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An Introduction to Atlanta’s Rock N’ Roll World –


Within the spring of 1989, as a 19-year-old boy from the bayou, I made my method from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Norcross, GA. I used to be forsaking a wild upbringing in a damaged house, misspent youth, and just about the whole lot I had ever identified. Georgia was the promised land, a courageous new world the place I may pursue the goals I dared not dream throughout my turbulent and tumultuous childhood. I by no means dreamed I might find yourself with connections to people who would grow to be Southern Rock royalty, nevertheless it occurred.

The bar Charley Magruder’s was a launching pad for a lot of profitable bands

My first job was working for my huge brother, Doug as a helper on his hardwood flooring crew. We put in, sanded, and refinished hardwood flooring within the mini-mansions sprouting up round metro Atlanta like ragweed in a rolling meadow.

My introduction to Atlanta’s thriving music scene got here from my roommate, my brother’s enterprise associate, Rick Seals. Rick was an completed musician who crafted stunning wood flooring within the daytime and performed hard-hitting southern rock along with his band Southern Pace on most nights. I turned the band’s roadie and sound tech, which was superior, even when I had no audio or video abilities.

Examine how Lynyrd Skynyrd obtained their iconic identify right here

We arrange a apply house within the basement of the house we rented in Northeast Atlanta. The partying that went together with practices may final all evening. When it was time to gig, we’d pack the whole lot up and head off to Buckhead, Roswell, Hickory Flats, or wherever we may get the band on stage.

I enrolled within the Artwork Institute of Atlanta for the spring semester of 1990, the place I realized that I used to be extra gifted with phrases and writing than sketching, portray, and the inventive pursuits that introduced me to AIA.

As I pursued my artwork and training, I went to work at Manuel’s Tavern in Norcross. There I met a number of extra fledgling musicians, artists, and characters of all kinds. The tales I may inform of nights at Manny’s (as we known as it) and the after-hours bar hopping excursions that we engaged in may fill a number of chapters in a ebook and possibly did fill out various police experiences.

Ean Evans, proper, on stage with Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd

One of many individuals I frolicked with throughout my Manny’s days was Donald “Ean” Wayne Evans. We known as him Dwayne again then. Years later, he turned generally known as the Mississippi Child touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd, however within the early ’90s, Dwayne was in a band known as “Cupid’s Arrow.” They had been managed by Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister and performed gigs in and round Atlanta whereas engaged on their debut album. The band requested me to design the duvet. The band performed for quite a few file executives and had a number of promise however by no means fairly made it.

Cupid’s Arrow album cowl that was by no means completed

Evans, who had performed with 5 Miles Excessive, Babe Blu (recorded an album at Doraville’s Studio One), and Humble Pie, was dissatisfied and dealing as a studio musician and house upkeep tech to assist his household. Hughie Thomasson invited him to hitch the Outlaws, which Thomasson quickly left to hitch Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 2001, Thomasson really helpful Evans to step in for the late Leon Wilkeson. He joined the band, toured, and recorded with Skynyrd till his premature demise from lung most cancers in 2009.

A brand new documentary goals to inform the story of Atlanta’s Studio One, the place classics Free Fowl and Candy House Alabama had been recorded

Throughout my twenties, I may attend (and even labored a number of in varied capacities) some nice concert events. From native spots like Eddie’s Attic to 96 Rock Summer season Music Pageant, Piedmont Park (well-known for Allman Brothers concert events there of their early years), the Fabulous Fox Theater, the Omni, and Lakewood Amphitheater; exhibits at these and different venues launched me to artists just like the Black Crowes, Ozzy Osborne, Dangerous Firm, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and extra.

Turtle’s Information was an important a part of the Atlanta music scene

A fluke circumstance led me to the most effective live performance I ever attended. It was certainly one of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s final appearances earlier than his premature demise in 1990. In 1989, after tenting in a single day on the Turtle’s retailer close to Gwinnett Place Mall to purchase Rolling Stones “Metal Wheels” tickets, I scored two fifth-row seats for about $30 every. This was the Stones’ first tour since 1982 and was regarded as their final at the moment. In the course of the lengthy anticipate the sold-out November 21st present at Georgia Tech’s Grant Area, individuals saved providing me a small fortune, as much as $500, for my prized possessions. Three days earlier than the present, which I had been ready on for over six months at this level, a neighbor provided me two tickets to see Stevie Ray Vaughn (with Jeff Beck) the following evening and $400 for my Stone’s tickets.

Picture from the Rolling Stone journal article selling the Fireplace Meets the Fury Tour

I needed to do it. SRV was the most effective guitarist I had ever heard to that time. After that November 19th, 1989 “Half Home” present on the Omni with Jeff Beck, I can say I’ve by no means seen a greater live performance. Jeff Beck is a wonderful musician, and his set was terrific, however what Stevie Ray Vaughn did with that guitar in his hand (in his enamel or on the ground along with his ft) is by far the most effective show of musical expertise this bayou boy has ever witnessed. Beck joined SRV on stage for the ultimate encore and a smoking rendition of I’m Going Down to shut the set and produce down the home.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck on stage

I’ve nonetheless by no means seen the Rolling Stones reside. Nevertheless, the world sadly misplaced Stevie Ray Vaughn in a tragic helicopter crash later within the In Step Tour, so I take into account that long-ago commerce among the best offers I’ve ever made. RIP Stevie Ray Vaughn and my good buddy, the Mississippi Child.

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