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05 Feb 10 Terri Hendrix Speaks Out in Support of the Cactus Cafe

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All week, I have been reading comments of reaction to the news that the University of Texas plans to shut down the historic  Cactus Café this fall. Apparently, no one is supporting the move. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, oppose it.

Will the uproar make a difference? The school is currently saying they will keep it open, under a somewhat different format – no bar, student singers, and so forth. Maybe more criticism will force the school to keep the Café going. That remains to be seen.

Perhaps the most vocal opponent to the move is Terri Hendrix, one of the best Texas music stars to perform there. Following are some of the comments Hendrix posted in her monthly newsletter:

“The Cactus Cafe is not just a bar. It is a landmark of Texas music and music, period. This is the “Ark” of Texas. This is the “Freight and Salvage” of Texas. This venue is one of the greats promoting our next generation of singers and writers from the Lone Star State by giving them a stage in which to perform  and it’s a favorite place for lots of major non locals and out-of-state artists to play, too. Put it this way: In 2003, when Griff, who’s been the manager of the Cactus for almost the entire time it’s been open, added my poster to The Wall, I was so happy, I cried. And with only very few exceptions now and then, the Cactus Cafe is the only venue I still play in Austin.

“Judging from the public uproar since this news hit, I’m certainly not the only artist and music lover who knows how important and special the Cactus Cafe is. And even if you don’t live in or around Austin, if you’re a music lover, this affects you, too. Venues like the Cactus share the same root system. Artists like me need places like this in order to play for fans like you. Cut the throat of the venue, and you cut the lifeblood of every artist that plays there.

“I for one, am in this fight to the finish.”

Hendrix performs at the Cactus Café next Saturday, Feb. 13.

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