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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Armadillo World Headquarters Poster by Michael Priest

Armadillo World Headquarters
Armadillo World Headquarters

Check out this ultra rare Armadillo World Headquarters poster by Michael Priest. It's signed by him too. This is a really sweet piece and will look great on my wall.


During the Seventies the Armadillo World Headquarters, in Austin, became the centerpiece of a musical explosion that catapulted Austin to nationally recognized music capital status. The Armadillo opened its doors in August 1970 and quickly became the focus for much of Austin's musical life. With an eventual capacity of 1,500, the hall featured a varied fare of blues, rock, jazz, folk, and country music in an informal, open atmosphere. Housed in a converted National Guard armory the "dillo" provided an increasingly sophisticated alternative venue to the municipal auditoriums across and small bars. Opening the Armadillo capped several years of seeking by young musicians and hip entrepreneurs to find a hangout of their own. The 'dillo reflected the emergence of a, now nationwide, counterculture of alternative forms of music, art, and styles of living.

To promote its shows the Armadillo maintained a staff of poster and mural artists, including Jim Franklin (the inspiration behind the Armadillo's name), Micael Priest, Guy Juke, and Bill Narum. Given free reign for their creative impulses these and other artists explored many new images and techniques in poster making. The hundreds of Armadillo concert posters they made during the 1970s contributed to the flowering of poster art in Austin.

 


The Armadillo operated on a shoestring budget and much volunteer labor on a month-to-month basis in an atmosphere of perpetual financial crisis. By 1980 the demands of downtown real estate signaled the end of an era. As its lease expired the Armadillo World Headquarters held one final New Year's Eve blowout (December 31, 1980), then closed its doors to await demolition. On August 19, 2006, the city of Austin dedicated a plaque to commemorate the hall at the site where it once stood. Though the building is gone, the Armadillo's legacy as a vital center of musical and artistic creativity lives on in Texas music history.


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