Texas Is the Reason: The Mavericks of Lone Star Punk By Pat Blashill, 240 pgs.

Apr 06, 2020

Texas is the birthplace of some of the most fiercefiercest and uncompromising punk rock ever created. As Gary Floyd, vocalist for Austin band the Dicks, is quoted here: “I’m a redneck fag. It’s like, ‘You don’t like it? Fuck you.’” Like the Lone Star State itself, Texas Iis the Reason: The Mavericks of Lone Star Punk is immense, and author Pat Blashill uses his iconic photographs of stalwart Texas-tough bands like the Big Boys, the Dicks, Scratch Acid, the Offenders, and the Butthole Surfers to tell his version of the story of Texas punk rock in the early 80s.

Photographer/journalist Blashill’s book is heavy on the Butthole Surfers, which is great for a lifelong fanatic like me. At the time, the Butthole Surfers had to be one of the most visually compelling underground acts ever to exist, and the massive number of Surfers photos in Texas Iis the Reason are about as twisted and provocative as any I’ve seen. On the other hand, I find myself wishing this was balanced out a little with more pics of slightly lesser known bands, like the Dicks or the Hickoids, as the photos of these bands that are included in this book are fantastic.

The book’s publisher Bazillion Points never fails to produce a fantastic looking book, and Texas Iis the Reason is no exception. This is a super-nice hard-bound edition with killer cover art and , cool embossed lettering down the spine, etcetera. The inner page printing is top notch as well, with huge crisp, photographs presented flawlessly on glossy pages throughout the book, ensuring that the author/photographer's obvious passion is properly conveyed.

Texas Iis the Reason also includes seven essays by Texas punk veterans like film director Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, School of Rock), Blashill himself, and a few others. David Yow’s story about getting locked in in his University of Texas dorm room when he was about to go out to see the Dicks is pretty hilarious, and Teresa Taylor of the Butthole Surfers has a “Top-Ten” Texas punk records segment that is essential.

The few photos of bigger non-Texan bands (Devo, Dead Kennedys, Samhain) are great, they look fantastic and all, but they don’t seem to add much to the story. However, the pics of the young and clearly rowdy Replacements are entirely priceless.

My only major complaint: not enough Wade Driver.

Texas Iis the Reason: The Mavericks of Lone Star Punk is an outstanding photography book, a trip back in time, and an essential look at the early days of Texas punk rock. Calling this a coffee table book would be an injustice. The presentation of the photographs is thoughtfully executed, and the packaging is aesthetically unsurpassed. In fact, when I first picked up Texas Iis the Reason and flipped through it, I thought to myself, “I would take a bullet for this book.” What would Oswald do? –Buddha (Bazillion Points, bazillionpoints.com)