Venue notes: Crystal Pistol, Tulsa OK
Defunct (early 80s?) cowboy bar, located at 725 N. Sheridan. Booker's name
was Greg Sewell, and the club was owned
by his mother-in-law. (Thanks to Greg Sewell.)
David Caylor, writing in Jan 2006, adds: "It was run by a woman named
Charlotte, probably mid 40s-50 at the time. The Crystal Pistol was an
enclave for an almost otherwise hostile, redneck, jock etc. (this was the
early 80s) kinda place. I was quite young but wanted to have a band and
drink beer, and at age 15 I could get in and order drinks and get a gig for
one of the upcoming 'punk nights.' We sucked, but many bands came through
town, and there were quite a few local bands that were great.
"There was a period where the Tulsa punk scene was really fun. I don't know
where I would've hung out if it weren't for places like the 'Pistol' and
various other venues that came and went. People were cool then, sort of.
They were just glad you showed up."
Greg Sewell, in a Mar 2013 Facebook note titled
TULSA "PUNK ROCK" : the first five years 1978 to 1983, elaborates:
East of Sheridan on the north side of town, a rough rowdy country &
western honky-tonk with a well deserved reputation. Every weekend night The
Crystal Pistol was filled to the gills with rednecks, shitkickers, and real
live cowboys. On the week nights though, it was deader than a door-nail. The
perfect place for desperadoes to hide-out in plain sight. Most of T-towns
lynch mob thought it'd never work, punks and cowboys was too darn of a
volatile formula. And thus, the great mid-western curiosity began. Not only
did the mixture succeed, this weird juxtaposition thrived! With a whole
dilemma of how to pin down blame? Location? Timing? Indifference? The
ambiguities of divergent cultures? It would be of more than one opinion,
above all else, that the owner Charlotte's tolerance, acceptance, and
understanding were truly mystical ingredients. The refugees of the cave
would forever be indebted to her.
The Three Rules For Bands Wanting To Book A Gig At The Crystal Pistol:
Rule 1. NO COVER BANDS
Rule 2. If you're a cover band, obscure songs only
NO LAME-ASSED RADIO TUNES
Rule 3. If you play lame-assed radio tunes
YOU'D BETTER MANGLE IT UP SO BADLY
THAT WE WON'T RECOGNIZE THEM.
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