Rocks Off can't do anything about the drought, but this weekend we will be breaking our own personal drought and returning to the Austin City Limits Music Festival after taking 2010 off.
But long before ACL, there was another massive musical gathering in Texas - the Texas International Pop Festival, which took place on Lake Lewisville a couple of weeks after Woodstock over Labor Day weekend 1969. Among the headliners was Led Zeppelin on their first-ever U.S. tour, as well as Janis Joplin, Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, Delaney & Bonnie, Sam & Dave and (separately) both B.B. and Freddie King.
Today the Dallas Observer's news blog, Unfair Park, reported that Richard Hayner, who has kept Texas Pop's fragrant flame burning via his Web site texaspopfestival.com, has finally succeeded in his long-running efforts to get a marker for the festival. The marker will be dedicated October 1 and located at Hebron Station, a train station in Denton County now under construction southeast of where the Texas Pop stage once stood.
Hayner also coughed up a whole bunch of photos from the festival, and gave them to the Observer - and now us - for a slideshow. You'll see cops on horseback, Janis Joplin looking eerily ghostlike, pictures of Robert Plant and B. B. King that will make you gawk in disbelief that the singers were ever so young, and festival workers happily hosing down a bunch of smelly hippies. Check out this poster too, maaaaaan:
Back when we were still writing our Noise column, Rocks Off did an article on Texas Pop in September 2009. We interviewed Hayner, and unearthed one of the most awesomely myopic pieces of journalism we've ever seen. It was an editorial in The Dallas Morning News denouncing the festival that went a lil something like this:
Young people assembling to hear music is one thing. Young people assembling in unspeakable costumes, half-naked, barefooted, defying propriety and scorning morality is another. Who and where are their parents? Where do these young people get the money to loaf around the country in their smelly regalia?
The great majority of youngsters in this area are at home where they ought to be, mowing yards, working part-time jobs and preparing for useful lives. In the meantime, the lewd and loose in Lewisville will swing and sway. They are to be pitied.
LOL. We don't think you'll ever see anything in the Austin American-Statesman talking that way about ACL. Rocks Off knows there are many people from Houston who went to the Texas Pop festival; we talked to a few of you when we were writing that column. If there's anything you'd like to share about your Texas Pop experience, let us know.
So before we give you a whole bunch of slideshows from Zilker this weekend, enjoy one from the wayback machine. Peace.
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