1989: Story Left Him Dazed And Confused

Holt still has whole lotta love for rock ’n’ roll

Chris Holt
Chris Holt, creative director at Zounds Sounds, displays the Les Paul he bought as a replacement for the one seen below. Staff Photo: Chris McGathey

By Dan Koller | Staff Writer

If there was ever a story that called for a sequel, it was the one about teenage guitarists that Park Cities People published on July 13, 1989.

Or should we say “half-published”? Readers were instructed to turn to Page 12 for the rest of the story, but it was not there. In fact, it wasn’t anywhere.

“There was no end to it,” Chris Holt, one of the featured guitarists, said last week. “I just remember being like, ‘Where’s the rest of the article? Oh, well.’ ”

Holt, then 16 years old, was the lead guitarist for a band called Thin Ice. He was photographed holding a Gibson Les Paul.

Chris Holt
Readers looking for the rest of this 1989 story on Page 12 were disappointed.

“This is the guitar I’ve been waiting to get all my life,” Holt said then. “This is the guitar I’m going to keep all of my life.”

Not so much. Holt kept the guitar until 1997, when it was stolen from an Austin nightclub.

“Very unfortunate,” he said. “It was a heartbreaker.”

Interesting choice of words. “Heartbreaker” is the name of a Led Zeppelin hit, and it was Holt’s love of that band that influenced his purchase of a Les Paul, the preferred model of Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

“I didn’t replace it immediately out of mourning,” Holt said. “You know, I had the Les Paul for almost 10 years, and then waited about 10 years to replace it.”

Appropriately enough, Holt was spurred to buy a second Les Paul by Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion show in London.

“When that all happened, I went through this big Zeppelin resurgence and just became obsessed with buying a Les Paul,” he said. “My wife about lost her mind over the whole thing.”

Holt and his wife, Aubrey, have three children — ages 13, 4, and 1. The life of a Lake Highlands family man is not exactly in tune with that of a touring musician, so the three-time winner of the Dallas Observer’s Musician of the Year award has given up the road for a steady gig at Zounds Sounds music school.

“With kids and with the more stable kind of day job, performing is not something I do as often,” he said.

Holt has been in at least a dozen bands since Thin Ice, most notably Olospo and The Slack. He released a solo album last year called A Cosmic Joke and is working on another one. He’s also writing a book, a memoir of his days on the road with Olospo.

“I found all these tour diaries that I kept, and there were a lot of funny things that happened,” he said. “It was just kind of an interesting time period, and I found myself saying, ‘God, I’ve gotta write a book about this.’ ”

That news should thrill Mike and Ann Holt of University Park. Although Chris never seriously considered a career other than music, he said his parents wanted him to be a journalist.

“They’ve actually been really, really supportive” Holt said. “Any time you have somebody going into a career in music, there’s a certain amount of resistance there, because it can be a difficult way to make a living, but I’ve been very lucky.”

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On May 12, the Highland Park boys golf team, which included future PGA Tour player Harrison Frazar, captured its first state title since 1978. Trip Kuehne lost the individual championship on the first playoff hole.

Also on May 12, Jennifer Lapp became the first Highland Park girl to win two gold medals at the state track meet. She won the 3200- and 1600-meter races.

On Oct. 12, a gunman robbed Goff’s Hamburgers while Gov. Bill Clements was eating there — sans bodyguard. Shots were fired, and one customer suffered minor injuries, but the governor escaped unscathed.

On Nov. 7, University Park voters approved a switch to a “home rule” form of government.

Paul Lee bested Jacky Spears and Rose Franzen for a seat on the HPISD Board of Trustees.

After a four-year hiatus, Frank Bevers returned to his position as head coach of the Highland Park High School football team.

Valedictorian: Catharine Wildenthal
Salutatorian: James Herring
Blanket Award winners: Britt Fair and Wildenthal
Homecoming queen: Melissa Carlton

Patricia Patterson Barlerin, Donna Lynn Casey, Lisa Catherine Casey, Mary Ann Casey, Caroline Brown Clark, Virginia Elizabeth Fain, Mimi Evelyn Herrington

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