BnrGood.gif (2906 bytes)

 
Houston entertainers tune up for `Hands Across America'
by Marty Racine
Houston Chronicle; Houston, Tex.; Mar 9, 1986

The Texas notebook:

My sixth-grade math tells me that they are actually capable of doing it. Hands Across America, a project of USA For Africa which spawned last year's massive Live-Aid benefit concerts to fight famine throughout Africa, is still on ``all systems go'' for Sunday, May 25. Organized by Ken Kragen, the big L.A. PR honcho who manages Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie, Hands Across America will form a human chain of more than 5 million Americans linking hands from Los Angeles to New York. Expectations are that the project will raise $50-100 million from participant contributions and corporate sponsorship. It is, to say the least, the biggest ``community'' event in American history, and stars from the worlds of music, politics, entertainment and sports have committed time and resources in one way or another.

Now, the cold facts. The chain of 5,480,640 people will snake through 16 states and the District of Columbia, for a total of 4,152 miles - mountains included, one presumes. Due to our size, Texas will have the most participants and largest mileage - 819,720 and 621. Six-hundred-twenty-one multiplied by 5,280 feet in a mile produces 3,278,880 feet. That divided by 819,720 participants equals exactly four feet per person, easily the average adult's wing span. Presumably, the figure holds for the entire chain. Is this silly? It would be, if the organizers weren't so serious.

As the Sesquicentennial has spawned a number of events in its name, Hands Across America will attract its share, like barnacles to a ship. The first in Houston, which also is honoring International Women's Day, will be held today at Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington, when a variety of local bands play a benefit concert from 1-7 p.m. Included are rock bands the Snakes, the Footnotes, Living Pieces and Plan B, plus Latin-rockers the Norma Zenteno Band and reggae-world beat group Shashamane. Ethnic food and beverages will be sold, and the admission is $6. A portion of the proceeds will go the Hands Across America fund.

This fund raiser is a warmup for a tentatively planned major Houston concert at the Astrodome featuring big name national and international artists. Details are expected to be announced shortly...

The ``papparazzi'' who trail rock musicians are an odd lot, kneeling in front of stages for that perfect angle, or hanging out in backstage dressing rooms for candid scenemaking - all for the sake of art, understand - but no one in Houston is more dedicated, or more intuitive, than Tracy Hart, whose favorite targets are Joe Ely and anyone with the surname of Vaughan. Hart can be seen in various clubs around town scurrying about in her trademark black bolo hat, and her photos of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Blasters and Ely, among others, are included in her current Around Texas exhibit featured through March at the Heights Gallery, 1613 Oxford. ``Around Texas'', naturally, is a convenient time to celebrate the Sesquicentennial ``and'' Houston Foto Fest, and is a ``photgraphic tour of people, places and things from Galveston to Dallas, Dallas to Austin, Asutin to Houston, and points in between.'' One aspect of the exhibit is Hart's photo series, ``Texas Trucks.'' For gallery hours and information call Hart at 868-9606...

Houston Tex-Mex group La Mafia leads all vote-getters going into tonight's finals of the 6th annual Tejano Music Awards ceremony at San Antonio Convention Center. With 137,000 ``Tejano'' fans voting from as far away as Chicago and the East Coast, the band and/or individual members were nominated in six of 11 categories, including Oscar Gonzales, Male Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist; Ruben and Leonard Gonzales, Vocal Duo; ``Neon Static'', Album of the Year; and ``Quedate'', Song of the Year. With the increasing popularity of Tex-Mex and other roots-regional forms of American music, the Tejano Awards have become a major prestige item in its field. La Mafia ``gained considerable musical leverage after they were named Most Promising Band a few years ago,'' said Rudy Trevino of the Texas Talent Musicians Association...

Ronnie Lane, the co-founder of the early-'70s British group Small Faces who has been convalescing in Houston from a career-debilitating case of multiple sclerosis, has announced the formation of the Ronnie Lane Foundation, which effectively ends his association with ARMS-America, also headquartered in Houston. ARMS, you may recall, was formed through the efforts of Lane's musician contemporaries and some of the biggest names in British rock, who staged a series of highly-touted benefit concerts in England and America in 1984. Lane's split from ARMS has been acrimonious, and it would be premature to get into details at this point. Nevertheless, Lane's Third Annual Rock 'n' Roll Auction, sponsored by KLOL radio, is slated for Saturday, March 15 at Fizz nightclub. Bidding will begin at 2 p.m., with hundreds of items up for auction. There are the usual autographed photos, posters, videos, T-shirts and the like, but also, how about The Scorpions' Rudolf Schenker's Spandex pants? Or a Ronnie Lane Guitar? Or an Aerosmith complete drum kit? Or the Jacksons tour pass? Or an R.E.M. tour shirt? Lane of course will be present, as will heavy metal recording artist Jon Bon Jovi and MTV video jockey Martha Quinn, who will serve as MC. Proceeds will benefit the Ronnie Lane Foundation. Last year's auction also raised over $5,000 for ChildHelp Texas, an organization for the prevention of child abuse.

Lane, incidentally, will be moving to Austin shortly because of its drier climate. He recently spent two weeks at an Iowa MS clinic doing research on MS as an alergy. ``I've been eating bloody scrambled eggs all my life, and I found out they were poison to my system,'' Lane said last week over the phone. According to his attorney, Larry Hysinger, ``Ronnie is most interested in providing up-to-date information regarding available treatment to MS victimes all over the country. Some remarkable achievements have been made in recent years and it will be the function of the Ronnie Lane Foundation to help put this news in the hands of the people who really need it.''...

The Big Time beckons Houston, and Houston answers with the Hard Rock Cafe, a designer restaurant and live music club which opens in September on Kirby Drive at the edge of the Montrose. The original HRC opened in London in 1971 and has since spawned individually designed clubs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Honolulu - important company. According to Cite, a publication of the Rice University Design Alliance, Houston's Hard Rock Cafe will look ``very southern, (with) classically ordered exterior with its veranda and shuttered French doors.''...

For years Texas has been a disorganized hotbed of musical talent. The musicians are here, the industry is in Los Angeles and Nashville, siphoning off large portions of the state's natural resources. In our need to diversify the state's economy from cattle and oil, steps are being taken. One is the Texas Music Association, an umbrella for local TMA chapters in the state's major cities. (The Houston TMA meets monthly at the Allen park Inn.) Now Gov. Mark White has appointed an eight-member Texas Music Commission, charged with ``promoting the development of the (state's) music industry.'' First on the agenda, of course, is a statewide economic impact study for the industry. Commission member and Austin entertainment attorney Mike Tolleson states that the commission wants to develp close ties with the state Film Commission that has for several years successfully served the Texas film industry...

Joe Ely, Joe ``King'' Carrasco, The True Believers and Angela Strehli, among others, will perform Thursday night at the 5th annual Austin Chronicle Music Awards Show at the Austin Opera House. The show also honors the best and most popular bands in Austin, the state's capital for music, as well. The Austin Chronicle has cropped up as ``the'' music paper in Austin, and by extension, the entire state, with apologies to Dallas' Buddy magazine, which has all but given up trying to cover anything in Houston. A city's music community needs one publication to take over and consolidate the market, although there will always be ``fanzines'' and smaller sheets. It may sound monolithic, but one large, solvent music paper has the resources to not only distribute its hometown message farther but is also able to properly pay its staff and contributors. In contrast, we in Houston have a dozen small weeklies and monthlies vying for readership. The result is that none of them, with the possible exception of the Public News, carries much impact. Our music community is similarly fragmented...

Advance ticket sales are now on sale for this year's Reggae Sunsplash US Tour, which plays J.B.'s Entertainment Center, 3730 Scott St. in Houston, April 19. The impressive lineup includes, at this date, Black Uhuru, Judy Mowatt (formerly one of Bob Marley's I-Threes), The Mighty Diamonds, Leroy Sibbles (formerly of the Heptones) and the original Soul Syndicate, featuring the likes of Earl ``Chinna'' Smith, Tony Chin and Keith Sterling. Tickets are available through Ticketron outlets, Marcus Garvey Records, Culture Records, Record Exchange and Sound Outlet in Missouri City...

Final note: KPFT radio is requesting material for its program, ``From The Heart of Texas''. Tapes and records of live and studio performances by Texas musicians should be sent to Gary Sapone, ``From The Heart of Texas,'' KPFT, 419 Lovett Blvd., Houston 77006.

 

 

 


Go Home Now

10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
What's Up?!
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)

10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)Lost now Found
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Kenney Thump
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
 Ronnie Lane
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Mac Mick Lag Un
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Who?
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Pre-Petrified Wood
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Tetsu, CALL ME!
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Discography
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
All Sorts of Photos
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Hear Faces talk about Phases of Faces
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Learn the Real Words
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Learn to Play with Yourself
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Links (and other odd sausages)10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
10pixSpacer.gif (79 bytes)
Sign It Now



 



Kenney     Plonk     Mac     Rod      Woody     Tetsu
Home     What's New     Sitemap      Discography     Sounds     Lyrics    Chords
Links     Forum     Guest Book

contact us

(c) 1999-2004  
Dave McNarie.  All Rights Reserved.