All the catchy songs

There was no bigger or better Texas band in the 1980s than The Judy's, who are long gone but not forgotten

"We never knew of being close to any kind of deal," Bean says. "We didn't want to focus all our energies on that. We didn't want to make demos and go to L.A. If there was interest, that was good, but we were always around other musicians who talked about this deal, and it was like they weren't interested in being where they were and entertaining people. I was just never interested in chasing after something like that. There was enough in front of us that kept us happy. But believe me, we would have welcomed a major-label deal, but we also thought, 'Who would sign us?' We knew we weren't commercial. Majors always said, 'The production's awful,' but we said, 'Of course it is. We paid for the records and recorded them in three hours.' We thought we sucked too bad to get signed."

The Judy's would disband in 1981 after Washarama, then again in '83, get back together once more in '85 for The Moo Album, then slowly disband again till all that was left were Bean and a gang of impostors for Land of Plenty. The band regrouped here and there for the occasional gig--their last appearance was at the Raul's reunion show at Austin's Liberty Lunch in the early '90s, celebrating the long-defunct punk hangout. Bean isn't averse to doing a few reunion shows here and there, but he worries that a man in his 30s will have little tolerance for songs about high school girls and Three Mile Island; if anything, he'd like to record some of the new music he's writing and, yeah, release Washarama on CD for the few thousand who might want such a brilliant relic.

"Jeff, Dane, and I were in the studio together not long ago working on another project--it wasn't Judy's stuff," Bean says. "But we get together and see each other time to time, both socially and musically. We don't see each other so often that we're, like, the best of buddies, but there's so much history there. We knew each other in grade school. I mean, just sharing all those years of incredible experiences--to be in your teens and have all this stuff happen, and going from Pearland to semi-successful regional rock band. We got to see all kinds of things we never dreamed of. I think that's still back there.

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