Houston Calling

Chronicle article says Two Gallants incident could affect local music scene

October 18th, 2006 · 8 Comments

Houston Chronicle has a new story out called “Melee could put the hurt on Houston’s music scene” which discusses the recent Two Gallants show incident. The article mentions a few things that stuck out at me, mainly that the Houston Police Department officer’s actions at Walter’s last Friday could have a profound effect on whether or not bands come to town.

I swear that if I hear of a band skipping Houston because of the actions of a single police officer, that band will lose my support forever. An entire multi-million resident city cannot be blamed for ONE police officer’s actions. Let me repeat that: An entire multi-million resident city cannot be blamed for ONE police officer’s actions. That is, in my opinion, holding the fans responsible for the actions of a cop who reacted wrongly to a situation. And if it comes out that, yes, it was because some condo owners or developers want the club to close so they can put up another McMansion, then the cop should lose his job and pay restitution to the band and the fans that werre arrested and/or hurt. It’s that simple.

But for musicians — other than Two Gallants, that is — to refuse to play Houston, especially after all that Super Unison has done for independent music over the past few years, is wrong. It’s tough enough for bands, media, promoters, etc. to get people to come out to shows in Houston without them having to worry about being beaten or arrested. And Houston music fans shouldn’t have to drive to Dallas or Austin to see their favorite bands.

The article quotes booking agent Frank Riley, who says that, “Houston is a very, very difficult market… It’s not a very musical city compared to Austin, or even Dallas.”

Which is pretty much the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. But, I guess that it’s all about perceptions — and the perception is that Dallas and Austin are more musically-inclined than Houston. Now I guess that perception includes the fact that bands come here at their own risk.

It’s sad.

If anyone hears of a band saying they aren’t playing here because of the Walter’s incident, please make a post or email me and let me know. Country fans who hate Dixie Chicks have got nothing on me.

Tags: Music

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jff // Oct 18, 2006 at 11:30 am

    You know, a serious issue for a long time has been the lack of quality venues as well. Literally, NONE of the serious jazz artists play in Houston since the closing of Rockefellar’s because there is no place to play. If they can’t fill up the Arena Theatre or a Da Camera show at Jones Hall or Hobby Center (and how many jazz artists can?), they just skip here. Yet, we have a thriving jazz community with lots of players from here that can’t play here once they get signed. As bad as the indie scene is, it’s vastly better than what jazz guys have to deal with. That doesn’t make it good – just slightly less pathetic.

  • 2 DAC // Oct 18, 2006 at 12:48 pm


    Someone needs to reopen the Rhythm Room — was a good place for all kinds of music…

  • 3 damon // Oct 18, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    well, i dunno the whole story. but what i keep reading sounds sketchy (at best).
    i do know that if a cop tells you to do something (reasonable), just do it.
    don’t turn the music back up, don’t disobey, don’t be a punk.

    i see it that simply.

    now, was the band out of order? the fans? i dunno either, but i’m mighty suspicious because people are far too ready to “…blame the man”.
    if the kids were completely innocent, then we have a MAJOR problem.

    HOWEVER, if the kids, or the club-owners, the sound guy, whoever, were disobedient, then sayonara two-bit hack bands.
    good riddance.

    don’t worry david, its not like the darkness said they’re never coming back to houston! it’s merely two gallants.

  • 4 DAC // Oct 18, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    I’m no lawyer, but I am reasonably sure it’s against the law to touch a policeman whether they are in your face or not or whether you think they’re wrong or not. Obviously, this HPD officer reactly poorly but with all those hands on him it’s pretty amazing nothing worse happened to anyone there.

    A friend said the ultimate responsibility lies with the club owner, who shouldn’t have let the cop in — or the doorman should have taken it upon himself to get the situation handled without all this BS happening.

    Being my normal jaded self, I assume it’ll blow over and nothing will happen. I have lived in this town for nearly 13 years and have attended countless shows at Walter’s and similar venues. Not once have I ever seen any issues, much less with a police officer. Most of the time everyone is very accommodating at shows, regardless of genre.

  • 5 beau // Oct 18, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    I agree with DAC–I’ve worked a few large parties and when the someone calls the cops the guy at the door takes care of it. Someone at Walter’s screwed up. You shouldn’t have to ask the guitar player to turn it down.

  • 6 Logan // Oct 19, 2006 at 2:24 am

    Yeah, and Frank Riley was the hot shot booking agent who just didn’t get” the John Evans Band. Nuff said.

  • 7 sean // Oct 19, 2006 at 5:23 pm


    Oddly enough, a friend of mine was talking last night about how that same cop harrassed him a few years back in the neighborhood he lives in for hanging out on the porch of his house for a supposed noise violation. Point being, this guy is probably an asshole, easy enough. Also, Houston is less of a musical town than Austin or Dallas on many points, so what. We hear this kind of stuff all of the time and there are bands who play Austin, Dallas and no Houston. As a matter of fact Spoon (Austin) hates to play here, from what I hear. It could be worse, we could live in Nebraska or Iowa. I also think this thing will be forgotten soon perhaps except by Two Gallants and a couple of their friends….

  • 8 think about it // Oct 27, 2006 at 2:16 pm

    why don’t you come to my town and i’ll mace you and see if you ever come back. uh huh

Leave a Comment