Archive for Andy Warhol

Rock Moment: The Urban Cowboy Craze

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2009 by 30daysout

Mickey Gilley, center, partyin' down at Gilley's

Once upon a time, our little corner of Southeast Texas was literally swimming in oil and as a result, many people were also swimming in money.  The bright lights and towers of the petrochemical plants ringed the city of Houston and the night sky often had the eerie red glow of a flame-topped flare burning off petro waste products.

Pasadena, Texas, is a compact little town that would be in the shadow of Houston’s skyscrapers if the oil refineries weren’t in the way.  Many people who lived in Pasadena in the 1970s worked at the plant, and when they wanted to party, they went to one place – Gilley’s.

gilley_sGilley’s nightclub was a sprawling honky-tonk located along the Spencer Highway drag in Pasadena.  It was billed as the world’s largest honky-tonk, and who could argue?  It certainly looked like it was three or four football fields long (or wide, I never could figure out which) and could easily accommodate upwards of 6,000 people at one time.  (Note to Yankees: I’m just kidding about the football fields.  Don’t send me any e-mails, please.)  Gilley’s hardwood dance floor was surrounded by long wooden tables and thousands of chairs, allowing a great view of the bandstand from wherever you might be in this massive complex.

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