From the Rubin Archives : Gil Baca Band Postcard

I had the honor of playing with Gil Baca and Vernon Drozd one time at Baca's Confectionary on the old square in downtown Fayetteville. Gil came from a long line of band leaders and the Bacova's Ceska Kapela was the first Czech-Bohemian dance band recorded in the US. Gil eventually went on to play drums for Hank Thompson among others. And sax-reed man Vernon was roundly understood to be the best "honky-tonk" player in Texas. (His son Steven is now a famous rock star bringing the Flaming Lips it's sole musical heft.)

The big octagon looking thing in the center of the picture is his dad Ray's mammoth hammered dulcimer, once the cornerstone of Czech music in Texas but now utterly disappeared in favor of the accordion in the 50's and now the pre-recorded computer track today. Vernon stands to the right of Ray, holding up the box. Kermit is on one end with his trumpet and little Gil is at the other.

Strangely, they are pictured in front of the only brick building on the square as Fayetteville features one of Texas' last remaining all wooden downtowns. This band made a big splash playing the Smithsonian Institution's American Folklife Festival, a short tour of  Czechoslovakia in 1972 and also performed at the United States Bicentennial Celebration in Washington, D.C., in 1976. 


Bad Livers "Ghost Train" Sheet Music from Sing OUT! Magazine, Jan. 1995

In hindsight, we gave mighty snarky responses to the venerable old folkie magazine. Didn't stop them from publishing our music, giving us consistently positive reviews (up until Blood and Mood which stopped everybody in its tracks,) and eventually hiring me to write not one but two major pieces for them. (The Klezkamp Mitzvah and Charlie Poole: the Man at America's Country Roots.) They did get back at us by outing Danny and myself as members of Dallas' Killbilly, which we hadn't been in for nearly 6 years by this point, but that's about the speed of light travels in folk land it seems.

The "you look good in a Bad Liver T-shirt" was our constant mantra, BTW. Shows up frequently in our interviews. We sold so many t-shirts, really crazy amounts that people today can't imagine. It was for many years our largest source of income and allowed us the creative freedom to do whatever we liked. 
On to the original article:


Interview as a Bad Liver for a Macedonian Punk rock fanzine, 1996

Bad Livers Interview for "Factory Smog is a Sign of Progress," most likely the very first emailed interview for print media I had done. There's a few laugh riots to be found. Enjoy!

(PS: the three quotes at the end of this article were lifted from my email signature.)