Save The Cactus Update – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!
Want to help save one of Austin’s most cherished music rooms and look damn cool while doing it? Donate to the Save the Cactus Cafe cause by buying one of their new t-shirts. I did, and I can guarantee you, you cannot wear this shirt without getting into a cool conversation with a stranger. It’s just not possible. Save the Cactus is a non-profit, remember, and the organizers are paying themselves exactly squat, so all the profits go directly to the cause.
Meanwhile, check out the new Artists Say page for some choice quotes. Here’s Alejandro Escovedo:
Townes on summer nights so black that they broke like obsidian,
Butch singing no two songs alike,
Dahvid and I singing “Tower Song” for Townes’ birthday,
Watching Joe Ely put on some of the greatest solo shows I’ve ever seen,
Hanging out with Harry Dean Stanton and Griff at the Hole in the Wall after playing a great gig at the Cactus,
The Cactus was born of something rare and precious,
To create an environment where songs are listened to, respected and revered.
I associate the Cactus with Griff Luneberg,
It was his booking that made the Cactus the mecca for songwriting that it became,
I can’t imagine Austin, much less the universe, without this room of songs.
I was high above the Arctic Circle, in the Norwegian town of Tromsø (“The Paris of the North”) when I received the word that the Cactus Cafe in Austin, on the University campus, was being forced to close. I was playing a great rock-and-roll room that night in Tromsø; I’ve played 10,000 venues all over the world in the past forty years (from Skid Row Canada on up to the David Letterman show) and I would rate the Cactus Cafe in the top 5 music rooms. The insult of closing a culturally important venue was heard ’round the globe; it reached me in the far north.
The Cactus is one of the great music clubs of the world. I’ve played music all around the US, Canada, and Europe regularly for the past 30-some years, and while there are many good places to hear musicians, the Cactus ranks near the top. The strength and value of the Cactus is due to several elements: the history, the physical properties of the room, the location, the clientele, and the management.
Let me stress, it’s not like this everywhere. What exists at the Cactus is a creation of the people who work and have worked there, and it has an intrinsic value to the community and the world at large. Griff Luneburg’s management has kept the Cactus as a venue at the forefront of the music world. The room always sounds great and has first-rate sound engineers. Griff has “trained” the audiences to listen: that’s a key element, and it comes from the club manager’s active involvement. The respect for music has paid great dividends in terms of the level of performance.
Save the Cactus Cafe, folks. This is one of life’s no-brainers…what the heck, I’ve posted it once (it’s even on this front page still!), but I’ll post it again. Austin’s Artist of the Year, playing Austin’s Song of the Year, at Austin’s Acoustic Venue of the Year for nine years running (why only nine? Because the category has only existed for nine years. If the Cactus stays open, it will win for a hundred years running). It’s Bob Schneider, playing “40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliette)”, at the beloved Cactus Cafe: