Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Classics

We rarely had the money to do full color posters, but every now and then, we just had to splurge.

Here is the poster for Willie Nelson's first big picnic.

This was Franklin.

And here is the Last Night at the Dillo

This was a Micael Priest.  If you look on the bottom left side, you can see where Micael inscribed "Osborne, Well this is another fine mess you've gotten me into."

The next morning, Eddie, Kini, and I opened up Threadgills.  I left them to be the partners, but I got the album.

By the next year, I was installing the first Wind Farm in Texas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin was the house poet, illustrator, and the skating Mr. Peanut on stage at Armadillo World Headquarters.  He literally lived there upstairs in a large chaotic space filled with his paintings, and his various collections. His Magritte like work was beyond anything most of us had ever seen.

Here is the well known Bruce Springsteen Show poster

And here is a less known Tom T Hall

One time Jim went off with Bob Dylan and Leon Russell to Mexico. 

We were all jealous...until they ditched him.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


We did a lot of flyers and I wish I had saved more of them.  Here are some of my favorites.

This Storm flyer for Mother Earth was drawn by Ted Richards, a San Francisco Rip off Press artist who was staying with me for a few days.


As you might recall, Storm had some pretty good people in their band.

And I always loved this Shiva's Headband flyer

And Jim Franklin always did a great poster for the Pumpkin Stomp at the Armadillo.

Directions Company

I started Directions Company in 1970.  As a marketing student at UT, I was anxious to apply my talents in the real world.  Ultimately, the real world became my only world.  I started in the Jean shop business but grew into the music world almost immediately.  We had so called straight accounts like the University Coop and Midnight Movies that kept us working, but we became best known for our posters and our radio spots.


Left to right from the top is Susan Cofer, my great business manager, I'm in the hat with the video camera, then Lydia Hardwick, my girl friend, then Darcy,  next is John Harms, Micael Priest, Cliff from UNCLE, Joe and "Reva Joe" Gracey, and Ken Featherston.  Next row is Fontaign Harms and Maury Maverick III, Mike Mohaniss, Cliff Carter, and a young poster artist that didn't hang around very long.  At the bottom of the picture is Bobby, the poster distributor and Jim, the photographer.

Things really got started when I got Micael Priest to leave his job in Fort Worth and join us. Susan Cofer and John Harms were next. After we took over the house on Hearne street, everything just accelerated.

With a decent radio recording studio inside and a strong stable of poster artists, we promoted several hundred shows in the three years we were there.  But Oh... we had some mighty fine parties.

And with our almost in-house printer Express Press, we could get a show together in a minutes notice, faster than any other agency or group in town.

At the same time my friend from Business School started his agency.  His agency became GSD&M.

They made more money.

We had more fun.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Kerry Fitzgerald and John Rogers

Famed comedy star Kerry Awn used to do posters under his real name in the early days.  Here is one he did for the Arlo Guthrie Show at the Municipal Auditorium.  The show was produced by KNOW which was the happening top 40 AM station in Austin in the 60s.

John Rogers, who only did a few posters at Directions Company, did this wonderful Shawn Phillips poster for the Armadillo. Phillips did two shows that weekend.

Mother Earth

Most folks don't remember that an early hoppin venue in Austin was Mother Earth.  It was at 914 N. Lamar.  Ultimately it continued its life as the first real Whole Foods Store.  But in the early 70s, there were some good shows there. Freida and the Firedogs was the opener here.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Early Auditorium Shows

In the early 70s, Micael Priest, working through Directions Company, also did work in San Antonio and KEXL radio which was the happening station at the time. Here is the poster for the George Carlin with  Kenny Loggins/Jim Messina at Laurie Auditorium.  It was weird billing but the show was packed.  Laurie was a great venue.

Another killer show was Fleetwood Mac with Pure Prairie League at the Austin Municipal Auditorium.  Both of these posters represent some of the best of the early 2 and 3 color posters produced of the period. This was a Concerts Unlimited show.