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Stockyards, Supertramp, Urban Cowboys and the Banking Collapse

Updated: Jun 9, 2022


In the late 1980’s - 1990’s I liked club music. We had a few nice live music clubs in OKC, like VZD’s on Western, and some near campus.


The campus would be University of Oklahoma, where I attended in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s. I now live in its hometown, Norman. I also went to Oklahoma State, but that scene was about 98% country music at the time (mid 1990’s). Still fun to hear live when the performers are good.


PS - when driving to Oklahoma State University from Oklahoma City, the only road in goes past a huge pig research farm, and you smell it long before you see it.


End of digressions.


Well, one more: Supertramp came to Norman, OK in 1982 and 1985, I think, and performed at the Lloyd Noble Arena, a sports venue at the very south end of campus. I saw both shows (Famous and Brother). They are excellent musicians, write great songs, and are meticulous about their concert sound, so the shows were a treat.


Oklahoma attracted big acts at the time because it was awash in oil money, but all that money was speculative due to a symbiosis of East Coast bankers looking for something to invest in and good old boy cowboys convincing them there were oceans of oil under the prairie soil.


When the investments turned out not to be backed by oceans of oil, a national bank crisis ensued, the Oklahoma economy tanked, and we were lucky to maybe attract a show by Quiet Riot if the stars aligned.


For the bank crisis, set off by the domino of Penn Square Bank, see the book “Funny Money.”


This all in the context of “Urban Cowboy” and “Dallas.” The nation was in a cowboy craze. I even bought a nice pair of boots, more expensive than I could afford, from a tack shop in the stockyards district along Agnew. Never acquiesced to a straw hat with the brim turned down. They would have had to steam it to fit my odd head with no promise of success. I’d rather ostriches die for really cool boots.




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