28 Days of Bevis Griffin - Black History Month - Austin Music Foundation

28 Days of Bevis Griffin, Day 10: The Skyscrapers “The Tall Man Cometh” ’78-’79

Written by Bevis M. Griffin


Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and FAITH! “Faith is taking the first step without even seeing the staircase” ~MLK. Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is LOVE:1 Corinthians 13:13. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step”.

As I best recall, it was the beautiful late-summer Sunday afternoon of 1978 when a 6′-foot-3″, blonde-haired stranger, politely introduced himself as ‘Christopher Keen Bailey‘ at Raul’s bar.

On that fateful afternoon, I was just fresh off the stage from a rollicking drum-session with the femme fatale Austin quartet, The Violators, featuring my long-time glam-pal Carla Olson and her “punky-but-chic” U.K. sidekick, Kathy Valentine, on dueling six-string razors, ready to slay.

As previously stated, an Austin band called Project Terror, ostensibly held a weekly residency at Gemini’s Pizzeria on The Drag, weeks before owners Roy “Raul” Gomez, and Joseph Gonzales, decided to further diversify their dwindling Tejano talent roster by featuring rock bands, which inevitably lead to prescient bookings of The Bodysnatchers and Violators, prior to The Skunks.

It’s important to note that the pre-punk rebellion of hard-rock bands in ATX was aggregated in GLAM-ROCK and NOT the other way around… Hard-Stop… Roll Credits. Bands like Krackerjack, The Werewolves, Too Smooth, Bees Make Honey, Jellyroll, and Franklin’s Mast were en vogue.

Thus, in the wake of the punk-rock paradigm shift, the artists who had fingers-on-the-pulse of the zeitgeist managed to make a fluid transition to the burgeoning swell of the new wave.

Chris Bailey is arguably the most gifted guitarist I’ve ever met, and definitely the most modest. Our benevolent meeting was ultimately a godsend, as we discovered a mutual appreciation for an extremely broad plethora of binary musical influences ranging from Cheap Trick to Zappa, Captain Beefheart to Parliament-Funkadelic, Jimi Hendrix to John McLaughlin, AC/DC to Devo!

We immediately bonded over our wildly eclectic musical predilections and by day’s end, we’d mutually agreed to form a band together. A band that rocked not only with skilled ferocity but intellectual prowess, with mind, body, and soul. A band we’d soon christen “The Skyscrapers.”


P.S. Tune-in this Saturday for a rare treat, as my perennial collaborator, Mr. C.K. Bailey, will grace this portal with his personal accounts of our seminal contributions to ATX culture, spanning our watershed period from 1978 to 1988 and our subsequent decades beyond.

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