A verbatim record of a diary I wrote while visiting friends (Paul & Rice) in Austin, Texas during the Easter holidays of my second year at University in 1994. Re-blogged on the anniversary of each entry. 2017 Commentary, where necessary for context, added as footnotes in italics.
Friday 25th March 1994, 12:05 (CST)
WATCHING MTV, AUSTIN, TX
Yesterday was a full day and so there was little time to pause for the purposes of this book. We went to the Mall and I bought the jeans that Andy and Martin ordered*. Well I did owe them a favour. I just hope they fit.
In the evening, we went to this place called Double Dave’s, a pizza place that serves beer for 25 cents! Rice and Dan disappeared early so when Paul and I walked back and found no-one in, I remembered that Rice had been chatting to this lad (Frampton, everyone calls him). Anyway, he told Rice he was having a few people round and to stop in. Sure enough, we called and found them there. I also found a custom-made yellow Ibanez and huge amp. Immediately, the common axemanship removed my already lowered inhibitions and in the flick of an amp switch, I was there, wearing it, playing it, willing my obstinate digits to co-ordinate properly, struggling to overcome the ‘like poles’ magnetic effect induced by the outlay of a couple of dollars at Double Dave’s. The sound was amazing — more to do with the impressive array of effects, boxes and pre-amps than my fumbling ineptitude. I have resolved to return, if only to prove I really can play ‘Live & Let Die’ and possibly attempt to re-acquaint myself with ‘Estranged’. God I need a guitar!
I just watched an advert for a guitar shop in town. I think that if I find myself with nothing to do next week, Austin will join the list of Wigan, Lancaster and Leeds; I’ll go and do my “prospective buyer” act — 10 minutes can be so therapeutic.
[STARDATE 5109.39 SUPPLEMENTARY]
American TV has to be seen to be believed. In a quiet moment on MTV, I travel through the lost passageways of daytime television. Ch 2, 3 and 4, there are the usual crappy soap operas that all seem exactly the same; flicking through them, you see an identical man/woman scene with a sort of strained silence, with slightly different variations in the room and in the faces. Its quite amusing to flick back and forth through them; all the mush blends into on huge entity, like a barrel full of different flavours of the Slush Puppy.
On Channel 5, there is an even more ludicrous specimen. An Oprah Winfrey derivative — Jenny Jones** — considering the case of the man who proposed to two women in the space of a month. The conversation progresses and the audience gasps or cheers ever-louder. Apart from the traditional objections about these programmes, issues such as “all men are bastards”-type mentality, of dysfunctional people or that it becomes a moral court of judgement, the one thing I’d like to know most is: where the hell do they find the audience for these things?
Ahh, they recruit from feminist groups (by the sound of the last questioner)
What a freakshow!
Oh no! Channel 13 is even worse: “You don’t have peace, brother”
What is happening here?
Oh shit! I’ve been missing ‘Moonlighting’ (Channel 27)
On CNN (Ch 31), there’s an English reporter. After all this US crap, I really miss the BBC.
* As soon as I’d told my friends at Lancaster I was going to Texas, I was met with a barrage of requests to buy Levis 501s, American prices being significantly cheaper than those in the UK.
** Her show, ‘The Jenny Jones Show‘ ran from 1991-2003.