It was still a mostly analog world in 1983. But it was a year of great strides in bringing the digital age into the home. The birth of the World Wide Web was still six years away, but 1983 saw the arrival of America Online, Microsoft Word and a little plumber named Mario at the quarter arcade. But it was also the year Steve Jobs gave us the Apple IIe. Texas rocker Joe Ely got one and had the crazy notion to try and use it to make music. The resulting album was pioneering and revolutionary, but it sat in Ely’s archive until today.
Joe Ely sat down with Texas Public Radio’s Nathan Cone to discuss the now released “B484,” as well as his career in music, from road stories and collaborations with The Clash, to what he learned about songwriting from his fellow Flatlanders band members Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.