The fluctuating Houston club scene fluctuates
one more time with last week's sale of Midtown Live to businessman Michael
Holliday, the English chap who also owns Richmond Arms, the Ale House, Park
Lane and Rudyards. Midtown, which opened at its 5245 Buffalo Speedway
location only last November and was booked by local pianist Ezra Charles,
was taking its time drumming up crowds along the busy local club circuit.
But the building, recently renovated and centrally located, is a jewel.
Holliday plans no major changes beyond the booking, which should now turn
away from blues and R&B to more dance-oriented bands. Holliday says he
wants to attract regional and national rock acts, and he will, for the time
being, keep the cover charge to a minimum - just to get people in the
door.'' The original March calendar, partially completed, is now being
THE CRITIC'S CHOICES: Houston trumpet man
Calvin Owens, who blows the licks out of that horn, stages another in his
series of Jazz & Blues Concerts at 9 p.m. Friday in the Grand Ballroom
of the Adam's Mark Hotel (2900 Briarpark at Westheimer; 978-7400). Owens,
whose credits include B.B. King, has formed a 16-piece band for the
occasion, which also features Arnett Cobb, the Fifth Ward Express, Martha
Turner, Eddie "Cleanhead'' Vinson and Jabo. It's a KUHF presentation, 10
bucks at the door . . .
OK, metalists, Iron Maiden is at the Summit
tonight. 'Nuff said . . .
Dancetown, USA runs another bash Saturday
night with Telstar doing the C&W footwork . . . More in the way of
country might be had at Gilley's, with the Whites Friday night and Johnny
Rodriguez Saturday. Rodriguez has emerged with a second chance in the biz,
having apparently overcome a few personal problems . . .
Fitzgerald's hosts the long-awaited ARMS of
America Benefit tonight, on behalf of ex-Small Faces founder Ronnie
Lane, who's fighting a nine-year bout with multiple sclerosis.
Lane recently moved to Houston for treatment and volunteer work for
ARMS-America, which has its headquarters here. The organization was
established late last year with the help of nearly $1 million raised from
the celebrated 1983 ARMS tour of the States featuring Jeff Beck, Eric
Clapton, Ron Wood, Rod Stewart, Bill Wyman, Jimmy Page, Charlie Watts and
others. Former Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan will show tonight, in
addition to a Who's Who of local talent: Dr. Rockit, The Natives, The
Bedbugs, Michael Heyman and Little Screamin' Kenny. The critic happened in
on a rehearsal Monday night at the club, and Lane, with Little Screamin' on
bass and Heyman on guitar, sounded just fine on his song, April Fool, which
appears on his Rough Mix album with Clapton and Peter Townshend . . .
Said club will do all right Friday and
Saturday with the king of blues harmonica, James Cotton. Cotton, along with
fellow Chicagoan Junior Wells, is considered a standard-bearer of his little
POP NOTES: Heard that Dr. Rockit is replacing
the Sisters of Mercy with a new duo. Former sisters Cindy Hoffmeister and
Lisa Williams are said to be leaving for New York and California,
respectively . . .
The Texas music scene looks pretty nifty in
the new magazine, XTRA, published out of Dallas (2906 Maple Ave., Suite 210,
75201) and available at selected newsstands. Whereas rock journalism in
Houston is splintered among a number of small weeklies and monthlies, most
of them no more than fanzines or radio station hack sheets and unable to
properly compensate their contributors; whereas the music industry in this
state is in dire need of coverage; and whereas Texas is known for
high-quality publications in other fields - XTRA serves to gather all our
resources inside a colorful, glossy format utilizing top-rate writers. The
new March issue features Joe Ely on the cover (a scathing report, at that),
plus book, album and film reviews, fashion, video, news shorts and
interviews. Now why did they have to start that in Dallas?