John Aielli (KUT) , Doug Powell and Bob Livingston
Bill Oliver, SOS, 1990 People’s Uprising Story for 2020
Public confession: I wasn’t at this historical public hearing! (Technically, we must’ve been at the pre-rally ‘cause there’s photo evidence, so it must be so.)
Although often given credit (and good karma) for singing there – I was 100 miles away at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
However – to help in our special little way, that morning we were on John Aielli’s KUT show for about two hours urging the populace to arms! (The hearing, I mean.)
By 1990 I’d sung several Springs related songs at Council hearings – humorous and serious – beginning in the mid ‘70s. One of those live recordings was used on “Texas Oasis,” LP in ’81, featuring comments from then Mayor Carole McClellen and other council members. “Barton Springs Eternal” was a solo live recording from the ‘Dillo which John Aielli often played for such times.
That morning at KUT we made up new songs and verses for the movement and the moment: “The Battle of Jim Bob Moffett,” to the tune of “Battle of New Orleans” was fun.
“Al Gee Bloom” was made up on the spot, inspired by our algae neckties from Barton Creek (too bad it wasn’t a TV show). John egged us on and wouldn’t let us stop.
We didn’t want to leave town, but we were scheduled to play a special ‘Earth Day’ theme show at Kerrville. This was/is a coveted opportunity in the music world. We’d been booked for months and had a full band of early Otters, bringing in Glen Waldeck from Philadelphia. By the last chorus of “Have to Have a Habitat” Peter Yarrow was in the band, singing “Barton Springs Eternal!”
For me, the personal fun and profundity of the day occurred as we pulled up to the stage for sound check.
ROD Kennedy: “What are you doing here?! You should be at the hearing!”
ME: “You scheduled – and contracted – us to be here, now.”
ROD (seriously): “You’ve sold out!”
This from a guy who before would say “it’s too big to stop.”
He’d come a long way, as had the movement, and we all enjoyed the irony.
As it turned out, we could’ve done our set, returned to town, and joined the all-nighter at City Hall! Austin updates were announced from the stage as the evening program went on, usually by Rod. All were met with waves of cheers.
No one realized at the time, that, like many great K’ville campfires, it would go all night!