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For instance, he was very interested in exploring different philosophies and the like

For instance, he was very interested in exploring different philosophies and the like

“I had no experience,” Mann related, “and started off by finding places for the band to play, hauling equipment and doing sound. Shortly after that, Phil and I both just walked away from school and rented a two story house in the same neighborhood David lived in.

“Phil was outgoing, athletic and liked trying different things. We were all very close, almost like brothers, but we were very focused on becoming a success and doing our respective jobs.”

Mann spent a short time working with the various lineups gleaned from three legs of the Whistler, Chaucer days. The first show he set up outside of the clubs and occasional party gigs was the Scott Theater concert where they were billed as The Unwritten Works (see Chapter Two). He would soon prove himself to be worthy of equal partnership.

Now that Mann was in, the next link was musical- a drummer. While in Austin during late Spring of ’69, they happened to ask around. Drummer? Sure, someone said. In fact there was a good one, and he happened to be from Fort Worth. Space Opera tracked down and met with the final link in the musical equation: Brett Owen Wilson. Wilson was not unknown to the guys. He had gone to school with them at Paschal, had been in fact a popular cheerleader there, and had played drums around Fort Worth in various jazz combos, most notably with compadre Ridgway Scott. Arrangements were made for a tryout.

Wilson told his then girlfriend and future wife, Claudia Wormley, about it. There was something about the guys- a positive energy. After the first session, it was a lock.

Continuing with fill-ins would never work

“I remember Brett feeling like this was something he had to do,” she recalled. “He wasn’t really going to school to any great purpose. He had just become eligible to become a day student when I met him, in March.”

The newly formed unit e Space Opera because they were interested in science fiction and the advent of manned space exploration, virtually a comic strip being brought to life.

He was the one always willing to try new things, and we went along because he was a fun guy, but as time went by my relationship with him became mostly business

“We saw the 60s as the klicka här för att undersöka beginning of a new high-tech age,” said Bullock, “not so much the leftist utopianism of the hippies, but as a time when art and technology would bring new enlightenment and new opportunities. The element of ethereal, spacey sound was an important part of our music. So to us, Space Opera was a play on words, meaning ethereal songs. We didn’t philosophize on the subject. We just chose the name and moved on. I don’t think the name kept people from listening to our music. Then again, it does sound a bit too much of the period, in my opinion.”

When Claudia graduated a few months later, she also left Austin for Fort Worth. “I moved in with Brett when he was in the band house, but he wasn’t happy with that,” she said, “so I moved into a duplex with Brenda, Phil’s then-girlfriend. Mike (Mann) was at the house. Scott still lived at home, as I recall, but he was at the house all of the time. When Brenda ended up going somewhere else, Brett and I decided we’d move in together. We rented a house and two years later ended up buying it.”

The early days were a learning experience, but it quickly became obvious that the band had something beyond the norm.

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