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Update: A wall plastered with 25 years of band stickers lives on at Austin's Continental Club

(UPDATE: A funny and good thing happened when they started this project: They figured out a way to save the wall after all. We've updated this story with what happened.) 

A chapter of Austin music history was supposed to close on Thursday when the Continental Club removed a wall near the back door where Dianne Scott curated a collection of Austin music and art stickers for over 25 years.

Instead, once the renovation of the club's back stairs began, workers figured out a way to save the wall. This was a surprise to Scott, who earlier in the week thought she was saying goodbye to the physical reminders of decades of memories.

“I didn’t expect to get so emotional,” the longtime publicist for the club said, brushing away tears as a trio of photographers captured her image in front of the wall during a rollicking happy hour with honky-tonker Redd Volkaert on Tuesday night.   

Contractors had believed the wall would need to be removed to repair the club’s back stairs.

Scott said she was blown away by the community response to a minor renovation at the beloved South Austin haunt. Her Facebook posts about the wall earlier in the day on Tuesday generated over 400 responses, she said. They also led to an offer to preserve a section of the wall at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, which she gratefully accepted. (Now that the main wall will be preserved, a small section that was removed for the renovation will go to the museum.) 

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Dianne Scott, longtime publicist at The Continental Club, curated a wall of stickers and photos next to the back stairs for over 25 years. The wall was scheduled to be removed this week.

For decades, Scott worked the back door to the club five to seven nights a week. One night, “Shoeshine” Charley Miller, who kept a stand near the club’s sound booth, gave her his stick-on backstage pass from a Jimmie Vaughan concert.

“I brought this for your wall,” he told her.

“I already had a few stickers up there,” she said. “But once that one went up there, then I curated it. Suddenly, it became much more important that things I wanted up there, got up there. And things that I didn't want up there came down immediately.”

One day while Dianne Scott was working the back door at the Continental Club, "Shoeshine" Charley Miller gave his backstage pass from a Jimmie Vaughn concert to her to stick on the wall. She began building her collection around the sticker.

In the early days, bands who assumed the wall was a center for freeform promotion were swiftly rebuked.

“I would actually watch them start to put (their stickers) up there, and I would go up and take them right down,” Scott said.

“I'm sorry, you didn't have permission. This is an invitation-only wall,” she would tell them.

She reserved the space for businesses and bands she supported. If a band played a set she liked, they won a spot on the wall. If she was on the fence, she tucked their stickers aside for further consideration. Maybe one day they would go up, but maybe not.

“It kind of became a thing for bands. To them, it was really important for them to be on the wall,” Scott said.  

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Observing her growing collection, Continental regulars contributed limited edition stickers and collectibles. Wayne “the Train” Hancock gave her the first sticker he ever printed. It was the first collector’s item that went missing.

“Somebody stole it. And the thing was that there were remnants of it still on the wall. So they hadn't even gotten the whole sticker. My heart was broken because I knew there weren't any more of those to be had,” she said.

The wall grew to spotlight a wide assortment of Austinites and touring artists alongside South Austin memorabilia and local political movements including multiple campaign stickers from Kinky Friedman’s 2006 gubernatorial run. Split Lip Rayfield and Southern Culture on the Skids always brought new merch when they came to the club for regular multi-night stands and consequently, they are the best represented artists on the wall. The wall became a snapshot of Austin music history, featuring many “dead bands” who live on in the memory of fans and phantom reverberations in the club’s mortar. 

At one point, club owner Steve Wertheimer offered to shellac Dianne Scott's sticker wall to preserve the collection, but she declined. She considered it a "living museum." A portion of the wall still will be donated to the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture.

Stickers became worn away over the years as artists brushed up against the wall while loading in gear. At one point, club owner Steve Wertheimer offered to shellac the wall to preserve the stickers, but it felt wrong to Scott, who said she considered her collection “a living museum.”

With the wall left in place, the museum will live on. On Thursday, Scott said that she and Patrick Morehead, the club's head door guy, had been setting aside stickers to start the new wall. They will now be used to grow the collection. 

Scott said a few favorites from past Buck Owens Birthday Bashes will be among the next stickers to go up.