This Week In Dallas Music History: The Toadies and South Padre Go Together Like Spring Break and Unprotected Sex

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

In this week's edition of This Week In Dallas Music History, former Observer writer Keven McAlester tells the tale of his adventures in following The Toadies to South Padre Island for a special spring break gig in 1999.

Actually, the piece spends just as much time following the band's roadie, Ken, "the Crazy-Ass Merch Dude," as it does keeping up with the band.

The story reads like a timeline outlining the events of the day leading up to gig, which took place at the 6,000-capacity venue Charlie's Paradise Bar. It starts off during the band's sound-check, in which lead singer Vaden Todd Lewis plays the riff for "Crazy Train." Meanwhile, Ken "the Crazy-Ass Merch Dude" comes up with a hair-brained scheme to purchase loads of cheap beer and sell it at a marked-up price to "desperate partiers" at 2:15 a.m., when the bars shut down.

Later on, the band finds out that the opening act will be a bikini contest, and, incidentally, so will the closing act. The band doesn't seem to care, though. Writes McAlester: "Their mission, according to guitarist Clark Vogeler: 'Get in. Rock 'em. Take their money. Get out.'"

And that's exactly what they did -- and, yes, even Ken "the Crazy-Ass Merch Dude" got in on the action. He made a whole four dollars in profit from his beer-selling scheme. Check out the entire story after the jump.

If that margin is too tight, check out the story in our Observer archives.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.