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Bill Oliver

INTERVIEWERS: David Todd (DT) and David Weisman (DW)
DATE: April 11, 2002
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
TRANSCRIBERS: Chris Flores and Robin Johnson
REEL: 2179

Please note that the video includes as much as 60 seconds of color bars and sound tone for technical settings at the outset of the recordings. Numbers correlate with the time codes on the VHS tape copy of the interview. “Misc.” refers to various off-camera conversation or background noise, unrelated to the interview.

DT: What was your interest in the outdoors and protecting the environment?
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BO: Well, I had a family that I—that I called who was—who was the Briargrove Ditch—it was the drainage ditch. I wasn’t raised really on a pristine creak or river or swamp. It was the ditch. We had a whole day we could follow the ditch to the Buffalo Bayou, but usually we wound up at the ditch. And you could catch turtles and frogs, snakes and typhoid at the ditch, but never your parents. Parents didn’t go to the ditch. Kids went to the ditch. And one hot day we came after school down to the ditch where it’s cool.
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The nearest filling station a half a mile away that covered the water with fuel. That was my first oil slick too and it wiped out the ditch and it was—it was kind of dramatic. You know at—then we didn’t really—it was like, “Yeah, boy look at all this huge fish, yeah, its easier to catch the fish and the turtles now.” But, after a while it seeped into me as, “Wow, that was a real massacre” and it, you know, effected me later on. That ditch is all of concrete
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culvert now, but it lives on in my mind.
DT: Could you also maybe pull us up to the—maybe a later phase in your life, going to school, going to college any sort of later exposure to the outdoors?
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BO: Yeah. In the late ‘70s, I was moving from protest anti-nuclear movement singing songs and—and going to the Austin Community College. Took some field biology courses, was really enjoying field biology and the Austin Community College—very accessible sc—course. And there was an instructor there who introduced me to the wilderness issues of East Texas and he introduced them on a very—he was not trying to be a journalist about it—he’s—he’s a scientist, but he was bringing in the at—the angles that made me very impressed. I mean it was subjective. He had some feelings about it and it
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was that that got me real involved in more br—broader environmental issues.
Texas has the reputation
Of desert lands and open spaces.
Dust bowl towns and weathered faces,
Empty prairies and desert mesas.
Strangers traveling across the nation
Passing through on their vacation
Think all that they’ll find is sand
Aren’t prepared for the forest stands
That dominate all of East Texas.
Forest rich and as complex
As any in our hemisphere.
Trees as old as a thousand years.
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And he introduced me to Ned Fritz through this thing. Ned Fritz, sort of a John Muir of East Texas wilderness forest and the—the fight between glo—tree farming and saving wilderness areas. Saving the hard wood, saving the oldest forest and habitats in Texas and—and of course, Ned Fritz is a—gone onto make a national movement out of that and to try to end logging on national forest and that was in the late 70’s. It was a major—major move. I also met a lot of folks there, some really nice folks at the community college. It was important to the teachers there.
DT: All right. Well, let’s talk a little bit about how you got started performing. Were there some early memorable performances that signaled what might come for later?
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BO: Oh man, I wanted to be Chuck Berry, but then I wanted to be Smokey the Bear. So, Smokey the Berry, I never could decide. I hated those career choices. Yeah, first song was Streets of Laredo in third grade. Actually, the first song I rewrote was The Battle of D—Davey Crockett for my younger—my infant sister when she was—when I was six and she was newborn, Little Rock, Arkansas. I don’t remember that song. But, yeah, the—then high school bands, rock and roll bands, Beatles and by early college it was—it was more back to Dillon and acoustic guitar and then I started to make up a few of my own. But, the
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early performances—early performances—I don’t—we open for the—we opened for Beatles, actually once. There was—actually the movie Help I don’t know on top of the drive-in movie theatre, but it was a big deal in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. I know—I know it was for our band, The Savers, I think that band was. I lived in Pennsylvania for a year, last year of high school. Yeah, by—by ‘68 that would make me 20. I’m 19 going on 20.
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I—the biggest episode of my life was actually leaving Texas and going to the Mississippi River and floating down that Mississippi River for the summer with my friend A. Glen Meyers, another song writer who was in a little band—folk—folk rock band with me at Arlington, Texas, UT Arlington at the time. And it was at—it was the culmination of years and years of reading Mark Twain at the drainage ditch and—and escaping through the imagination—through some place else. And that—that river be—the ditch became the river and the radio was playing songs from Louisiana swamps and I wanted to be Doug
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Kershaw and live in a houseboat in the swamps. All of this came to—together when I was 19 at U.T. Arlington and we broke through—broke out of it and went to Hannibal, Missouri and spent three and a half months floating back to Texas. It was the longest all water approach to Dallas ever attempted.
DT: What was your boat or raft like?
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BO: Well, it was oil drums. It was—it was a eight—eight or ten feet wide by about 15 feet long and it had a cabin it was—it was like a well-built tree house, but it was a little too heavy for a boat. So, kind a submerged a little too much and then we had a 1920—1939, 22 horsepower outboard used in the Normandy Invasion. With us it lasted about two months, but it was—it saved our lives, got us around some obstacles in the river and we used it for steering mostly. It wouldn’t go upstream. But, we wrote some songs and it
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changed our lives—both of our lives. We decided it—well, we decided to per continue pursuing the music and our writing. Actually, we didn’t make—have—have any decisions to make because the military intervened and it was a bad time to drift all your college deferment. At the time I was pushing a TV camera in Dallas. A big station, WFAA in Dallas, thought—thought that was going to be my future but the cameras were too big. So, and there wasn’t enough drifting and so we—the music intervened—finally took over.
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DT: What was the experience on the river that—that taught you that—that songwriting and singing was your future?
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BO: Well, it—it just—how it—the success of it. We’ve—we took on the communities. We—it wasn’t a wilderness trip so much. It was—we were—we met people and played in bars and mobile homes and sandbars and wherever we were. Lots of places, variety of stuff, churches, radio shows and enjoyed it a lot. I always enjoyed playing and it—this just shifted the subject to—more from original material to—than, you know, our entertain—than singing the songs we liked as, you know, entertainers.
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DT: Did any of these songs have an environmental spin to them or were they mostly folk songs?
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BO: There were a lit—some of both. I think the—the best song to come out of that era was—or my favorite song out of there was my song by my friend Glen—Glen Meyers who just passed away, but—called Tennessee Myth and it was about an island—we met five families of black people who had never been off the island.
There’s a place in the bluffs of Tennessee where the people still live by their family tree.
A hundred years don’t mean a thing they say.
Five generations of negras (inaudible).
So that was more of a social study. The closer we got actually being Mark Twain era pre-Civil War feeling.
DT: Could you tell us where your environmental songwriting and singing might have begun and why you chose to go that route?
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BO: Well, I—I didn’t make a choice, you know, I was the—I wanted to be a forest ranger. I wanted to be a rock and roller, Chuck Berry, Smokey Bear. This is all, you know, preadolescence and it never we—that’s—that never went away and I didn’t like the idea of making a career choice because it was not a, you know, it’s—neither one of the—I don’t know. The music was definitely drawing away from a real career—professional career into something else. And so by the time I got through school and er-r-r, Mississippi River trip
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and the military and I knew I always wanted to play music. And I did play, you know, bars and lounges during those years and—but we had enough adventures and were exposed to other people writing, like my friend Glen Meyers. He’s a very serious writer. He knew he wanted to be a writer and he—that was a—that was my strongest example of someone writing about what they wanted to write about. A lot of his images were natural and human interacting with nature. Not exactly vi—environmental, but it was—also during that area whe—where there’s a lot of protests and commentary social study—social songs were
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important to me. The Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger School of Simple Songs that are about what your—you think are important. And in through there came the nuclear years of—probably most of the 70’s and I was quite involved in that.
DT: (Inaudible)
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BO: Let’s see. This is write—this was written right after—for Three Mile Island, of course.
Too cheap to meter it’s a guarantee.
Too cheap to meter why it’s almost free.
Too cheap to meter with complete safety.
Too cheap to meter is the power to be.
Cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap
It’s kind of a public hearing song, actually. We—I took a pow—electric meter to the city
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council and asked him to take it back because we were about to have our own nuclear power plant down in the gulf and we wouldn’t need these anymore.
Then come the springtime Saturday night the Susquehanna Valley almost did shine.
All of …and it—so it goes on and on. Its about what happened there and I—well, it didn’t quite work out and you can—maybe you ought to keep your electric meters because its—its going to get actually get more expensive. But then after that—that got a little bit much single-issue sort of thing and I didn’t want to do that. And I was writing in the margin, writing songs about container deposit legislation for the Texas Sierra Club. That was:
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If cans were nickels and
Nickels were cans
We wouldn’t have cans
All over the land.
If bottles were nickels
And not on the ground
We’d use them one
more time around.
I think it was the forestry issue the Texas Committee on Natural Resources that really was a breakthrough. Its like this is where I really like to be a lot and the—and the wild places and the rivers and floating and hiking a little bit. Not that I’m a great backpacker. I like—like a lazy afternoon in a open kayak actually the most. But around about that time I met Glen Waldek in—in Maryland in a upper shore—eastern shore of Maryland. And he’s a real marsh guy and a wetlands guy and a tremendous entertainer and engaging performer a
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and songwriter and life—lives life very, very large. And I was 24 and he was 14 and we started playing these bars in the eastern shore that he couldn’t go in as a patron, but he could and—as a—and it would—musician, as a drummer, his folk guitar and full set of drums. He’s a big rock and roll drummer, but he’s also playing songs by Gordon Lightfoot and Kris Kristofferson on his guitar and while we were working the gravel on the road crew there at—at the family resort that I kind of—institution that I married into for a little while. And he grew up in this eastern shore, real nice beautiful area and his father was a drummer, handyman and Glen’s a handyman and a drummer, son of a handyman drummer. And a solo person, a tremendous performer and songwriter now, but we—we cut our teeth together playing the streets in New Orleans and San Francisco and—and we would take little side trips—canoe trips on the Natchez River. There was one great trip out there, but I won’t—about—usually always had a boat around and after meeting Glen we—we formed a duo that got to be a—the—probably the—the main—the backbone of most of my environmental work. And we wound up singing for Earth First Years in the 80’s and going to a lot of Earth First rendezvous and it really sharpened our interest in forestry issues and songs and wilderness—wilderness, endangered species and activism that way—direct action.
DT: Can you sing a song that (inaudible)?
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BO: Let’s see. How about—sure—get the other one out of my mind right now. The woodpecker rebellion, that was the clear cutting song that inspired—by Ned Fritz coming out of—going national some would say. A Texas version gone national.
So climb up you ladder backs red red (inaudible) get furious you flickers PO’d (inaudible). Well, curse the clear cutters
Raise hell like a hellion
We’re joining tonight the woodpecker rebellion.
When they clear-cut out west
They leave mountains with patches
Wounds in the forest that bleed in the streams
Forcing the salmon to change their direction,
Streams like the loggers too silty to sea.
Here we go. So, climb up your ladderbacks
See red red robins(inaudible)
Get furious you flickers PO’d (inaudible).
Well, curse the clear cutters
Raise hell like a hellion
We’re joining tonight the woodpecker rebellion.
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So, we have a slew of tree songs, quite a few of those.
DT: What were the Earth First’s get-togethers like?
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BO: Oh, well, there are hundreds of people for—for about a week ranting and raving and encouraging each other and wild tribal activities—spontaneous. It was a lot of music and planning, loose rhetoric and, you know, we’re going to shut down everything west of the Mississippi, things like that. But I think there were s—a lot of ac—functional rhetoric going on as well. We like the—like the rough and rowdy attitude of a lot of—a lot of the folks there. And a more of a—enough bureaucracy and enough dealing with our own
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people telling us—putting limitations on what we felt we needed to do, the no compromise ideas and move ahead. And there were activities in those days and things that we had nothing to do with—a lot of the ecos sabotage stuff. Actually, I—I don’t think there was that many—much of it done by the leaders that—that we that some of—some of the leaders—some of the talkers—speakers there. Dave Foreman, for instance the bo—most charisma in the—in the movement, in his speaking and his writing and his ideas and his leadership. And that was—it was a very—had a—had a lot of—to offer on a variety of
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levels besides the so-called illegal activities. And we worked—Glen and I worked with the—with those folks and—on—Texas especially had a really good group of activists that were dedicated and chained themselves to a few bulldozers and actually stopped a few timber sales that way and held off until—one particular episode the attorney general actually did stop a sale and it was held up in—by—by civil disobedience. And there’s plenty of episodes that were encouraging like that. I never particularly got arrested. I was just singing—singing to them there and I didn’t want to pay bail.
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DT: Well, besides I guess working with Earth First and—and the Texas Committee on Natural Resources, I understand you also perform for a lot of schools and—and for students and children. Can you talk about that venue as well and what sort of songs you might sing for them?
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BO: Well, while we were the—in our, you know, wilder activist days it became a natural selection, shall we say, that—or our—our attitude—or our approach to entertaining worked with youngsters—with young people and people with families. So, we were around them a lot and so every now and then we’d get slid into a school and our songs and our—or just a sense of editing or how to—what, you know, what to play where. We’d work—worked the streets a lot and we worked in bars and we worked here and there and we—our goal was
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not to go in there and get in trouble or get injured, but it was like to engage—to interface. And so we did that in schools and it was successful, so it got to be more successful and it paid better than those bars. It made it possible to do this other thing and it became in some ways a little—it became—backed into a career or job that threatened the rest of it because it was suddenly—we’re almost too respectable. But here we are today getting ready to do
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an event here for hundreds of school children with the City of Austin money and, you know, it’s all right.
DT: With the Otter Space Band?
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BO: Oh, the full Otter Space we’ll hear—will be here and they—the great guys they are, Doug Powell and—and Manda Lynn in vocals, Bob Livingston on the bass guitar and singing. He’s quite a character—worked with Jerry Jeff Walker most of his—for his day job. Paul Pearcy, percussionist, Beth Gallagher on Flute, saxophone and fiddle and Beth is
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a recent addition to the Otter Space Band. Not—she’s not new to Austin at all, all the others—we’ve been together for over 20 years.
DT: What other performances or events are going to be part of this big occasion tomorrow?
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BO: Right here at—right here at Zilker Hillside Theater, well, its four hours, we have a guest—an opening act with Frank Meyer and his dog Thumper will do a short set. But, groups from all over town—tree folks will be leading a scavenger hunt, there’s a seed ball making guy over here, the nature and science center bringing some animals down for the—at the Tortuguita Theatre, which will be live animals, which is always a big hit for the kids and folks a like. Oh, let’s see, there will be a couple—hikes to the creek and a boat parade on the mouth of Barton Creek up to—underneath Barton Springs Road.
DT: And you?
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BO: Yeah, and then we’ll play a concert in the middle of all that.
DT: Can you perform one of the songs?
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BO: Well, sure.
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BO: Yeah, if I can—yes, yes. Give me a little—yes. I’d love to. Okay. (Inaudible). I love that. Yeah. This is a song actually I put—put together in the early 70’s in this little house in South Austin. And finally—finally we have an event. It’s the title song for this event, April in Austin.
Beautiful April, April in Austin, we get a lot of rain
And the berries are falling.
Mockingbirds singing an April Fool’s song
Ain’t nothing ain’t nothing that can’t be resolved.
Indian paintbrush wave in the wind, while a Hawk overhead does a dive and a spin.
Help an old turtle cross an old highway and Do the blue bonnets and safety again.
April in Austin the tower bells ring.
The students are drifting across Barton Springs.
A lazy old Easter sunshine and showers,
Gathering Ladybird’s native wildflowers.
So, it’s a little theme song. If we get rained out we may have to do April in Austin in May. But its still Ap—you know, its still happened to people. Another one would be—we are across the street—across the parking lot from Barton Springs Pool and Barton Creek. The soul of the city—the heart of our habitat.
Austin is a summer city and Barton Springs Eternal.
Winter is short and the springs are pretty in Barton Springs eternal.
When it’s warm where do we go to remove most all our clothes?
The cleanest clearest swimming hole is Barton Springs Eternal.
It may be dry on Barton Creek in Barton Springs Eternal.
May not have rained in many weeks, but Barton Springs Eternal.
If it’s warm or if it’s freeze, it’s always 68 degrees
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In a world of uncertainties it’s Barton Springs Eternal.
Indians they use to come to Barton Springs Eternal
To feel the chill and to feel the sun in Barton Springs Eternal.
And as they filled their water sacks to them it was a sacred act
What would they say if they came back to Barton Springs Eternal?
Why do people worry so in Barton Springs Eternal?
They holler out “look out below” in Barton Springs Eternal.
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It’s a little twist on down and up when your aquifers an aqueduct.
What goes down and then comes up in Barton Springs Eternal.
How many times we read and weep, Barton Springs Eternal.
Watch development and as it creeps up Barton Springs Eternal.
This piecemeal progress and grand demise been mauled and golfed and condoized,
We don’t want no consignation prize.
We want Barton Springs Eternal, Barton Springs Eternal.
DT: When your—your act is done tomorrow and—and people go home, what—what sort of message do you think they should take with them? What sort of thoughts do you think you might pass on?
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BO: I want to reinforce how special the—this place is and that it’s—you can see downtown from here and still go swimming. And it’s the—the same message we’ve been saying for—forever here about this place and its—its—its not guaranteed at all. It’s highly threatened and it’s a wonderful spot and, you know, whenever you have—every person will have a little different—take something different with them or bring something to it. So, were not, you know, we don’t have a narrow thing, but we’re trying to provide a variety of
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thoughts and experiences and hands-on and have a good time and yeah, save it and have a good time at the same time, basically is what we’d like to do or pre—preserve it—protect it. And its not conservation its preservation for me. Its very important and we have a very good infrastructure here for that and, you know, the community’s trying, though the community’s getting much larger with folks that are here because it’s a nice place and they’re kind of too busy to join in, unfortunately.
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DT: You said you’ve sung some songs about places that should be protected. Could you maybe sing a song about some of the protectors I think that David had mentioned earlier—David Brower.
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BO: Brower, Arch Druid.
High on a trail in Yosemite Park
Two hikers were approaching
And as they passed they exchanged a glance,
Not a word was spoken.
One was hiking down
One was headed up
Each carried a heavy camera.
Aren’t you David Brower?
Aren’t you Ansel Adams?
Now we’re hiking down trails,
Hiking down trails,
Hiking down trails for you.
Who knows who you’ll meet when
You follow your feet hiking down trails with you.
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A mountain man who lived a life from the highest ridge
Remembers the day San Francisco Bay was spoiled by the Golden Gate Bridge.
A mountain man could give a damn when dams were building
Up and drank a dram Tanqueray from his Sierra cup.
Now we’re knocking down dams,
Knocking down dams,
Knocking down dams for you and We do it for the Arch Druid.
Knocking down dams for you.
Brower and Muir—he was
A—long is the legend of the life of John Muir
Many are the dangers he braved.
Without his leadership you can be sure
His sanity would never been saved.
A century later the battle remains
The momentum you’re facing is huge,
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so is the movement inspired by his name.
May his courage and his work live in you.
Muir power to you,
May the strength of a redwood be yours.
Muir power to you
With the grip of a glacier endures,
Muir power to you.
John Muir would have been proud.
He traveled alone on a thousand mile hikes
When the weather was warm or with freeze.
He loved the Sierra when it filled up a storm
And he was tied atop a swaying tree.
Worshipped her beauty of all he could see
Even when he was robbed of his sight.
When his vision returned he would go on to be
The protector of the range of life.
Muir power to you as you look with the light from within,
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Muir power to you.
As the wilderness becomes your friend
Muir power to you.
John Muir would have been proud.
DT: You’re known as—as ‘Mr. Habitat’ and I think part of that is because of all these wonderful songs about places and people that are important, but I think it may also be connected with a certain song.
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BO: Yeah, hope so:
Habitat, habitat have to have a habitat
You have to have a habitat to carry on.
Now I did—I did write—I did make this song up somewhere in the late 70’s. I think it was one lonely night in Illinois on a winter night driving some school tour and it—it does use a very familiar cord progression, but I haven’t been sued over it yet, so I like that. Back to the Woody Guthrie would have done—what would Woody Guthrie have done. He—he couldn’t stop. The (?) process is a habitat.
The ocean is a habitat a very special habitat
Where the deepest waters at
Where the biggest mammals at
Where our future food is at.
Keeps the atmosphere intact,
The ocean is habitat we depend on.
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Habitat, habitat have to have a habitat, habitat, Have to have a habitat, habitat,
Habitat, have to have a habitat.
You have to have a habitat to carry on.
The river is a habitat a very special habitat
Where the deepest water where the freshest water for people, fish and muskrat,
But when people dump their trash rivers take the biggest rap.
The river is habitat we depend on.
People are different than foxes and rabbits
Affect the whole world with our bad habits.
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Better to love while we still have it
Or rat it tat tat and more habitats gone.
Habitat, have to have a habitat.
Habitat, have to have a habitat,
Habitat have to have a habitat
You have to have a habitat to carry on.
You have to have a habitat to carry on.
DT: I guess we should wrap up. Is there anything you’d like to add?
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DW: I just curious, you know, you’ve obviously been the environmental troubadour now well, since before the First Earth day and having seen that come and go I’m wondering how—you’ve talked about your experiences with the Dave Foreman crowd in the early days, how do you compare where the movements at now in the say, Julia Butterfly day versus the Dave Foreman day and if—and in seeing, you know, are the young people of today coming at it from a different way and do you—and I don’t know if you’ll say you’ll think it will work or not, but do you—have you seen a sort of arc in the—the people behind the environment or movement? Do you need new songs for a new generation? It’s sort of—is it a different movement today among the young people?
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BO: Well, I—I spend a lot of time with people who are involved with it, so and—and a lot of energy so, it would seem like it’s a healthy strong movement. But actually I’m—it’s always been that way—I’ve always been with these—this folk—these folks as much as possible. But, interfacing with the rest of the population is kind of frightening. I think its actually—the population is getting bigger—the population that’s—that doesn’t care is getting bigger. The corporations are—are out of control or in control, not that they weren’t
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always before. They’re just—they’re making the Julia Butterflys very important, however, they’re circling amongst themselves a lot as well for—for comfort. We need that—we do—we need a lot of solace amongst the groups and the effectiveness is yet to be seen, that’s for sure. That’s—I think it’s a matter of elim—of diminishing—eliminat—I mean—save as—save wha—save what can be saved with the most possible and personally for me (?) I wish I had a song for every thought that I…
DT: (Inaudible)
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BO: Yeah. This is where it gets weird. I don’t—I’m not the best per—but I’ll—I mean, you know, fine.
DT: No, no, I just thought…
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BO: No, it’s a good—I wish have—I wish I had a better answer.
DW: I know you play in schools and one of the things we’ve heard from a lot of people we interview is that the ed—the corporations we are talking about are now going and giving a curriculum to help with the teachers that tells about the benefits of strip mining and nuclear power. And so here you come as sort of an antidote to that and I’m wondering when you encounter the kids if you’re dealing with these—countering these other that your actually seeing that they’re having an effect that’s like—have you had that happen in schools?
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BO: Well, I don’t know some day it feels like I’m going to lose it with these schools that are—the—there’s a lot of beautification programs out there and I—and—and I work for that and its so—its very—its important to have a beautification theme. But I really feel like a lot of people—they—they have so much energy—only so much energy and once the litter’s picked up the—everybody feels so much better and the problem’s over. And that’s not the problem that I—I see at all and its just—its masking it. We’re giving highway fines in Texas roadsides for littering right next to clear cuts and refineries that get away with a
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lot of criminal activity. And it’s—it’s not just Texas but its at lot – it’s certainly—we’re leading the way. And actually it’s—
[singing] “Don’t mess with Texas, Exxon and Mobil,
Don’t mess with Texas Freeport Mac Moran,
don’t mess with Texas or Formosa Plastic,
Don’t mess with Texas water, air and land.
Don’t mess with Texas,
Endangered species, Houston and the horny toad here before you,
Laugh and snicker at these lowly critters,
Cave dwelling invertebrates have more backbone than you.
Looking at the litter on the side of the road People should be busted for the trash they unload.
Looking at the bigger picture in the corporate acts
And how they get permitted makes me blow my stack.
Don’t mess with Texas state Legislature,
Good ‘ole boy lobby, revolving bureaucrats.
Don’t mess with Texas green washing ad men,
Your advertisements make me cry unless I laugh.
Don’t mess with Texas, it’s quite the message,
I think its great I hope we clean up the roads.
The bigger message, the bigger messes, the bigger message also needs to be told.
Looking at the litter on the side of the road
Some people should be busted for the trash they unload.
Looking at the bigger picture and the grandfather acts
And how they get permitted with a fine and a slap.
Don’t mess with Texas, Exxon and Mobil.
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Don’t mess with Texas, Freeport Mac Moran.
Don’t mess with Texas, clear-cutting loggers.
Don’t mess with Texas water, air and land.
Don’t mess with Texas.
Well that happens when I get excited.
DT: We’ve—we’ve succeeded in breaking your—your guitar for the time being. Can you maybe just in closing see if there is a final message about the bigger mess that we’re in that you’d like to impart?
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BO: Keep on. Keep trying. Never give up, that’s a Brower thing and well, in its—it we have—we have leaders like that in—in the state but we’re running s—its ru—its—in this state its huge—the population’s huge, the public lands are very tiny. And the—the—a lot of the private lands are actually great wonderful places and they have—that’s—that’s—there’s hope there. Our rivers are a mess. I—I love the rivers of Texas. There—we have a land of rivers, but there are more impoundments coming, there are more dams, there’s more water—the water issues are going to be huge. So, hang it—fight and fighting right now is
45:34 – 2179
very important for all of that and we don’t want our rivers to all be allocated away to—to golf courses and wasteful industries that are—I mean there are—we—there’s a lot coming down the river in my—in the future here and Texas has got to hang in. The environmental movement community is—got a lot of work ahead of them and they don’t need to be shy about it. They’ve got—they’ve got a lot of rude people they’re dealing with. They need to—they need to be strong and tough with them. I—I look forward to a lot of—a few more
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years of having a good time with—with these folks and in—in the personal pursuits. And I don’t feel personally responsible for all of this so I, you know, do have a lot of fun. But I—I like to encourage those with passion in the movement because there—there is and there needs to be more and its in the little ones—the little ones. If something happens in middle—middle—middle schools and by high school they’re—they’re adults and they’re—they either care or they don’t it seems like. So, I think that schools are real important in
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the—ear—especially in those early years—early education is quite important. And I hope to be around to see what’s next.
DT: Thanks for giving us some of the—the music and the fun and the passion to lead us on. Thanks very much for your time. I do appreciate it.
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BO: Thank you guys.
[End of Reel 2179]
[End of Interview with Bill Oliver]