Ivan Neville, Scrappy Jud, Ted Roddy, Amy Boone, Walter
Tragert and Paul Minor carry TheWeight
The Last Temptation of Superego
By Christopher Gray
March 23, 2001:
Hole in the Wall, Sunday, March 18
"According to rock legend, one way George Lucas got ready for Star Wars was applying his new Lucasfilm technology to airbrush a big lump of cocaine out of Neil Young's nose in Martin Scorsese's 1975 film The Last Waltz. We all have to start somewhere. And end somewhere, too. Sunday's Austin translation of The Last Waltz brought the curtain down on Superego's six-plus-year run as host band of the Hole in the Wall's Rock & Roll Free For All, with all the grandeur and feeling a roomful of tired musicians could muster. Once Paul Minor and the Conrads got going on a choppy "The Shape I'm In," the lingering exhaustion dissipated and the capacity crowd settled in for a long night of music. Stormy versions of "Absolutely Sweet Marie" and "Powderfinger" set the bar high, but the rest of the "cast" was ready. Fake-bearded Darin Murphy ably manned the drum kit while leading the charge "Up on Cripple Creek." Li'l Cap'n Travis worked in the swaggering "Cinnamon Girl" riff between airy versions of "Lotta Love" and "Twilight," with Trish Murphy joining them for a tender "Helpless." The Golden Arm Trio turned in a circus-parade "Such a Night," and Ted Roddy had his mojo workin' for a deep-down double shot of "Mystery Train" and "Who Do You Love?" Hole owner Jeff Smith was at his surliest for a tense trip through Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy," then Damnations drummer Conrad Choucroun had everyone feeling the Neil with the dead-on Diamondisms of "Dry Your Eyes" and "Sweet Caroline." As Eric Clapton, the Stingers contributed a slippery "Further On Up the Road" and a nostalgic "Bell Bottom Blues"; much of the night's music, appropriately, carried tinges of loss and the way things used to be. After Van Morrison stand-in Walter Tragert had Irish eyes a-shinin' with "Tura Lura Lural," the home stretch loomed as Superego (including at least three keyboard players) and the Grand Champeen brass band clambered onstage for "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Next was "The Weight," with Minor, Tragert, Damnation Amy Boone, and surprise ringer Ivan Neville trading verses while the whole crowd sang along. Beaver Nelson and his band got up to do a Dylan set, capped by a heartfelt "Forever Young" and raucous "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" before most everyone crowded around the microphones for a final, transcendent "I Shall Be Released." Before the gratuitous covers started, the Golden Arm Trio played one last, swooping waltz as the audience twirled away the remaining minutes, not really wanting it to be over. It was the kind of thing that used to happen at the old Free For Alls, but we were so much older then. We're younger than that now."
Dancing About Architecture
Back to the Old Grind
by Ken Lieck
Thursday, March 22
"It's midnight Sunday! South by Southwest is officially over!" So yelled Paul Minor from the stage as the clock ticked over in the sweaty, jam-packed back room of the Hole in the Wall. Of course, there were still two more hours to go at this point, both for his Superego-ending re-enactment of The Last Waltz and for SXSW 2001 in general, so one has to assume his mind had simply gone into overload by that point. Dennis Quaid, apparently on a break from filming Disney's The Rookie, seemed to be enjoying the performance, anyhow (and sizing up the Austin audience before his own band plays Antone's on Monday and Tuesday?). Ivan Neville did a guest spot on keys for "The Weight," and Tony Scalzo was refused admittance at the door, but then again, he probably thought they were supposed to perform "The Way."
By Chris Riemenschneider
Thursday, March 22, 2001
A LAST WALTZ FOR SXSW 2001
We covered SXSW like it was going out of style and aren't going to repeat ourselves, but there was one late highlight from Saturday that didn't get in: Ray Davies joined Superdrag for a version of "I Need You," which Drag member Sam Powers said was "as great as our first SXSW probably could have gone." Davies showed his staying power, but did nothing to answer the question of why he never had a gig of his own.
Sunday was the night of the living dead, as locals struggled through
genuine aches and pains for the last batch of live shows. At two clubs
the proceedings were extra sentimental. The Continental Club found Alejandro
Escovedo and his caldron of guests giving the now-annual rallying cry for
the SIMS Foundation. At the Hole in the Wall, Superego ended its six-year
reign as the Sunday Free-for-All house band by actually pulling off its
star-studded recreation of the Band's "The Last Waltz." Lead 'Ego Paul
Minor's description of the event is below, but he also notes, "It was real
emotional, but I was proud of the past six years and that event, in particular.
But doing it during the festival really complicated a lot of matters
for us. I thank all those who came and I apologize to those who could not get in. We'll have you over to watch the video sometime."
The Free-for-Alls will continue this Sunday with new hosts Telray.
Here's what some local musicians had to say about their high and low points of the festival.
High: The Woodpeckers playing "Wild Thing" with Chip Taylor at the Hole in the Wall Tuesday night. We rocked like Troggs.
Low: The traffic.
Paul Minor (Superego):
High: The "Last Temptation of Superego" drew a record-shattering capacity crowd, including actor Dennis Quaid and Ivan Neville, who has toured with Keith Richards and Spin Doctors. Neville sat in on piano with Superego and friends Ted Roddy, Amy Boone, Walter Tragert and Scrappy Jud Newcomb on a spirited version of the Band classic "The Weight" to celebrate the official closing of SXSW. We should retire more often.
Low: Clueless volunteer door security staff refused access to scheduled
performers Tony Scalzo of Fastball and Lil' Cap'n Travis drummer Mandon
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 02:28:59 -0600
Organization: nickel $ dime productions
To: A cast of thousands
Thank you all for bringing your incredible talents, open minds and positive energy to the most ambitious, inspired musical event I have ever had the pleasure of being involved with. I consider you all the best friends and collaborators I will ever know, and I look forward to working and playing with every one of you wonderful people on future musical projects. This thing came together so perfectly because you are all tremendous visionary artists and damn fine folks. Thank you for helping me celebrate the beginning of a new era. It was an emotional, bittersweet night and I have never felt more appreciated, loved and understood.
There are a bunch of digital photos and streaming video of the show
and I will make copies of the master video once I edit it. The footage looks and sounds awesome.
There are also real-audio highlights of the Last Temptation on www.thestingers.net
Take care of yourselves and let's all keep in close touch.
Subject: The Last Waltz
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 11:04:49 -0600
Thanks to everyone who came out for
the show last Thursday with the mighty
Los Skarnales. They put on a great show!
The Rock-n-Roll Free For All last Sunday was
a huge success, thanks to the hard-working
Paul Minor. The show, combining talent from 10-15
local bands, made for a truly memorable night.
Sorry it was so tough to get in the door, Lil'Captain
Travis' drummer even missed his set because
the event staff wouldn't let him in the club! Conrad
Choucroun pulled a great save and played the set.
There are pictures and video feeds from the
night on our site. www.thestingers.net
Subject: Re: That's a Wrap
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 10:49:16 -0800 (PST)
I just wanted to tell you that i will miss the free for all, its not
something that can be replaced (especially without you). I always enjoyed
coming down, listening and sitting in. Good luck in whatever you've got
thanks for letting us be involved,
Subject: Re: That's a Wrap
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 14:55:48 -0800 (PST)
Thanks for letting me in on the action, and thanks for rocking the free
for all for so
looking forward to working with the newly emancipated superego.
also, sorry about "honky tonk women." I was rather drunk.
Subject: Thank you Mr. Minor
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 19:03:08 -0600
Thank you for asking me to be a part of the other night. I had a great
time and it was an honor to share the stage with you and eveyone else there.
It really was one of those magical nights that could never be duplicated or
imitated anywhere else. I respect and appreciate what you've done w/ the
FFA. It has really been one of those few things that has endured and kept
Austin cool. We really should hang out some time and chill and / or jam.
Subject: sunday night
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 23:32:37 EST
I enjoyed the show Sunday night. I had never been to one of the
free for all
jam sessions and i must say it was good. Keep up the good work!
From: paul minor
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 11:53 AM
To: Patrick Pestorius
Subject: the end of the beginning.
Thanks for asking. I have discovered that it is quite nice
to be able
to show up and leave whenever I feel like it and not have to run the
show. I had a good time last night visiting with people and just
hanging. It did not bum me out not to be performing like I thought it
might. I think the situation is well in hand, my only concern is that
it remains a dynamic attraction. I still feel
responsible for the show being a good draw for the club.
I wanted to tell you that I have been checking out the audio and video
from the Last Temptation, and your rendition of "bell bottom blues" is a
major high point of the show. It's so damn Soul with a capital "S."
Thanks again for delivering the goods with such class. Your last black
cat show was awesome too. You guys have got such a real sound.
When is the next gay bowling night excursion? I want
to bring some new
Subject: RE: the end of the beginning.
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 12:43:50 -0600
Glad to hear that you're still able to enjoy the rrfa.
The new hosts are definitely starting from ground zero. You're a
hard act to follow.
I meant to comment on your new pal Bowlergirl. You've got to bring
girl to The Stingers next week, she's a dancin machine!!! Like her style.
I'm all for some more gay league bowling night but can't tomorrow...
maybe early this Thursday before bingo? I'll send out an email and
see if people are interested.
Thanks alot for the kind words regard our performance at the last waltz.
It was a real pleasure and an honor being there. I can't thank you enough
for the experience. I'm looking forward to seeing the footage at the
Subject: your showcase
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 15:58:26 -0500
Paul sweetie! your show was fabulous! You looked wonderful! We had so
much fun! Can't wait to see Becky play with you at the next Alterego
show, so make sure to keep me informed! If I can find out before the next
time you play on a Tuesday I can get off work at the bowling alley early
and come down to the show. If you get a hair up your ass to bowl tonight
come and see me at work! xoxoxoxoxox Amy
Subject: Re: That's a Wrap
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 01:51:45 -0600
This truly was one of my greatest all around experiences as a musician. It's the reason why we do it.
Thanks for bringing me into the Free for All family when I was new in town and new jack shit! It really made a difference for me and the things i've so far accomplished here on a personal and communal level.
Subject: Re: Last Waltz Run-Through Sunday 2-6
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 14:03:00 -0800 (PST)
Paul, Thanks for letting me be a part of that last night, it was a very
Subject: Re: elvis tribute
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 12:12:37 -0600
Scalzo is planning an elvis costello tribute in the second half of may at the hole in the wall and he wants darin, ron, and lovejoy to be the attractions. I will let you know as soon as Debbie confirms the date. It's not a hoot night, he wants to play a full set.
Subject: Superego Update
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 21:01:57 -0600
Organization: nickel $ dime productions
Just in case you were wondering, Superego is officially on hiatus until further notice. If you had a Lucy's gig on the books for April 12, we are canceled. They added a headliner band and knocked us down to first spot, so I decided to just bag it and take a break.
Next time we play, it will be headlining a large stage, hopefully with the same type of 2 keyboard setup we did at the last waltz. We will rehearse before the next show and maybe even prepare a couple of new numbers. I dig that big sound.
We may open for tony scalzo's elvis costello tribute at the hole in june. We will also play empanada parlor with stingers in june.
I can still often be found at the hole on sunday nights if you want to touch base or do the late night jam. Call me if you are heading down there and I will be sure to join you.
Thanks for being part of a great run. Take care and keep in close touch.
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