Farewell from Cracker Eden

Texas journalism loses a great writer and friend in Grover Lewis

When he lived in Austin in the mid- to late '80s and wrote for the Austin Chronicle, Corcoran became something of a legend--not merely for his rock criticism (by his own admission, Corcoran wasn't a music fanatic at the time), but for the way he became one of a vibrant scene's central characters. At a time when Austin was teeming with great bands (True Believers, Zeitgeist, Glass Eye, Wild Seeds, Scratch Acid, Butthole Surfers), Corky was almost as big a star on the very small, very intimate scene.

"Ever since I left Austin in 1988, when I moved to San Francisco, I've been looking for a way to get back," Corcoran says of his reasons for leaving. "It's a great cast of characters to write about in the music scene there, a lot of my closest friends live there, and it's just a great music town."

And now he returns there after a three-year stint at the News, where he managed to interject hilarious, biting, even poignant (as in the case of his Bob Marley piece almost two years ago) writing into an arts section that has rarely depended upon the personality of its writers. In Austin, Corcoran was a star and likely will be again; here, he was just one of Dallas' best writers.

"The problem with the Dallas Morning News is that as well as you write, it's just flat and lays on the page and the next day there's something else," Corcoran says. "There's no lasting implications or any real say in defining the music scene. Writing about music in Dallas is kind of like shooting in the dark."

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