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Daily Texan: Gunshot kills local musician - 02/02/1989


An Austin musician whose work was recorded by country singers Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard was shot early Wednesday morning and died during surgery at Brackenridge Hospital. Michael Fuller, 39, of 904 W. Mary St. died at 8:15 a.m. - about three hours after he had been wounded - said Brackenridge spokeswoman Kellye Norris, Police arrested 39-year-old Carey January, of 706 W. Mary St. and charged him with intentional murder, said Sgt. Ed Balagia, an Austin homicide investigator. January is being held in the Travis County Jail on $25,000 bond. Fuller - better known as Blaze Foley, an Austin musician and songwriter - was shot with a .22-caliber rifle in the living room of January's house, Balagia said. Fuller wrote If I Could Only Fly, recorded by Nelson and Haggard and released in August 1987, said Peggy Underwood, Fuller's friend and lawyer. "He always wanted to do a song that Willie Nelson recorded," she said. Fuller was ready to release an album recorded live at the Austin Outhouse, 3510 Guadalupe St., Underwood said. He wrote protest songs and has a single on the charts in Germany, she said. "He was always a kid at heart," Underwood said. "If he got any money, he gave it away to people who he thought needed it." Underwood said Fuller had an influence on Lyle Lovett and met Timbuk-3 on their first day in Austin. Doug Cugini, the manager of The Hole in the Wall, 2538 Guadalupe St., said Fuller had opened for Timbuk-3 at their Jan. 25 appearance there. "His personality was as big as his music," Cugini said. Balagia said Fuller was visiting Concho January, Carey January's father. "Apparently, there had been a longstanding feud between Carey and Blaze (Foley)," he said. The shooting, which took place at 5:30 a.m., was alcohol-related, Balagia said. "There was a lot of drinking going on," he said. Carey January was arrested at the scene a short time after the shooting, Balagia said. Dr. Robert Bayardo, the Travis County medical examiner, said Fuller died of massive internal bleeding that occurred when a single bullet tore through the left side of his abdomen.


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