Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Moore" Band Additions

Since contacting superb songwriter R. Stevie Moore about an interview to be included in "The Other City Of Nashville" book, this underrated and far-too-often overlooked artist has been most gracious and helpful, supporting the project with valuable information about Nashville's mid-70s rock music scene and LOADS of CDs.

It seems that not only was Moore a prolific songwriter and a home recording pioneer back in '75, he was also involved with an impressive rock music scene that thrived underground, beneath the notice of Music Row and the major labels. Moore was a good friend of Victor Lovera of the Smashers who, it is apparent from Moore's information and recordings, was making ultra-cool music almost a decade before that band ever recorded a note. Moore and Lovera played together in the local band Ethos, later to become known as Roger Ferguson and Ethos. A number of mind-blowing Ethos songs were caught on tape in 1973-74 and Moore has them available on CD-R, exclusively through his web site.

Another local Nashville band that the Reverend knew absolutely nothing about before Moore smartened me up is Hopper, a heavy rocking band mixing pop/rock influences with the newfound joy of Ramones-inspired punk rock. Fronted by Mike Hopper, who has also collaborated with Moore on several other musical projects, the band was around from 1975 - 83 and are certainly worth checking out (again, vintage CD-Rs are available only from Moore).

Engineer/producer Tom Der also contacted the Reverend about the project and we're very glad to hear from Tom. Der worked in the studio with a bunch of Nashville rockers during the '80s, most notably Dessau and Sixty-Nine Tribe. Tom recommended a few more bands that I didn't have on my list, including File 13 (duh!), Faith Like Guillotine, and another band that I NEVER should have forgotten, Mary Kay and the Cosmetics.

Swapping emails with Donna Frost, she brought up several bands that her brother Tony had played in other than Sixty-Nine Tribe, rockers like Triple X and Asfalt Jungle. Donna and Tom Der both mentioned Snakehips, which is where Tony Frost, John Sheridan and the old Sixty-Nine Tribe are now making music. Music Row publicist Mary Sack reminded the Reverend of Dave Olney, the excellent folk-rock musician that had a really cool band, the X-Rays, back in the early-80s. All these folks and a couple more that I discovered on my own are heretofore officially added to the list!

ASFALT JUNGLE, FAITH LIKE GUILLOTINE,
FILE 13, HOPPER, MARY KAY & THE COSMETICS,
MYSTIQUE, NEIGHBORHOOD TEXTURE JAM,
DAVE OLNEY, SNAKEHIPS, TRIPLE X,
THE WHITE ROSE REBELLION

Sometime over the holiday weekend I'm going to combine all 227 (!) bands onto one single list and create a separate page here on the site to include them all. If you have a Nashville non-country band circa 1976-2006 that you'd like to see added to this (still-growing) list, email me, the Reverend at rev.gordon (at) gmail.com. Thanks to RSM, Tom Der and Donna Frost for their great recommendations!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

High School Daze

It probably comes as no surprise to readers that the Reverend had the rock & roll jones bad even as far back as high school. Attending Franklin HS circa 1971-75, I remember skipping lunch to buy a bunch of Mothers Of Invention albums from an older friend for $2.00 - $3.00 each on a "payment plan." I managed bands, played guitar and bass, and started writing about music for Sunrise, the White Panther "journal of music and liberation."

Like almost everybody else, I thought that high school sucked bad. I coped with the usual self-medication that was trendy during the early-70s: a combination of illegal pharma and Boone's Farm apple and strawberry wines. A constant soundtrack of Jimi Hendrix, Spirit, Alice Cooper, Howlin' Wolf and the New York Dolls got me through four years of mind-numbing, dumbed-down lessons (not to mention that classes definitely cut into my social schedule).

One of my favorite moments of school was our senior year class play. During my junior year, the Brentwood "mob" -- Pete Carney, Bill Spicer and myself, along with a cast of fellow travelers and sympathetic bystanders -- wrote and produced the first original play in the history of Franklin HS. A satire of television called "All Rights Reversed," the production played extra shows and was the most successful ever presented at the school in terms of box office.

We all were asked to create a second "All Rights Reversed" our senior year, which we agreed to on the condition that we could include a live music segment at the end. The entire event became quite a scandal, which is the subject for an entirely different story, but the live music was particularly cool. The first segment featured guitarist/songwriter Donna Frost and keyboardist Pete Carney and the second segment featured Carney and guitarist Norm Rau (Dessau).

Donna is a longtime friend of the Reverend's, from 9th grade homeroom through the thirty + years that have since passed. Donna is a talented musician, and an important participant in Nashville's '80s rock scene. Donna performed with several bands, from the Bunnies and the Paper Dolls to Mystique. For the past decade, Donna has performed solo as a folk-rock artist, writing songs and traveling the world.

Donna will be featured in "The Other Side Of Nashville" DVD project and was kind enough to send us this very cool song that remembers the Nashville rock music scene. "Three Chords & The Truth" was written by Frost and Jack Howell and will be featured on Donna's next album. You can check out the lyrics below, which will also be featured in the project's discography/history book.

THREE CHORDS & THE TRUTH
(Donna Frost-Jack Howell)

1. I'm going back tonight where it all began, a little dive on the corner of West End
Keeping it real, true to my soul,
There was more to this than money, deals or people I should know
The most important thing I learned under that roof
All you need in this world is 3 chords and the truth

2. Bruce still tends the bar like he did in '83
And when I see him now, it all comes back to me
He watched us come & go, helped us on the way
No matter how good or bad it was
We all had something to say
It became our refuge, under that roof
A place where we could go & play 3 chords & the truth

Bridge: Some of us went on to better things
Some burnt out fast
Some gave up the dream
And some left this town with their foot down on the gas

3. There was a man all the girls loved
He was on his way to the top but that wasn't enough
Turning to the needle to take away the pain
This would be his last shot, he'd never do it again
Tonight I think about him as I sit in our old booth and another band is playing 3 chords and the truth.

Some things change, some things never do
But I still believe in 3 chords & the truth

2004, ASCAP, Hurricane Donna Music

Donna Frost's web site: www.donnafrost.com

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Nashville Music Zines, Part Three

Okay, so here's how it really went down. It was the fall of 1991, October or November, methinks. The Metro was on its last legs. Palas had pissed off, burned and mislead enough people around town that there was no haven left for his little music rag. We had set up an interview with underground musician Eugene Chadbourne -- who remains one of the most interesting artists plying their trade in the American underground today -- and tied it to an EC show that Gus was allegedly promoting at the Cannery. It was a slam dunk, really: Chadbourne interview in the paper, a live show a week or so later, and to top it off, a friend of mine agreed to cover Eugene's meager $500.00 guarantee. Gus didn't even have to part with any coin, just put on the show....

Chadbourne called me when he rolled into town and I met him in Green Hills. We left his rental car in a lot that I knew would be safe for overnight storage (having left my car there in a drunken Cantrell's stupor many a night) and ran down to Pizza Perfect to have some dinner. Now, the Reverend was already mighty suspicious, since Palas hadn't returned any of my calls that week, and an issue of The Metro with my Eugene Chadbourne interview was nowhere to be found. A deal was a deal, though, and I had already handed off my buddy Eric's five C-notes to Eugene, so, as they say, the show must go on!

Eugene and I arrived at the club around 7:00 PM (for a 9:00 PM showtime) to find the windows darkened and the parking lot strangely devoid of cars. Gus had supposedly arranged for Walk The West, who had met Eugene in Austin, to open the show and I figured that the lot would be full of that popular local band's fans. No such luck. We threw some rocks against the one window that was lit, waking the club's "security guard" from his slumber. The night watchman, a buddy of Gus's that was crashing at the club, had no knowledge of any show going on that night, and he was right.

I called up several friends, including the one that had paid Eugene's guarantee, and we all agreed to meet out at his house. There, Chadbourne pulled out his trusty songbook and beat-up guitar and proceeded to put on a private show for 13 listeners, right from the comfort of Eric's couch. Unfortunately, Nashville didn't know what it was missing, 'cause Eugene rocked the house and we all had a grand old time.

Flash forward several months to the spring of '92. The Metro had been AWOL since the Chadbourne fiasco and local music fans, accustomed to a monthly...more or less...music zine were getting edgy. A number of people approached the Reverend and asked what it would take to start up a new rag. "Money" was always my answer, and when Mark Willis of New Sound Atlanta (who had taken over booking the Cannery in Gus's absence) and Mike Phillips of local band Peace Cry agreed to help underwrite the venture via advertising, R2 (or R Squared, for "Rock & Roll") was born. Pan Doss at the Pantheon club jumped on board, as did Steve West at 328 Performance Hall, and off we went....

The first issue of R2 hit the streets in June '92, a quarter-fold tabloid with local rocker Threk Michaels and metal legends King's X on the cover. I had lined up a pretty strong staff of writers, most of them former Metro scribes, including Brian Mansfield (who wrote a great Will & the Bushmen piece) and my old NIR buddy, Andy Anderson (who contributed a piece on the Ellen James Society and interviewed the Replacements' Chris Mars). We had articles on international artists (Midnight Oil), regional artists (Atlanta's Stonehart) and local artists (Michaels, Stealin' Horses). Clint Brewer, now the editor of the Nashville City Paper, contributed a cool Widespread Panic article and Andy and I scratched out a bunch of album reviews, including discs by the Ramones, Body Count, the Beastie Boys and Jason Ringenberg's first solo album, One Foot In The Honky Tonk.

It took a lot of work to get that first issue of R2 off the ground, and after collecting all the advertising monies due, we broke even, if I remember correctly. Aside from the writers who were paid a pittance for their contributions, folks like Mike Phillips and his wife Wendi, Mark Willis and his new Sound Atlanta staff (especially Roxanne), Nancy Camp and Pam Cross in Atlanta and Nashville's Randy Ford and Donny and April Kendall were all instrumental in getting the zine on the street. Thanks to Willis, we had distribution in Nashville, Atlanta, Roanoke VA and Myrtle Beach SC. The zine had great content and if the lay-out looks a little dated and undergroundish as I look at it today, it was, by all measures, a minor triumph.

With little or no money left after producing issue numero uno of R2, Mike Phillips and I began badgering our advertisers (Go West Presents, the Pantheon, Deja Vu, 527 Mainstreet in the 'boro and, of course, New Sound Atlanta) to place ads in issue number two. Andy and Brian and myself started cranking out copy when, who should reappear on the local scene but Gus Palas! As we were hitting up advertisers for commitments for our second issue, we often found that Gus had been there first, talking shit and trying to undercut us.

Seems that Gus was trying to resurrect The Metro after a hiatus of nine months or so, and the only way that he could do it was by running down those of us who had supported him through the years. We heard reports of Gus saying that I didn't know how to put together a magazine (actually, I had taught him), that we had second-rate writers (Brian Mansfield has since published several books and has written for USA Today for over a decade) and so on. It was a dirty campaign and a lot of potential advertisers were on the fence.

The Reverend, veteran of biker bars and early Internet flame wars, was ready for the fight when, unfortunately, my father died unexpectedly. After working security for New Sound Atlanta at the Cannery on a Friday night, I spoke with my father early Saturday morning before going to bed. I was awakened by my mom who said that they had rushed dad to the hospital. By the time I could drive from Franklin to Nashville, dad had died...and all the piss and vinegar that I had worked up for a feud with Palas drained right out of me. At that moment, I didn't really care about R2 or The Metro or much of anything except my family.

Unbeknownst to all of us, behind the scenes, Gus was negotiating to sell The Metro. Maybe he knew that he couldn't beat us (after all, R2 had his best writers and most of his advertisers) or maybe he was just trying to cash out and split town. Either way, he somehow convinced Ned Horton and Radio Lightning to buy The Metro for a reported $10,000 and bring the zine in-house. I'll never understand why Ned didn't just start his own music zine through the radio station rather than pay Palas (after all, The Metro was nothing more than a couple of crapped-out computers by this time, and Gus hadn't published an issue in over nine months).

I found out about the sale of The Metro when Gus called me to offer his condolences for the loss of my father and to make an offer to buy out the second issue of R2. Seems like they didn't have any material to publish a new issue of The Metro, so Gus had convinced Ned to pay me $500 or something like that for the contents of our second issue. Since it didn't appear that I was going to be able to get another R2 on the street anyway, I agreed to the purchase, paid my people and made peace with Gus. In the process, I was drafted onto the staff of the "new" Metro, although it wouldn't be long until changes were in the air....

The fourth and final installment: Bone Music Magazine and beyond!

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Kill Your Idols" Music Documentary

Kill Your Idols filmUnbeknownst to the Reverend, it seems that music documentaries are the hot shit thing on the film festival circuit these days. The latest indie director to strike gold (albeit a smallish pot, I'm sure, and not the jackpot at the end of the rainbow) is S.A. Crary. Crary's film Kill Your Idols has been picked up by Palm Pictures for DVD distribution in North America and the Caribbean. Kill Your Idols follows thirty years of New York City's "no wave" art-punk scene, featuring bands like Sonic Youth, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, among others. The film picked up an award at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival and has been wowing crowds at festivals across the country. Kill Your Idols, say the pundits, is part of a "new wave" of indie music documentaries that includes American Hardcore and Too Tough To Die: A Tribute To Johnny Ramone.

Your humble scribe is a sucker for music documentaries, although I tend to watch music DVDs only two or three times a year in a wave of frenzied viewing, typically accompanied by beer and a bowl of potato chips. Thus I'll probably spring for a copy of Kill Your Idols when Palm puts it out on the shelf, especially since they don't seem to be interested in sending promo copies of their releases to the kindly Reverend. To tell you the truth, tho', I like my idea of a film documenting 30 years of Nashville rock better than Crary's idea of covering three decades of New York noise bands...but then, I prefer listening to Jason & the Scorchers, Webb Wilder, Royal Court Of China, 69 Tribe, Afrikan Dreamland...hell, just about any local band...above the squawk and strum of Lydia Lunch or Sonic Youth. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but it is good to know that music documentaries are the "in thing" this year.

Of course, with my luck, by the time I get "The Other Side Of Nashville" DVD released next year, we'll all be watching Britney give birth to Brad Pitt's quadruplets live on MySpace.com (or some other such horror show).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nashville Rock Shopping Spree

Waking up Saturday morning, the Reverend had a single purpose in mind: go record shopping! I had a list of 200+ artists that could be featured in "The Other Side Of Nashville" book, and had recordings on only about half of them. There were a few that were at the list, notably the Smashers' major label debut vinyl, the Chip & the Chiltons LP and Radio One's lone locally-released album.

First stop was Tower Records, just to check out what they might have in the store's "local artists" section. Honestly, it had been a while since I checked out this section of Tower and I had to look to find it. Unfortunately, two employees that I asked has no idea of where it was and I ended up stumbling across it myself. Tower's local artists shelf is located in the very back corner of the store, behind the jazz, vocal and soundtrack artists, for chris'sakes! It's nowhere near the "rock" music section (where it once was and where one might actually expect to find it), representing a kind of rock & roll ghetto amidst lesser genres of music (sorry, jazz buffs, but rock is the nazz and Miles and Bird have been gone a long time).

'Tis a shame, too, 'cause the Tower local artists section has a lot of cool CDs by bands past and present. Although there was a good bit of chaff among the wheat, the Reverend did pick up CDs by long-forgotten bands like Popular Genius and Bombshell Crush as well as one of my favorites, Jetpack. The next stop would be The Great Escape.

It was at The Great Escape that I expected to find some long-lost vinyl to integrate into the project. After striking out with chance potshots at finding discs from Intruder, Afrikan Dreamland and Chip & the Chiltons, I found the Smashers album I wanted as well as the Radio One. As a bonus I found the Actuel 12" EP that features Robb Earls and John Elliott. Best of all, I found an obscure, veritable forgotten LP called Nashville Homegrown. Released as a benefit album for Second Harvest Food Bank, the disc features local rock artists like Will Rambeaux & the Delta Hurricanes, the White Animals, Mark Germino & the Folk And Roll Band, Civic Duty and the Nerve. It was a cool find and provided a wealth of band info in the liner notes.

Last stop on Saturday was Grimey's, which has a small but well-stocked local music section. Although I usually have a list of used discs that I look for at Grimey's, on this visit I remained planted in the local section. As such, I picked up CDs from Ghostfinger, Character, the Privates and Joe, Marc's Brother from the local shelf. I also found copies of Be Your Own Pet's major label debut and the new David Meade CD. Luckily, I had trade credit to expend on local discs 'cause I certainly couldn't have afforded to pay for all the discs with cash (especially since I had spent everything except my lunch money at Tower and The Great Escape).

When I got home I wasn't satisfied with my haul for the day, so I took a spin through eBay and found the two Dessau CDs for next to nothing from a couple of buyers and decided to go for them. Unsatisfied with the weekend's take, I rounded up a copy of the Chip & the Chiltons' vinyl from The Great Escape's online store, along with an Anastasia Screamed CD that I didn't have so I ordered them both with the meager funds I had available.

I'd have to consider the "shopping spree" a successful one, albeit a joyride that I won't be able to afford to take again anytime soon. I've always supported local music, and don't mind buying it when possible, but donations of recordings from local artists for the project will be greatly appreciated. Perhaps by September I'll be able to afford another "shopping spree" for local music, but until then I rounded up a lot of cool tunes to tide me over until the next time.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Steve Woods' Band List

We get emails! Lots of them, more than I can promptly answer, tho' probably not as many as I'd like to get, considering the scope of the project. To answer one electronic missive, the "Victor" named below is not the late Victor Lovera of the Smashers, but rather a local reggae artist that released one 7" 45rpm gem sometime during the '80s. As for "Vee Elle" speaking to me from the grave...there's no need to haunt the Reverend...the Smashers are on the list already, and friend Thom King has already given me permission to reprint his fine 1980 article on the band from Take One Magazine in the book. The Smashers were one of Nashville's first original rock bands, so their place in local history is set in stone!

Steve Woods, who now lives in Memphis but used to play in the ultra-cool local band Vegas Cocks, emptied his brainpan out in a series of emails to the Reverend, providing an embarrassment of band names that I had forgotten, or half-remembered, or didn't know in the first place. Some of these bands should have been on the first or second list...really, how could I have forgotten Simmonz or the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies...but Steve brought up some really good ones that I didn't remember, folks like Alien In The Land Of Our Birth, or the Rayon City Quartet. He also provided links to band sites and articles that will prove to be valuable to the project. Thanks, Steve!

I have included the bulk of Steve's suggested bands below, along with a few more that I discovered by looking through my old record review files. This brings the project band list up to a whopping 216 names, but I may have counted wrong. I'm sure that the total will only go up from here. However, I'm going to need help with a lot of these. I have included contact information below...if you know of anybody that was in any one of the bands on our list, tell them to get in touch with me. I need info on band members, etc to ensure that the book has as much on the scene as possible.

ALIEN IN THE LAND OF OUR BIRTH
THE BUNNIES, THE HOLIDAYS
IODINE, ROBERT JETTON
MILKSHAKE, MR. ZERO
OWEN'S ASHES, OWSLEY
PASSAFIST, RAYON CITY QUARTET
ROCKFISH, SCREAMIN' CHEETAH WHEELIES
THE SHAKES, SIMMONZ, STARING AT THE SUN
STELLA, STRANGE TONGUES
TODAY IS THE DAY, TONE PATROL
TRANSYLVANIA COWBOYS, VAGANTIS

Get in touch with the Reverend! You can email me: rev.gordon (at) gmail.com (you know what to do in the middle of that email address, don't you?) or leave a comment on this blog and I'll track you down. You can find a complete profile of the Reverend at www.myspace.com/reverendk and you can find abundant samples of my writing at www.mondogordo.com. The official page for "The Other Side Of Nashville" [click] has more info on the project, including how you can get involved.

Later this week on the blog...the results of my weekend local music buying spree, and I'll try to get the third part of the zines article done this week as well. And yes, I did find a near mint LP copy of the the Smashers' 1980 album yesterday. Yikes!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Nashville Music Zines, Part Two

Let's clear the air before we begin discussing The Metro. Gus Palas was an asshole of the first degree, a manipulating conman whose promises never lived up to the reality. Over the seven years or so that Gus published The Metro, he ripped off, pissed off and disappointed a hell of a lot of people. As The Metro's main contributor throughout its run -- the zine's music editor and resident critic, as well as photographer, graphic artist and all-around whipping boy -- nobody (and I mean nobody) got ripped off by or pissed off at good ol' Gus more than the kindly Reverend. After all, I stood shoulder to shoulder with Palas through thick and thin, defended him at the risk of my own reputation, and went out on a limb for the rag more than once.

It all started during the summer of 1985. At the urging of Bernie Sheehan (the madman and visionary that tried to get the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame to locate in Nashville), I received a phone call from Gus Palas. Bernie had told him that I was the "go-to" guy around town, the one writer that he needed on the staff of his new magazine. I bought into Gus' vision of a local music magazine and offered my dubious expertise to get the thing off the ground. The Metro got off to a rocky start, with Gus overestimating the meager (unpaid) staff's ability to crank out a zine every two weeks, and overestimating the amount of ad revenue the publication would pull in. From a gloomy basement office in an alleyway off Belmont Boulevard, we laid out and published the first half-dozen or so issues of The Metro in a cocaine-fueled haze.

Over the next seven years, Gus would keep the rag going by hook or by crook, publishing on a shoestring budget, frequently changing office spaces when the unpaid rent would prompt a "midnight move." When local typesetters would no longer work on the rag without cash in advance, Gus scraped up the money to buy some Mac computers and do the lay-out and design in-house. He ran the magazine out of seedy offices (Melrose, Music Row), a nightclub (The Cannery) and his own apartment. Somehow, Gus got The Metro on the street more often than not.

There was a period, around 1985/86 or so, when Gus was off playing rock star with the Simmons brothers and their band the Stand. During this year, Gus abdicated his role in the magazine to a bunch of Vandy kids, pretty much duplicating the same error that Thom King had made with Take One Magazine a decade earlier. During his absence, this writer was marginalized by the new staff and the magazine took off in a different direction, with a more "artistic," hipper vibe. Palas returned from his hiatus in mid-87 and took over the reins of The Metro from the Vandy grads that were running it.

When this group of disgruntled former staffers were shown the door in a powerplay between them and Palas, they started up the short-lived Fireplace Whiskey Journal. Launched in the spring of 1988 by former Metro editor Kath Hansen along with writer Tom Wood, his girlfriend Nikki Pendleton, Regina Gee and local musician Lee Carr, Fireplace Whiskey Journal drew the line in the sand. You were either for Gus Palas or you were against him.

In the zine's first issue, Wood fired off the salvo "In Defense Of The Metro," a sarcastically titled editorial criticizing Palas for poor business decisions, his inability to keep a strict publishing schedule and...horror of horrors...for wasting ink on bands like Metallica. This writer shot off a response to Wood's smug editorial, defending Palas and The Metro (and, by extension, my own work). The Fireplace Whiskey Journal's ruling council refused to publish my rebuttal piece in "their forum," which, of course, prompted another response on my part. Why dredge up ancient history over two publications that no longer exist? Because I was right, dammit, and they were wrong!

As I wrote at the time, "all of the creative efforts of every Nashville musician, poet or painter won't add up to shit if nobody outside of Davidson County is exposed to them. To this end, The Metro has served to represent Nashville culture to the world...not totally, nor flawlessly, but as adequate and balanced a forum as is possible in what is an advertiser-supported publication." I concluded my tirade with, "like it or not, Gus Palas has done more to promote local talent of ALL kinds, from alternative acts to heavy metal and all who stand in between, than the whole lot of prancing, posing, pseudo-intellectual rich kids and snobbish Vandy grads slumming for a semester or two down on Elliston Place." And, in retrospect, this was true. Yes, we put Bon Jovi on the cover of the very first issue, in August 1985, but we also put cult L.A. cowpunk band the Screamin' Sirens on the cover of number two.

Throughout the history of The Metro, I personally wrote stories on local talent like Dessau, the Dusters, In Pursuit, F.U.C.T., Jet Black Factory, Jason & the Scorchers, Webb Wilder, Threk Michaels, Chagall Guevara and Aashid Himmons, among many others. We also pursued stories of national importance, and provided important coverage to artists like R.E.M., Billy Bragg, Faith No More, Mojo Nixon, the Ramones and King's X. The Metro's eclectic editorial direction often provoked grumbles among local scenesters that we gave coverage to our friends, or that you could buy your way into the rag which, in one sorry instance (the unfortunate Whyte Lace incident) proved true. However, on my part, I wrote about bands that I liked, or those that contacted the magazine and asked for a story, and I was never paid a dime by Gus or anybody else (tho' Tom Littlefield and Kenny McMahan did buy beer on a few occasions).

The Metro became a force to be reckoned with around its fifth anniversary, shortly after Gus had hooked up with Lisa Hays and Lisa became the rag's de facto managing editor. A ground-breaking interview with Tipper Gore at the height of the PMRC controversy prompted an outraged Jello Biafra to pull out a copy of the magazine on Oprah Winfrey's national show, flashing The Metro on screen and quoting from the interview. This led to my interview with the Dead Kennedys frontman and more national attention. We became one of the first publications in the country to write about Living Colour, Sepultura and Stealin' Horses. We published Andrew Eldritch's favorite Sisters of Mercy article and championed free speech in Nashville's punk underground. The magazine sponsored three "Nashville Music Awards" bashes and could boast of readers from across the country and in Europe.

In the end, though, Gus was a pretty shabby businessman and there was never enough money to support The Metro. Although the magazine had always attracted talented writers -- folks like Rebecca Luxford, Brian Mansfield (now a USA Today writer), Bill Spicer and old school scribes like Andy Anderson, Thom King and yours truly -- The Metro went dark sometime late-1991/early-92. When Gus resurfaced after a ten month hiatus, it was to sell what was left of The Metro to WRLT-FM, Radio Lightning, which published it for a few months and changed the name (and editorial focus) to follow the interests of the station. Thus was Bone Music Magazine born, in part three of this series....

Friday, June 02, 2006

Band List Additions 2

Thanks to word of mouth from among readers here at "The Other Side Of Nashville" blog, a slow trickle of email has begun, with long-lost friends contacting me about the project. Fans of various bands, or just fans of the local scene, have also been writing and reminding me of bands that I'd forgotten or overlooked. As such, I have added the below-listed artists to the "official" project list.

I'm still looking for recordings from Nashville-based bands, particularly Chip & the Chiltons and the Smashers. I plan on hitting some used vinyl stores like The Great Escape and Grimey's next weekend with a "wish list" of local music and see what I find. After all, the hunt is half the fun! I did find a copy of Royal Court Of China's Geared & Primed for a few dollars on eBay this week so I went ahead and grabbed it. I know that many people don't think much of this album, part of the band's "L.A." phase, but I thought that I'd give it a listen. The band's first A&M album was brilliant but, like usual, the label had no idea the quality of the band they'd signed -- they didn't sound like anyone else that I remember at the time -- so the label had to try and change them into Guns 'N' Roses. Oh well...here are the additions to our list (now 197 members strong).

AFTERDARK, BABY STOUT,
BE YOUR OWN PET, PAT BUCHANAN,
GLOSSARY, GO JIMMY DUB,
THE GROOVE KRICKETS, KIM'S FABLE,
PAPER DOLLS, SMOKELESS ZONE,
SWAN DIVE, VENUS HUM