Athens Stupor

The end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 caused me to pause and reflect on fragments of my past. Particularly, the “Athens years” from 1976 to 1984, more or less. That was a very interesting age to be in (or near) Athens, Georgia. I arrived in the late summer of 1976 to start graduate school in Anthropology and quickly adopted the Last Resort as my home. My buddies at the Last Resort included Lynn (the owner), Judy Spears (the barkeep), and regulars Austin Church, Ed (the Sandwich sign guy who walked from New York to Miami to endorse a shoe company), Brian (later of Normaltown Flyers fame), and Davis Causey (later of Randall Bramblett Band fame). I remember playing blues harmonica on stage one night with Davis. It was pretty bad, but tolerated by the crowd. I heard some great bands there, including John Lee Hooker and Townes Van Zant.

Then there was Chameleon/Tyrones, which later burned. I remember a talent night and my friends Steve Kowaleski and Art Murphy goaded me into getting onstage. I played several songs and got a standing ovation but somehow forgot to claim my prize money. P.P. Blues was one of the more popular songs as I recall. I heard some great bands there too, including Downchild Blues Band, Bruce Hampton, and Love Tractor. I broke a girls foot doing the Pogo to Love Tractor.

My final “gig” before forming the Slant VI was at Allens in Normaltown. I sang Six Days on the Road with Vic Malatesta and his band called Scarlett something? Not so great sounding as I remember it. I do not remember hearing any great bands there, unless you include the Normaltown Flyers. I remember greasy hamburgers and pool tables and Terry.

Then, in December, 1981, our band of archaeologists, dubbed the Slant VI, played at the Coffee Club on Prince Avenue. That gig was arranged by Cynthia Leigh Williams our manager. It was a night to remember, what little I remember of it. We played for 5 hours with one brief break to a packed house from around 11PM to 4AM. At that point in our band’s history we were drummerless. That performance was followed by a two year lull, puntuated by glorious performances in 1983 and 1984 at the Uptown Lounge.

Why They Do It, I Think

This not counting my roving concertina and harmonica and guitar serenade/caterwallering around downtown Athens and Watkinsville in various elevated levels of stupor. Fond memories of sorts, what I remember of them.


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