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The Armadillo World Headquarters officially opened on August 7, 1970 with Shiva’s Headband, the Hub City Movers, and Whistler performing. The hall held about 1,500 patrons, but chairs were limited, so most patrons sat on the floor on sections of carpet that had been pieced together.
The name for the Armadillo was inspired by the use of armadillos as a symbol in the artwork of Jim Franklin, a local poster artist, and from the building itself. In choosing the mascot for the new venture, Wilson and his partners wanted an “armored” animal since the building was an old armory. Wilson also believed the building looked like it had been some type of headquarters at one time. He initially proposed “International Headquarters” but in the end it became “World Headquarters.”
The Armadillo caught on quickly with the hippie culture of Austin because admission was inexpensive and the hall tolerated marijuana use. Even though illicit drug use was flagrant, the Armadillo was never raided.
The final concert at the Armadillo took place on December 31, 1980.