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igemini

So, who remembers the original CATACOMBS

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igemini    1

Before, before, before!!! The original CATACOMBS over in what's now the Galleria area... WOW. Who all did I see there? Mothers of Invention.... Ultimate Spinach.... Country Joe & the Fish.... Grateful Dead??? Can you believe???? There was always good music there. Who ran it: Bob Cope is the name that comes to mind.

It was like a cave inside, with several dark rooms. What I'm remembering is about 1968??? & All the music I heard there, I swore I'd never forget the who & when of it. Forty years later? pffft. When it got relocated to a corner in Rice Village, to a made-over department store, it just wasn't the same. I did see Chicago there back when they were CTA...

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Vertigo58    18
Before, before, before!!! The original CATACOMBS over in what's now the Galleria area... WOW. Who all did I see there? Mothers of Invention.... Ultimate Spinach.... Country Joe & the Fish.... Grateful Dead??? Can you believe???? There was always good music there. Who ran it: Bob Cope is the name that comes to mind.

It was like a cave inside, with several dark rooms. What I'm remembering is about 1968??? & All the music I heard there, I swore I'd never forget the who & when of it. Forty years later? pffft. When it got relocated to a corner in Rice Village, to a made-over department store, it just wasn't the same. I did see Chicago there back when they were CTA...

I barely remember the name but seeing the years it operated I was still watching the Brady Bunch at the time. If it were by the Galleria they would have had to move or close it anyway as The Galleria opened around 1970-71? Mothers of Invention with old Frank Zappa, now that really dates it! Cool! :D

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isuredid    21
I barely remember the name but seeing the years it operated I was still watching the Brady Bunch at the time. If it were by the Galleria they would have had to move or close it anyway as The Galleria opened around 1970-71? Mothers of Invention with old Frank Zappa, now that really dates it! Cool! :D

I think The Catacombs were further down South Post Oak Road going towards Richmond. The club was closer to where Stelzigs used to be and the Water Wall.

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igemini    1
I think The Catacombs were further down South Post Oak Road going towards Richmond. The club was closer to where Stelzigs used to be and the Water Wall.

It was. I think the Stelzigs was on top of it. I just don't recognize the old neighborhood haunts: the Bagby-McGowan area... Louisiana House... The Catacombs... Montrose... I see these places these days from time to time, & well. I'm glad to have found this site.

I don't, however, know how to do PM-s (is that what you call them?) & I'm heading out of town tomorrow, gotta pack. Will be back on later, hopefully with more good ole daze thoughts. I'm really enjoying this site.

During the Mothers of Invention festival at Catacombs, there was no food. I was standing near the backstage area, & the drummer gave me 1/2 his cheese sandwich. That was all... but makes me smile, still...

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jwphillips2    1

The original Catacombs was started by Memorial and Kinkaid high school kids who were ANGRY about the lack of safety and good entertainment in Houston. The original President of Catacombs was Scott Black, I was Vice President until becoming President the second year. I can't remember how many original members we had, but I remember Joann Hastick, Linda & Carroll Muller, Curran Phillips, Bruce Endendyck, and most of the Junior and Senior class of Memorial, St. Johns, Kinkaid, and Lamar. The members had peer review and self-policing. No in-and-out privileges, no alcohol, no smoking. I may still have one of the Catacombs membership applications somewhere. This policy was vital to the parent's attitude about dropping off Bobby and Suzie at the Catacombs and not worrying about their safety. I booked the bands for the club through KILT (the number one Rock and Roll station in Houston) and with the help of Bob White, the Program Manager. I booked Sunny and the Sunliners, Clarence Henry, Levinia Lewis, The Moving Sidewalks(later ZZ Topp), Lanier Grieg (still playing in Houston), The Glass Kans, Jay and the Americans, Earnie and the Interns, One-Eyed Jack, and I actually booked The Rolling Stones until the insurance company found out and said "NO!". The national bands (more expensive) were booked on the basis that they would come to Houston for two or three days for a single performance and then have a day or two off. I would book one of these off days for dirt cheap. A national band for $5,000 dollars!! I ran into Bob again in Korea. He was in the Armed Forces Korean Network in 68 - 69 and have lost touch with him since then.

The local bands had auditions at the club on Thursday nights. They were voted by the members who showed up. If they only knew two songs, they would be paired with enough other bands to fill the whole evening. There were hundreds of good local bands and they were supported by the Catacombs. We built the 2 stages so that a musician's audio cord (cable) could be plugged into the stage and then connected off-stage to the sound equipment. Blown-in insulation was sprayed on the walls and ceiling, sometimes over the wire structures at the doorways to make it look like a cave. This had the additional benefit of sound-deadening. The back stage was always for the breaks.

Everyone donated their time and money to make it work and that's why it succeeded. Imagine your customers doing all the work and paying for the privilege! Everyone wanted to come to Houston for the Catacombs. I talked to people from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas who would commute every weekend they could to be here.

I wish I could remember Mr. Jackson's first name. He owned the three 10,000 square foot warehouses behind Sakowitz and Zindlers that became the Catacombs. He was a risk taker and developed some of his other projects into the first motocross track at the patch of dirt surrounded by Richmond, S. Post Oak, and 610 West. That later became the Texas Amphitheater. He was a true believer of UFOs and was willing to trust a bunch of kids when we told him that the Catacombs would work as a non-profit organization.

There are a lot of stories about the beginning of the Catacombs, but all good things come to an end. The club was making a gazillion dollars and one day Bob Cope arrived and took it over. I went to the Army and the Catacombs was gone by the time I got out. Gone, not changed, gone, and that is the real truth.

Edited by jwphillips2
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Fringe    325

Thanks for sharing your memories of the Catacombs jwphillips2. It was a great place although I probably spent more time at Of Our Own. (More of an age and wheels issue then personal preference). Would love to hear more from you about the Catacombs and the Houston music scene in general. Maybe I could add something to my feeble web site.

My web site

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jwphillips2    1
Thanks for sharing your memories...

My web site

Anytime. There was a serious folk presence here at the same time. I remember watching my older brother play at places like The Jester, The Bird Cage, La Maison, Sand Mountain, La Bodega, etc. with C(addo) P(arish) Studdard, Scott Stripling, Lightnin' Hopkins, Doug Saum (later Sir Douglas Quintet and The Uranium Savages).

No one has mentioned Jim Scruggs and his poster store Dirty Jim's Dry Goods in Market Square.

I've got a great story about having a pre-Christmas dinner with all the Texas musicians in the San Francisco Bay area one year, all 11 of them from Hot Tuna, Tower of Power, Van Morrison, Jefferson Starship, etc. Better make a new thread, huh?

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Fringe    325
Anytime. There was a serious folk presence here at the same time. I remember watching my older brother play at places like The Jester, The Bird Cage, La Maison, Sand Mountain, La Bodega, etc. with C(addo) P(arish) Studdard, Scott Stripling, Lightnin' Hopkins, Doug Saum (later Sir Douglas Quintet and The Uranium Savages).

No one has mentioned Jim Scruggs and his poster store Dirty Jim's Dry Goods in Market Square.

I've got a great story about having a pre-Christmas dinner with all the Texas musicians in the San Francisco Bay area one year, all 11 of them from Hot Tuna, Tower of Power, Van Morrison, Jefferson Starship, etc. Better make a new thread, huh?

LOL. I think you need your OWN web site. At least a personal blog. I know I would be very interested in hearing some of these stories.

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icepickphil    6

Did you know a guy from those Catacomb days named Stephen Hammond?

I interviewed him for my 1960s Texas Music website here.

Anytime. There was a serious folk presence here at the same time. I remember watching my older brother play at places like The Jester, The Bird Cage, La Maison, Sand Mountain, La Bodega, etc. with C(addo) P(arish) Studdard, Scott Stripling, Lightnin' Hopkins, Doug Saum (later Sir Douglas Quintet and The Uranium Savages).

No one has mentioned Jim Scruggs and his poster store Dirty Jim's Dry Goods in Market Square.

I've got a great story about having a pre-Christmas dinner with all the Texas musicians in the San Francisco Bay area one year, all 11 of them from Hot Tuna, Tower of Power, Van Morrison, Jefferson Starship, etc. Better make a new thread, huh?

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nyc_tex    18
Did you know a guy from those Catacomb days named Stephen Hammond?

I interviewed him for my 1960s Texas Music website here.

Anyone here remember the "Jester lounge"....apparently down in Montrose somewhere? The Old Quarter downtown as well?

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jwphillips2    1
Anyone here remember the "Jester lounge"....apparently down in Montrose somewhere? The Old Quarter downtown as well?

It was just called "The Jester" and it was directly behind Byron's Barbeque on Westheimer between the railroad tracks (The Deputy drive-in) and 2K's restaurant on South Post Oak. They were going to open it closer to Sin Alley (Mid Lane), but Byrons had a bigger parking lot. The Jester was strictly after hours opening at 1:00AM and closing around 6:00AM - we still had liquor by the drink. It was about as big as Sand Mountain in The Montrose. They had a lot of individual performers as well as small groups. Great music!

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artistpro    5

There are a lot of stories about the beginning of the Catacombs, but all good things come to an end. The club was making a gazillion dollars and one day Bob Cope arrived and took it over. I went to the Army and the Catacombs was gone by the time I got out. Gone, not changed, gone, and that is the real truth.

Am I the only person alive who shot (and still has) film made in the Catacombs? It's a short clip of a band called Deuce is Wild which was part of a promo film I made (1968) Neither the band members or Bob Cope (who struck me as a pompous JERK) were cooperative in my efforts. The film eventually took second place at Rice U Film Fest the same year. Hollar at me if anyone knows any of the members of Duece is Wild...the frontman was Clark Clem..whereabouts unknown.

post-1114-1242997852_thumb.jpg

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artistpro    5

Before, before, before!!! The original CATACOMBS over in what's now the Galleria area... WOW. Who all did I see there? Mothers of Invention.... Ultimate Spinach.... Country Joe & the Fish.... Grateful Dead??? Can you believe???? There was always good music there. Who ran it: Bob Cope is the name that comes to mind.

It was like a cave inside, with several dark rooms. What I'm remembering is about 1968??? & All the music I heard there, I swore I'd never forget the who & when of it. Forty years later? pffft.

Okay...do you remember the Deuce is Wild band? I shot film of them in concert at the Catacombs (and elsewhere). Been trying to contact the band members for ages. I still have the film....took 2nd place with it at one of the first Film Festivals (Rice University-1968).

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Tumbleweed_Tx    1220

It was. I think the Stelzigs was on top of it. I just don't recognize the old neighborhood haunts: the Bagby-McGowan area... Louisiana House... The Catacombs... Montrose... I see these places these days from time to time, & well. I'm glad to have found this site.

I don't, however, know how to do PM-s (is that what you call them?) & I'm heading out of town tomorrow, gotta pack. Will be back on later, hopefully with more good ole daze thoughts. I'm really enjoying this site.

During the Mothers of Invention festival at Catacombs, there was no food. I was standing near the backstage area, & the drummer gave me 1/2 his cheese sandwich. That was all... but makes me smile, still...

i know this post is from 4 years ago, but, someone else dredged it up today :)

according to the linked articles, Catacombs was at 3003 Post Oak, That's where they're about to build the new Skanska tower.

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Fringe    325

While we are on the subject I have a friend writing a book about those good old days and is selling posters of Love Street to help pay for it.

Book link

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Kevin Byrne    0

There are a lot of stories about the beginning of the Catacombs, but all good things come to an end. The club was making a gazillion dollars and one day Bob Cope arrived and took it over. I went to the Army and the Catacombs was gone by the time I got out. Gone, not changed, gone, and that is the real truth. As students at Memorial High we enlisted Douglas Byrne and his son Kevin to do the sound system for the club. Everything was a co-op effort at creating the sound,

lighting and black light with florescent chalk was th back drop.

Am I the only person alive who shot (and still has) film made in the Catacombs? It's a short clip of a band called Deuce is Wild which was part of a promo film I made (1968) Neither the band members or Bob Cope (who struck me as a pompous JERK) were cooperative in my efforts. The film eventually took second place at Rice U Film Fest the same year. Hollar at me if anyone knows any of the members of Duece is Wild...the frontman was Clark Clem..whereabouts unknown.

attachicon.gifDeucesWild_3.jpg

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Kevin Byrne    0

As one of the Memorial High students the club needed sound and lighting. Myself Kevin Byrne father Douglas Byrne who was a Aggie EE Engineer came with me and we reworked the club's who system and became defacto engineers in keeping the light and sound going on. Without our participation it would have had problems black light and fluorescent chalk did it rest on venue background

s.funny Doug Byrne was the person who installed the electro mechanical warning in Galveston on the gambling pier at the palms that would warn of the cops trying to run that long pier to catch games going on. Worked like a charm never dif bust them during the late 50's or 60's. Myself Kevin Byrne went on into the service US Army Special Forces and fell off the map.

Edited by Kevin Byrne

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Baren    0

Brother L Congregation played there in 1968 in a battle of the bands.

 

Edited by Baren
cant see pix

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misterbil    0

I went to the on on Post Oak to paint the insides (as a volunteer).  We used black oil-base enamel and there was no ventilation, so I was high as a kite.  But, my best memory is from the one in the Village which was where the Half-Price Books store is now on University.  I saw Taj Mahal play there and after his set, Quicksilver Messenger Service, who had finished a concert downtown, showed up unannounced and played a set.  Anyone know what year that would have been?  Had to be in the late '60s.  I'm also remembering a 13th Floor Elevators gig in what was once a grocery store building on Richmond, just east of Mandell.  Was that briefly an interation of the Catacombs?   I think it's the same site, maybe the same building, as that Menil exhibition bldg.

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Fringe    325

Saw Quicksilver at the Coliseum Feb 23, 1970 and June 6, 1971. Saw Jethro Tull at the Village Catacombs, I believe in 1970. 

jethro.jpg.52a59db83350726f54176ff1aac8ad83.jpg

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Earlydays    19
18 hours ago, Fringe said:

Saw Quicksilver at the Coliseum Feb 23, 1970 and June 6, 1971. Saw Jethro Tull at the Village Catacombs, I believe in 1970. 

jethro.jpg.52a59db83350726f54176ff1aac8ad83.jpg

I remember walking past that poster in the Village, but then not getting around to going to the concert......

 

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bobruss    2377
On May 23, 2017 at 7:30 AM, misterbil said:

I went to the on on Post Oak to paint the insides (as a volunteer).  We used black oil-base enamel and there was no ventilation, so I was high as a kite.  But, my best memory is from the one in the Village which was where the Half-Price Books store is now on University.  I saw Taj Mahal play there and after his set, Quicksilver Messenger Service, who had finished a concert downtown, showed up unannounced and played a set.  Anyone know what year that would have been?  Had to be in the late '60s.  I'm also remembering a 13th Floor Elevators gig in what was once a grocery store building on Richmond, just east of Mandell.  Was that briefly an interation of the Catacombs?   I think it's the same site, maybe the same building, as that Menil exhibition bldg.

No that was Texas Opry House, which was an old Weingartens. Our band played there with Flatt & Scruggs in 1975. Its now Richmond Hall, and its permanent installation is by Dan Flavin.

I remember  seeing the Kingsman in the place your talking  in probably 67 or 68. It had been a grocery store. It was either Richmond or Alabama but it seemed like it was closer to Shepherd.

I saw Taj at Liberty Hall which in my opinion was one of the best venues to play or watch a group. 

Catacombs was a great place and the first thing that always comes to mind is the cave ceiling.

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