Terry with some of his sculpture pieces. If you are in the Denver airport baggage claim area you
may see the brethren of these gargoyles peeking out of sculpted Samsonite luggage.

"What I do more than anything is tell stories."

Terry Allen: Songwriter, Playwright, Artist, Musician

Dugout, (2005)
Terry Allen, New Monograph (2010)

Stage Works
Ring II: The Embrace...Advanced to Fury (a theater occurrence)
Anti-Rabbit Bleeder
Do You Know What Your Children Are Tonight?
(w/Allen Family: Jo Harvey, Bukka and Bale)
(w/ Jo Harvey Allen, Rende Eckert & Paul Dresher Band)
Leon and Lena (and lenz) (composer)
Reunion (a return to Juarez)
Chippy: Diaries of a West Texas Hooker (w/Jo Harvey Allen)
Dugout II: Warboy (and the backboard blues)
Ghost Ship Rodez
Covenant (w/Jo Harvey Allen)

Albums of Original Songs

Juarez (1975)
Lubbock (On Everything) (1979)
Smokin' the Dummy (1980)
Bloodlines (1983)
Pedal Steal (Soundtrack for Dance) (1985)
Amerasia (Soundtrack for Film) (1987)
Chippy (Soundtrack for Musical Theater Piece) (1995)
Human Remains (1996)
Salvation (1999)
The Silent Majority (Terry Allen's Greatest Missed Hits) (2005)
Ghost Ship Rodez (a Radio Play) (2010)
Live At Al's Grand Hotel, May 7th 1971 (2011)
Bottom of the World (2012-13)

NEA Fellowships (1970, 1978, 1985)
Guggenheim Fellowship (1986)
Bessie Award (Artist, Pedal Steal, Margaret Jenkins Dance Co.) (1986)
Isadora Duncan Award (Visual Design, and Sound Conception, Pedal Steal) 1988
Adaline Kent Award for promising CA artist (1989)
Wexner Center for the Arts, Artist's Residency Fellowship, Columbus, Ohio, (1992)
Buddy Holly Walk of Fame Inductee, Lubbock, Texas (1997)
USA Artists Grant, Oliver Fellow (2009)

Years ago, a Portland friend introduced us to the unique sound and always surprising, irreverent lyrics of Terry Allen. We were soon avid fans, and this was before we learned the full extent of of this talented artist’s creative gifts.
Not only a songwriter and unique performer, Terry Allen is a noted conceptual artist, sculptor, and painter with major works in museums, public places, and galleries throughout the US. He has written about his artwork in his book Terry Allen and various other publications. He is also a poet and playwright, and his book Dugout has been called a history, a memoir, and a multi-dimensional work of art.

When we began our journey to meet and talk with writers, we decided we wanted to make certain to include songwriters in our array. We selected three, including Terry (the other two are on our wish list for next year). And we were thrilled when our initial inquiry to him was greeted with an uplifting and supportive note inviting us to his studio for a talk.

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
control click if you are on a Mac. )


Santa Fe, NM

Run Time:



Songwriting, plays, poetry, multimedia, art




Lubbock, TX

Youthful Influence:

His parents, who taught him a love of language and music by osmosis; classic comic books, which whetted his appetite for classical learning; and his teacher Mrs. Murphy who "gave him permission" and encouraged him to write. Oh, and spectacular tattoos on relatives.

Favorite Authors:

Keroac, Burroughs, Hemingway, Roberto Bolano, classics

Creative Habit:

He goes to his studio every morning because he "wants to be there if something happens," and starts by working in his notebook.

On a warm, Santa Fe, New Mexico day we gathered in his spacious work area, surrounded by the many tools of his many trades: musical instruments, carving tools, paint and pen, shelves of notebooks and walls of CDs and books. And everywhere examples of his vision and work in various evolutionary stages of completion.
We are so proud to share this interview in which Terry tells stories of his early life in Lubbock, Texas, and then his escape to the West Coast and blossoming of opportunity and art. It’s a story that most of us will understand, of being young, restless and unsure, then slowly discovering that in fact we do have worth, we do have gifts, and we can make a difference in the world.
And, as if that isn’t enough, during this interview you’ll also hear a surprising insight on the death of Buddy Holly and the Crickets in 1959.

Our thanks to Jerry Sellers for introducing us to Terry Allen's work.

Terry's art is everywhere in his studio. Many of these pieces are featured in his self-titled book. We call it "the big beautiful black book," which we enjoy sharing. He also has several well-loved pieces from other artists in his studio.

We probably laughed more during this interview than in any other we've done.


Crucifix by Ed and Nancy Keinholz
And this story? The Barracuda & Hand is by artist Susan Rothenberg; the Ouroburos (snake with tail in mouth) is by artist (and son) Bale Allen

Terry in his studio sharing new music.

"National Pastime II"


Contact: info@authorsroad.com