Echoes and Reverberations: Liza Richardson's Infinite Axis of Influence

Life has a way of dragging us off the charted path and into rather randomly obtuse trajectories. Sometimes you just feel like you're everywhere, all the time. Like you've got the whole world in the palm of your hand.

It often comes down to an intangible law of attraction: Many of us have that one person in their life that acts as a sort of magnetic avatar; a charismatic personality who radiates a sense of possibility and importance. Not necessarily a lover or mentor, but more of a spiritual companion in circumstance.

During the mid-80's, Liza Richardson debuted on the Dallas radio airwaves with her first program, The Mad Doll show on KNON. It aired on Thursday nights from 2 to 5 a.m., and the playlist included everything from the Butthole Surfers to Bob Marley.

An SMU student who actually ventured outside the University Park bubble, Richardson's circle of close friends included Elizabeth Wurtzel, the self- declared pharmaceutical lab rat and author of the novel Prozac Nation. Many of Wurtzel's X-ploits in Deep Ellum during this time period were documented in the book, and later in a straight-to-DVD film starring Christina Ricci.

After graduating from SMU, Richardson moved into the basement of an old church on Haskell Avenue called "Moon Mansion". It was a hippie commune owned by iconic Dallas artist Ashley Bellamy--the building still exists in the shadow of the Cityplace office monstrosity.

In 1987, she was swooped up by former KERA program director Chris Douridas (pictured right), who gave her the late night time slot on that station. (Remember when KERA actually played great music all night?) Then, in 1991, Douridas packed up his record collection and moved to Los Angeles to take a similar gig at the more music-driven NPR-affiliate KCRW. A year later, he brought in Richardson out to LA to do a weekly show at the station.

In fact, a lot people from Dallas seemed to be relocating to Los Angeles that year.


Later, in June of 1994, Broose Dickinson (pictured right) of the Dallas band Pop Poppins had just finished his first solo record.

In the kitchen, the mood was much lighter; a gathering of female Dallas expats were dishin' up the spicy shit. Elizabeth Wurtzel (pictured left) was there, along with Christina "Sita" de Limur, the elegant former general manager of the Starck Club in Dallas during the mid-'80s.

"That party was actually for Shermakaye Bass, who was in town visiting at the time," recalls Liza. (Bass was an influential music and art critic for the Dallas Morning News during the '90s; she now lives in Austin.) "

In the aftermath of the Simpson trial verdict, race relations in America were damaged and raw; now we have an African-American president and a new sense of unity. Viggo Mortensen is now an A-list actor. Chris Douridas, besides taking an executive gig at iTunes, was the music supervisor on the film American Beauty. Rick Rubin is producing acts the Dixie Chicks and Neil Diamond. Terrell Moore has sold a number of paintings to collectors like Dennis Hopper and Malcom McDowell, and his work has appeared in the film Iron Man and numerous times on the HBO hit Entourage. Elizabeth Wurtzel is a corporate lawyer in New York City, and Broose Dickinson is now living in Manhattan as well.

Lastly, 14 years after the fact, the long arm of karma has caught up with the Butcher of Brentwood: O.J. Simpson is finally going to prison. --Jeffrey Liles

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Jeff Liles