Me and my ex girlfriend used to hang out at Tacoland frequently. It was “THE” PUNK place to go in the middle of downtown San Antonio and it was a music institution for punk bands and little known acoustic acts. There was very little space in the club. The pool table took up a great deal of space. The beer was cheap! The crowd was friendly. Folding chairs were sprinkled through the venue and a small bar in back picked up all the slack of the laughing crowd. I loved Ram the owner. He always recognized us and treated us with great respect and love. He would flirt with my girlfriend Toni and we laughed all the way to close. Ram will be missed. The club still stands in a different guise now. It has a few elements saved by the new owners in homage to the old club. WOW. what great times.

An Oral History Of Taco Land 10 Years After The Death Of Ram Ayala

Bulldozers Raze Most of What Remained of San Antonio Punk Institution Taco Land | San Antonio 

The Dead Milkmen – Tacoland

There’s a place In San anton Where I can go And never feel alone! Tacoland It’s a panacea Tacoland They’re always glad to see ya You’ll understand When you go On Down to tacoland When I feel My worst is lost I go to tacoland And I get really tossed I wish my band would always pla-a-ay Tacoland, I want to stay-a-ay You’ll understand When you go On down to tacoland There’s a girl with dirty hair She’s got her dress up in the air She tells a lot of jokes Hell, she’s got a lot to share Tacoland We ate a lot of figs They passed around a bottle And we took a lot of swigs It’s nature’s plan To go On Down to tacoland Tacoland Just three quarters of a mile past the rockwood exit in beautiful downtown San Antonio, Tex

The Oblong Boys live @ Taco Land, San Antonio, TX 10/04/2002 On a bill with Hug. The show was a little rowdy, and there are slight breaks in the video because someone flashed the camera and later someone knocked over the tripod. Songs Include: Godzilla!, Animal, Rip Your Head Off, Division Of Us 4, Sassquatch, Newman’s Own, Dopre Pa Do, F.B.I., Fellini-esque, X-Ray Specs, Allegorical Ankle, Life Is Meaningless, A.D.S., Properties Of Sound, Don’t Go Bald, Boule!, It’s The End Of The Show, plus improv.
Hug live @ Taco Land, San Antonio, TX 10/04/2002 On a bill with The Oblong Boys.

Texas State Historical Society

TACO LAND.Taco Land was a bar and nightclub located at 103 West Grayson Street in San Antonio. Ramiro “Ram” Ayala (1933– 2005) opened Taco Land (where he sold ten-cent tacos) in 1965 and in 1969 purchased the property for $21,000. Overlooking an undeveloped portion of the San Antonio River, the club featured a spare patio that included a very old live oak tree that nearly blocked one of the two entrances. Located in the same block as the Pearl Brewery, it catered to blue collar workers, North Side San Antonio residents, and gained a reputation as a biker hangout in the 1970s.

Music was not a central feature of the club until the early 1980s, when local punk rockers approached Ayala about playing at the venue. Booking a mix of local rockcountry, and punk rock acts, Ayala became a godfather to the local alternative music scene and his club a home to bands that often were not accepted in mainstream clubs.

Among the local bands that played Taco Land were Los #3 Dinners, Hickoids, Boxcar Satan, the Country Giants, the Bang Gang, the Marching Plague, the Flaming Hellcats, the Sons of Hercules, and many others. Bands from around the state also appeared. Many nationally-known touring punk and rock acts played Taco Land, including Yo La Tengo, L7, the Fleshtones, the Minutemen, the Cramps, GWAR, and the Dead Milkmen. Ram Ayala’s generosity often went far beyond the opportunity to play and sometimes included gas money, food, and drink to struggling traveling bands.

A number of recordings reference Taco Land, including the Dead Milkmen’s “Tacoland,” Kevin & the Black Tears’ “Taco Land Shuffle,” Boxcar Satan’s “Boxcardo’s Hideaway,” Geronimo Treviño’s “Macho Man From Taco Land,” Little Neesie’s “Stop It, You’re Killing Me,” and Suzy Bravo & Hammered’s “Face Down, Ass Up.”

Taco Land closed permanently after Ram Ayala was murdered during a robbery on June 24, 2005, while tending bar. He was survived by a wife and five children. Former patrons and musicians of Taco Land organized a tribute to Ayala in the form of an annual music festival, Ram Jam. A 1999 documentary on Taco Land captured Ayala’s philosophy of the music business and of Taco Land itself in an interview: “You might not make no money, but you’ll have a good time. You can’t buy a good time. And a good time is here.”

In 2011 television star and San Antonio native Ricardo Chavira and local real estate developer David Adelman purchased the property and formed Tacoland Studios LLC. In May 2013 Chris Erck finalized a twenty-year lease on the property and made plans to renovate the club which would be renamed as one word—Tacoland. In 2015 the venue, called TacoLand, under Erck’s management, offered a full bar, an open-air patio, dining options, and some live music. Erck commented, “Think of it as TacoLand 2.0.”

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