The Rocks Off 200: Michael Dauzat Sr., a Rabbi and a Hate
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? There are several truisms in Houston music. Everybody knows somebody who will tell you they were there when the second floor of Fitzgerald's collapsed. Little Joe Washington is effectively immortal. And if you play punk bass or drums in Houston long enough, you will eventually be a member of The Hates. Just ask their current bassist, Michael Dauzat.
Dauzat picked up an old electric guitar that had been a gift to his older brother and was abandoned when he left home. He figured that it was now his by default, drove a couple of nails directly into the box and neck, tied a piece of rope to them for a strap and set about walking around outside blissfully playing his heart out. Embarrassed, his father shelled out some cash to upgrade Dauzat to a Yamaha FG-340 II. He still has it, along with the pick he got with it from H&H Music.
While stationed with the army in the late '80s, Dauzat began jamming punk rock and metal with some other musically minded buddies. He wasn't terribly great, but it was fun. After returning to Houston and living here for a couple of decades (during which he became a rabbi among other things, no joke), he happened to be walking a treadmill next to Christian Kidd. Having remembered Kidd from shows before he left for the army, Dauzat walked past and said, "Hates rule!" The two eventually became close friends.
When Dave Deviant quit the band, Kidd asked Dauzat to put out the word he was looking for a new bassist. Dauzat had recently picked up the instrument for a friend's project that never materialized. He mentioned this to Kidd, adding that he doubted he was anything close to what Kidd was looking for, but Kidd said, "Let me be the judge of that."
Some patient guidance later, Dauzat is the latest in a long line of illustrious bassists who can proudly call themselves a Hate.
Home Base: The Hates have had a space at Francisco's for dog's years. For performances Dauzat appreciates the ease and comfort of Fitzgerald's and Scout Bar. His favorite place, though? Jamail Skatepark.
It's a nightmare to load in, you have to bring your heaviest gear because there's no sound system, and it can be hot enough to melt vinyl, but Dauzat thinks the raw energy of the skaters pulling tricks right in front of the stage is unlike any other playing experience in Houston.
Good War Story: "We were playing Big Star Bar and were already setting up late," Dauzat says. "Just as we were finally ready to play, Christian's amp wanked out on him."
He had to go back to the studio and get another amp. We looked like a bunch of monkeys trying to figure out which cables went where, tune up, sound check and finally get to playing. Halfway through the set some old wanker kept shoving his middle fingers in our faces and cursing at us.
Strangely, I didn't get pissed but instead kept playing while asking, "Is that the best you can do? Give me more! Throw some bottles! C'mon, give me more!'" Instead he started walking out as we finished that song. I said he must've been upset that we didn't play Bee Gees covers.
Everyone had a good laugh over that and we continued playing our set, which, despite the initial hiccup, came off pretty well.
Story continues on the next page.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "My biggest pet peeve is probably going to get me in trouble: the venues," Dauzat admits. "Most of the venues about town seem feel Houston bands and fans owe them. We exist to serve them and, in fact, we exist only because they allow us to exist. Then [they] charge us $20 to see and support our favorite local talentless hacks.
"I think that's the key word: support," he continues. "Instead of supporting local bands, they believe that we support them. I'm not the only one that feels this way, either. Almost every band I've spoken with, almost every one has had someone make the same complaint. But, since I'm going on the record and saying it, the hammer will fall on my head. That's OK. I figure I won't miss much."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Various Artists, 150 All Time Greatest Most Important Absolutely Essential Classical Masterpieces
- Metallica, Master of Puppets
- Motorhead, Ace of Spades
- NOFX, The War on Errorism
- Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin III
Best Show You've Ever Seen: "I would say Green Day [at Toyota Center] back in '09," recollects Dauzat. "Not only did they put on a great show that night, but they also pulled the fans into the show. Literally. One person was pulled onstage to sing one of their songs and did a good job, too. Another, Billie Joe Armstrong gave his guitar to play another song with them.
"Green Day engaged the crowd fully and made everyone feel as though they were the most important part of the show," he adds. "And of course the fans are; without the fans, you're just playing with yourself in an empty room. Creepy."
First Song You Ever Fell in Love With: "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
Nick Greer, a G Among G's Chingo Bling, H-Town's Own Versace Mariachi Quenton Rockwell, Melody Man in the Shiny Darks Southerland Nights, An Army of Accolades Stacy Hartoon, Rudz's Punk-Rock Heir Apparent Bowen Lyons, Keeper of the Trimms' Groove Chris Gore, Electronica Guru of BLSHS John Alton, the Madness of Cosmic Bug Loaf Reko Trill, of the Almighty Trill Brothers Jo Bird, Bow-Caster of Fiddle Witch & the Demons of Doom DJ Nando1, Who Fights to Keep the Party Poppin' Randall Hopkins, Featherface Drummer and Brilliant Video Director Roby Deaton, Open-Mike Pocket of Cool Nosaprise, Hurrah! for the Blushing Bridegroom Tony Vega, the Big Easy's Barnburner Leslie Krafka, Onward Through the Fog Michael Anthony Shanks, Houston's Merry Shankster DJ Baby Roo, Vegetarian Hip-Hop Veteran Rachel Bays, Filming Them Softly Punk-Rock "Newcomers" Screech of Death Erin Rodgers, the Keys to Glass the Sky Alex LaRotta, Crate-Digging Fistful of Soul Brother Alycia Miles, Triumphant Soul Singer DJ Piam, Poison Girl's Bacon-Fat Funk Specialist Mister Insane, Host of The Insane Show Jake Rawls -- Kemo For Emo Is Back Santos Pastrana, Sound Engineer and DJ Ninja Heading Upstream with RIVERS' Chris Tamez DJ Dayta, Keeper of That Good Good Matthew Davis Buehrer, Runaway Sun's Globally Thinking Bassist Fat Tony, Third Ward to "BKNY" Noon, Rapper With a Lot on His Mind Matt Cash, Clear Lake's Cassette Tape Wailer Jason Smith, Alkari's Space City Rocker DJ Penetrate, All Lit Up in "Neon Lights" Catch Fever Is Catching On Renée Jonard, Princess of Noise Pollution Junior Gordon, Big Man With a Big Sound Chad Smalley, Blaggards' Barse Player Damien Randle, K-OTIX Man of Action Kevin Anthony, 45 Southbound Man DJ Good Grief Knows How to Have Fun Robert Kuhn, the Well-Traveled Islander Gunnar Cushway, Insko's Feel-Good Utilityman Mario Rodriguez, Tax the Wolf/Bang Bangz's Wonky Power Monger John Smith, Goodtime Continental Club Manager Dwayne Cathey, A Good Man to Scare People With Walter Carlos, Guitar-Punisher of Funeral Horse Ryan James, Putting Up a Good Fight John Cramer, Guitar Apostle of Project Grimm Big Gerb, Houston's Hongree-est MC Steven Higginbotham, Hard-Working Wheel Worker Alisha Pattillo & Her Swaggering, Soulful Sax Brandon Ray, Punk Rocker Turned Filmmaker/Animator The Excitable Boys of Another Run Flash Gordon Parks, DJ as Funky Professor DJ Main Event, Kratez Crew JumpOff Man Odd Hours and Back to Back's Hank Doyle Legendary K-OTIX Producer Russel "The ARE" Gonzalez Dylan Bryson Sings the Blues (Rock) DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow Tom Lynch, New Kid On the Block Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy Joe Ortiz, Clockpole's Master of Nonsense Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.