Pulling the thread that runs through Willie Nelson, Lightnin' Hopkins and Pasadena.

Responses to an essay on music and place lead a writer to reconsider his musical relationship with the two big cities he knows best — Los Angeles and Houston.

So, I guess I have a new pilgrimage to make here in Houston — traversing those 30 miles from Pasadena to what is now the Neon Boots Dancehall and Saloon. I’ll listen to “Night Life” along the way and maybe a little of Lightnin’ too. It won’t be the same as it was 60 years ago. I’ll probably get stuck in a traffic jam. But at least I will gain a more authentic connection to Houston’s great music history — and to the close connection between the city’s music and the places where that music took root.


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