Touring the Daddy-O Studio

Videos by Corey Gray • Photos by Anna Donlan

“Later on I said, “I’m making the same sculpture twice. I’m an idiot.” But it would have looked stupid to have just one boot.”

From The Daddy-O Tour", Alcalde March|April 2017

Selections from the Oeuvre of Daddy-O

Taco Bus

Wade repurposed a disused school bus, painting it blue, cutting it up, and turning it into a taco truck outside Austin's El Arroyo.

Dino Bob

Dinosaur Bob is based on a children's book character, and resides outside the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas.

Cowboy Boots

The 40-foot-tall sculpture of cowboy boots outside San Antonio's North Star Mall was originally built in Washington D.C. It took three semi-trucks to transport it down to Texas.


Originally created for the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, Hog—composed entirely of scrapped Harley parts—now lives behind the South Austin Popular Culture Center.

Ranch 616 Sign

Wade created Ranch 616's 100-foot-long snake sign for his buddy, owner Kevin Williamson. The snake's head is an upside-down motorcycle engine.

Tango Frogs

Wade created his six Tango frogs for a Dallas nightclub roof. Now split into sets of three, they reside in both Nashville and Dallas.

Junkyard Dog

Wade's Junkyard Dog piece is one of his more literal ones. Created for a friend's junkyard out of an old ’66 Plymouth Fury, the dog sculpture was placed just outside, "guarding" the lot.

Saints Helmet

Wade thought Saints bar Shoal Creek Saloon could use a bit of flair. His helmet is composed of recycled Volkswagen parts.

“Somewhere in Europe, someone has a stuffed bucking bronco in their house, and a two-headed calf with two tails. If I had the money and the time I’d go and be a detective and find out what happened to it.”

From "The Daddy-O Tour", Alcalde March|April 2017

Cowgirl Fetish

“I did a cowgirl piece that sold at this charity auction for $15,000 or some insane amount—and it was a long time ago, in the 70's. Aside from the fact that everybody was looped, I said, wait a minute, there's something about the cowgirl thing that fascinates people. And so I found more cowgirl photos, and started doing a whole series of these cowgirl photos.

Bovine Iguana consumption

“The iguana sculpture sat in a barn on the outskirts of Fort Worth for 11 years. A tornado hit the barn, the cows ate some of the legs, you know, chunks of the legs. Don't know if it's so good for the cows to eat urethane foam, but that's what they did. Eleven years!”

Here for the Beer

“My baby airstream was created for a book tour in '95, and at one point, Budweiser got onto it, and it was leased to them for a year. So this crazy pink gigantic SUV pulled my Iguana Mobile around Texas to various bars promoting Bud Light. These three guys were very well known back during that period of time doing commercials for Budweiser. They were dressed like cowgirls. The theme of the ad was, ‘we're just here for the beer.’”

A Guy Walks Into A Bar

“I did a commission for the Prince of Monaco. Turns out the guy had a photo of Albert the First of Monaco with Buffalo Bill in Cody, Wyoming, together in front of the Irma Hotel. It arrives in Santa Fe, from the Royal Archives, with a letter that said, 'Dear Bob, as we discussed in Monaco, I would very much like for you to do this as a surprise for my dad's birthday'. Now it lives in the Royal Palace in Monaco. That's one of the more unusual commission deals I got just for being next to a guy at a bar.”

Song Bird

“I just read something in today's paper. It was something like, ‘the song bird in you never leaves,’ which I thought was a great quote. But you know, at the age of 74, I’m still available. I’m a great idea guy. The old man’s still cookin’.”

Hound Dog

“I visited Roy one time in Victorville at the [former Roy Rogers-Dale Evans] museum. My wife and I went up to his office and he gave us a little tour. And he said, now have a seat on this couch, I want to sing you a little song. So Roy Rogers, with his old brown lab, sat there and started singing this little western song. He yodeled. The dog was trained to be part of the song. At one point, Roy gestures down to the dog, and the dog goes, ‘aoooooooh’. It was perfect. My wife and I are sitting there going, You gotta be kidding me. It's just too much.

“You just let it go, just let it roll from one deal to the next. I was able to do that, and let the creative juices be unhindered.”

Read the Whole Story:
"The Daddy-O Tour", Alcalde March|April 2017