Bevis Griffin celebrates Black History Month with flashy tales of Austin's glam-rock past
Austin Music Foundation is celebrating Black History Month with 28 days of Bevis Griffin. The nonprofit organization, which offers career development services to Austin musicians, is publishing daily blogs about the flashy escapades of the drummer and rock 'n' roll screamer turned industry insider.
What is Griffin's claim to fame?
"First of all, he had the king-sized testicular fortitude to walk around Cosmic Cowboy Austin, circa 1972, looking like Sly Stone stepping off the mothership and straight into Ziggy Stardust’s closet. Then he walked straight off River City’s streets, into Mother Earth and onto its stage, providing the Big Beat and wailing vocals for one of the city’s first glam rock outfits, the sadly under-recorded Franklin’s Mast," Austin Chronicle contributor Tim Stegall writes in the series kickoff.
The series, authored by music journalists, collaborators and Griffin himself, recounts incendiary live shows, rambunctious shenanigans and dicey nights Griffin, dressed in women's clothing, spent staring down hostile rednecks.
"Racism is an abstract concept until it rears its ugly head and glowers at you dead in the face!" Griffin writes. "Franklin’s Mast was subjected to serial incidents of abject racism during its four-year tenure. The cause of most of our adverse experiences was rooted in white supremacist male paranoia. We were an erotically charismatic, sexually attractive band of Black-Eurasian-Caucasoid glam."
Griffin said the band's female following was "steadfast and extremely supportive and helped us weather the seemingly incessant storms of homophobic bile, and venomous, microcephalic, racial epithets."
Austin Music Foundation will continue to publish daily blogs about Griffin through the end of the month. Griffin is currently working on his autobiography, a Black music history education program and a socio-cultural talk show, "Black Is The Apex."