Henry “Wild Dog” Weissborn published the final issue (Vol. III, No. 1) of Houston’s first punk fanzine, WILD DOG, in August 1981. Published by Khosrow Amirazodi, PUNX magazine emerged from its parent ‘zine STUDIO X as one of several Houston underground publications filling the void as the underground music scene evolved from garage and experimental noise to hardcore.
Although this article in PUNX No. 2 appears less polished than previous writings, Weissborn contributed this editorial, “Proto-Punx…And Other Bizarre Facts About Animals,” as part of a series of important historical musings chronicling Houston’s early music and alternative press movements.
“Mus[i]cologists concede that Texas was an extremely fertile spawning ground for punk rock in the 60’s,” Weissborn wrote in 1986. “In particular, the 13th Floor Elevators loom large in the punk rock hall of fame.” A seminal punk and Texas underground influence, Roky Erickson and Elevators Tommy Hall and Stacy Sutherland set off the wave of acid rock that eventually peaked in the middle 1960s in San Francisco, “where the wave finally broke and rolled back,” leaving its high-water mark of a generation.
In addition to their contemporaries the 13th Floor Elevators, Houston’s own psychedelic rockers, the Red Crayola (later Red Krayola), also made a comeback in the New Wave, according to Weissborn. Red Krayola was formed in 1966 by a band of art students led by musician and visual artist Mayo Thompson from the University of St. Thomas.
In his “Proto-Punx” essay connecting the psychedelic and punk scenes, Houston’s Wild Dog had this insight to offer about urging on the underground momentum:
Hi, I spent a summer wirkibg as a student from Ireland in Houston and remember seeing Lydia Lunch, The Cramps and many others at a small venue downtown and if I remember correctly it was under an overpass or near one – any one have an idea of the name?
This likely would have been the Island! It was on Main Street in Downtown Houston.
Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet also were psychedelic/punk progenitors who made Houston their home. I always thought it was cool that Doug, The Krayolas and the Elevators all recorded at SugarHill Studios.
WDA acknowledges that SugarHill is both a legendary and historically significant place in Houston’s underground music narrative. We can only imagine what cultural artifacts are in the SugarHill archive!