Thursday, June 25, 2009

Georgia Theatre memories: Kevn Kinney

After nearly 20 years of shows at The Georgia Theatre, you'd think Drivin' n' Cryin' front man Kevn Kinney would have some pretty cool stories to share about the venue.

You'd be wrong. So, so very wrong. I caught up with Mr. Kinney Friday night, after he played a bar here in Macon.
Q: How many times you figure you played at The Georgia Theatre?
A: Oh, I played at least 20. At least 20.

Q: Starting about when?
A: Well I started playing there acoustic, I think, the very first time I played there on Father's Day. Probably Father's Day. My daughter was probably 3. She's 22 now, so 19 years ago.

Q: Sunday is Father's Day.
A: Yeah.

Q: Favorite memory?
A: I think the first time was when she played out there with me. You know, she came out on stage with me, hung out, you know, was walking in and out of the stage. My favorite times there were with The Mule. Government Mule. Those were the best shows I ever saw there. I got to play with Chuck Leavell there with The Mule and it was awesome.

Q: Yeah?
A: Yeah.

Q: What songs you do?
A: I did Straight to Hell, Rockin' in the Free World. The usual.

Q: Any crazy stories that really should not see the light of day, but because of the occasion get to?
A: Not really, man. You know, it's just, like, my kind of hang out bar in Athens. You know, I used to live there for 10 years, so I just kind of go there.

Q: Thank you for your time.
A: I don't have much more. I miss it. And I was supposed to play there in September, so I've got to find some place else to play.
I went back inside the bar after Mr. Kinney headed home and some guy who's name I never got was playing a cover of Swingin'.

"Everybody comes in from the back, looks, and is like, 'Are they doing Swingin?' Yeah hell yeah we're doing Swingin'."

It was pretty entertaining.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Georgia Theatre memories: Chuck Leavell

Word on the street is that Sea Level played the first concert in The Georgia Theatre when it transitioned from an empty movie house to a music venue in January 1978.

A splinter group of sorts from The Allman Brothers Band, Sea Level was developed by Chuck Leavell, whom you may know as a long-time member of The Rolling Stones.

But, in Middle Georgia, we think of Mr. Leavell as Twiggs County's most famous Rock Star forester. He's also kind enough to return phone calls quickly.
I called Randall (Bramblett) just to jog my memory a little bit, and we do remember that we did open (The Georgia Theatre) up. Now, Davis Causey says it might have been in '76, and not '78, but I guess if The Banner (Herald) researched it they're probably right. But I can tell you that what I do remember of it is that we had just expanded our band... and it was one of the first shows that we did with a larger band. ...

But that's certainly not my only experience with The Theatre. One of the most memorable times I had was with Col. Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit. I got a call from Johnny Sandlin, and I wish I could tell you the year... but Johnny said, "Look, Bruce is playing The Georgia Theatre and we're gonna do a live C.D. How would you feel about being a guest?"

At the time I knew very little about them except that they were very, very hip, and I had known Bruce for a long time. ... And I went in and it was the kind of band where they really didn't want to rehearse. They just kind of liked things to happen spontaneously. So there was hardly any rehearsal. I think there was really just basically a discussion of what key something might be in. And, then, it was sort of like just turn it loose and see what happens. And what happened was it was a great, great show.

I think it's an iconic music venue for the state of Georgia and the southeast in general. It has a wonderful history. A very rich history of music and lots of interplay between fans and musicians. There's been a lot of wonderful jam sessions that have occurred there. ... I certainly hope that every effort will be made to rebuild it. I think it's a tragic loss. I'm sure that if, at some point in time it were needed, there would be a lot of musicians that would be willing to come together and do something to help it be rebuilt. ...

Is it more than a stage? Well it provides so many great memories for us as musicians. There's certain places that, maybe there's a little magic that goes on. And I would say that's one of those places. I think it would be a very sad thing to think it would no longer be there.
Mr. Leavell's interests these days trend more toward forest preservation and Mother Nature Network. As for The Stones, he noted that August "will mark two years of no Stones activity, so that's a pretty long period to be off and I would think it wouldn't be too much longer before the band would want to be doing something, whether it's a new record or a tour.

"So, hopefully, there won't be much longer to wait for The Stone's fans," he said.

Mr. Leavell said he'll be doing some solo shows soon, and that he's working on a book called Smart, Strong and Sustainable, "which will deal with growth issues in our country."

Monday, June 22, 2009

God bless soldiers

A 48th Brigade Guardsman from Calhoun was killed Saturday in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense. First Sgt. John Blair is the fourth member of the Georgia 48th killed since the brigade began deploying to Afghanistan several weeks go.

Stars and Strips has a moving piece up, detailing the attack, and Sgt. Blair himself.

He pulled the faceless body of a man he’d come to love out of the gunner’s belt and climbed into the turret to replace him.

“We went over that before we left. (Blair) said, ‘Sgt. Bellinger, what are you going to do if I get hurt?’ I said, ‘I’m gonna take you down and continue this mission.’ He’s like, ‘Roger,’ ” said Bellinger, of Cumming, Ga. “That’s what I did.”

Friday, June 19, 2009

Georgia Theatre: The last marquee

One of my sisters was at The Theatre last night. She took a picture of the marquee because her boyfriend's roommate is in the band.

Image: Lara Fain.

Indications are that the theater will be rebuilt. It appears the marquee, and perhaps even the outer walls, can be saved.

But if you're ever sitting on a porch in Athens playing trivia, and they ask who played the last show before the famous Georgia Theatre fire of 2009, the answer is Rockinwood.

The Georgia Theatre is on fire

1340 in Athens reports the Georgia Theatre is on fire this morning, with "as many as 4 ladder trucks" on the scene.

Nothing online at The Banner Herald or The Red and Black.

UPDATE: The Athens-Clarke County Fire Department confirms it: The Georgia Theatre is burning.

UPDATE: As the commenter notes, The AJC is up with a story. They have a contributed picture on the home page showing a ton of smoke.

UPDATE: Athens Bureau Chief Brian Huff has arranged for pictures. The phrase "total loss" is being used a lot, and I think you can see why.

Image: Daniel Ussery.

Lucid Idiocy Athens Correspondent Jean O'Keefe reports at 8:59:
They have the fire under control but they are still hosing it down. You can see smoke from Milledge and the downtown area is fairly smoky. Lots of people hanging out on street corners and parking lots. Building is still standing. I will send pics out later today.
It looks like WSB TV in Atlanta sent their chopper to shoot the fire. They have several pictures. The Banner-Herald has a story up now. Apparently the fire knocked out power downtown, including at the paper.

Final update on this post: The Banner Herald spoke to the owner. He plans to rebuild, and there's some speculation as to the cause.

Fox 5 got an excellent view of the now-gone roof from their chopper, as seen in this video embedded at Fresh Loaf.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran: A wheel in spin

Rostam replied, "The way is long, how shall I go without soldiers to accompany me?" Zal said, "There are two ways there from this kingdom, and both are filled with difficulties and dangers. One is the way that Kavus took; the other lies through the mountains and will take two weeks. You will meet with lions and demons and darkness, and your eyes will be bewildered by what they see. If you take the shorter way, you will come on monstrous things, and may God come to your aid then. It is a hard way, but set Rakhsh along it and you will survive its perils. In the dark night, until daybreak, I shall pray to God that I shall see your shoulders and chest again, and your sword and mace in your hand, and if God wills that a demon turn your days to darkness, can any man avert this from you?

What comes to us must be endured. No one can stay in this world forever; and even if he remains here for a long time, he is finally summoned to another place. If a man leaves behind him a noble reputation, he should not despair when he has to depart."

- Shahnameh

I don't know whether we're witnessing a revolution or not in Iran at the moment. But I do believe that everyone who calls themselves an American, who says they love freedom, should be paying attention.

My guess is that we are not witnessing a revolution, but only a step. Perhaps many steps.

Whenever people take to the streets, peacefully, to say "We are not satisfied," the cause of humanity is advanced. And whenever the government in power responds with a tightening grip, it only hastens its own demise.

But these things all take time. Government has no special powers of its own. Nor do movements. They are merely means to an end, which hopefully we will call liberty.

When I refuse to obey an unjust law, I do not contest the right of the majority to command, but I simply appeal from the sovereignty of the people to the sovereignty of mankind.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Potpourri: Nicknames, like the Internet, are stupid

Did you know that, in Jeopardy, the category "potpourri" includes questions that were not revealed in previous Jeopardy episodes because time ran out?
I have a book called Great American Speeches. But did Lou Gehrig give the greatest speech ever?

July 4, 1939. Note the large G in the background.
"There are more kinds of fools than one can guard against."

"In the last instance, it is character alone that makes for one's safety."

- Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent.

Sir Charles Barkley, he ain't even got a ring.

Notre Dame has been trying to auction off a scoreboard since May 13, with very few bids. The jokes write themselves.
  • They figured they wouldn't need it.
  • Jimmy Clausen not included. Thank God.
  • Home side almost like new!
  • It's actually just for rent, because USC owns it.
  • Weighs less than Charlie Weiss.
  • Home of the 1981 Sugar Bowl runners up
I'm not quite sure I trust this. I saw it on my buddy's... blog, if that's what Tumblr is.

Lightning in Slow motion from பிரேம்ஜி on Vimeo.

ME: I wrote something down here a while back, and I'm wondering if you said it. Did you say "Urban Meyer. I hate him. He makes me hate Mormons. I don't even think he's Mormon."?
JOE: "..."

Satan's Bride LLC was taken

More reporting from the blog most likely to question your company name...

I'm reading one of Chrysler's bankruptcy filings. And I learned this:
Chrysler’s ultimate parent company is Chrysler Holding LLC (“Holding”). The owners of Holding are Cerberus Capital Management L.P. (“Cerberus”) and Daimler AG (“Daimler”). As of the Petition Date, Cerberus or its affiliates held 80.1% of the membership interests in Holding, and Daimler or its affiliates held 19.9 % of its membership interests.
You named your company after the three-headed dog whose job was to guard the gates of hell?

Then you bought Chrysler and hired Dan Quayle. Sign me up, I want on this gravy train.

From Wikipedia: "(Company founder Steve) Feinberg has stated to his employees that while the Cerberus name seemed like a good idea at the time, he later regretted naming the company after the mythological dog."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sanford Stadium from the air, aboard the Georgia

While returning home from this story on a military flight, one of our photographers took this shot of Sanford Stadium:

Image: Jason Vorhees, The Telegraph.

The military plane Jason and reporter Joe Kovac flew on? An Army C-23 named Georgia, shown below at the Athens airport.

Image: Joe Kovac.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tomorrow is 65 years since D-Day

What a thing to have to do.

Image: National Archives of the United States.

Friday evening update: From the Department of the Army through the Georgia National Guard:
The following is the official Department of the Army notification of the deaths of three Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA)Squadron currently supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three Soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died June 4 near Kapisa, Afghanistan of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Georgia Army National Guard in Calhoun.

Killed were:

- Maj. Kevin M. Jenrette, 37, of Lula, Ga.,
- Staff Sgt. John C. Beale, 39, of Riverdale, Ga.
- Spc. Jeffrey W. Jordan, 21, of Rome, Ga.
The Gainesville Times has a story up about Maj. Jenrette. He was married with three children, according to his father, a colonel in the United States Army.

The Rome News has a piece about Spc. Jordan. He was married, with a 1-year-old son. He worked at the local prison, and had a "goofy smile."

The Gainesville story says a fourth soldier, nationality unreported by the Army, survived with injuries.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Braves release Glavine, trade for a solid bat

I guess the Braves ain't messing around. They released 305 game winner Tom Glavine today and traded minor leaguers for Nate McLouth.

Braves GM Frank Wren is doing an interview right now during the game broadcast, and he says McLouth will be the club's new lead off man. He also says Tommy Hanson has been called up and will start Saturday, which The AJC has a piece on.

Said Wren: "We just needed, we needed something to kind of jump start us into the last four months of the season."

updated from the comments: "I sure will miss Glavine's dazzling personality and one pitch arsenal."

The "U" in UF stands for "under no circumstances will you ever beat us again"

When I heard on the radio this morning that the University of Florida softball team had been swept in the College World Series finals last night, it put a smile on my face. And this picture of the girls' faces, standing with their runner-up trophy, made me smile again.

So that's what it's come to. I'm 33 years old, and the fact that the University of Florida could only produce the second best women's softball team in the country is enough to kick in the schadenfreude.

I think it's time to admit that my soul is a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida Athletics Inc. I am presided over by Athletic Director Jeremy Foley and his evil enforcers, Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer and Billy Donovan.

Coach Richt, Coach Fox, Damon Evans, I'm begging you. I don't want to live like this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Church sign wisdom

From a church near the Bibb-Twiggs county line.