TOFOGlogo.gif (5722 bytes)Austin American Statesman, Aug 3 2000


Our little corner of the world is getting ready for the spotlight Friday when ``Gladiator'' star Russell Crowe performs the first of three shows with Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts at Stubb's. The gigs are expected to receive coverage in most major entertainment magazines and tabloid TV shows.

``It's the kind of advertising you can't buy,'' admits Stubb's co-owner Charles Attal, who wasn't counting on all the attention when he booked the band several months ago. The band hired a local publicist, former Asleep at the Wheel plugger Susan Griswold, to handle the onslaught of media interest. Griswold says she had to learn how to spell ``paparazzi'' after taking the job.

Paparazzi is exactly what Crowe doesn't want. He's always kept the media at a distance, and has been especially standoffish since he and Meg Ryan were linked a month and a half ago. The actor is expected to spend most of his three weeks here at the South Austin studio where he and bandmates are recording their fourth album in five years. More info is available at

The question remains: Why Austin, especially in August? One theory popular in Austin (of course) is that our music scene lends some legitimacy to Crowe's band. Another is that his ``L.A. Confidential'' mate Guy Pierce turned him onto the town after he, too, recorded some music here for the little-seen movie ``A Slipping Down Life.'' Those closest to the source, though, think it's mostly the simple fact that Austin isn't Los Angeles or New York, giving the actor the chance to escape the limelight for a bit. Or so he thought.

Lines are expected to form early today outside Stubb's for the extra batch of tickets that go on sale at 1 p.m. for Friday's concert, which was moved outdoors to accommodate more fans.

--thanks to BB for posting