, is that something you do to stay different from others?
LS: Absolutely YES, we wanted to be serious on such subjects and to say the reality in a such manner but always by trying to be funny and extravagant…
In fact as you know when you’re talking a joke you have to be serious instead of laughing, if not the joke doesn’t work.
So we play between the 1st and the second degree and sometimes people wonder if we are serious or not when they listen our songs…
TD: The motto “We rap out loud what nobody is thinking” is an interesting one, what are some of the themes or topics you tackle with your songs?
LS: The topics are based on true events, or they born from a frustration that could be sexual or financial or political. Basically the very first topics were about sex (like “Nichons” or “Par le cul y a moyen?”), and other texts were made by automatic writing (Rien d’Utile), but now we also tackle with other subjects like cannibalism, suicide, politics, consumption, discrimination, society…
TD: Do you think your music is a good way to get your point across and maybe get others to agree, or do you think you just do it for personal satisfaction?
LS: We don’t care if people are agree or not on what we say, we just do it for fun and we want that our audience has fun too.
It’s like to say “Stop thinking for a moment, stop being serious for a while, and have some fun with us and people around you”.
Our point is maybe to say to people, think what you want and say what you want, don’t be afraid of what you are.
TD: Will this be your first time in the United States or Texas? What are you most looking forward to?
LS: Yes, first time ever, so we’re very exited to be in the USA and especially in Texas.
The most we’re looking forward is fun, guns, food and bitcheeeeeees (laughs)
Seriously we’re happy to do that concert in Victoria, and to see what could be our impact on an American audience, but all our songs are in French, so we will see.
TD:How is the music scene where you are at? What’s the most memorable thing that has happened to you there?
LS: Well, we live in Strasbourg (the European capital because of its European institutions) in France, it’s a very little town with about 200 000 people in the downtown and 500 000 with the surroundings.
But even if it’s not too big, the music scene is very eclectic. You can find 3 main places for doing shows and also we have the biggest Zenith (it’s like the biggest place to do shows) in France.
But the city is a very cultural one with a lot of young people, because of the universities, and you can do show also in bars.
The most memorable things that happened to us, we thought about 3 things.
The first was in Strasbourg when we’re playing a song (Nichons or Tous des cons, we don’t remember), there was a girl in the public who started to cry and to throw a plastic glass full of beer to us on stage and she was screaming “why do you say that? Why do you say that?” It was very funny, but we never understood her reaction, because we don’t want to hurt anybody in our songs…
The second one was always in Strasbourg when for the first time we bring on stage 2 girls for dancing with us and get undressed, but also our instruments (guitar, bass and percussions played by the two Mcs) and we also buy some confetti tubes for the show. It was few days before Christmas and all the people were costumed and at the end of our show a good part of the people get on stage and ended the show with us. It was a really good mess. We enjoy a lot that show.
The third one happened in a little village called Landsberg always in France, when the band was very young and not so known. We play in a little bar with no stage and with about 30-50 peoples in front of us. And the amazing part was that all the peoples knew almost all of our songs and they song with us all along. It was very surprising.
TD: What are the best ways for people here in the US to find your music?
LS: You can use Deezer to find out our music or also reverbnation.com/lessalescons or myspace.com/lessalescons.
We’ve done 3 video clips that are on youtube: Rien d’Utile, Dans nos filets, and La Grande Bouffe. And also a promotional one for our album “Mettez-vous des claques!” (Slap yourselves in the face!)
But the best is on facebook “Sales Cons”.
Our label based on Toulouse failed, so we have a lot of CDs to sell, and facebook it’s the best way for us to do that. So if you’re interested send a PM to us
TD: What are your future plans for after the film festival?
LS: Nowadays we’re all juggling with jobs and side projects, and also because the label failed, we’re asking to ourselves if we have to keep on or not.
We have also ideas for a new album, lyrics are made and also some of the music, so we are open to all propositions…