Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Gilley's is sold

Gilley's, the burned-down Pasadena honky tonk made infamous in Urban Cowboy, has been acquired by the Pasadena school district, which paid $440,000 in back taxes, plus a little more we guess, in order to someday build a school on the 15-acre property.

Now, we assume Mickey Gilley's doing OK, and we assume his former partner Sherwood Cryer probably isn't, but the school district ponying up $440,000 in back taxes sounds ludicrous, from a taxpayer's point of view.

But I could be wrong.

The whole Gilley's thing sprang from an article in Esquire magazine, written by Aaron Latham. The piece was turned into the movie. Then Mickey and Sherwood had a falling out. Then the place burned down, mysteriously. It closed in '89. But Sissy and Bud lived happily ever after, allegedly.

Back in the day, it seemed like every other car on the highway in East Harris County had a Gilley's bumper sticker on the back. They sold Gilley's panties and bras in the cavernous beer joint, and, of course, there was the mechanical bull, and some pretty big-name acts during its heyday. If memory services, Neil Young even performed there once.

Now that the property is going to be a school, there is a karmic boomerang, of sorts, since middle-school children will someday be engaged in the glorious process of public school education on the very spot, or quite near the very spot, where their forbears once vomited in the potholed Gilley's parking lot.
There's now a Gilley's in, of all places, Dallas, which just doesn't seem right, but what does these days?


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