This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll go home with the Armadillo, one last time.
On January 1, 1981, Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters closed its doors for good. The cavernous venue had opened ten years earlier as a community arts laboratory, but it soon became the epicenter for Austin’s burgeoning live music scene. During its heyday, the Armadillo featured a remarkably diverse array of performers, including Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, the Pointer Sisters, Ravi Shankar, Emmylou Harris, Van Morrison, arris, HarrisFreddie King, and Frank Zappa. On New Years’ Eve, 1980, the Armadillo hosted its final concert, featuring Maria Muldaur, Commander Cody, and Asleep at the Wheel.
The Armadillo World Headquarters was torn down to make way for an office building. However, former Armadillo owner Eddie Wilson opened a Threadgill’s restaurant on the site, ensuring that the Armadillo’s musical legacy would continue to reverberate throughout Austin for years to come.