Michael Hall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979. Before joining Texas Monthly in 1997, he was an associate editor of Third Coast magazine and the managing editor of the Austin Chronicle. Hall won two 2001 Katy Awards: one for Best Reporter Writing Portfolio and one for Personality Profile/Interview for his July 2001 story “Lance Armstrong Has Something to Get Off His Chest.” He won a Texas Gavel Award in 2003 for his story about capital punishment, “Death Isn’t Fair,” which was also nominated for a National Magazine Award. Hall’s stories have appeared in the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sportswriting, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Da Capo Best Music Writing. He has also written for Trouser Press, the New York Times, Men’s Journal, and the Austin American-Statesman.
The life of Roky Eriksonone of the most influential Texas rock and rollers of all timehas been one calamity after another. His family and friends have taken care of him with the best of intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell.
The story behind this month’s cover story, “Lance Armstrong Has Something to Get Off His Chest.”
As he readies himself for this summer’s Tour de France, the two-time winner is battling allegations in Europe and elsewhere that he uses performance-enhancing drugs. He insists he is clean. But proving that is turning out to be one of his toughest challenges yet. He doesn’t use performance-enhancing drugs, he insists, no matter what his critics in the European press and elsewhere say. And yet the accusations keep coming. How much scrutiny can the two-time Tour de France winner stand? A lot—which is a good thing, since he’s heading back up that hill again.
Andrew Lichtenstein spent six years taking pictures inside Texas’ vast prison system. The result is an anthropological study of a brutal culture.
He was one of the most influential cultural figures in Texas—a generous godfather to a generation of rappers, an entrepreneur of Houston’s mean streets, the master of a scene fueled by codeine cough syrup and hip-hop beats. When he overdosed in November at the age of 29, it was easy to dismiss him as yet another musician who succumbed to his own success. But his story is more complicated than that.
Nine years after the brutal murder of four teenage girls in a yogurt shop rocked the city of Austin, the police say they have finally caught the killers. But they have no evidence and no witnesses—only two confessions that the defendants say were coerced. Which is why, when the case goes to trial in February, the cops will be on trial too.
Associate editor Michael Hall tells the story behind this month’s cover story, “Viva Fort Hood.”
Before Elvis Presley became an overweight entertainer in a rhinestone jumpsuit, there was a brief, more innocent time when he wore khakis as an Army private in Central Texas. It was his last chance to be a normal human being. And to be happy.
So says Don Baylor, the Austin native now managing baseball’s lowly Chicago Cubs. His players hear him loud and clear, but history has a way of repeating itself.
Want to see the Texas of Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mance Lipscomb, and other pioneering musicians of the twentieth century? Your trip through time begins near Washington-on-the-Brazos.