Saturday, June 25, 2005

More on Ram and Jon Dee Graham

Today's San Antonio Express-News expands on the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Taco Land owner Ram Ayala early Friday morning. Police say they have no leads on the shooter and his accomplice. The story also contains reaction from friends and family. Everyone seems to have a good yarn about Ram involving booze and words you can't print in a family newspaper.

Hopefully the two men responsible for this stupid, senseless murder will read today's paper and start to realize what they've done.

Over on the more positive side of humanity, last night's Saxon Pub benefit for Jon Dee Graham's six-year-old son Willie was a lot of fun. I walked in just as the Skunks (Jon Dee on guitar, Jesse Sublett on bass and Billy Blackmon on drums) were playing "Gimme Some." They also did an immoliating workout on "Sister Ray."

Roky Erickson and his brother Sumner played a short acoustic set that included "You Don't Love Me Yet," "Splash 1" and "Starry Eyes." All great songs, often imbued with very personal connections for lots of us Texas rock fans young and younger. Roky is still pretty tentative by "normal" performance standards, but he's looking better than I've ever seen him in my time in Austin.

For a band that hasn't played together regularly since the Reagan administration, the Standing Waves delivered an amazingly cohesive set. The Delinquents (Lester Bangs' backing band during his Austin stint) were also fun to watch. I was either too young, or not yet born in Roky's case, to see these groups the first time around, so it was good to see them now for an equally good cause.

Jon Dee Graham's son has a rare condition called Legg-Perthes, which causes the head of the femur to lose blood and die. Although Graham had health insurance, his provider declared Chapter 11. Now Willie has a pre-existing condition and no one else will cover it. You can find out more and donate to Willie's health fund via PayPal here.

America isn't the worst country in the world, but until we do something about the robber-barons denying us affordable health care, there's no way in hell we'll ever be the best.


jennifer said...

Did you ever figure out if the unidentified female victim was, in fact, the "Large Marge"-esque lesbian bouncer, who added so much character to Tacoland (which already had character to spare!)?

And I really wish they'd had the Willie Graham benefits at larger venues with more advanced advertising. La Zona Rosa or a similar-sized club could have accomodated a much larger crowd--and possibly made more $$ for such a worthy cause! But maybe they weren't able to organize a bigger event b/c people book shows so far in advance these days. Anyway, thanks for putting up the PayPal link for those of us who missed the show(s).

Greg said...

I still haven't been able to confirm whether it was Tacoland's lesbian bouncer who was shot because I didn't know her name. The news story did say the woman shot was a bartender, though.

One of the reasons I wound up at the Saxon Pub show was because getting into the Continental would've been extra rough.

Ironically, there was a benefit Thursday for burned-out Oasis employees at the 5,000-seat Backyard that only drew 100 people. The TV footage was just sad.

Greg said...

An anonymous poster on Chepo's page says the woman shot was not the lesbian bouncer. Apparently, she quit working there years ago.