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Wi-Fi & A Little Ol’ Tale From Texas Rock Lore

July 10th, 2016 · Tags:Arts · Coffee Shops · Wi-Fi

La Grange Exit Selfie

With this new fad, now that records … or albums … or vinyl have become back en vogue, I don’t feel as silly for still carrying around a few crates of music from back in the day.  But man … I wish I had my old 45s too.  For the younger audience, 45s were the small records … the singles … the hit songs and an extra song on the back … a couple of songs sold separately from the record albums or LPs.

My friends and I used to play Led Zeppelin’s “Over The Hills And Far Away” over and over trying to figure out the lyric.  I think the line is “Darlin, darlin, take a walk with me … you’ve got so much …”  We were convinced Robert Plant was asking the darling lady to do something else … I digress.

Lots of other singles come to mind … but perhaps none conjure memories like one of my ZZ Top 45s.  There were extenuating circumstances.  Every summer, this friend of the family came to town to visit.  She was my older sister’s friend … and hot … and had a great personality and looked mature for her teen years … but best of all, she really liked this same ZZ Top song. So we would wait for it to play on the radio, and turn it up, singing along, trying to mimic Billy Gibbons’ cool bluesy lines.

“How, how, how …”  “Hmm, hmm, hmm …” “Have mercy!”

Ha … at that point in my development, she could probably match Billy’s low, gravelly voice better than I … I digress.

I had to have it and so I bought the single at the first opportunity, in order to play it over and over on a very mediocre little record player.

Do you remember “La Grange?”  For additional points, what was the flip side of the record?

Ha! Side B was the song “Just Got Paid.” I think the only reason I remember that is because I thought it was fun to play “Just Got Paid” with the record player set on 78 speed.  Ha … “That little ol’ band from Texas” could really crank out that chord progression with a little more rpm. I digress …

Debbie was not impressed …

Anywho … the song “La Grange” has always been a favorite and a subject of fascination, given its topic — a seedy part of Texas lore about a house outside La Grange.  (ha … think “rhymes with lore” …)

So … all this is to set up a blog about a recent motorcycle ride between Houston and Austin for the Fourth of July, which put me smack dab in the red light district of Texas Rock History … such history … I had no choice but to stop and shoot a selfie, and cruise around.

“Rumor spreadin’ around, in that Texas town

‘Bout that shack outside La Grange

And you know what I’m talkin’ about

Just let me know if you wanna go

To that home out on the range

They gotta lotta nice girls out there.”

As I was riding and humming the song, I saw a sign promoting another establishment … a coffee house with a sign out on the highway touting wireless Internet.

It said, “They gotta lotta nice Wi-Fi there …” or maybe I made that part up …

Timing is everything.  The more famous of the two establishments is said to have closed many years before and the Wi-Fi coffee house was closed on Sunday.

But for the sake of a blog, and hopeful that I could also use their network to send an e-mail or two, I whipped off the road and got off the bike by the courthouse on the quaint town square, and tried to log on at Latte On The Square.  Of course I checked in on Facebook as well.

By the way, in the hundreds and hundreds of places where I have checked in on Facebook, I think Latte On The Square is the first to “like” the check in (which I noticed later.)  Gratitude!

But darn the luck.  The coffee shop’s hotspot was up and running, but password protected.  No free ride, so to speak.


Latte On Square

“I can do this,” I thought, trying to fool myself, or pretending to be a hacker.  Surely the password is something memorable and La Grange specific.”

I started typing … 78 speed … spitting out words and phrases, hoping to get on.

Of course I tried, “Z-Z-T-O-P.”  (That’s what I would have made it.)  I tried “Tres Hombres,” … strike two.  I tried “beard,” and I tried “Frank Beard,” (ironically the name of the only ZZ Top band member without a beard.)

No dice.

I continued with “La Grange, chicken ranch, have mercy, home out on the range” … and “the air is fine,”  and the one I considered to be my finest work “They gotta latte nice girls there.”

Side note … all of this was going on about the same time Led Zeppelin was being sued in court, accused of plagiarizing a band called Spirit (yes, we know them) in the all-time FM classic of classics “Stairway To Heaven.”  And also interesting, ZZ Top was sued over the blues intro to La Grange, so strongly influenced by John Lee Hooker’s version of “Boogie Children.”

Boogie Chillun

But anyway … Wi-Fi out on the range was not to be. Not even a close shave with rock destiny.  This day in La Grange, I did not get lucky.  On to Austin …

Know what I sayin?