By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"Death, Metal," by Pete Freedman, February 26
My best weekends were spent in that club [Joe's Garage]. Every weekend, no matter who was playing, my future wife, three or four friends, and I would overload my little Nissan car and make the long trek to Joe's from McKinney. I saw so many great bands there: Absu, Rigor Mortis, Hammerwitch, Gammacide, Aceldama, Crucifix, Azathoth, Pantera and Gruesome Fate, to name some of the local acts. I saw national acts there as well: Exodus, Forbidden, Testament, Deicide, Obituary, Death, Exhorder, Deadhorse and Carcass, to name but a few.
Abb was always there, and he and his wife made sure we all had fun. I can't count the number of times Abb caught me drinking and gave me a disapproving look and a finger wag, causing me to pour out my alcohol because I was underage.
I will always remember Joe's, Ruth and Abb. I am so sad to see him gone. It is so unfair that he was taken from us by a couple of punk kids that couldn't understand how much he meant to so many people.
Abb, you will always be missed.
Buster Almand, McKinney, via dallasobserver.com
"Joe's [Garage] is on another planet," I always said, but we made the long, long drive from Grand Prairie with great anticipation of a night to remember. There were so many of those nights, with Utopian, Forced Entry, Gammacide...the list goes on and on. And the night always began with a great big hug from Abb. Abb loved us, and we loved him back. I will always remember you, Abb. Thank you.
Angel from Arlington, via dallasobserver.com
I feel honored to have played Joe's Garage back in the '80s DFW metal scene. I was in both The Council and Process Revealed and always loved playing at Joe's. I have to admit that for a fresh-faced 16- or 17-year-old kid, it was a bit intimidating and overwhelming at the same time, but always a blast. I still have the videotape with Steve Murphy's (Rotting Corpse/Process Revealed/Eldritch Rite) infamous words at the opening: "Yes...you know you've made it big when you see your name in lights at Joe's Garage. You've come a long way..." Thanks for the tribute, Observer. It brought back a lot of fond memories....
Andy from San Angelo, via dallasobserver.com
This is a great article, and I am glad to see the Observer recognize Abb! I don't know of anybody who experienced Joe's Garage who didn't sit around and talk about how great it would be to have a reunion and how wonderful the metal scene here was back then. I talk about it to my kids all the time, and I hope that someday they get to experience something that special...leaking roof and all (ha ha). Anyway, what Ruth and the family need to know is that we thank them for putting up with us rotten teenagers all those weekends and in their own way keeping us out of trouble...Abb was always willing to help kids out, and it is a weird testament to him that he passed doing just what he did for a lot of us. They are a great family. Again, thanks for writing the article.
Diana Almand, McKinney, via dallasobserver.com
"Getting to No," by Jim Schutze, February 12
I would caution Mr. Schutze [against] accepting the Corps' interpretation of who is or is not to blame for their projects (re: "...Corps gave legally correct answers to the effect that local officials in New Orleans were responsible for the condition of the levees that failed..."). Before the flood, when the Corps delivered their new levee construction plans, the local Levee Board and their construction contractor told the Corps that the levees would fail if constructed as designed by the Corps. The Corps held their ground and told them to build the levees as designed. The local Levee Board and their construction contractor brought the case to the Supreme Court which ruled in favor of (drum roll)—the Corps. Interesting how that bit of history squares with Mr. Schutze's "locals had pushed and pulled for a century to get the federal government to help them build cheap, badly designed levees..."
Al DuVernay, New Orleans