A Cosmic Road
Updated: Apr 5
The hand of fate plays a big part of it. I have been in synergistic situations where good fortune shines on me. For instance, who would’ve ever thought in 1969 while driving down a dusty dirt road in North Hollywood I would pick up a hitchhiker who was Michael Murphey‘s auto mechanic. One thing led to another and he would lead me to Murphey the next day. I had a record deal out there and meeting Murphey was in a way an earth shattering experience. We played and wrote songs together and even lived in the same little mountain town of Wrightwood. My record deal fell through and so did Murphey’s so we decide there was only one thing to do and that was get back to Texas where we once belonged. We arrived in Austin sometime in 1971 guitars, amps and long hair flying. It wasn't long at all before we headed for Nashville and recorded the ground breaking album “Geronimo‘s Cadillac” for A&M records. Jerry Jeff Walker moved to Austin about the same time and we started playing with that rascal as well. The band was called the Lost Gonzo Band and we recorded and toured with both Murphey and Jerry Jeff for quite some time. After we put out Murphey‘s Cosmic Cowboy the next year, we left to join Jerry Jeff for good and recorded the album Viva Terlingua in Luckenbach, TX. Both Cosmic Cowboy and Viva Terlingua are enjoying their 50th anniversary this year. It’s amazing! Who would’ve ever thunk it?
I’m on the road a lot, sometimes solo, sometime duo, trio, and yesterday night I played with a full band. I love to travel and play for people. I am on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster and tour around the state as a “vetted“ Texas musician sometimes playing in “underserved Texas cities” like Van Horn, Pecos. and Mentone.
I’ve made several albums on my own, and I’ve written songs for myself and others. My biggest hit is a song I wrote with Ray Wylie Hubbard that was turned into a rap song by the gangsta rapper Lloyd Banks. It sold millions and I think that’s hilarious. I’ve written commercials and screenplays, and I’m just finishing up a book for Texas Tech Press. It is a rollicking memoir about the life and times of a gonzo on the road.
I’ve traveled the world for the United States State Department, taking my brand of Texas Music and stories to places as far flung as India, Pakistan, Vietnam, the Middle East and Africa. All of this travel and hard work informs my music and I have stories about it all.
In this world of violence and separation, my music gives me solace. Like I always say, “When all else fails, music prevails.”
- - Bob Livingston