Where the music was.
Austin’s Vulcan Gas Company was two things at once.
On the one hand it was an unwelcome addition to the city’s then seedy central commercial district and on the other hand it was a welcome addition to what would come to be known as “The Live Music Capital of the World”.
There were always policemen stationed both at or near the entrance and inside the venue and they simply ignored the Michoacán and Acapulco Gold being burnt by the audience within. The city wanted to shut the whole thing down, but busting tokers was a one-at-a-time affair and the Vulcan couldn’t be held liable.
Alcohol, however, was something altogether different because the Vulcan neither had nor was eligible for a license to sell or allow on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages. So, if a case could be made that patrons were drinking and that Vulcan’s management or staff were aware of it but did nothing about it, it could be closed in a heartbeat.
But for alert bouncers and the discretion of hundreds informed by word-of-mouth, my head might never have been so well fed by as it was when, while stoned out of my gourd sitting on the floor not twenty feet from the stage, I heard this man – Spencer Perskin – boogie down with an electric violin with a piece called Kaleidescoptic