SAD SAD DAY FOR ARTASEE
Our friend and brother, Henry Gonzales, passed away after a long illness this week. Henry was there at the beginning of the Austin music phenomenon, from the days of the Armadillo World Headquarters, through the years at the Austin Opera House (where I met him), and finally founding the South Austin Museum of Pop Culture. He was one of the top music artists all through those years, many of the posters from the Armadillo and several murals around Austin were his work- many of them completed during the night before, notably the artwork with that painting of Stevie Ray on the outside wall of the old Soap Creek Saloon on South Congress. I think he said he finished it in the rain that night. I always thought that was the single best drawing or painting of Stevie I ever saw, anywhere.
Henry was one of those rare people that always took on too much for one person to possibly handle (usually because no one else cared to, or could do it) and always seemed to come through, and with a smile. He was as dear a friend as one could ever hope to have, and as kind as anyone you could hope to meet. He brought the artwork and posters that we put on the wall of the studio for the recording of 4GDB last year at Arlyn, even though he was already getting really sick. That artwork helped in a large way to create a very cool vibe in the room from the first day the guys walked in and was absolutely crucial to the success of the session that followed that week. He was already feeling bad at that time but as he always had done before, he came through.
There are many, many stories to tell, but a good number of my favorite times with Henry was on the golf course- we pretty much lived at Riverside for a year- including partnering with him in some of the little tournaments they had there, in particular a night-time tournament that was a hoot. Another time, he and I attended a Rockets game in Houston, then drove overnight to Riverside for some two-man scramble. We got there just in time, no sleep- people didn't require as much sleep as they do now- and proceeded to ( it would be great if i could say "then, we won!!") stink up the entire east side of Austin. And the first time there was such a thing as a senior PGA event- out at Onion Creek in '85(?)- there we were, marching members of Arnie's army.
Henry was one of a kind and it just won't be as good of a world without him in it. Our deepest sympathies go to Leea, and to all the rest of the family. Rest in peace, brother.