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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Creator Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Bands, 1980-1989

Events, 1982-1989

Politics, 1984-1990

Portraits, 1987-1989

Theater, 1985-1989

Miscellaneous, circa 1980-1990

Austin History Center

Bill Leissner Photograph Archive

An Inventory of the Collection



Collection Summary

Creator: Leissner, Bill
Title: Bill Leissner Photograph Archive
Dates: 1980-1990
Abstract: Bill Leissner studied photography at the University of Texas with professor Mark Goodman in the late 1970s and early 1980s. For almost two decades, Leissner documented the arts, music, and political scene of Austin, Texas. In this era before smart phones, he used his Nikon at the end of his arm to take what are now known as “selfies” with musicians, actors, artists, and politicians, in his “Bill & ___” series.
Accession number: AR.2019.004
Quantity 63.8 GB (255 files)
Location: Digital Storage
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Creator Note

Bill Leissner was born in Victoria, Texas in 1958. He studied photography at the University of Texas with Mark Goodman in the late seventies and early eighties. Goodman steered him away from candid photos and towards “liveshots,” which came to define his style. In the course of the 1980s Leissner created a body of work consisting of around 3,500 rolls of film. He started out shooting bands and gravitated from there towards other staged performance (theater, dance, improvisation), politics, portraits, street scenes, animals, parties, conventions, and anything or anyone else that caught his eye. He lived in what he called the "Academy House" (also known as the Big House), becoming the house photographer there, as well as, with the Dance Umbrella. He joined in with Big State Productions’ “In the West,” as Jo Carol Pierce confronted a photographer in her monologue, saying “Sir, you gotta live the life you wanna take a picture of”—and Bill would shoot his large flashbulb from his Nikon. He even ventured onto stage for a monologue of his own. He became a regular at club after club, climbing on stage and into the rafters to document bands and their members including Joe “King” Carrasco, Joe Ely, the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Willie Nelson, Charlie and Will Sexton, the Skunks, Bad Mutha Goose, Scratch Acid, True Believers, T-Bone Burnett, Two Nice Girls, Poison 13, and Run-DMC. This archive also documents Ann Richards' political campaign for Texas governor (1989-1990) and other central Texas political figures such as Lady Bird Johnson, J.J. Pickle, Frank Cooksey, Bob Bullock, and Jim Hightower. In this era before smart phones, he used his Nikon at the end of his arm to take what are now known as “selfies” with musicians, actors, artists, and politicians, in his “Bill & ___” series.

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Scope and Contents

The Bill Leissner Photograph Archive consists of 254 digitized photographic images (.tif) documenting the music, culture, and politics of Austin, Texas during the 1980s and early 1990s.

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Arrangement

Original order and file structure was largely maintained at the series level.
Digitized materials are integrated into their corresponding series based on content. The material was ingested into the digital repository in original order.

Collection is arranged into six series:


  • Bands
  • Events
  • Politics
  • Portraits
  • Theater
  • Miscellaneous

The creator's photograph numbering system was maintained. The identification number prefix is represented as a three digit number followed by a letter:


  • B (Bands)
  • E (Events)
  • M (Miscellaneous)
  • P (Portrait)
  • Q (Politics)
  • T (Theater)
  • X (Uncategorized)
Within those subject categories, camera rolls are sequentially numbered and roughly chronological, except for Q. All roll numbers have 4 place holders because several categories exceed 1,000 rolls, hence M0037, for example, would be the 37th roll in the Misc category. E1142 would be roll 1142 in the Event category. All the scan numbers have 3 placeholders because the maximum number of frames on a roll is 42, and sometimes the third character might be a letter, if for example, there are two versions of a scan. For example, E0567004 represents roll number 567 of the events category, and the 4th frame scanned.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. These materials may not be duplicated without the written permission of the photographer. Permission to publish or publicly display the photographs in this collection for non-commercial use only may be granted but credit must be given to both the Austin History Center and the photographer (Restriction 03). Consult repository for more details.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

Access to digital content is only available through a dedicated workstation in the Austin History Center Reading Room.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Aleshire, Bill.
Antone, Clifford.
Brammer, Sidney.
Buchanan, Janelle.
Buck, Mike.
Burnett, T-Bone.
Bullock, Bob.
Carrasco, Joe King.
Cooksey, Frank.
Dedeaux, Alvin.
Doggett, Lloyd.
Eckhardt, Nadine, 1931-.
Ely, Joe.
Foley, Blaze, 1949-1989.
Garcia-Crow, Amparo.
Gilmore, Jimmie Dale.
Goodman, Mark, 1946-.
Grissom, David.
Hawkins, Screamin' Jay.
Hicks, Bill, 1961-1994.
Hobby, William P. "Bill", Jr.
Hokkanen, Erik.
Jacques, Sally.
Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007.
Johnston, Daniel, 1961-.
Juke, Guy.
Kerr, Tim.
Krahn, Jayne.
Leissner, Bill.
Livingston, Ben.
Loganbill, Lorne.
Longacre, Kimberly Ann.
Mateer, Tim.
Moser, Margaret.
Nelson, Willie, 1933-.
Nofziger, Max.
Nunn, Gary P.
Patoski, Joe Nick, 1951-.
Perella, Marco.
Pierce, Jo Carol.
Phillips, Gretchen.
Pickle, J. J.
Pipkin, Turk.
Pratz, Mark.
Priest, Micael.
Pryor, Cactus.
Richards, Ann, 1933-2006.
Rollins, Henry.
Rose, David.
Sessums, Paul.
Sexton, Charlie.
Sexton, Will.
Shakey Graves (Musician).
Stubblefield, Christopher B. "Stubb" Sr.
Sublett, Jesse.
Toth, Cindy Rae.
Turner, Randy "Biscuit".
Vance, Boyd.
Wassenich, Red.
Subjects (Organizations)
Antone's (Austin, Tex.).
Bad Mutha Goose and the Brothers Grimm (Musical group).
Big Boys (Musical group).
Big State Productions.
Black Cat Lounge (Austin, Tex.).
Black Flag (Musical group).
Club Foot (Austin, Tex.).
Club Iguana (Austin, Tex.).
Continental Club (Austin, Tex.).
Dead Kennedys (Musical group).
Elisabet Ney Museum.
Fleshtones (Musical group).
Gruene Hall (New Braunfels, Tex.).
Hickoids (Musical group).
Hoodoo Gurus (Musical group).
Killer Bees (Musical group).
Leroi Brothers (Musical group).
Liberty Lunch (Austin, Tex.).
Mexic-Arte Museum (Austin, Tex.).
Neville Brothers (Musical group).
Poison 13 (Musical group).
The Ritz (Austin, Tex.).
Run-DMC (Musical group).
Scratch Acid (Musical group).
Skunks (Musical group).
Sonic Youth (Musical group).
Toxic Shock (Musical group).
True Believers (Musical group).
Two Nice Girls (Musical group).
Subjects
Actors--Texas--Austin.
Celebrations.
Elections.
Music--Texas--Austin.
Musicians.
Performing arts--Texas--Austin.
Photography--Texas--Austin.
Political participation.
Punk rock music--Texas--Austin--History.
Saloons.
Theater--Texas--Austin--History.
Vocal music.
Women in Politics--Texas--Austin.
Places
Austin (Tex.)--Social life and customs.
Austin (Tex.)--Songs and music.
Fort Worth (Tex.).
Document Types
Digital images.

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Related Material

Austin Files


  • AF Biography - Alejandro Rose-Garcia
  • AF Biography - Ann Willis Richards
  • AF Biography - Boyd Vance
  • AF Biography - Charlie Sexton
  • AF Biography - Clifford Antone
  • AF Biography - Frank C. Cooksey
  • AF Biography - Guy Juke
  • AF Biography - Jimmie Dale Gilmore
  • AF Biography - Joe Ely
  • AF Biography - Joe King Carrasco
  • AF Biography - Margaret Moser
  • AF Biography - Max Nofziger
  • AF Biography - Mark Goodman
  • AF Biography - Randy "Biscuit" Turner
  • AF Biography - Sally Jacques
  • AF Biography - Willie Nelson, 1933

AF Subject Files


  • AF Moving Picture Theaters - Ritz Theater M8300
  • AF Music - Bands, Orchestras, Choirs, etc. M9300
  • AF Photographers and Photography - General P3500
  • AF Saloons - Antone's S0300
  • AF Saloons - Club Foot S0300
  • AF Saloons - Continental Club S0300
  • AF Saloons - Liberty Lunch S0300
  • AF Subject - Bad Mutha Goose M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - Big Boys M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - Charlie Sexton SextetM9300(B)
  • AF Subject - Ely, Joe M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - Hickoids, The M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - LeRoi Brothers M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - Scratch Acid M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - Skunks M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - True Believers M9300(B)
  • AF Subject - Two Nice Girls M9300(B)

Archives and Manuscript Collections


  • AR.1991.001 - Austin History Center Performing Arts Collection
  • AR.2001.006 - Tim Hamblin Papers and Videos [VidEotic Productions]
  • AR.2001.007 - Austin Music Network (AMN)Video Collection
  • AR.2002.004 - Tim Kerr Papers
  • AR.2004.008 - Kerry Awn Posters
  • AR.2010.022 - Lisa Davis Photograph Archive
  • AR.2014.043 - Andrew Long Photographs and Papers
  • AR.2016.025 - Red Wassenich Papers
  • AR.2019.007 - Big State Productions Records

General Collection


  • A 328.73092 P587P J.J. Pickle , Jake. 1997.
  • A 741.6740976 WI V1 Chris Wing, Big Book of Austin Punk-era Posters and Images. 2003.
  • A 779.9782421 GO Mark Goodman, Big Boys Dicks. 2015.
  • A 781.66 TI Temporary Services, Tim Kerr. 2008.
  • A 782.421642 N432P Joe Nick Patoski, Willie Nelson An Epic Life. 2008.
  • A 973.927092 R39R Ann Richards, Straight From the Heart: My Life in Politics and Other Places. 1989.
  • A 976.4063092 R5142R Jan Reid, Let the People in: The Life and Times of Ann Richards. 2012.
  • A 976.431 WA AA Red Wassenich, Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town. 2007.

Recordings


  • A MA R4297 Bad Mutha Goose and the Brothers Grimm (Musical group), Be Somebody ; One Man One Vote ; Jump the Funk ; Be Somebody. 1987.
  • A MA R3735 (LP), Bands on the Block.1985.
  • A CD ROCK BIG Big Boys (Musical group), The Fat Elvis. 1993.
  • A LP ROCK BIG Big Boys (Musical group), Lullabies Help the Brain Grow. 1983.
  • A AC MC ELY Joe Ely (Musical group), Live at Liberty Lunch.1990.
  • A MA R3306 Joe King Carrasco, Crowns (Musical group), Bordertown.1984.
  • A MA R4304 Poison 13 (Musical group), First You Dream. 1985.
  • A MA R3354 Poison 13 (Musical group), Poison 13. 1984.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

Collection was transferred to the Austin History Center from Bill Leissner. Leissner is the creator of the photographic images.

Preferred Citation

Bill Leissner Photograph Archive (AR.2019.004). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2018/034

Donation Date: 2019

Processing Information

The digitized files were received on flash media. The materials were processed in accordance with the AHC's digital processing guidelines including disk imaging, virus scan, and checksums.For more information, see the Born-digital Processing Manual.

Original file names were retained.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Bands, 1980-1989

See complete inventory of collection:here.
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Live music performances (Image ID#005-B0050003 - 040-B0531005; 062-A001001 - 066-B0131001; 071-M0469008, 071-M0469008 - 085-B0364002; 089-E0211005 - 098-E0213003),
15.2 GB (60 files); digitized (TIFF)
Local and national acts performing at Austin venues including The Black Cat Lounge, Club Foot, Club Iguana, The Continental Club, Liberty Lunch and The Ritz. Musicians include Joe “King” Carrasco, Joe Ely, the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Willie Nelson, Charlie Sexton, the Skunks, Bad Mutha Goose, Scratch Acid, True Believers, T-Bone Burnett, Two Nice Girls, Poison 13, and Run-DMC.

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Events, 1982-1989

See complete inventory of collection:here.
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Art exhibits (Image ID#166-E1406001 - 167-E1416a010), 1988
2.80 GB (11 files); digitized (TIFF)
64 Beds was a Sally Jacques art project at Mexic-Arte Museum in 1988 to heighten awareness about homelessness. Sally Jacques conceived this project, her first event hosted at Mexic-Arte, as an all-night vigil with 64 beds, 64 visual artists (or “sleepers”), and 24 artists assisting the sleepers. The event raised awareness of homelessness in Austin—and money for Helping Our Brothers Out (HOBO) and Caritas.
AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Artists (Image ID#153-M0124002 - 165-X0083001), 1982-1989
3.19 GB (13 files); digitized (TIFF)
Ben Livingston, Prince Hughes, Rollo Banks, Micael Priest, Artly Snuff, Guy Juke, Jim Franklin, Bill Narum,Robin Scofield, and Raul Salinas.
AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Celebrations and holidays (Image ID# 099-M0707001 - 103-E1064001; 137-Sister-Cindy001 - 152-X0345001), 1983-1985
6.09 GB (21 files); digitized (TIFF)
Photographs depict Tim Mateer, Darla Johnson, Red Wassenich, Turk Pipkin, Sam Hurt and Kathryn Hager, Spamarama, Hank the Hallucination in the Littlefield Fountain, Carnaval at the Palmer Auditorium, Bands on the Block, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Uranium Savages.

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Politics, 1984-1990

See complete inventory of collection:here.
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Ann Richards political campaign events (Image ID# 192-E1471011 - 201-Q0598002), 1988-1990
2.78 GB (11 files); digitized (TIFF)
From the announcement of her candidacy through the election night results.
AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Texas Democratic Party events and rallies (Image ID# 168-E0189004 - 191-Q0633001), 1984-1990
7.43 GB (24 files); digitized (TIFF)
Photographs include Sara Eckhardt, Lynn and Frank Cooksey, Jim Hightower, Lloyd Doggett, John Henry Faulk, Danny Young and Max Nofziger, Cactus Pryor, Bob Bullock, Billie Carr, Bill Aleshire and Ronnie Earle. Events documented include Farm Aid II in 1986 (Lynn and Frank Cooksey with Jesse Jackson), the 1989 Dukakis-Bentsen Rally in Johnson City, and the 1988 South Austin Democrats Benefit.

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Portraits, 1987-1989

See complete inventory of collection:here.
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos "Zippi" [also known as musician Shakey Graves with friends at The Academy House] (Image ID# 104-E0884001 - 123-M0712006), 1987-1989
3.98 GB (18 files); digitized (TIFF)
Photos of Alejandro "Zippi" Rose-Garcia (known as Shakey Graves) and his parents Amparo Garcia-Crow and David Rose, Tim Mateer, Marco Perella, Jayne Krahn, and "Sparkie" at "The Big House" (The Academy House) located in South Austin behind Willie Nelson’s Terrace apartment complex on S. Congress, off of Academy Drive and The Circle.
The main living room became a dance studio, the basement became the music room, and "the War Room" was where Tim Mateer created his art projects. The property included a barbeque park called "Fairy Land". The Academy House was an incubator for the Austin art scene: dance, art, theater, and punk rock.

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Theater, 1985-1989

See complete inventory of collection:here.
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Big State Productions (Image ID# 041-M0151001 - 061-E0292003; 124-E1270001 - 136-E1758007; 238-T0132005a - 239-T0133004a), 1985-1989
8.22 GB (35 files); digitized (TIFF)
Big State Productions performers and performances including "Into The West", "Things That Go Bump in the Night", "Bowling for Jesus", and "Council of Love."

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Miscellaneous, circa 1980-1990

See complete inventory of collection:here.
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR-2019-004\digitized\AR-2019-004-access\photos Austin personalities, circa 1980-1990
7.87 GB (36 files); digitized (TIFF)
Daniel Johnston, Blaze Foley, Ann Richards with Molly Ivins, Jo Carol Pierce, Margaret Moser, Will Sexton, Louis Black, Sharon Ely, Christopher B. "Stubb" Stubblefield, Randy “Biscuit” Turner, Max Nofziger, and Joe Nick Patoski among those depicted in the photographs.

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