Wowapi | First Additional Notes | August 2000 | Two Stories about Roxy|
The following notes are from Marq's Texas Music Kitchen.
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Marq's Notes: Thur., Feb. 10, 2000
Revised/Corrected: Sun., Mar. 10, 2000, 10 a.m. CST/USA
Sad news: Roxy Gordon Obituary
Versatile Texas artist excelled at storytelling
By Tom Maurstad, Staff Critic of The Dallas Morning News
Published Wed., Feb. 9, 2000, page 26A
Texas-born artist Roxy Gordon died Monday afternoon in Abilene after being rushed to the hospital from his home in Talpa, Texas. The 54-year-old son of Choctaw parents assembled a long list of credits in his life and career -- poet, songwriter, performer, author, activist. But mostly, Roxy Gordon was a storyteller.
On the albums he recorded (such as 1990's Smaller Circles), in the books he wrote (such as 1984's Breeds) and in the myriad performances he gave in local clubs and bookstores during the 20-plus years he lived in Dallas, Mr. Gordon told stories, with a gentle twang that would bend back and forth between speech and song. Whether describing the junked cars rusting into the landscape of his West Texas childhood or eulogizing a waitress he scarcely knew, he had an unerring eye for slivers of truth and beauty amid everyday life.
"I think Roxy always spoke very plainly and directly from the heart, and you just always felt that in his work," said Robert Trammell, poet and executive director of the Dallas literary organization WordSpace.
Mr. Gordon moved to Dallas in the mid-70's, settling in a sagging East Dallas house where he lived with his wife, Judy. By the time he returned to some family land outside Talpa in 1996, he had developed an international following for his writing and music.
"He was like one of those old rockabilly guys," said Jeff Liles, Dallas musician and spoken-word artist who performed with Mr. Gordon. "Hardly anybody around here had even heard of him, but you go over to England and they love him."
Mr. Gordon's death came as work on a new album was nearing completion -- with no release date set. Mr. Trammell said a memorial is being planned.
(End of Dallas Morning News obit.)
Here's another obituary released by the Roxy Gordon family on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2000
From: "Roxy & Judy Gordon" (email@example.com)
To: "Marquetta Herring" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: ROXY GORDON OBITUARY
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 13:29:13 -0600
Roxy Lee Gordon ("First Coyote Boy" adopted-Assiniboine), age 54, of Talpa, died Monday, February 7, 2000, in Abilene.
Services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, February 11 at Walker Funeral Home, Coleman, Texas.
Roxy was born March 7, 1945 in Ballinger, son of R.L. (Bob) and Louise Gordon. He grew up in Talpa, Texas, and married Judy N. Hoffman on August 22, 1964.
Roxy attended the University of Texas at Austin, beginning a long journey that took him throughout the American West. In the late '60s, he travelled from Montana where he developed his strong Indian heritage with the Assiniboine tribe, who later adopted him to the California west coast (where he met well-known poets, actors and musicians Richard Brautigan, Robert Creely, Rip Torn and Jim Morrison).
In the mid '70s, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he ran a country music magazine, PICKING UP THE TEMPO for three years and met well-known musicians Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allen Coe, and Chuck Berry. In 1976, he moved to Dallas, Texas, where he spent the next 20 years as an American Indian activist, poet, and multimedia artist. He also began writing articles for the COLEMAN CHRONICLE & DEMOCRAT-VOICE.
During his travels, Roxy wrote several books of poems and short stories, including Some Things I Did and Breeds. He released three albums, Unfinished Business, Crazy Horse Never Died and Smaller Circles.
He returned to Coleman County in 1997, fixed up and moved into his grandmother's (Sarah J. Bomar's) old house located west of Valera, Texas.
Survivors include his wife, Judy N. Gordon of Talpa, his mother, Louise E. Gordon of Coleman, his adopted Assiniboine parents, John and Minerva Allen, and two sons and one daughter-in-law, J.C. and Corinne Gordon of Dallas and Quanah Parker Gordon of Talpa.
Memorials may be made to the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, P.O. Box 583, Lawrence, Kansas 66044 or charity of choice.
Read about Roxy Gordon in the North American Native Author's Catalog:
Scroll down to see the title page for Roxy's first book,
SOME THINGS I DID (Encino Press 1971).
Another thing . . .
At the time of Roxy's death he and Judy were also working on a second printing/edition of NO EVIDENCE, a collection of poems by Dallas poet Robert Trammell, first published by WOWAPI, their small press, in 1989. For more information please e-mail Judy Gordon.
Here's the back cover for SMALLER CIRCLES, followed by some of the things some of Roxy's friends and fans had to say about him:
"His work is strong. The word goes out. Can a change come on dove's feet?"
"Roxy Gordon is one of the great outlaw artist American misfits. He writes like an angel and sings like livin' hell. He's got a fine eagle tattoo on his arm and I like his hat. His voice is as stone, true as the history of blood and dirt. In those mirrored shades, he looks like the perfect cross between an ex-state trooper and a serial killer. He'll hate me for saying that ... the state trooper part. Roxy is a brave and solid heart."
Jo Harvey Allen
"Roxy Gordon is one hell of a great wild child."
Townes Van Zandt
"Roxy Gordon is a brother of mine. I don't like the word poet, it is usually used too lightly. Roxy, however, is a real one. I have heard him recite in the hardest honky tonks of Dallas and the beautiful plains of Montana. Sometimes with his son, Quanah Parker, playing drum. Sometimes just Roxy and me. Sometiimes with other friends. Roxy and I have travelled many miles and moons together. I've loved his beautiful family, his beautiful home, his beautiful spirit. As I said before, I don't use the word poet because there are so few. When I think about Roxy, I realise the word has meaning. God bless Roxy and the buffalo he rode in on. Roxy and I and our brother the buffalo roam the range into eternity."
"Roxy Gordon is the missing link - between Old Time and New Time Texas, between Old Time and New Time West. The absolute honesty and reality of these pieces, the magic and power of them, move the earth with a terrible kind of beauty."
"There is a lot of anger in Roxy Gordon's writing which, given his subject, is no surprise, and there is a lot of love, which is always a surprise, coming up on us silently, stalking us across the flat places and the high places, going for the heart."
Now, about Roxy Gordon and Townes Van Zandt.
More Related Notes from Marq's Texas Music Kitchen
Thur., Jan. 27, 2000
Jeffrey Liles -- Jeff's new CD is COTTONMOUTH, TEXAS, in which the Dallas spoken word artist (Liles) informs the listener: "You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say can and will be used against you." Officer Norris ("you read us our rights but you read them too fast") is not mentioned by name but is called to mind. Liles' urban cybermovie runs a little over six minutes and will look best if you maximize your viewing screen.
You'll see Liles shooting hoops at the neighborhood rec center, where he starts to question life's mysteries and receives psychic answers in the form of a "swish" or a "brick." Coming home to his barren apartment he reflects on the few choices that life offers when you're broke. Walking down the sidewalk, he observes the reactions that people have to unsightly appearances such as his." Site Staff Review: "Spoken word has never been this slick and stylish."
"A couple of weeks before he died, my girlfriend and went over to Roxy Gordon's house in Dallas, where Townes had been staying on the couch. We were lucky enough to get to hang out that night while Townes sang and played in Roxy's living room. I must say, it was absolutely amazing. The man could barely stand, but when he sang and played that night, it was very moving. We felt very lucky. So much so that we barely spoke in the car on the way home."
Click here to read "Easter," a story by Roxy, posted in WordSpace.
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