Videos at the bottom.
OK, so in 1981, I graduated from UT. But then I stayed at UT, because I decided to go to library school. ('Cause, I dunno, I like libraries. I didn't really think this out too well.) I ended up living at The Ark, which was a student housing co-op, and a really wonderful and nutso place. (It's still there, but nowadays it's called Pearl Street Co-op
, I understand.) It was rather famous for its parties. That fall, as I remember it, we paid the unheard-of sum of $1000 to have local favorite Stevie Ray Vaughn play at one of the parties. We would get some kind of temporary liquor license (this was how it was explained to me, anyway) and we could basically operate as a club for the night, and sell beer and everything. Well, honestly, I can't tell you much about Stevie Ray's performance because I over-indulged with the beer and I really don't remember a lot of it. I do remember that I wandered into the house living room before the performance and Stevie Ray was in there waiting to go on. I don't think I exactly knew what he looked like, although I did know who he was, he was sort of a cult figure around Austin at that time. I just mostly remember him looking at me and my friend like, "Who the hell are these people?" And I remember that there was a mob there and and we made the thousand bucks back several times over, and we bought new washers and dryers, as I recall. (Another thing I don't remember is exactly why I know all these technical details - I must have been on some committee. Everything in co-ops is done by committee.)
Oh, and the little kicker to that story is that that same weekend there was a Rolling Stones concert in Dallas, which I couldn't go to because I had a job. (Unlike as an undergrad, I was paying my own way in grad school.) Many of my friends got up hung over the next morning and drove to Dallas - or maybe they never went to bed at all, I'm not sure which. But in any case, I was told by what I considered to be reliable sources that the Rolling Stones knew about our party, and said something about it onstage, of all the crazy things. (This makes a certain amount of sense because Stevie Ray's brother Jimmie was in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, at the time, and the T-Birds were opening for the Stones on that tour.)
I was a lot more interested in the co-op and generally having a good time than I was in grad school, really, but I enjoyed library school. Most of what I learned is of course totally obsolete now, but it was interesting. I took a lot of reference classes, which meant a lot of hanging out in the library trying to look things up without computers. It was like puzzle-solving, it was fun. We did actually get mainframe time to do research once or twice - you had to parse your queries just so, almost like writing a computer program.
I was trying to remember any concerts I went to in 1981 and everything I was thinking of seems to have been in 1982, so I will save those for the next entry. I spent a fair amount of time watching MTV, although we generally liked to think we were above all that kind of thing, and we made fun of it a lot. That was the year "Bella Donna" came out, and I remember that Stevie Nicks' voice really annoyed me at first (I think it's "Leather and Lace" I'm thinking about) but eventually "Edge of Seventeen" kind of won me over. Joan Jett was a huge thing, too, and Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl."
Two Music Advent selections for 1981:
first, John Lennon, which I mentioned yesterday
and secondly, representing the MTV era, Billy Idol (with a video directed by Tobe Hooper - which I didn't know until I looked this up yesterday):
(Oh, I loved this so at the time!)