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Fitz's Flick

Sara Fitzgerald commits her 25 years behind bars to celluloid

"I live in Dickinson south of town, and I tell people I'm working on a film about Fitzgerald's and they go, 'Oh, Fitzgerald's -- I used to love that place when I was younger,' " says McDonough. "People you'd never expect…"

"I've seen pictures of Fitzgerald's memorabilia on walls in Mexico and Italy," adds Fitzgerald. "If you hang around long enough, it becomes a six-degrees-of-separation thing. We've become the Kevin Bacon of Houston clubs."

The story of Fitzgerald's could make a great film. Clubs like Fitz's are often the soon-to-be-huge bands' last experience with anything other than the rarefied rock air of arenas and stadiums, and the rambling converted Polish dance hall on White Oak is no exception. "Stevie Vaughan used to be like our house band here," remembers Fitzgerald, who once claimed to have poured him over 1,000 shots of Crown Royal in his young wild days. "When REM played here, we paid 'em like 100 bucks. Hootie and the Blowfish played here right before they hit it big. I think Clint Black once paid me 50 bucks to play here."

There was also Tommy Womack of the band Government Cheese. While the Nashville-based solo artist's former band didn't crack the big time, Womack's book about the band, The Cheese Chronicles, has become a minor classic of the rock-writing genre. In it, Womack had nothing but praise for Houston in general and Fitzgerald's and its owner in particular.

Fitzgerald remembers the band for another reason. "Oh, God. All these people saw the sign out front and lined up for free cheese," she says. "My mother had to turn them all away: 'No, no, no. Not today.' All these women were out there popping the trunks of their cars waiting for their cheese."

Sounds like a good episode of a sitcom…

Scuttlebutt Caboose

KPFT's underground hip-hop show Damage Control will be having its first anniversary party in KPFT's backyard on Saturday, May 24, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hosted by Damage Control jocks Matt(who does film showtimes and music listings for the Press), Zin and DJ Chill, the show will feature live performances by Paul Wall & Chamillionaire, G.R.i.T. Boys, Short Texas and many more from Houston, Austin and Victoria. Ten bucks gets you in the door and a crack at the Whole Foods spread of food and soft drinks, and the proceeds go to KPFT. (If you want to sip on harder stuff, bring your own.) The station's studio is at 419 Lovett Boulevard, just southeast of the corner of Montrose and Westheimer…Good news from The Buzz: Pam Kelly has taken her locals-heavy Texas Buzz show and added an extra hour of programming. Also, it will now air from a bar. Henceforth, she will be broadcasting live from Sherlock's Pub on West Gray every Sunday from ten to midnight. Two weeks ago Hollister Fracus and Paris Green were her first spotlighted guest bands in the re-energized format, and Kelly interviewed the bands and played two of their songs on the air. Last week came the turn of Tin Henry, and this Sunday Adrian's Circle will guest. Tentatively scheduled are the bands Rae (June 1) and Silverleaf (June 8)…The legendary Pete Mayes will be opening his equally storied Double Bayou Dance Hallnear Anahuac for another weekend concert on May 25. Mayes will sing backed by his usual band. The dance hall was recently named the No. 3 blues club in America by E! TV's Web site, though that survey's legitimacy is tarnished somewhat by its selection of Austin's Antone's as the winner. Antone's hasn't been what Racket would call a blues club for at least three years…Southern rockers Moses Guest had an eventful few months. First, longtime drummer James Edwards announced his intentions of leaving the band as soon as a replacement could be found. Next, the band hired a fifth member, multi-instrumentalist (with a concentration in pedal steel) Dan Johnson, whom they hired away from Hank III. Then the band went on its usual winter tour of the Rockies, which culminated in a drunken show at which singer-guitarist Graham Guest injured his knee badly enough to require surgery on his return to Houston, where they also sold out the Continental Club for the first time. Somewhere along the way, Edwards decided not to split after all, Johnson departed, and now the band is in communication with an undisclosed major label and auditioning pedal steel-playing utility musicians again.

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