Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends
of West Texas Music
"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more
than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required
reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and
anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes
a part of Lubbock's living history."
Cary: I can remember lying when I was a kid; just tellin flat-out fuckin lies to somebody.
Chris: What for?
Cary: To create a better story. It was always to create a better story. Some kids would just maybe tell some story. But Id figure out a way I wanted to get their attention with the story.
So Id just flat-out lie to them.
It wasnt flat-out lyin so much as it was just HUGE exaggerations of what actually went down. You know what Im sayin?
Chris: Yea, Sure.
Cary: And some people wont admit that they lie. But we lie all the goddamn time! We do! About everything! Hell, we lie to ourselves mostly.
I get so put-out with these guys that are lyin to themselves.
You see some of these musician-types
You know what Im
talkin about? They walk in and they pull this "woe
is me" attitude, in front of the crowd and everything. "Oh,
Lifes just been a struggle!"
Chris: Okay! Talk to me about why youre doin
Youre from ODonnell. We learned how to pronounce that on the radio today: 'OH' Donnell. And you lived there because your dad did what? Why were you there?
Cary: I was there because my mother and father were both from there. My mother was the daughter of a farmer and my dad was the son of a guy who owned a car dealership there, a Chevrolet dealership. My mom and dad met in high school and were high school sweethearts. And then like I say in a song: "Ducks In a Row": Youre raised with whatever you have. You dont really have a lot of control over that. My parents are real nice, opened-minded people. But in the beginning we did got to church every Sunday just like everybody else did.
And the church we went to was the Church of Christ. Why? Because
thats where my mom and dads parents went, so thats
where we went. You really didnt have a lot of choice in
Chris: You were tellin that story on the radio about "Hoss Cartwright" giving you chocolate milk. What was the story with that?
Cary: It was real simple. It didnt amount to
anything. I just remember the man - Dan Blocker - walking into the room, and
there were some of us children there. I was sitting on a couch.
Dan Blocker had made his way through the room; Everybody was
wantin to visit with him and stuff.
It means absolutely nothing, and no one probably remembers it but me. It was just something that happened; Like a little impression that is left on your brain. Some people call those "blue moments." I dont know why they call em that but
ODonnell was really cool, yknow. Cause we
lived right on the southern edge of town. So we had snakes and
frogs and horny toads and rabbits. All kinds of shit like that.
But it was different. Kids dont know I had a guy from ODonnell walk up to me the other night where I was playin and he said, "Do you realize how lucky we were to have been in ODonnell as children. Because," he said, "ODonnell was a good twenty years behind the rest on the country, Number One." And he said, "And in some odd way it was like a Norman Rockwell painting."
The town square was still alive and well at that time. Its all dead now. Its gone. If you go back now, it just makes you sad to even have to look at it. But at one time, there was a thriving little town there. I say "thriving." For what it was You had two or three grocers. You had dry cleaners.
You believed in Santa Claus cause they told you that he was real. God would send you to Hell but Santa Claus would bring you gifts. So, "Why didnt God take over Santa Claus role," was what I wanted to know. He fucked up right off the bat!
Chris: [Laughing] You said earlier that you felt like you were "really conservative" when you were younger. Were you conservative when you went off from high school? You were telling me earlier that you were kind of a "big, mean guy" in high school.
Cary: I dont know that I was "mean." I wasnt mean to other people. I was just on the football team, and I played middle linebacker. We were trained to be mean. Im not sayin that I was mean to people; I never "picked on" anyone in my life or anything like that.
Chris: You were just trained to be aggressive or "superior."
Cary: I was trained to be aggressive; Yes. When you were a kid in a small town like that, you are trained to be aggressive.
And the football coaches and all that I look back on it now and its embarrassing! Embarrassing! Because I now realize that these jackasses were getting paid $30,000 a year to run my ass into the ground. And I thought this was all "cool" at the time, for some reason.
But it didnt take but my freshman year at college to realize that I had been duped. And I had been duped in a Big Way! And I fought it. And then I just thought, "Goddamn! I cannot believe that I had been indoctrinated into that shit!"
Chris: Okay. Tell me about that; How did you discover this, and what exactly is it that you discovered?
Cary: I went off to college, and I discovered that "everybody was a middle linebacker from their hometown football team." [Laughs] And I was like, "This is Horseshit! This is just shit, yknow. Ive been fooled."
Chris: So you just basically thought it was all about being the middle linebacker when you went to Tech?
Cary: No. When I went to Tech, of course, I didnt play football or anything like that. Im just sayin that I was a fool in a lot of ways.
Chris: What would you have done if you hadnt discovered that? I mean, what would you be doing right now if you had not learned that?
Cary: Good question. [Pauses]
I dont know. I was still probably - in my class - considered kind of an oddball, because I liked to play the guitar and write songs when I was 11, 12, 13, 14
So I wasnt just "that." But that was a part of who I was. And there wasnt anything you could do about It wasnt just me; It was the whole class. I mean, every boy in the class was on the football team.
We were just drinking and trying to get laid, yknow. And smokin a little grass, maybe, here and there. But mostly we were drinking a lot of booze on the weekends, and doin every thing we could to get some pussy. That was the name of the game; That was it. And it was very stupid. But...We were kids in a small town. I mean, thats what you do.
Chris: Well, then I guess then O'Donnell or Perryton
is really small because... Explain to me how coming to "the
big city of Lubbock" changed you?
But those conservative things that you got and I got as a child, also They probably made you have manners and respect for other people. So if I came out of it with anything, I did come out of it with that.
Politically speaking, I changed. I changed a lot, and I continue to change. Sometimes I find myself listening to the Libertarian point of view, and what theyve got to say. And I find myself listening to the reality of the over-populated prison problem that we have, and all of that shit. Were becoming more and more of a socialist country all the time, and its just happening so gradually that its happening right under our noses and we dont even see it.
Chris: Yea. We were talking about that at lunch. I
mean, youre very right
.But we both could go off on
Tell me a little bit about you friendship with Robin Griffin I know he's one of the great guitar players from Lubbock...
Cary: Robin is real easy. You know how you travel with somebody sometimes and theyre always kind of a little bit of a pain in the ass? Robin is not a pain in the ass. Hell drink the beer hot. He doesnt care. And if theres only cigarettes left in the ash tray, then "Well start smokin those if thats all we got left," kinda guy. You know what Im sayin? Hes never pissin and moanin about anything.
Chris: Well, howd you meet him?
Cary: There were some people that wanted us to meet, actually. They kinda threw us together at a place called Juan in a Million. This would have been about 10 years ago. I had started singing. I started tryin to get out professionally a little bit about in 1988.
Chris: Where were you doing that? What were the venues you started out in?
Cary: I was invited to play at the Texas Café The Spoon. Didnt play there very much. It was more of a fraternity hangout. It wasnt right for me. The place I really started was Great Scotts Bar BQ.
Thats a whole different deal out there...You know, I still get e-mails all the time from people that went to school at Tech during that time, that graduated and since moved off to Timbuktu They send e-mails to me; They see it as a "romantic time." I dont necessarily .
But there was a magic to the place. There really was. I say, "a magic"...If there can be such a thing.
Chris: So you were playing there when people were wanting you to hook up with Robin Griffin.
Cary: He had a damn good band.
Chris: Well, tell me a little about the Robin Griffin Band.
Cary: The Robin Griffin Band was a lot of original material. But the stuff they did that wasnt originals, God they could do so well. They could do some old Allman Brothers stuff, I mean really good. They put their own personality into it. They actually did a couple of ol Willis Alan Ramsey tunes; they put em to Rock-n-Roll. Their song selections were really good. And he had this monstrous voice. And hes got that long red hair, kind of tall guy. Kind of a thin kind of a He has a certain look about im
Hes just probably one of the nicest sonofabitches Ive ever met. He told me one time, He said, "Of all the people that are in this business," Robin told me, he said, "Jesse Taylors one of my favorites."
Chris: Oh, yea. Theyre a lot alike.
Cary: Thats true
because every time Ive
been around Jesse hes just been a prince of a guy. He really
is. You know how some guys, when they start to make it a little
bit, they pull the "cool" bullshit on you? And they
start playing this game in their own head. Its only goin
on in their own goddamned head. They think that Im buying
that for some reason; that they are somehow in a different place.
He doesnt seem to be affected by any of this. And I think thats great. I think thats what makes him special. Again, I know hes not a close personal friend of mine
Well, it makes an impression on ya. Some people are
kinda aloof. They get in this business, and I guess it
makes em that way. I mean, even on such a small level,
I guess, if you wanta behave that way, you can. Even if
youre just the guy that
Yknow, some guys, they
just perform down at the
I guess you can kinda tell
that Im kinda sick of some of the attitudes and stuff
of some of these
2007 Chris Oglesby
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