Monday, October 26, 2015

The Plural of Aggies

"That's how you did things before computers."

Las Cruces is the runt of the litter when compared to the El Paso/Juarez metroplex. Especially so in the early 1960s when Las Cruces had a population of just 30,000. Nonetheless, an eclectic cottage industry of studios, labels and bands trickled forth from Las Cruces. Granted, the bulk of this boom, was the work of two pragmatic local characters. Emmit Brooks, who established Goldust Records Co. in 1965 and iconic borderlands disc jockey Steve Crosno, who along with Manny Rivera, founded Frogdeath Records. One of the most highly sought after brands among vinyl collectors in the Southwest. Crosno, working with limited resources was forced to be more selective of whom he recorded and that meant that his personal preferences dictated to a large degree what was released on Frogdeath.

Frogdeath Records definitely reflected the personality of Steve Crosno. From the label imprint which depicted a bullfrog listening to a phonograph (ala RCA's Little Nipper listening to his master voice) with a heavy boot looming overhead, to the puns and mispronunciations printed on the label. It all added up to the work of a smart ass genius. Frogdeath had a limited run, probably no more than a dozen known releases. Working on the fly (and on the cheap) with Crosno wasn't easy as Danny Parra (Danny & the Counts) recalls: “ We recorded “For Your Love” b/w “It’s All Over” in a single live take in Steve’s home without a drummer! Unbelievable! The recordings were meant to be a dry run but Crosno decided to put them on vinyl since he could promote them on KELP”

After that initial haphazard session, Danny & The Counts butted heads with Steve over the direction their music was taking. “We ultimately made it clear to him, that we wanted to pursue the English music trends as a group and abandon R&B. He wasn’t happy about this because his whole market niche was R&B …. so we had an eventual parting of the ways.” said Parra. Crosno's radio show and “Crosno Hops” a mobile sock hop that hit every podunk burg within driving distance of El Paso, revolved around r&b/soul numbers. Fuzzy, hyper, garage be bop don't cut it on the dance floor when you're looking to rub up on a gal. The homies in Segundo Barrio pined for Tex Mex Soul, James Brown and golden oldies... Steve Crosno delivered the goods and in their eyes he could do no wrong.

Emmit Brooks on the other hand, designed and built a professional studio in Las Cruces. He started out with second hand equipment procured by Norman Petty. (shades of Bennie Sanchez and Hurricane Record) In the same manner as John Wagner of John Wagner Studios in Albuquerque, Brooks had tried his hand as a recording artist at Norman Petty Studios. Recording a split 7” (yeah, they had those back then) with Aggie Rambler band mate, Nolan Chandler in 1959. Emmit's side was “Peach Blossoms” a warbled country tune that withered on the branch. His solo shot stymied by a lack of success, Brooks stuck with The Aggie Ramblers, an epochal country western dance band from Las Cruces, as a vocalist and bass player until 1975, when he left the band to focus on his recording studio.

Brooks never stopped investing in equipment and Goldust Records remains a viable enterprise to this very day. Emmit recognizes that nowadays musicians use his studio simply to release their music on their own labels, stating matter-of-factly. “With the Internet, if you put out a CD, you've basically given it away to the world” Brooks made a go of it by adopting what amounted to an open door policy. How else would famed artist Peter Hurd (who could sing in Spanish about as well as Linda Ronstadt) get the opportunity to record an album titled “Peter Hurd Sings Rancheras” I kid of course, Peter already had one album under his belt, “Spanish Folk Songs of New Mexico” released on Folkway Records in 1957. "Music is music," says Brooks "If I can listen to it and I can understand it, I can record it."

Despite the encyclopedic breadth of the Goldust Records catalog (basically everything under the sun except jazz) it was 60s garage fuzz busters that brought the label worldwide attention. Brooks recalls how a man from Baer Records in Germany showed up and bought hundreds of 7” singles at $5 each and now they sell online for $75 each. Brooks also collaborated with reissue label, Collectables Records in 1996 to produce a compilation cd titled “From The Grass To The Outer Limits! The Goldust Records Story” which featured hip heavy hitters such as The Four Dimensions, The Outer Limits, The Grass, The Keymen, all from Las Cruces and The Morfomen from Española, N.M. plus the über square Pat & Dodie (Dodie Sierra & Pat Barrett) from parts unknown. 

Down in the wastelands of New Mexico, Where there's a definite lack of H2o

The kids get their kicks on this barren land when they go surfing on pure white sand”

Sand surfing was a thing long before the Four Dimensions wrote a song about it. The joy of sailing down a dune on a piece of plywood can't be beat. Nowadays they actually rent sleds and somehow it's just not the same. The 4Ds like so many bands from Las Cruces sprang from the student body at NMSU. Keith Hackney and Phil Holmes started out as a duo, later adding Jack Starkey and Billy Conger. The Four Dimensions were primarily a cover band, although their sole single for Goldust Records consisted of two original songs. “Sand Surfin” was written by Keith Hackney & Phil Holmes while the flip“I Love You For What You Are” was a Keith Hackney composition. “Sand Surfin” as to be expected was a local hit.

The Four Dimensions played the few venues available in Las Cruces, The Cork & Bottle and The Palms Motor Inn and accompanied other musicians at Goldust recording sessions. They caught the California fever and headed west to Hollywood. The band landed an agent who put them to work on the club circuit for a year. Eventually the 4Ds ended up playing a Las Vegas lounge until Uncle Sam came calling. Jack Starkey, Keith Hackney and Phil Holmes returned to Las Cruces, playing a few local gigs before breaking up. Billy Conger signed on with another band while they were in Las Vegas. Keith Hackney was the only one of the Four Dimensions to serve in Vietnam and according to Phil Holmes “Keith didn't come back from Vietnam the same” Keith Hackney passed away on Jan. 26th 2014.

The Grass from Las Cruces, started out as Stanley & The Grass. Lead singer Stan Stenner reportedly was related to Al Lewis, Grandpa on The Munsters television show. Funny thing is, Lewis did have ties to New Mexico (his two grandsons were equipment managers for the UNM Lobos basketball during Gary Colson's tenure) Lewis could often be found sitting court side at Lobo home games and invariably the play by play announcer would say “Hey! there's Grandpa Munster” Stenner a former child actor who grew up in Hollywood, had appeared in the Producers Showcase production of Peter Pan and Bob Cummings' Love That Bob. Stan already had a single under his belt “Teri b/w Angel of Mine released on Dynasty Records in 1959. when he met up with The Grass at a local talent contest.

Apparently Stenner had been drafted and was stationed at nearby Ft. Bliss at the time. Stanley & The Grass had a short run and once Stan left, he was replaced by Larry Lucero for the Goldust recording session that produced “I'm Getting Tired” The Grass (JT Archer, Lynn McIntyre, Dennis Finn & Tim Schaefer) had a friendly rivalry with another local band, The Outer Limits who recorded for Goldust Records. They revolved around Jim Westbrooks, Pete Hecker, Dennis Lucero and lead singer John Leduc, who was often compared to either Roky Erickson of The 13th Floor Elevators or Sal Valentino of the Beau Brummels. Members of both bands had also been part of other Las Cruces bands, The Checkmates, The Shandells and The Hustlers (not The Hustlers from Carlsbad)

Originally known as The Fabulous Keymen, Emmit Brooks of Goldust Records refers to them as “the most popular band in Las Cruces in the mid-1960s” Yet another local band with an NMSU connection and much like The Four Dimensions, The Keymen were primarily a cover band, though their only single, released on Goldust consisted of two original compositions. Guitarist/vocalist Stan Lease, appears to have been the driving force behind the band, he was joined by keyboardist Van Lanning, drummer Dick Gambo and bassist/vocalist Phil Holmes (His landing spot following the demise of the 4Ds. Jack Starkey mentions meeting Keith Hackney in Los Alamos prior to joining the 4Ds and Keith being in a band called the Keymen)

The aforementioned single “What Am I To Do / Walkin and Talkin” was released in 1967 on Goldust Records. It showcases a tight group of musicians that was far from your average garage band. The Keymen work a farfisa driven, Memphis inspired groove, unlike anything their Las Cruces contemporaries were doing. The Keymen definitely had their own distinct sound, which went largely unexplored beyond the Goldust single. They seemed to have inherited the Four Dimensions' money gig, as evidenced by the Goldust album “The Keymen Live” recorded at The Cork & Bottle on Solano Drive in 1968. (reissued by Collectable Records as a cd) It's a perfect late 1960s radio fodder time capsule as the band works through a spirited set of covers, no originals.

The GUM label was based in Mesilla Park N.M.and shared a post office box number with Best Records (not the California label that issued surf records by The Pyramids) GUM Publishing was associated with GUM, Best and F-G Records (Frank Gonzales & The Palisades) It's possible that GUM and Best were subsidiaries of Emmit Brooks' Goldust Records, based in neighboring University Park. Though Brooks has never mentioned it. GUM Records was home for The Cavaliers, from Las Cruces N.M. featuring Lloyd Nash on lead vocals, who also co-wrote all their songs. Just don't confuse these Cavaliers with The Cavaliers from San Angelo, Tx. of J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss" fame or The Cavaliers (aka Thee Kavaliers) of McAllen, Tx. fronted by charismatic lead singer Javier Rios.

The Man Who Never Let The Music Die.... Has Died

Alamogordo, located just outside the borderplex region, nonetheless became a big player on the El Paso/Las Cruces music scene. This was due to the efforts of insurance salesman/aspiring musician, Calvin Boles. Determined to make his mark in music if not the world, Calvin Boles set up a $40 Concertone reel-to-reel recorder in his garage and cut his first release “Rock Buster b/w You Blame It All On Me”.... Yucca Records 101, 1958. You can bet that the earth moved and the skies rumbled.... as fighter jets from nearby Holloman AFB flew over the Boles homestead. To quote blogger Paul Pearson of Dead Horse Radio “Bole's music was, on average, pretty good country, with some fluctuation across the pretty good range” Folks advised Calvin not to quit his day job and he paid heed to their advice.

Originally from Seymour, Tx. The Boles family migrated to Alamogordo, N.M. in 1932, during the depression. They settled south of Alamogordo in an area that is now a thriving semi-rural suburb known as Boles Acres. With the exception of never having worked with Norman Petty. Calvin Boles was cut from the same cloth as John Wagner (Delta Records) and Emmit Brooks (Goldust Records) Under Boles' direction, Yucca Records grew into a prolific and influential “hit making” machine. (with some fluctuation on the term “hit”) Calvin eventually moved his operation out of the garage and into KALG radio studios. At final count, Yucca Records released 237 vinyl singles. Boles himself authored over 500 songs and accounted for at least 32 of Yucca's single releases.

Prior to Yucca Records, Calvin Boles & The Rocket City Playboys relentlessly toured the breadth of Little Texas and West Texas. Calvin's wife Betty became the bass player by default. “He said if I was going to go with him, I was going to have to earn a living” Calvin showed her a few chords and gave her two weeks to perfect her technique. In Jan. of 1955, Billboard reported that the band had been signed for a sponsored 30-minute program “across-the-board” on KALG. Betty Boles (not to be confused with Calvin's sister Betty Jean Boles Johnson) would go on to record a few singles with Calvin (including a split single) The Rocket City Playboys recorded eight albums, none of which were released on Yucca Records. You'd be hard pressed to find any trace of the R.C. Playboys online.

Calvin had what folks around New Mexico refer to as a “smart ass” sense of humor. This showed through in many of his recordings. Boles, perhaps well aware of his limitations as a serious country musician always kept the mood light. (Alamogordo's motto is “The Friendliest Place of Earth”) Playing honky tonk, rockabilly and country swing with just enough crossover to keep music genre purists scratching their heads. Calvin kept 'em dancing with “If You Got a Lot of Dough” “Turn Back the Pages” “Doc Scurlock” “You Giggle Too Much” (which coined the term “gigglebilly”... which nobody in their right mind would ever use) Through it all, Calvin met the locals' insurance needs and marched a troupe of musicians through the KALG studio.

In the early 1970s, bags in hand and tongue firmly planted in cheek. Calvin Boles closed up shop in Alamogordo and took off to Nashville with the idea of recording and promoting country artists. He already had one client... his son-in-law, Robyn Young (Faron Young's son) To mark his arrival in the Mecca of country music, Boles released a novelty single that will forever rank as one of the rankest, musical endeavors of all time. First a little background info. Break-in records, were made popular by Dickie Goodman with his hit recordings of “The Flying Saucer, Pts. 1 & 2. The basic premise has an official sounding interviewer (Goodman) asking questions, which are answered by brief snippets of POPULAR songs (note the emphasis on popular) Even at its best, it's pure cornball.

For “Calvin Boles in Nashville” b/w “Calvin on Stage” Boles hired Johny (Single N) Caraway, who Paul Pearson of Dead Horse Radio points out “was no Dickie Goodman” Caraway in a serious “radio voice” asks a series of questions to which Calvin answers with break-ins from his own vast repertoire of “unknown to the world” songs. It's cringe worthy right up until Ernest Tubbs breaks in at the end with “Go on home, you don't belong here with me” followed by a round of canned laughter. Paul Pearson: “A break-in comedy record featuring nothing but Calvin Boles tunes as break-ins....probably wasn't the most effective strategy” Calvin's Nashville venture flamed out quicker than Kingsford Match Light briquets. A thousand guitar pickers in Nashville and Calvin wasn't meant to be one of them. 

A Confederacy of Aggies

Yucca Records wasn't much of a going concern after that. Calvin Boles, a true original, born in Texas, raised in New Mexico. Passed away on Oct. 25th. 2004. He was 79 years old. . In 2006 State Rep. Gloria Vaughn of Alamogordo on behalf of Betty Boles, introduced a House Bill to have Calvin Boles' ballad “New Mexico” declared the state's official cowboy song. Rep. Vaughn cited Boles' accomplishment, declaring him “a local legend in the area” The proposal met with dissent (perhaps they were familiar with “Calvin Boles in Nashville”) State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell of Roswell was miffed that the song failed to mention cowgirls. “I am a cowgirl, and I have not been surveyed on this and I think there are a lot of other cowboys who might want some input into this”

The bill moved to the State Senate and there it died. New Mexico was left without an official state cowboy song. The following year Rep. Vaughn again offered Boles' “New Mexico” as the official state cowboy song in a new House bill... she couldn't even persuade the House to vote on her bill. Rep. Vaughn then opened up the process, calling for a competition. The process would drag out for damn near three years before Wisconsin transplant Syd Masters was declared the last man standing, thanks to his western swing number “Under New Mexico Skies” A casualty of New Mexico's ugly North vs. South civil strife. “New Mexico” (Boles had actually co-written the song with R.D. Blankenship) fell by the wayside. Ultimately, what really burns my ass about this whole affair (besides Masters being a rootin' tootin' cheese head cowboy) is that Syd's song also fails to mention cowgirls.

A who's who of New Mexico and West Texas musicians passed through Alamogordo to record for Yucca Records. Bob Taylor and the Counts were among the first. Hailing from El Paso, Bob Taylor and his brother Glenn were joined by Jim Reese (future Bobby Fuller Four) and Willie Wilson. Calvin Boles obit mistakenly reported that a young Willie Nelson was a member of the Counts, having confused him with Willie Wilson (In 1958 Willie Nelson was peddling encyclopedias and songs in Houston) One of the tracks they put down during that first session “Thunder” was later reworked by Bobby Fuller as “Thunder Reef” Fuller released two singles for Yucca in 1961, “You're in Love / Guess We'll Fall in Love” (KALG studio) and “My Heart Jumped / Gently My Love” (Norman Petty Studios)

The List goes on: Don Guess & The Rock Kings, Al Sims, The Rhythm Heirs, Rex Rinehart, Big Lloyd Dalton (Thees Plane Ees Mine) Jerry Bell & The Original Rockets, Bill Chappell... the rockabilly madcap, recorded a pair of late period rockabilly faves “Down on the Farm Boogie” & “Big Mama Twist” Bill went on to become a regular opening act in Branson, Mo. Sonny Wallace, known for his version of the rockabilly classic “Black Cadillac” Long John Hunter, Texas blues guitarist who hung from the rafters and paced the sidewalks, electric guitar in hand outside the Lobby Club in Juarez, Mx. Sonny Guitar (not sure if this is Big Sonny Farlow who played in a post-Doug Sahm version of the Sir Douglas Quintet and Big Sonny & The Lo Boys with Jimmy Carl Black)

There's more: Jerry Bright and The Embers (which included Dalton Powell and Jim Reese of Bobby Fuller fame) Doo Wop groups: The Ravons w/vocalists Jenny Johnson and Dick Liberatore, a vocal group from Holloman AFB. The Fortunes known for their single This is Love/ Lonely Teardrops. John Caraway who beside being involved in the atrocious “Calvin Boles in Nashville” also recorded “Wallace Will Walk Again” his get well ode to George Wallace. Tiny Tim, who recorded for Yucca was not the Tiny Tim of “Tip Toe Through the Tulips” fame. He was Tiny Tim Knight, a precocious five year old from Oklahoma, who was believed to be the youngest country singer to sign his signature to a contract (a feat that some adult country singers may not have been capable of)

The only garage rock band that recorded for Yucca were The Pitiful Panics, included on El Paso Rocks Vol. 9. Norm Petty embraced psychedelic music. Emmit Brooks had no qualms about recording 60s garage beat. Norm even sat in on Mellotron with The Hooterville Trolley and Lincoln St. Exit. A comment on Bill Chappell's You Tube video for “Down on the Farm” speaks volumes “I had no idea they played this way in the 1960s” It also explains why Emmit Brooks and Goldust stayed in business while Yucca Records played out. Emmit and Norman Petty realized that longevity and success in the recording business were the result of accepting change as it comes about. Calvin Boles dug his heels in and got stuck in the past. Calvin's approach was old fashioned if not downright archaic.

It wasn't all bad. Yucca's releases do have an authentic feel to them, even if most came out well after the original rockabilly cats had distanced themselves from the genre. Sadly this was the product of Calvin's desire to reject modern music trends and not any artistic epiphany he may have experienced. There's two Yucca Records compilations out there worth mentioning, “Yucca Records and Other Things” released on Yucca in 1980, is a comprehensive collection of the label's rockabilly tracks. “The Yucca Records Rock 'N' Roll Story” released in the mid-1990s by Classics Records on compact disc, essentially duplicates the first release. Norton's El Paso Rock series cherry picked the best tracks from both. “Yucca Records and Other Things” is for hardcore vinyl junkies only.

The Yucca Records masters gathered dust until Norton Records, a New York City based independent record label founded by musicians Billy Miller & Miriam Linna (The Cramps drummer for a brief period in late 70s) swept in and licensed Yucca's entire catalog for re-issue. For that we are eternally grateful to both. Miriam Linna wrote a series of articles about Bobby Fuller for Kicks magazine, part of Norton's publishing division. Ms. Linna is considered somewhat of the ultimate authority on Bobby Fuller, having recently published “I FOUGHT THE LAW: The Life and Strange Death of Bobby Fuller” which she co-authored with Randy Fuller. Judging by the teasers and pre-release hype, it appears that we'll finally get to the bottom of this lingering who-dun-it murder mystery. 

I can still remember vividly all the sensory data of driving to football practice at Cobre Hs. in Bayard N.M. and hearing Carl Perkins “Blue Suede Shoes” for the first time”

Growing up under the twin stacks in Hurley, N.M. Frank Thayer would sit in his parent's Buick mesmerized by the growling blues of Howling Wolf on KWKH in Shreveport, La. Bouncing of the stratosphere and slicing through the ozone, KWKH broadcast an unexpectedly strong signal to Western New Mexico from 840 miles away. It was enough to ignite a life long passion in Thayer, more so when he heard Elvis Presley's “That's Alright Mama” for the first time. “I knew I had to somehow play and sing that way... praying that if I could only play that rhythm and sing just that one song” Through the years Frank Thayer didn't stray far from that original vision. Frank's rockabilly quest was genuine, neither revisionist or revivalist... a blue suede time traveler, the last of his tribe.

A native of Grant County, Thayer shipped out from Hurley to Bryan, Tx. joining the Corp of Cadets at Texas A&M. It was in Texas that Frank became a musician. “I began to develop a rudimentary competence on the acoustic guitar” During the three years he spent at A&M, Thayer was the vocalist for The Jesters, a local band that played honky tonks across East Texas. Frank caught on quickly “We learned at that time (and nothing has changed) that inebriated patrons just want to hear “Kansas City” For his senior year, Thayer chose to matriculate with a less fervent form of Aggies, transferring to New Mexico State Univ. in Las Cruces. A journalism major, Frank had began writing songs when he met NMSU English major Dennis Adams, who also happened to be a DJ at KGRT in Las Cruces.

Adams was a budding producer and sound engineer, who had in his possession Ampex recorders and state of the art microphones. He also had access to the campus radio stations studio and equipment. Thayers first session (which produced “Long Grey Highway / Evening Shadows”) took place on the lawn of the NMSU radio station. Dennis got the right sound mix by positioning the musicians a certain distance from one another. Mike Wright of The Lyonals accompanied Frank on vocals. Released on Outlaw Records (essentially, Thayer's vanity label) it sold well enough to top out at #1 on KGRT's weekly poll. Inspired by their success, Adams and Thayer spent the next few months recording a batch of original songs with the help of musicians recruited from around the campus.

Frank's second Outlaw Records single, “The Troubled Streets / Lonely Before Dawn” was distributed to radio stations across the country. The Link Wray (ahem!) “inspired” a-side while catchy, raked in zero sales. “The Troubled Streets” received a form of belated redemption years later when Norton Records appended the song title to Vol. 5 of their “El Paso Rock Series, Bordertown Rock and Roll 1958-64” After graduation, Thayer and Adams took a road trip on Route 66 east intending to promote Frank's recordings. Once they arrived in Rochester N.Y. (Dennis Adams' hometown) the duo split up. Dennis Adams went to work for General Motors while Frank Thayer took a job with The El Paso Times as a cub reporter before joining the military.

Frank Thayer wound up teaching journalism in Canada. He returned to New Mexico and eventually became a professor in the Journalism and Mass Communications Dept. at New Mexico State. His recording days were well behind him, or so he thought. In 1977, Dennis Adams alerted him that there was renewed interest in his first Outlaw single ( “Long Grey Highway / Evening Shadows”) with this in mind, Adams convinced Frank that they should issue an album consisting of both Outlaw singles and two unreleased songs (Yes I'll be Blue / The Glory of Her Love) The six titles were combined in a 45 rpm extended play seven-incher titled “Frank Thayer Back in New Mexico” the response was positive, especially in Europe and Scandinavia where rockabilly was being rediscovered.

Their next project was more ambitious. Based out of Rochester N.Y. Thayer and Adams put together a group of sidemen to help them recreate an authentic rockabilly sound. Guitarist George Bedard was chosen for his ability to emulate Scotty Moore. Brian Williams, a stand up bassist was totally sold on the project. Jim Symonds on drums rounded out the group. Next, they sought out a studio that had some of the same acoustic properties as Sun Records. Al Wilcox Studios in Rochester fit the bill. To prep for the album, the newly formed group played a number of gigs in local clubs. They met with enthusiastic approval where ever they played. The album, recorded in 1980 was released on Outlaw Records and distributed in the U.S., Canada and Europe. It became a rockabilly revivalist classic.

Twenty six years later a journalism student at NMSU (one of Thayer's) discovered his professor's forgotten rock and roll past and wrote two feature articles about Professor Thayer's musical career. This led to a rush of interest in his music, which really started to peak with the rise of You Tube and the release of the aforementioned “Norton Records' El Paso Rocks Vol. 5”, which featured all six tracks from “Frank Thayer Back in New Mexico” (“Troubled Streets” & “Lonely Before Dawn” are credited to The Night People) Two student engineers at KRWG, the NMSU campus radio station, took on the digital mastering of Frank Thayer's 1980 album. The finished product resulted in Outlaw Records first and only compact disc release.

Please bear in mind that the internet is a vast nest of misinformation

which allows anyone to say anything

Not all the attention cast upon Frank Thayer has been because of his music, the former head of the Journalism and Mass Communication Dept. at NMSU came under fire in 2014 over forwards he wrote for a series of books by Gregory Douglas “Gestapo Chief” that some critics feel endorse or espouse Holocaust denial theories. In his writings Douglas pushes the theory that Heinrich Muller, head of the Gestapo, survived the war and was employed by the feds. In and of itself, the Douglas series is nothing more than right wing pulp trash. However, it's Gregory Douglas' ties (and Thayer's by association) to The Barnes Review, “one of the most virulent anti-Semitic organizations around” according to The Southern Poverty Law Center that are cause for concern. Thayer being a state employee and all.

When pressed to clarify his views, Professor Thayer stated “I believe that I have the right to be interested in the topics I'm interested in” NMSU refused to censure Thayer, citing his right to free speech. He did retire as the head of the Journalism department, though he remains at the university as a professor emeritus. Further questions concerning Thayer's views were raised due to an article published in The Barnes Review on the role of women in Nazi Germany (apparently it was all good) Also brought up was Thayer's “The Grand Order of Marbas” a fictional work that concludes with “the protagonist fighting off 'Mexican animal-men' in underground tunnels that criss-cross the border” If this ever gets made into a movie (again), I'm going to propose that Reb Brown be cast as the protagonist. Nobody and I mean NOBODY!, rocks Zubaz like Reb Brown does and he's 67 years old.

Thayer raised a few more eyebrows due to his questionable “creative liberties” “South El Paso, effectively re-annexed by illegal Mexican immigrants, was a sponge sucking up the poison of a hemisphere” no worse than anything Donald Trump dishes out on a regular basis. Thayer goes to the Steven Michael Quezada joke book to describe an Hispanic women's boyfriend “whose list of DWI charges and scrapes with the law were as long as a ristra of red chiles” I'm actually impressed that he didn't spell “chiles” as “chili” To me it sounds like Frank finds his muse in the scripts of Mexican wrestling movies. His trite racist pandering is dishwater bland, almost as if he wants to be racist but yet doesn't want to offend anyone. Milquetoast racism, America's preferred brand.

Frank Thayer's website would lead many to believe that the man may be one french fry short of a full order. The obvious giveaways being his belief in UFOs (specifically The Aztec UFO Incident, not to be confused with The Socorro UFO Incident or The Roswell UFO Crash) his love of snakes and his collection of Nazi memorabilia. I mean how else are you going to get Nazi memorabilia without hooking up with some Nazis? Ya'll lay down with Nazi dogs and ya'll get bit by Nazi fleas. Plus, you have to wonder why a sane man trained in academics would bother with a history of Aggie football. Let me spare you the trouble Professor Thayer... Aggie football, past, present and future can be summed up in one word: futility. Now go do that voodoo that you do, so well Professor.... write some more songs.

Text accompanied by music, Dirt City Chronicles

Don't Need You No More- The Outer Limits
And She'll Cry- The Celtics
You Need Love- Danny & the Counts
How Do You Feel?- The Chains
When Will I Find Her- Mike Renolds and the Infants of Soul
You Came to Me- Dave Caflan
Not Fade Away- Group Axis
Walking Away- The Outer Limits
Walkin' and Talkin'- The Keymen
Want to Be Your Loving Man- Dudley and the Do-Rites
I Love You For What You Are- Four Dimensions
Don't Leave Me- The Outer Limits
Someday- Apple Glass Cyndrom
Stop the World- The Chains
Silly Ants- Group Axis
Babe You Know- The Brentwoods
Shakedown- Bobby Fuller & The Fanatics
Begin Your Crying- The Outer Limits
Meet Me Here (In New Orleans) David Hayes & The Pawns
Think I'm Losing You- The Four Frogs
Ode to Loneliness- The Motivaters
Waves- The Outer Limits
Something's Wrong- The Wild Ones
Wine Wine Wine- Bobby Fuller & The Fanatics
Smokestack Lightning- Group Axis
Talk Talk- Terry Manning

El Paso Rocks- Long John Hunter
Sand Surfin'- Four Dimensions
Stringer- Bobby Fuller
Bogus- Scavengers
Surf Beat 65- The Beach Nuts
Surfer's Paradise- Counts
Wolfman- Bobby Fuller
Mr. Big- Four Frogs
Dance to the Palisades- Frank Gonzales & the Palisades
Vaquero- The Fireballs
Canutillo Stomp- The Embers
King of the Beach- Bobby Fuller
The Last Ride- The Beach Nuts
Moonbeam- The Knights
Rik-A-Tik – The Fireballs
El Gato- The Chandelles
Sky Diver- Steve Cooper & The Avantis
I'm Going Surfin'- The Embers
Our Favorite Martian- Bobby Fuller
South Bay- The Pawns
Tickler- The Sherwoods
Sweet Surfin' Little Girl- Frank Gonzales & the Palisades
Wipe In- The Impostors
Thunder Reef- Bobby Fuller
Jetster- The Chandelles
Podunk- The Sherwoods
The Chase- Bobby Fuller
Torquay- The Fireballs
Lonely by the Sea- The Knights
Lonely Sea/Lolita- Bobby Fuller