Colorful Dallas record store owner Bucks Burnett passes away at 64
One of the more colorful characters in Dallas' music scene has died: Dallas record store owner and close-personal-friend-to-celebrities James Ray "Bucks" Burnett died on October 2; he was 64.
According to a police report, he was found at a friend's house. His partner Barley Vogel said in a Facebook post that he was suffering from Bipolar 1 Disorder and also from "the illness of addiction," and took his own life.
A Dallas native, Burnett was a musician, raconteur, archivist, and record store owner , most recently 14 Records on Garland Road in East Dallas, which he humorously dubbed "Dallas' smallest and least known record store." Record stores were his entire life, starting from his first job at Hit Records in Oak Cliff when he was 16 years old.
He also founded Dallas'
Eight Track Museum
, a tribute to the 8-track tape, which was
Wall Street Journal
; and served as manager and producer for Tiny Tim, for whom he founded a fan club and produced three Tiny Tim CD releases:
Songs Of An Impotent Troubadour
, and a dramatic reading of
The Boxlers: A Family History
In the '90s, he formed a band with Dare Mason and Paul Averitt called The Volares, on which he sang and played guitar. They released an album recorded in England called The Night We Taught Ourselves to Sing .
But he was better known for his brushes with rock stars and eccentric personalities like himself, even writing a column for the Dallas Observer in which he recounted his celebrity encounters. He met his first rock star — Neal Smith, drummer for Alice Cooper — at the age of 14.
"It warped me forever by making me believe I could meet all of my heroes. From that day on, I have dedicated my life to meeting, befriending or working with my favorite rock stars," he said .
He went on to befriend Pete Townsend of The Who, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, served as live-in butler to Small Faces bassist Ronnie Lane, and sorted the archives of Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads.
In attention-getting publicity stunts, he formed a whimsical fan club for Mr. Ed of the TV series fame while still in high school; organized a 1984 music festival at the Bronco Bowl called "Edstock" featuring Tiny Tim and T-Bone Burnett ( described as "culturally bazaar [sic] and financially disastrous"); and gave a check for $1 million to Andy Warhol at a Dallas book signing in 1986.
After Brian May from Queen once
that Bucks "would not let up," Burnett agreed, stating, "the one thing I’ve never done is let up. I am not in the letting up business. It doesn’t suit me. If you let up, a dream might pass you by."
According to Vogel, no services are planned, but a Facebook tribute page has been created for friends to post memories.