Thursday, October 18, 2007

We love us some Lovett

YankDog's comment on "A few Aggies in print and in music" prompted me to recall that my own paper just posted a story about Lyle in which he mentions reporting for the Batt (and reveals his eye for detail):

As a student journalist at Texas A&M, you wrote feature stories about songwriters like Steve Fromholz, Willis Alan Ramsey. I heard you knew everything about Ramsey in those days, down to the color of his shoes.

Well, yeah. He used to wear those Adidas SL 72s, my old track shoes. I loved watching the way he stood, and the way he tapped his foot on the base of the microphone stand to simulate a kick drum. Willis — more than any of those guys I admired — made me feel OK about trying this (life as a musician).

He also talked about writing for the Batt in this '98 Austin Chronicle interview:

AC: And you were studying journalism. Did you ever wind up interviewing musicians?

LL: I never worked as a journalist. Fortunately, I've never had a job. But I did get to do some interviews with performers as they came through town to play at Texas A&M. I did interview Steven Fromholz, and I interviewed Michael Martin Murphey, and I interviewed Willis Alan Ramsey. I interviewed Nanci Griffith. That's how I met her. The first interview I did with a musician was Don Sanders, who is a longtime Houston singer-songwriter and also a big influence. I also interviewed Eric Taylor. I had a really great time talking to singer-songwriters and trying to pick their brain and see how they worked.

While I'm at it, for the sake of future reporters writing stories about Lyle and Robert Earl Keen, let me throw in a pre-emptive correction to a commonly misreported fact — I think I committed this one myself when I was writing for the Batt. The San Antonio paper, among others, got it right:

Contrary to popular belief, Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, another singing-songwriting Aggie, were not roommates at A&M. Keen has long contended that Lovett is far too neat of a person to have lived in Keen's College Station digs.
For those who prefer a direct source (and who doesn't), here's Lyle in the Chronicle interview again:
LL: I lived down the street from Robert. Robert lived in a house that everybody sort of hung out at in between classes at school. There were always people at Robert's house, whether he was there or not. There was always somebody sitting on his porch, playing a guitar or playing a fiddle. So we all just kind of met up over at Robert's. And that's how I got to know him, just wandering by and seeing people outside playing.

(While reading the interview, I cannot stop myself from noting that one of Lyle's favorite REK songs is also mine: "Rollin' By.")

And oh, what the heck, while we're dispelling commonly misreported A&M-type items I'll throw in this: Freebirds World Burrito is based in College Station, but did not originate there. First store was in California. Anybody got any others?