The art of implication

Vince Bell's been dead once, and he's got the record to prove it

"They have 18 months to make the movie" before the option runs out, Patoski says. "All I hear is he's making Zorro now, and this is the next one." The Hollywood trade magazines are reporting that Jimmie Vaughan has also been signed on as a technical advisor and possibly as a producer--which is hilariously ironic since Vaughan went out of his way to not cooperate with Patoski and Crawford when they were writing their book. As Jimmie's Austin-based manager Mark Proct says, "no one likes the Joe Nick book" among the Vaughan inner circle.

"Well, not so much no one likes the book," Proct says, "but there are some major chronological errors and other major mistakes in the book, and we figure if they're going to make a movie about Stevie, they ought to get it right."

Proct says Vaughan and Rodriguez began speaking about the project when the director was filming From Dusk Till Dawn, which featured one new Jimmie song ("Dengue Woman Blues") and two old Stevie tracks ("Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Willie the Wimp"). "Jimmie felt like he could communicate with Robert," Proct says. "He's a big fan of Robert's work, but they haven't had a meeting dedicated to the Stevie thing."

The rumors that Pitt will play the late guitarist, who was killed in a helicopter crash in August 1990, have been circulating throughout the film industry for months--so much so that word has it Pitt has rented a house in Austin. Proct says he hasn't been able to get confirmation from Pitt's office about the actor's interest, but, "if I were Miramax, I guess I wouldn't deny it because it will keep the interest way up. Maybe Brad Pitt wouldn't make a bad Stevie."

In related news--well, related to a book about a dead icon, anyway--Patoski's Selena biography, Como la Flor ("Like the Flower"), is due from Little, Brown on April 1. Like the Vaughan book, it was done without the family's OK.

Blond Bomber goes national
Forty years after first appearing on the stage of the Big D Jamboree as a teen-aged boy singing action-packed rockabilly songs, the once and future Blond Bomber is again signed to a national label. Ronnie Dawson has signed to the Cambridge, Mass.-based Upstart Records, a subsidiary of Rounder Records and the home to Nick Lowe, Los Straitjackets, and Big AssTruck. The label will release Dawson's new record, which he recorded last year in England and which still does not have a title, on May 21.

But before then, as reported here a few weeks ago, Dawson will have two of his older records released by the locally based Crystal Clear Sound, which distributed and promoted Dawson's 1994 record Monkey Beat! in the U.S. This month, CCSwill reissue Dawson's Rockinitis, which makes its first appearance in the States and on CD; that will be followed by a rerelease of Rockin' Bones, a collection of Dawson's singles from the 1950s and '60s that will include a long-lost gem that has been sitting in the MCARecords vaults for decades.

Scene, heard
Direct Hit may no longer exist as a record store, but the same-named label is still up and running. Kelly Handran, who began the label out of the Exposition Park store she and husband Sean ran until last year, says the label is releasing three seven-inch singles simultaneously within the next few weeks--one from Girl (fronted by Chris Clardy, formerly of Slowpoke), a split single featuring the Mullens and Mess, and another from the Mood Swings (featuring Joe Jarvis from A.S.D.). Following the release of those three records, which should be in stores within the month, Direct Hit will release a split single from UFOFU and Funland and another from Dooms U.K....

The legendary Tiny Tim-Brave Combo sessions will finally see the light of day: On March 19, Rounder Records will release Girl, a record so astonishing you won't believe it even after you've heard it...

Ethyl Merman ain't Ethyl Merman no more. "The estate of Ethel Merman was going to sue us if we used the name," says frontman Turner Van Blarcum. "We beat ourselves to death for three weeks trying to come up with a new name, but we got on with it, so fuck it." The band's new name is Pump'n Ethyl--the very same moniker that will grace the band's debut CD on DSR (that's Dragon Street Records to you) this month. The album was, for the most part, recorded in one night at Crystal Clear Sound and initially intended as demos for the studio's Steve label; but, as Dragon Street owner David Dennard explains, "I said, 'Shit, this is a fucking great record.'" As such, this will be the first Dragon Street release since 1994's Buick Men from Hagfish, and it includes a cover of Dean Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody.

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