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Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)

GUEST,Bruce Farwell 25 May 20 - 04:26 AM
GUEST,old aquaintance 13 Jan 16 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Bram Frank 17 Oct 15 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 08 Oct 15 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Frank Albrecht 06 Aug 14 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Debora Selinger 17 Mar 14 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Sharon W 21 Feb 14 - 12:06 PM
Mark Ross 28 Jan 14 - 09:40 PM
Duke 28 Jan 14 - 05:39 PM
GUEST 27 Jan 14 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,trapezoid 16 Aug 13 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,Tom Ghent 16 Feb 13 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 29 Nov 12 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Brian Grayson 29 Nov 12 - 07:57 AM
GUEST 29 Nov 12 - 06:36 AM
GUEST 29 Nov 12 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Jean Detheux 06 Jul 12 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 21 Mar 12 - 06:29 PM
Duke 10 Mar 12 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Jackie 09 Mar 12 - 06:28 PM
Duke 08 Nov 11 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Edward 08 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,dragonne de versailles france 07 Jun 10 - 05:58 PM
wysiwyg 29 Jan 10 - 01:13 AM
GUEST 28 Jan 10 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 09 Aug 08 - 10:51 PM
Peace 09 Aug 08 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Gervaise 09 Aug 08 - 09:29 PM
Mark Ross 22 Nov 05 - 03:33 PM
Peace 22 Nov 05 - 02:32 PM
chiknshak 22 Nov 05 - 02:13 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Aug 99 - 08:29 AM
Leslie Berman 03 Aug 99 - 07:07 AM
Sid Washer 26 Jul 99 - 11:05 AM
Winnie winston 26 Jul 99 - 07:42 AM
Saul Broudy 26 Jul 99 - 04:22 AM
Saul Broudy 26 Jul 99 - 04:15 AM
catspaw49 25 Jul 99 - 09:55 PM
Rick Fielding 25 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM
bbc 25 Jul 99 - 03:12 PM
dinah 24 Jul 99 - 10:39 PM
Jamie Fraser-Paige 24 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM
Jamie Fraser-Paige - 24 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM
Saul Broudy 23 Jul 99 - 06:20 PM
Bruce N. Solotoff 23 Jul 99 - 02:20 AM
Rick Fielding 23 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM
Ilene Thompson 22 Jul 99 - 11:37 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Jul 99 - 12:29 PM
Sid Washer 22 Jul 99 - 10:59 AM
Ivan Berger ( 22 Jul 99 - 05:19 AM
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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Bruce Farwell
Date: 25 May 20 - 04:26 AM

This seems so strange; I am writing a note 20 years after Tex Koenig passed away, but I wanted to add just a couple of my own thoughts about Tex. I knew Tex from his Greenwich Village days in 1963-64. He was an imposing sight--huge bear of a man with a small nylon-stringed guitar, playing lovely ballads and songs of the sea, with a huge heart and an open mind and personality. I used to love to hear him sing "Marianne". None of us made a lot of money playing in the basket houses in the Village, but several of us would frequently go down to Chinatown after singing all night, pool our money, and order several dishes to share together. I stayed in the Village about a year before going into the National Guard. When I got out, I joined a group called the Bitter End Singers (named for the Bitter End in the Village)and I lost touch with a lot of the basket house singers in the Village, including Tex. I heard from a friend out in California about Tex spending more time up in Canada. He also informed me that Tex had passed away several years earlier. I was sorry to hear of his passing; I enjoyed hearing him sing and I liked him as a person. I would love to have heard him play and sing up in Canada when I visited in the '70's and '80's. It was nice to find this thread on Mudcat and read more about Tex from some of the many people who knew him and called him friend. RIP, Tex. Save a place at the table for us.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,old aquaintance
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 06:44 PM

I met this man many years ago, and was reminded of him by someone today. He made a strong impression on me, and through time I came to hear that he was also appeared in films, later I heard he passed away.We met numerous times but only spoke at length maybe twice,in a setting that promoted skepticism and I was skeptical. There is also a tendency to look back at the past with rose-colored glasses, but I don't think i'm doing that. I have learned other things about him and now realize his unguardedness and good nature was authentic. I honestly think he brought the good out in people, that he influenced me in a way that I only come to understand now.For anyone else that knew him or remembers him I join you in remembering him with a true sense of appreciation.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Bram Frank
Date: 17 Oct 15 - 04:18 PM

I knew Tex had passed, but never found this site until now. I searched today because one of my kids was watching 'The Freshman' and, as I usually do when confronted by things from my past, typed his name into a search engine and this site popped up.

I met Tex in 1969 when I was a student at Concordia University in Montreal and he was living on St. André street in an upstairs walk-up. I hung around the folk and music scene (and even got what was called a LIP (Local Initiatives Project) grant from the Federal government to record local folk artists back in 1972 - and Tex was on the payroll.

We'd hang in his flat; we'd ALWAYS go out for Chinese food in Chinatown at 3 in the morning, we'd do the Yellow Door and the Karma Coffee house (where I'd do the sound) and such.

At the time he was living with a lady whose name I simply cannot recall (my memory is not what it was) and I still have one of his old cards from TK Knives somewhere, which used to sit under the glass on my then desk. I may have some reel-to-reel recordings from the old days in storage somewhere.

Unfortunately he and I lost contact when he moved away.

The years have passed, but the memory of Tex as a person larger than life lingers on. He was a good friend and is missed.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
Date: 08 Oct 15 - 05:02 PM

Tex was a good friend of my wife since she used to sneak down to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village when she was a teenager circa late 1950s.
After he moved to Canada, he used to call every few months to chat; always after midnight when the rates were cheaper.

We always knew a few days in advance that he was going to call. My wife or I got the feeling it was time to talk to him and within a day or two the phone would ring just after midnight.
He never gave out his number and Caller ID wasn't around, so we always waited for him to call

We got that feeling in '99 and waited expectantly, but after a week, we were worried and tried - unsuccessfully - to contact his sister in NYC. I got online and discovered his passing.

Got some memorable photos - Tex on my sofa with a guitar and cat in his lap; one he gave us of him on a motorcycle - s publicity shot from one of his acting roles.

Miss the big man.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Frank Albrecht
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 04:08 PM

I never knew Tex, but I'm glad I know him now.

A few months ago I watched "Hold-Up" for the first time, and Tex's character really stood out to me. He was like a combination of Paul Bunyan and Bluto. I loved the movie, and when I love a movie I look deeper into it.

After hearing Tex's only song on YouTube, I realized what a talent and a legend Tex was. I managed to buy a copy of his album on the internet and have been enjoying it ever since. I hope to convert them soon and put them on YouTube, for everyone to enjoy.

I've loved reading these stories about him, and he truly comes to life in them. It's nice to see he's still being thought of, even fifteen years later.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Debora Selinger
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 07:35 AM

At 5 am, I awoke in my hospital bed from an epileptic seizure and heard Tex's voice. This is the time when we would finally say goodnight, because all our frequent phone calls lasted most of the night. Unable to return to sleep, I put his name into a search engine and found this thread. Thank you for being there. I am one of his hundreds of best friends.

When I read the Whippoorwill poem, I heard it in Tex's voice. I read posts for an hour, pausing to reflect on each one, waiting for someone to mention the pocket chopsticks, with which he ate everything, not only Chinese food.

I met Tex in Toronto, don't remember exactly how, but we saw each other every Saturday because we both busked the Market, him in the farmers' north building, me in the one on the south side of Front St. I knew much about all of you before I found this thread, because he told me your stories. In fact, the Tranzac memorial party for him was the only gathering I've been to where everyone voluntarily wore a name tag. We milled about reading strangers' tags, only to exclaim "Oh! You're THAT Mike (or Tom or Mary or....) You're just like Tex described you! And how is your [Mom, career, dog, injury, etc.]-- though the tales were never as mundane as those nouns.

When it was my turn at the stage (near the end because it took me a long while to be able to get past the honoured lump in my throat and heart), I led the assembly in a song. I'm not sure now if I explained why I sang that one, and I'd like to tell you now.

Tex heard me busking this old classic country weeper, and with his typical dark wit, said "Play that song at my funeral." He was not dying, but always expected to any time. One of his apartment walls was stacked high with multiple duplicates of pill boxes of supplements and Chinese herbs, hoarder-style, "so I won't forget what to buy next time".

I was startled by the request, and asked why. "Because I want to hear all my friends to finally admit what they really are and promise to love me and each other forever."

The song is (Now and Then There's) A Fool Such As I.

Note the Hank Snow recording changes the second "You taught me how to love and now...." to "You taught me how to LIVE and now...."

Years later, I honoured that request, everyone sang along, and I heard Tex's deep chuckle.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Sharon W
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 12:06 PM

I am blown away by how many lives Tex touched. I have been thinking of him for years and never knew his full name nor even how to find him. I thought at first, it was maybe a bit crazy to remember someone so fondly having only met them once, but as is well documented in this blog - Tex made quite an impression!
I first met Tex likely 20 years ago at a soiree at someone's home. A poet friend had invited me to come along and I was intrigued having never been to a "soiree". Lo and behold, Tex was there, a very big man with a rich deep voice and his guitar. He had me captivated as he sang song after song - and sometimes we would sing along too, although we really never held a candle to his baritone. At some point, feeling quite shy & rather coquettish, I looked around the room and couldn't help but notice that all eyes were on Tex. His warmth and sheer force of personality commanded our attention and he made us all feel wrapped up in his charisma. I haven't forgotten that night where I met a lot of wonderful people. Years later, I happened to see Tex and things did not look like they were going well.
Still, I have never stopped wondering about him. While I was sorry to see that he had passed, I was absolutely heartened to see the long-lasting impact that he had on the lives he touched. He was a rich man indeed!

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 09:40 PM

It was Tex who introduced me to real Chinese cuisine. We would usually go to 69 Bayard, the New Lin Heong, where Tex would NOT let me look at a menu. Best intro to Chinese food I could have had. Most of the time it would be in the company of other musicians and the cab drivers who were on this radio network. Tex would call up Fuzzy Mike when the bars closed who would get on the horn and alert the rest of the drivers where we would meet. A fine time was usually had by all.

Tex was also the one who pushed me down into a booth at the Gaslight Cafe the night Utah Phillips showed up to do a guest set, with the words, "You listen to this man."

He also taught me a lot about music. the most important lesson being "Never record anything you can't take on the road." In other words "Keep it simple."

Mark Ross

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: Duke
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 05:39 PM

He sure was special. I loved spending time with him especially at a Chinese restaurant.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 09:12 PM

Tex was a long-time friend of my wife, since about 1955 in Greenwich Village. When I was courting her, I'd sometimes be on my way home to Manhattan from Brooklyn at 3am and cross paths with Tex going to visit her. :-D After he moved to Toronto, he would visit us whenever he was in NYC to see his sister. He also used to call about twice a year, always just after midnight when the rates were cheaper. We always knew a few days in advance - we'd suddenly think "I wonder how Tex is doing" or some such, and within a few days we'd get a call. It was only when that feeling came over us and there was no call that I began to worry and started digging around, only to find out he had died.
"A singer of tales and teller of songs."

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,trapezoid
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 11:27 PM

I met Tex several times because I worked where he got his film processed. He was an imposing looking guy, but always very nice to me.
He would always write a very detailed note with his film order- his
instructions to us on how to do it right.
He always signed the note "love and stovebolts" TK

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Tom Ghent
Date: 16 Feb 13 - 04:22 PM

Does anyone know what happened to Tex's sister, Jan...She had a really nice voice and used to sing with Tex sometimes....I last saw her in NYC back around 1967....In about 1990, while I was on the road, someone named Jan, who sounded very much like her, recorded an acapella version of one of my songs on my answering machine in Nashville....By the time I returned and heard the message, the number she left was no longer working...If you have any info about her , please contact me at .....Thanks.....

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 29 Nov 12 - 07:42 PM

Tex may have "returned to the Cosmic Mother," as some would say, but the memories live on.

I met Tex somewhere between '68-'69, at The Yellow Door. He tells me he's from New York.
I ask him, "why do they call you "Tex"? He tells me some guy in years past saw him and said, "God, you're as big as Texas!" So the name stuck, or he became Tex after that.

His real name was Albert. You're going to have to give me some latitude with that because it was only mentioned to me once, and I always called him Tex. If any of you can confirm that his real name was Albert, it would be nice.

He always carried "sawed-off chopsticks" in his vest pocket, should the opportunity for a nibble come his way. Artfully done chopsticks by the way.

We would go to the butcher shop to get inexpensive cuts, then turn them into delicacies by thin slicing them half frozen, then putting egg whites on top for 25 minutes, an old (Tai Chi) Master Lee receipe.

Those were. as they say, "the worst of times, and the best of times," depending on your mind set.

I know your out there somewhere old friend, singing a song, most likely by The New Tradition, Thanks Tex...Bobby

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Brian Grayson
Date: 29 Nov 12 - 07:57 AM

My first memory of Tex: Performing at the Carden Street Cafe in Guelph, where the proprietor made the fatal error of paying him a small fee plus all he could eat - a challenge cheerfully accepted...

Visiting him in the middle of the night (did the man ever sleep?) at 68 Walker Avenue and talking, and talking...

Wandering down Yonge Street, again in the late small hours, and elsewhere, eating the best goulash I've ever had...

Last time I saw him, on a visit from Australia (me, not him) just before the premiere of 'The Freshman'.

Damn, I still miss him, cameraman's vest, great boats of shoes and all!

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
Date: 29 Nov 12 - 06:36 AM

FROM: Guest, Bruce Farwell
DATE: Nov. 29, 2012

Quick note to Rick Fielding.

You mention a couple of folk clubs in the Toronto area in a couple of your blogs. I, too, played at a couple of the folk clubs in Toronto in the early '60's, the Village Corner and the Bohemian Embassy. Unfortunately, this was before Tex Konig got up to Toronto, so I never had a chance to see him perform there. I can well imagine that Tex later felt the same affinity that I did for both the people in Canada and the wonderful atmosphere for folk singing that exists there. I think I read recently that the Bohemian Embassy is still in existence. Do they still have folk singers perform there now? I have very fond memories of that club and some of the special performers I met there during that time. It would be nice to know that some semblance of folk music is still alive and well in Toronto.

Bruce Farwell

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Subject: RE: Obit: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
Date: 29 Nov 12 - 06:12 AM

FROM: Guest, Bruce Farwell

It seems sad to me that we sometimes only hear of the passing of someone we once knew several years after they are gone. I met Tex in Greenwich Village in 1963 at one of the many coffee houses dotting Bleeker, MacDougal, and West 4th Streets. My lasting memory of him is a mountain of a man playing a small Martin, with a lovely lyric voice singing and playing "Marianne". Although I sometimes went out after playing all night to enjoy some Chinese food with some of the other Village singers, I never had the opportunity to be with Tex or to hear some of his legendary stories. I lost track of Tex when I later joined a group in the Village called the Bitter End Singers (after the Village club of the same name) and went out on the road for a couple of years. Several years ago, I met Stephen Mendel here in the Los Angeles area who had also been a friend of Tex up in Montreal. Stephen informed me at that time about the passing of Tex back in 1999. It was another reminder to me of the passing of many of the Village folk singers from the '60's--Fred Neil, Mary Travers, Tim Hardin, Dave Van Ronk, Steve Goodman, John Bassette, and Tex, among others--and the increasing distance we are now from those days, and it makes me sad. In "Bob Dylan's Dream", the last verse talks about how special it would be if we could all be "in that room once again". One of the earlier Mudcat contributors to this column brought up the phrase, "We can't go back, but we can look behind" (reminds me of Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game"). When I look back at Village days, the memory of Tex is certainly a vivid one. (By the way, as another previous Mudcat contributor also noted, I had no idea that Tex had parts in several movies, and I was blown away to see Tex in "The Freshman" just a few days ago. It prompted my visit to this site.) My belated thanks to all of you who knew Tex and for sharing your own stories about him and your indelible memories of how he impacted your lives. If a man's wealth can be measured in part by all the friends he has made in his life, then Tex left this world a very rich man indeed.

Bruce Farwell

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Jean Detheux
Date: 06 Jul 12 - 03:12 PM

Tex appeared in my life around 19754-75. I was then teaching at teh Alberta College of Art in Calgary, and one of my students (Roger Dale) had managed to invite Tex to do a gig. At the time, my best friend (José Huertas-Jourda, also gone) was at the College to give a series of talks (at my invitation) and we sat in on Tex's concert.
Tex revealed an immense presence on stage, a beautiful voice, and exceptional guitar licks.
We got together after the show, it was a formidable meeting, there were so many "atomes crochus" between all of us, we became friends for life.
Tex stayed in close touch with José, they were both living in and around Toronto, they shared a passion for Chinese food (I believe they even founded the "Dim Sum Society" together;-).
Whenever our paths would cross, I would invite Tex to a Chinese restaurant, and it was always amazing to see how quickly food would disappear once he started eating.
I only now (July 2012) discovered Tex was gone, like so many other friends and colleagues, but even if he is gone, his spirit isn't, he had a great sense of humanity, the warmth of his singing and generosity as a friend are part of the fabric of life, for keeps.

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 06:29 PM

Yes he is Duke...

Quotes from Tex (in no particular order of significance)

1/ ITALIAN SAUCE "If it ain't got pork in it, it isn't a TRUE Wop Sauce..."
2/ KNIVES & MARTIAL ARTS "If you have to open it, that's too long..."
4/ TRANSPORTATION "Let's hop a crab..."
6/ THINGS "I can get it in New York..."
7/ FRANK ZAPPA "Bob, he took his guitar and played so fast, it was like he was wiping the      
8/ BOB DYLAN "Bobby"
9/ DESPERATION "I got you covered..."
10/ MY GUITAR "I'm a Gunsmith, I'll put the Grovers on it for you..."
11/ TELECASTERS "That's a board with strings on it, they used to cost $90 and the guys
                                 would give them away..."
12/NEW YORK/THE VILLAGE "Tuli Kupferberg & The Fugs, The Cafe Wha, Ginsberg, Dylan,
                                              Hendrix, Billy Roberts & Hey Joe...
13 GIGS How was the Gig?..."I got paid..." (interpretation is up to you)

Rest in Peace Amigo...And if there's a Chinatown in the afterlife, you undoubtedly have found the best Restaurant & Chef...BR

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: Duke
Date: 10 Mar 12 - 08:43 AM

He is still missed greatly!

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Jackie
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 06:28 PM

I met Tex in the late 70's when we lived at 68 Walker Ave. in Toronto. He was a nice man. I enjoyed reading all the stories about him from people that knew him well. RIP

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: Duke
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 08:40 AM

Its nice that people bring these posts back now and then. Tex was a lovely person and a great performer. Whenever I went to see him perform we always headed out for Chinese food after the show. Miss him!

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,Edward
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM

Tex Konig - Saw him first perform at The Penelope in Montreal. Those were heady days for an innocent like myself. Bruce Murdock and Sean Gagnier were on the same bill as Tex. He was ever the gentleman. I was in awe of him and the others. Really like a star struck stage door Johnny. Years later I ran into him at the Free Times Cafe in Toronto. After a short conversation, I knew I was right right from the start: he was noble and he was great. He was born in the Year of the Dragon, that most auspicious of Chinese icons. Six years later when I moved permanently to China, I saw Tex on my regular summer visit home. He had an other-worldly look about him. And I knew he somehow sensed his time was drawing near.

Blessings Tex

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: GUEST,dragonne de versailles france
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 05:58 PM


I'm new here and my english is not good but I will try to tell you anyway what I want to tell.
I see Tex Konig (differente maners to write his name ? imdb = konig, movies = konig) the first time on the movie Hold Up (exist an americaine remake name Quick Change but not so good on my taste).
This Big, Geantissime, Enormous guy ! Pfffffff ! impressive ! Lasky was is name and he was totaly mad ! driving a big trunk like crasy héhéhé !! A very good movie based on Canada, Montreal (I don't know Montreal, juste Little Toronto). I didn't know also that he was singer and guitariste.
I ever didn't know that he was died !
11 years after, I find out ! And I have the terrible feeling that I have miss somebody great ! A good big guy with, after what you say, a big heart and a love for life rather than money !
Jean Paul Belmondo is still alive (good for us) and come back on screen after 10 years of absence because he too, almost die. Same age, Tex should be old now, like Jean Paul, almost 80.
So, all that for say : I'm happy to see this forum remember him.
Are you (all of you) all musiciens ? singers ? etc. ?
And for those who know him since long time, are you old too ?
I ask that because of the type of the music you speak about. Old music.Don't worry, I'm not child myself, I'm almost 50.
Thank anyway for this Tex memorium
See you

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing (1999)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 01:13 AM

What a collection of characters, too many now remembered.

Kinda creepy till ya realize ezzackly what awaits when it's ourturn. [wicked grin] I is looking forward to THAT party!


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 10:41 PM = Tex on a bike - his photo, think it's from a movie/TV gig. = Tex on a rare visit back to NY.

He used to call every 3 or 4 months, always after midnight when the rates were cheap. We always knew a day or two in advance that he would soon be calling. When we had that feeling and a week passed without a call, I suspected the worst and found he had recently passed on.

We miss the big galoot.

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 09 Aug 08 - 10:51 PM

Hi Kids! Tex...Memories...For those that give a fnerk...He installed the Grovers on my Gibson J-50(He was a gunsmith and pretty accurate) and walked with Dylan at Mariposa. We worked together at SoundBox '71(Recording Studio) with Thad Beebe and Stephen Barry,.. Tex was doing the producing and I was playing the guitar..From midnight to about 5am. Used to leave McGill and cross the mountain and see people that could only be described as zombie-like walking on the hill...

Stephen was wondering if he should be doing music full-time...Yo!

Tex always carried a pair of mini-sawed off chopsticks in his left jacket pocket. Just in case...
The meetings with Lee Siu Pak were frequent in Chinatown...Tex and I studied AIKIDO with Max Villadorata. Some near mystical happenings over there..Let me tell ya.

He had a Randall knife which I admired. He knew where to get the best prices on the best cuts of beef. There were MANY stories, "Lawd forgive me for my addiction. partly truth and partly fiction..."(too close to Kristofferson) OR..."Lawd forgive me for my addiction, sweet cocaine, and chocolate women..." memory bubbles rising to the surface...songs that stopped being written in mid-flight...

Anyhoo..."I got you covered" meant something back then...Wish I could have talked to him one more time...Maybe on the next go-round...


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Peace
Date: 09 Aug 08 - 09:32 PM

That was Tex for sure.

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: GUEST,Gervaise
Date: 09 Aug 08 - 09:29 PM

It's years since you all wrote but I must reply to/for Tex. I met him in the Village in about 63/4. I thought the mud was dry between my toes... He didn't patronize me but he did protect me. I learned a lot about music and life and had fun. I last saw him in the 70's when we both ended up in Montreal. He insisted that I learn to field-strip an M1 blindfolded...just in case. BTW It was Akido he practiced. And he sent me off to study Tai Chi. I still do it and still think of him. So many stories from those years. True or not I'm glad I heard them. He was a big man. Big enough to take care of little me and teach me to take care of myself. Thanx, Tex. Have fun and call me sometime. I'll tell the fone company that the bill is obviously wrong as noone talks all night long! It worked before.

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 03:33 PM

I was 17, had just hit the Village and, of course got to meet Tex, who introduced me to great Chinese food(4 AM at 69 Bayard St, and of course, I never got to argue about what to order, just pay up when the bill comes), a raft of folks who are now old friends, philosophy, great music( a direct quote, "Never record anything you can't take on the road."). An intimidating sight to be sure, but what a great man.

Mark Ross

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Peace
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 02:32 PM

I knew Tex both in NYC and later in Montreal where he made his home. He was all the above and more. Big man, beard, booming voice and even a dreadnaught looked small in his hands. He did a rendition of "Codeine" that was unforgetable. A friend called me when he died and I was shocked, because I always thought he'd last forever. Always kind, always honest and always truthful. Still miss ya Tex.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: chiknshak
Date: 22 Nov 05 - 02:13 PM

thank you all for this unforgettable anecdotal history I learned about Tex from Vince Martin who said " Fred Neil thought that Tex had the best baritone pipes in the business" I wish I had the opportunity to talk with him about guns, knives....and chow down on Chinese...I am 6'4" and 350 and I love Chinese especially hot and sour soup. I had the best at sy woo's in Toronto....later shak

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 08:29 AM

Thanks again for the Texstories. A lot of folkies of a certain age (me being too young for once) here in Toronto well remember the early Bill Cosby. He honed his craft in folk clubs and coffee houses, and for a while was the M.C. at a place called the Fifth Peg. Beats Strip houses!

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Leslie Berman
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 07:07 AM

It took even longer for the news to reach me in a roundabout way. Saul Broudy or Paula Ballan or Mike Miller or some other Philly folk fest or maybe Richard Flohil in Montreal must have introduced me to him years ago, how many I forget. Like everyone else he knew, I was a late night phone call, some of which I didn't want to make or take. And a chinese meal eater. Unlike many others, we were lovers too, for a brief time, and loving friends ever after. One night, having dinner with Tex in a New York city chinatown dive, in came Bill Cosby, with his wife and her sister. Cosby came past our table, did a double take, and then enveloped the seated Tex in a gigantic hug. They traded old stories and insults, introduced their respective guests, and then we went on to finish our separate meals at different tables. There were more flurries of speech across the room during dinner and as a goodbye, and then Tex explained how he'd come to know Cosby. Seems before Bill was any good as a standup, he worked bar in the folk place Tex frequented most in Philly, and if the place was deserted or else mellow enough, at 3 am they'd let Cosby practice his shtick. At least, that's how Tex told it to me then. After he made The Freshman, and was thinking about how to recruit his always meagre finances, I urged him to be in touch with Cosby at The Astoria Studios in Queens, NY cause I thought his old friend might pass his showreel on to higher ups, and he would say, maybe, every time I mentioned it over the next few years. He never did, natch. He always told me I'd love the knife show, but I never made it there, and now I regret it. It would be one more picture memory of Tex for me. I'm glad to have the ones that are mine, and the new ones I've conjured up from your posts.

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Sid Washer
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 11:05 AM

It came to pass in Howard Beach. While a dismal pall settled over New York City and monstrous airliners slid, thundering, out of the skies, a group of hardy souls gathered to pig out on Chinese food and spilled a bit of wine but no tears for Tex Konig. To eat is human; to stuff, divine and we did the best we could while telling Tex stories and catching up on the last 30 years or so. Terrible the way young idealists become cranky ol' farts. It came to pass and we all thought that Tex would have enjoyed, Snookums. bye, sid

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Winnie winston
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 07:42 AM

I first met Tex at a summer camp in Connecticut. I think I was 11 and he was 12. He was big even then. His sister was at the camp too-- Buck's Rock Work Camp. Saw him again at Washington Square in the 60s-- I guess he was in the Navy then. When I started to do the folk circuit in the mid 1970s I bumped into him again while in Toronto. He once visited me in Philadelphia and completely freaked out my (unfreakable) girlfriend by wandering around stark naked. What a sight! When we got together we talked little of music, and spent our times discussing homeopathic medicine and guns. I never got to get to Toronto to go shooting with him, but I did drag him out to the range one time when he came to Philly. Yeah... saw him in "the Freshman" but also in the great bio-pic of Hank Williams "The Show He Never Gave" with Sneezy Waters as Hank. Hadn't heard from him since I moved to NZ five years ago. Miss those 4am phone calls, and the great times over chinese food. Heard about his passing from Saul, who told me to check on-- so-- here I am.

He sure was one of a kind-- in the large economy size!


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Saul Broudy
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 04:22 AM

Damn technology stepped on my punchline in previous message. You can probably figure it out, but just in case, so you don't need to ASCII me...

3 equals Open Quote 1 equals Apostrophe 2 equals Close Quote

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Saul Broudy
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 04:15 AM

Rick, Thanks for the report on the memorial So sorry I had to miss being there, but had uncancellable gigs down this way. Sent these memories/anecdotes to Dianne Myers privately, but thought you *all* might enjoy them: --------- I first met Tex when I used to play in Montreal in the early 70s, and what a guide he was to the gastronomic pleasures and street life of that city! Whenever I arrived in Toronto in later years, Tex would be the first one I'd call on the phone for the latest scoop on what was going on. Later we'd meet for (what else?) a late Chinese dinner, and I'd give him whatever he had ordered from the US ‹ perhaps something electronic from Radio Shack, or a large jar of mayonnaisse. Both of us nightowls, and without cars, we'd often walk around late at night or hop streetcars. Hanging out together at folk festivals was always a joy as well.

Picture this scene: Once Tex was visiting me in Philadelphia. I had no shower, and Tex was unable to fit in my bathtub, so my girfriend at the time suggested that he go to her house and use her shower. He was to knock at her door, and if noone answered he could assume her roommates were out and could let himself in the house. He got no answer upon ringing the bell, so he entered and went upstairs, where he found the roommates passing around a joint. They looked up with shock at the towering figure of the stranger that appeared in their doorway, and heard: ³Hi, I¹m Tex. I¹m here to take a shower.²

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 09:55 PM

Sounds like a beautiful day my friend. All my best, Pat

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM

Ahh, my precious Mudcat friends. You'd have enjoyed the afternoon SO MUCH! Old Tex had some rough years at the end. No money, and his only profession being "balladeer" can make life hard. His extra large size, consequent health problems, and lack of transportation often meant that he couldn't get to gatherings exactly like the one held in his honour. Jeez it's sad he wasn't there to partake in the music and good cheer. A number of folks looked skyward and said "Tex is watching us", but hell, I wish he'd there in person. On the the buffet table, and in the audience, singing along.
Mudcatters were well represented. Dinah and Rana did great organizing and Paul Mills, Michael Miland and Tony Burns represented us well.
So Long Tex

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: bbc
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 03:12 PM

By request, Tex's photo can be seen at bbc's Mudcat Resources site--the first entry on the Memorial Photos page. My best wishes to all his loved ones & friends.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: dinah
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 10:39 PM

To everyone who took the trouble to add to this thread over the last 3 weeks I extend my sincere thanks. It is Saturday night and I am going to print off these wonderful messages to share tomorrow at our "Celebration" of Tex's life.

I truly believe that his greatest legacy(beside the music, of which we don't have enough)is his friends. And it has become very clear in the last 3 weeks how many there were (and what a wonderfully diverse group they are.

Goodnight, sweetums, wherever you are....


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Jamie Fraser-Paige
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM

Tex played nylon strings because his fingers got torn up by steel. He used to say he had "paper skin." He also worked very hard to keep his nails on his right hnad strong, using Knox gelatin and anything else reputed to work, including clear hard nail polish. His Martin -- and the guitars of several other people he knew -- had a clear plastic guard that surrounded the soundhole, top and bottom. He shared this with anyone, true to his always generous nature.

Tex was linked to so many people -- long before the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" -- that sometimes it seemed as if I was always saying, in relation to some performer, writer, actor or other "Yeah, Tex knows him/her/it/them." His tales, always told with an eye for detail and couched in the best artistic tones weren't as tall as many might think. I was around for several of them or have heard them told -- a little awestruck -- by others who were there.

His time in the Village, when I first knew him, was a weird and wonderful time, and to those who weren't there -- and some who were -- much that happened on a daily basis would seem like fantasy. His ability to weave stories into powerful, evocative images worked so well that his sung version of "I Must Down to the Sea in Ships" (which those of us of a certain age learned in school as a poem by John Masefield) moved my Dad, a tough critic of all the arts, to tears and endeared Tex, chief among all my "beatnik, no-goodnik" friends to my Dad for the length of his life.

So long, kid.


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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Jamie Fraser-Paige -
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM

I met Tex in 1963 and considered him my best friend, although sometimes we'd go for years without seeing one another. He only wrote me once, when my then-wife told him that Vietnam was really getting to me. I got a short, heartfelt note on small pieces of paper written in razor point ink and two colors with his "TK" chop. I probably still have it somewhere. We talked, sometimes for hours, about the things we both loved and cared about. I visited the gunsmithing school he attended in Trinidad, Colorado, just to walk the streets I'd heard about. Tex knew just about everybody worth knowing in the world. I'm glad we knew each other. He's missed a whole hell of a lot by a whole hell of a lot of people. I sent this to as many friends of ours as I had addresses for. Tex König September 10th, 1940 — July 3rd, 1999 Brooklyn, NY — Toronto, Ont. Ca.

There is silence, now, where once a great voice was heard. Tex König is no longer with us. Details are still sketchy, but according to his longtime friend Linda Evans we lost Tex sometime on Saturday, 3 July. There will be memorials in Toronto on 7/25 at the Transac Club from 3 'til 6 and New York on the weekend 7/24-7/25 for which details are not yet available..

Tex was never well enough known, either as a singer or as an actor. The few brief moments of him on film are enough to base an opinion that he had great chops as a character actor. He told me that people would recognize him from "The Freshman" and call him Big Leo. I didn't know he'd done the part and saw him by surprise. I literally fell off the couch. "Whadevah!" Pure Tex. The album and his long history of public performances in the US and Canada over a thirty-year period are testimony that he was one of the best interpreters of traditional folk music around as well as a master of more contemporary material, including some of Fred Neil's classics. He deserved far more recognition. Hell, he deserved greatness.

I've known Tex for over thirty years, since the days of the Cafe World, the Renzi, the Four Winds, the Bagamin and a host of coffee houses and folk clubs in New York, Miami, Montreal and San Francisco. It was on this coast I last saw Tex, en route from the Vancouver Folk Festival back to Toronto with a slight detour. He played a couple of gigs, including filling in for Kate Wolf at a festival in the Marin Headlands. That was over twenty years ago. A combination of timing, finances and our combined stubbornness kept us apart except for phone calls late at night that sometimes lasted for hours and were like hanging out at a distance.

We shared a love for folk music, firearms, samurai movies, unsubtitled Chinese sword swingers and Chinese food. Tex came to Oakland with his wok and Chinese cleaver as well as Baby, his Martin and a Navy duffle full of work shirts and chinos. He was one of the best Chinese chefs I know and taught me just a few of his skills. He also found a great dim sum house and a cheap second floor noodle house within two days of hitting town. He managed to find people we hadn't seen in years who lived right under my nose. He was like that; I doubt if there is another like him.

I can't believe I'll never hear his voice live again; and no one else will ever get away with calling me sweetums. I'm often accused of being overly nostalgic. I'll cop to it; I am. I miss the days in the Sixties when we all had goals and ideals of a lofty nature, when we solved the problems of the world time and time again and Tex played the tunes and told the stories. "We can't go back but we can always look behind . . ." and carry the memories. Perhaps Tex is somewhere singing to a different crowd composed of people we knew and some we didn't. I hope there is a round table large enough for all of us; our times will come and it won't be long.

Jamie Fraser-Paige, July 1999

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Saul Broudy
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 06:20 PM

The small duffel bag Bruce referred to was actually a US Army rocket bag. Tex turned me on to these, and I have spent much time searching them out. The "real thing" is hard to find, but I've managed to accumulate several. They are great for carrying around spare clothes, harmonicas, etc. Now I can think of Tex whenever I use them.

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Bruce N. Solotoff
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 02:20 AM

My heart goes to join you all at this time. Though not easy for anyone to deal with the tremendous loss in the tapestry of our lives, Tex being a particularly bright and eclectic set of colors, I seem to be feeling more like partying it up and telling my worst jokes in Tex's honor. As the ripple of devastating grief is affecting all of us, and, occasionally in the last two weeks I have caved in, I can't help but smiling as well. I think of Tex and I only see him smiling at me.

Without getting into 20 some odd years of friendship with Tex where I have come to know him as alternatively, a fellow child and a big brother (in the latter we traded roles occasionally) I have made myself available as often as I could when he would visit NY. We would drive around to hole in the wall places where he would get the finest leathers or gun stuff, knife stuff, and camera parts. And of course, eateries.

Tex, a mountain of a man, always wore this vest with many pockets. In each pocket was a wealth of inventory. Stuffed to major bulging, he could pull out whatever item might be needed at the time. His hands were massive and some of his finger nails had been carefully evolved so as to pick the guitar better. He also carried around a small duffle bag whenever he was here. And it was heaaavvy. I'm a big man too. Not as big as Tex but no wimp in the pushme pullyou department. And I found the weight of what he carried on a given day daunting.

We met many times at the knife show here in New York. Tex introduced me to and tried to educate me as to the details and specific excellence of knife collecting. I have taken to it with limited success regarding the specifics of the craft but with a pleasure for the form, craftmanship, and uses. More for me, it was an opportunity to get together with my friend.

Last November we brought my son of 7 years to the show and Tex introduced him to this world. Zakaria took to it and to Tex as if they were pre-bonded. Tex taught Zak the proper ways to handle and respect knives. And he learned instantly.

At 8 years old now, I would trust Zak more than most adults to handle a blade. Not that I give him much opportunity as I still feel he is too young and inexperienced in events of the moment that a child may latch onto in play, or with other friends not as skilled or respectful. Only alone with me there.

Still, I am sharing this, one of many stories of my personal Tex legend

But how can I sum up the vast ocean of Life Stuff that my friend embodied. No question what he's meant to me. An anchor of creative comraderie, but more.

I have never known Tex to originate a cruel thought. Not that he didn't weave a spell of potentially intended revenge upon some scaliwag who was harming a friend. (I have never heard of him acting out on these.)

I have shared with Tex my unvarnished soul and he has never taken me for granted.

That Tex was a Warrior in not in doubt. Born in the year of the Dragon, he always kept his fingers on the pulse of constallations, ever trying to undertstand life's visisitudes in current events and upcoming movements.

He was brilliant in the agile workings of his mind. And sharp enough to pick up on a glimmer from you and understand the bigger picture.

Nobody's fool. He never got arrogant, only insightful.

And though forever chasing the river of abundance, he never really gave in to despair, but always had some life affirming comment which he would pour with gusto (and not a small amount of his personal opinion) into your heart and mind till the problems mattered less than simply being with him there.


You always had faith in me.

I'll never forget you for that.

Sleep well, my friend.

You are finally awake.

Free from pain

And filled alive.



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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM

Ilene. Odetta has been told the sad news.

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Ilene Thompson
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 11:37 PM

I, too have memories going back to the 60's, not the least of which was how he could tear the sh*t out of a guitar. There was one magical night in Nobody's on Bleecker St, where we were all sitting at a big table and Odetta and Tex and a few others were just wailing away, and at 3:00, they closed the bar and turned the key and it just went on until about 6:00 AM at which point we all went down the street to a bagel place for breakfast.

Jim Harrison has been leaving messages with Odetta's service, but there's been no response. She's probably on the road. Maybe someone out there might know how to contact the NY and NE music people to tell them about the memorial Saturday?

Tex's friend Linda is staying with the Harrisons. For more information, they can call Jim at home at:

212-233-3225 or at work tomorrow at: 718-321-5872

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 12:29 PM

Sid. If Tex had had the bucks to own a computer, I would have forced to check out Mudcat at gun point. (well, maybe egg-roll point) He would have LOVED our community, and been such a valued member I can't tell you. If it were possible to have the first posthumous member inducted here, I nominate Tex.
My friends, you'd have laughed, cried and wondered. And Tex would have had the time of his life.
Sid, you might try Bbc's website. I have to run to the studio so maybe someone will "blue clicky" it for you.

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Sid Washer
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 10:59 AM

In early 1962, I was 6' and 150 lb. at the time I was introduced to this guy I had heard about from mutual friends. "If nobody else comes to your party", they said, "he will." Lots of others did come and he did and we remained good friends ever since. Tex assumed that everybody he knew knew everybody else he knew and sometimes it was even a little bit true. Nu? Much quality time was spent burning many bridges and listening to heaps of music of all kinds. I was then and am still an orthodox Classicalist (with a tiny bit of Jazz thrown in for good measure) but it was impossible not to be affected by the spirit of open-ness that surrounded Tex and made you really listen. I'll be at Howard Beach this coming Saturday with camera and recorder. bye, sid PS; as soon as I can get my hands on a scanner that works, I'll post pictures of Tex going back to the early '60s. What would be the appropriate site?

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Subject: RE: Tex Koenig's Passing
From: Ivan Berger (
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 05:19 AM

The way I make umlauts is break two eggs.... er,

The way i make umlauts in e-mail is to go into my word processor (WordPerfect), make an "ö" and paste it into my e-mail program.

Until Tex died, I didn't need to know this.

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