Bob Schneider is a local musician and an Austin icon.
His new CD titled “Lovely Creatures” hits the stores on September 29th and for some reason reminds me of one of the many times I had met Bob.
Long, long ago... in a land far, far away, Bob and I just happened to be on the same all-night, illegal, traveling, poker game. They pick you up in an RV at an undisclosed location. A high stakes poker game then takes place on a traveling RV, supposedly to help avoid entanglements with the authorities, but it wasn't the authorities I was worried about. Most of the players (present company excluded, of course) were, well... let's just say you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
It was chaotic but surprisingly calm. A friendly knife fight here, a little gun play there and it wasn't uncommon for fireworks like a roman candle or M-80 to go off inside the RV - just your average, friendly, traveling poker game.
I, Bob and a gentleman known only as King Pancho were locked in a round of poker near midnight. Thousands of dollars, a Rolex watch, and rabbit’s foot were on the table. With the stakes that high, I decided to fold as I was holding five of the most worthless cards in poker history that I don't even think were from the same deck.
To make a long story short (too late), Bob eventually won the hand with four aces and a joker and took possession of all of King Pancho's money including King's pet rooster. Mr. Pancho claimed cheating was involved and when he pulled out a machete, Bob and I dove for the RV exit door doing 70 miles an hour.
Bob, I and the rooster landed in a pool of mud alongside the road and were all grateful to be alive.
The sun was starting to come up and so of course the rooster did what roosters do and crowed loader than anything I'd ever heard before or since. We named the mighty cock, Super Chicken.
We managed to hitch a ride back to Austin in the back of a pick-up truck. Bob and I were exhausted and didn't speak much but the journey back into town was constantly filled with the sound of Super Chicken screaming at the top of its lungs. Given what we'd been through, the sound of Super Chicken was almost soothing.
We arrived in Austin early in the morning and were dropped off at a popular coffee house called Les Amis. I remember Bob and Super Chicken were walking into Les Amis when I said to Bob, “I'll see you around” to which Bob replied, “Probably not.”
I'm not sure what ever happened to Super Chicken but I hope Bob's “Lovely Creatures” sounds better than Super Chicken at 6am in the morning.