#104 / Pinche Gringo: Garrett T. Capps and a New SA Anthem That Needs to be Recorded NOW

(photo by E.L.)

(photo by E.L.)

I first heard “San Antone” when Garrett T. Capps performed it with a full band at Sam’s Burger Joint in 2014.

It was one of those unforgettable performances by one of SA’s musical kamikazes, and last January 5 Capps offered another, stripped-down version at The Mix, on the same night he shared the bill with The Bolos (performing with drummer Sarek Gutiérrez for the last time) and Lonely Horse (one of the first shows by guitarist Nick Long post-hand injury; and pardon the focus problems… I had left my glasses at the taco stand by Limelight. It gets better after a few minutes).

This time, Capps once again proved his versatility and unpredictable spirit. Doing his one-man show, his left foot was erratic, but his right hand was merciless. He then improvised a loop, stood up, and talked for a few minutes, managing the crowd with the conviction of a stand-up comic (jump to about 4:15), before going back to his seat to read his huevos rancheros/barbacoa/puffy tacos cheat sheet (7:10) and closing the show on a high note. It was a superb performance, better appreciated if you know the lyrics:

“I was born in San Antone (x 2)

even though I’m a gringo,

I was born in San Antone

When I was younger and feelin’ so bold

everyone told me to never leave home

I said I’m sorry but I gotta go

but I was born in San Antone.

Went to Boystown, caught the donkey show

then San Marcos, Midland and Arlington

couldn’t get a gig in Austin

‘cuz I was born in San Antone.

Out in Denver, man they get too stoned

women in Portland are just skin and bone

LA, Nashville, New York, NO

when you were born in San Antone.

Jumped up to Europe by way of a boat

stranded in Dublin without no coat

someone asked me, “Where’d you come from, bloke?”

I’ve come from San Antone.

Hit right through Paris, Prague, and Rome

drank wine till my blood ate through my bones

lost my direction, 10 times alone

far from San Antone.

I found myself down a deep, dark road

empty pockets and a wayward soul

then I heard somethin’ on the radio

sounded like San Antone.

It had deep blues roots, and a Vox organ

a groovy shaker, and a Fender tone

it said “she’s about a mover” and I was gone

gone home to San Antone.

Sir Doug, Flaco, and the Sun-Glos

Butthole Surfers and Bongo Joe

Ozzy pissin’ on the Alamo

Pistols at Randy’s Rodeo

Godfather on the radio

Gunther Hotel Robert Jo

Leon Valley, China Grove

South Side, West Side, Olmos

Alamo Heights and Stone Oak

USAA and Valero

HEB, Bill Miller, Clear Channel

Frost Bank, Rackspace, Santikos

Avery Johnson, George Gervin

Duncan, Bonner, Admiral

Memorial Day Miracle

lengua, nopalitos, menudo

bacon egg cheese with some pico

el pastor onions cilantro

over easy on huevos rancheros

carne guisada, queso fresco

Barbacoa y chicharrón

cheese enchiladas w/borracho

flauta, chalupa, special nachos

guacamole salad with my puffy tacos

I WAS BORN IN SAN ANTONE”

The problem is: the song hasn’t been recorded yet, and it is about fucking time he puts down those damn tracks. It is the type of song local music radio shows would love, especially in these times when the SA music scene desperately needs a solid radio structure to showcase the best local songs (and there are many great local songs and enough local music radio shows; bands and more fans than we think love them).

“[There is] no recorded version,” confirmed Capps. “I am currently in the studio as we speak, working on a heavy [rock’n’roll] album similar to Radical Sabbatical, but more refined. ‘San Antone’ isn’t on it but there will someday be a recorded version.”

Dude, c’mon! Anyway… According to Capps, “the story [of “San Antone”] is slightly based on reality, but is basically just about how killer SA is.” Yeah, yeah, very nice. But what are you waiting for to record it? I imagine Augie Meyers singing the taco/barbacoa part while adding some Vox organ. Capps laughs and tells me he’s working on his upcoming R&R album with Phil Luna (The Please Help) and Shawn Terry (Guilty Strangers), which is great too. I understand Capps has (so far) at least three sides to his act: the country-ish, the killer frontal guitar assault, and the one-man band, and he wants to keep things separate. But what’s wrong with adding “San Antone” to a R&R mix? Both Terry and (especially) Luna, who sings each song as if it was the last, could perfectly bring out the best of it. Guys: Don’t wait. Record it now. That song’s a winner, an instant classic. I expect something first thing in the morning.

Garrett T. Capps getting hot at The Mix. (photo by E.L.)

Garrett T. Capps getting hot at The Mix. (photo by E.L.)

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