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Re: “Naked Jogger Returns, Jiggles to the Boulevard

It's a good thing that no pun was intended, because none was executed.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jack on 11/01/2012 at 3:01 PM

Re: “Back in the Alley: New Club Planned for Shockoe Bottom

I'm not the oldest musician in Richmond (34), but the realization that Alley Katz is going to be something else is hitting me square in the chest. I do miss the old spots like the Flood Zone and Moondance--but Alley Katz most of all.

Even though Heidi would try to talk you into taking less money at the end of the night if you didn't meet the house nut, make you pay for your pizzas, and never spend the "radio budget" you built into the deal...

Even though Alley Katz was famous for their 90/10 after $200 and 7% tax deal... (How ironic that they didn't pay all the taxes they collected from bands to the city!)

Even though there were holes in the floor of the third-floor dressing room that could see all the way to the ground...

Even though the line-of-sight from the second floor to the stage was only improved when a couple of guys from Agents of Roots brought some chainsaws over...

Even though that huge industrial fan couldn't replicate air-conditioning...

Even though you always got glass stuck in your tires when you loaded in through the side door in the alley...

Even though they only sold beer--never got a liquor license...

Even though the capacity including upstairs was only about a third of what some of the bigger rooms in town today can hold...

For me, Alley Katz was the king of the rock clubs during what was the heyday of real rock clubs in Richmond. Hint: If the word "theater" is in your name, you ain't a real rock club. Even the Flood Zone seemed a little too polished. Alley Katz was the real deal.

It was the coolest thing in the world to have your band's sticker on the wall behind the bar. You could see it age and fade alongside those of your favorite bands. You couldn't put "shared the stage with" those bands in your press kit, but in the end when you think about it, we all shared that stage. From the nationally touring acts that routed through, to the local legends that have risen and fallen, and to all those of us who were once younger and less judgmental and goddamn lucky enough to have friends and fans who paid to come see us play tunes that we had written. Even those friends and fans own part of that stage, that room, those times.

I saw GWAR sound check once. I freaked out when I saw Captured by Robots play a concept show about Moses in Egypt there. I caught the eye of a girl from across the room at a Lake Trout show, and ended up dating her for a while. I saw Drive-by Truckers do a two-night stand when they had a killer new long-haired guitarist named Jason Isbell. Too many more nights to recount here.

And I walked on that stage a time or two myself.

Chris, if you're out there reading this, thanks for everything that you and Heidi did for all of us. It takes a little bit of crazy to run a rock club, and you were crazy enough to keep going for a quite a long time.

It doesn't make any sense being a musician if you can't be a fan of music. I learned a lot about both at Alley Katz.

-Jack Shannon

Posted by Jack on 07/14/2011 at 3:03 PM

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