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Friday, July 26, 2013

Rare as Hen's Teeth Conqueroo Club Il Poster

Conqueroo
Conqueroo

Check out this SICK, pre-Vulcan, Conqueroo poster from the Club Il (Pronounced: Club ILL) in Austin. Only about three to four of these are known to exist! Club I.L. was a small club in east Austin  owned by a cool old black guy named Ira Little. Like Kenneth Threadgill it was a place where early Austin  hipsters could go and listen to music, socialize and hang out.  Remember no Vulcan Gas Co. existed yet. Club Il is known to have hosted psychedelic music at least through 1969.

Club Il was short for Ira Little. It was an African American club on the East side of Austin and Ira ran the place. In the mid-60s, the Conqueroo and a few other psychedelic bands played over there before the Vulcan opened. No place else would have them. Most of the locals would clear out and the white hippies would be a majority in the club. There is known to be a little business card from the club that is featured in some publications. It promotes Shiva's as played there on certain nights and says it beats Shock Theatre on TV.

Here's a recollection of Club Il:

Hey, about the IL club in Austin. It was actually named after Ira Littlefield. Heres the deal. I played in a band called Rockin Horse and we used Ira Littlefield as our drummer when our regular guy couldn't make it. He told me he was about the 5th Ira Littlefield. He told me the following story. His father owned the club, but worked a day gig as a custodian in the "Littlefield" building in downtown Austin. Ira said that after the civil war, his great, great, something grandfather had been freed by the Littlefield family. since that time members of Ira's family had always worked for the white Littlefield Family. I don't know if this is really true, but its what he told me. One thing I do know for sure, he was one poppin' drummer. Maybe the best blues drummer I ever worked with. Peace Johnny C


Another East Side location was the Afro. When the Vulcan opened, the whites stopped going over there. Also, there was an ugly incident at the IL club (or perhaps Charlie's Playhouse--a very famous East Side Club) that pretty much ended the scene for psychedelic music over there. Some white guy made a racial slur or what was interpreted as such and there were some problems.



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