Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tyler Beard, Mr. Cowboy Boot

My friend Gene Fowler alerted me to the passing of Tyler Beard, the western enthusiast who single-handedly did more to elevate the cowboy boot into high art. His coffeetable books were inspirational. I knew he was the real deal when I visited Pablo Jass in Lampasas, considered the best traditional bootmaker among bootmakers, and saw he had a pair ready for Tyler.

There's a nice tribute site to Tyler here:

Until Gene told me, I didn't realize that Tyler used to be Barry Beard, drummer for Max Pageant, a Dallas glam rock ground that ran with the semi-legendary Werewolves, one of Texas' pioneering glam rock group, the Werewolves, whom I respected mainly because Keith Ferguson held them in high esteem and often complimented their use of scarves.

Going from shag-cut, satin pants, platform shoes to cool, handcrafted cowboy boots was a smooth transition for Beard, which is why his passing leaves such a big dang hole.
Thanks for inspiring us all, Tyler. Godspeed.


Azimuth-Solar said...

Thanks very much, Joe Nick, for mentioning the Tyler Beard tribute website. Anyone who knew Tyler & Teresa-- or even if you didn't know them but were touched by their work-- is invited to contribute a message, a story, or photograph(s), to the site, which is intended to be an ongoing project, a living memorial.

Just to set the record straight: Tyler, in his earlier glam rocker phase when he was named Barry, was not actually a member of The Werewolves, he was a friend of the group. Barry was drummer for an early '70s Dallas rock group called Max Pageant. They wore scarves, also-- it was part of the outfit in those days, for most all glam rockers of either gender.

And speaking of setting the record straight: we Dallas glam rockers were anything but mincing. We couldn't have been called he-men by any stretch, but underneath the mascara, rooster tail shag haircuts, scarves, and satin pants we were (and still are) manly men who loved and revered women (and still do), and the women loved us (and still do) for it.

-Allen Stovall (also a friend of Gene Fowler)

Joe Nick Patoski said...


Thanks for setting the record straight. I've made adjustments as noted.

And maybe "mincing" wasn't the right word to use, although when I visualize the New York Dolls, David Johansen is definitely mincing. "Poofy-haired" or "Shag-cut" are prolly more appropriate. Most of all, going glam in Dallas was indeed a whole' nother thang from glam rocking in LA, NY, Cleveland, or Detroit. The 'Wolves were the band from the scene, although as Gary Myrick reminded me, Krackerjack was getting on a vaguely similar groove on in Austin.

Regardless of one's sexual inclination, it took balls to be a glam rocker in Texas back then.

Here's to scarves, satin, rooster cuts and stacked heels and to Tyler/Barry!

Azimuth-Solar said...

Much obliged, Joe Nick.

Tyler (in his incarnation as Barry) Beard was an influential figure in the early '70s Dallas scene (come to think of it, he was influential in almost every scene he participated in), though it wasn't as much through playing in a rock band as it was though his *just being there*, wearing the most unique and individualized outfits you'd ever see, and inventing the wildest haircuts he'd try out on the daring souls who'd let him.

But the main purpose of saying this is to stress that Tyler never went halfway when he decided to adopt, or evolve into, a persona and its concomitant lifestyle. He became an authentic expert on the big picture as well as the details of whichever culture or sub-culture he lived in at a given time. That's why he always came across as the real deal, no matter what setting he was in.

And he is definitely missed.

-Allen Stovall

Anonymous said...

you are missed

Anonymous said...

you are missed

Anonymous said...

you are missed

Chaz said...

I knew him as Barry. In Portsmouth NH where he was a hairdresser who only wore black, even had black sails on his boat. He had long black hair and bangs and wore flowing long linen jackets. Nobody knew his last name. Nobody knew he was from TX. He was quirky and would do things like measure every room in his house routinely, remove all possessions except a futon mattress and 1 pan from their house. Found out today he was Mr Western and my mind is blown.