Three years ago, nearly two decades after relocating to Austin, Smith returned to San Antonio. His chemical consumption was out of control, his dalliance with bar ownership had been a disaster, his attempt to revive Austin’s Woodshock punk festival (a 1980s mainstay) had been an acrimonious victim of city red tape, and his fellow founding Hickoid, bassist Dick Hays, died on the very day the band members agreed to reunite.
Smith needed a change of scenery. As he puts it: “By the time I left Austin, I’d basically chased myself out of there. My health was suffering, and it was time to do something different.”
So what becomes a punk legend whose legendary status is only known and appreciated by the small, graying cadre lucky enough to have experienced the mayhem at its peak? In Smith’s case, it is doing what comes naturally: running a record label (Saustex Media), booking shows for old friends in the indie-rock community, and continuing to lend his elegant snottiness to high-concept bands (his current focus, a gay pirate punk group called The Swishbucklers)
Previous Vinyl Mine posting on the Hickoids