April 28, 2004 News & Features » Cover Story


River City High 

Spending more quicker.

Avery recalls the events on a Monday morning in early April. It’s overcast, but you can’t even tell what time of day it is inside the windowless Pure Pleasure strip club in the South Side. Avery and vocalist James Menefee consider themselves strip-club connoisseurs. In years past they’ve spent up to 200 nights on the road, and strip clubs are some of the few places open after shows. And besides featuring naked women, in bigger cities they’re often the hide-outs of the entertainment crowd.

A stripper adjusts her transparent, skin-tight red gown, the girls compare tats with the band, and Avery lists the greatest moments of his brief tenure as a rock star: the time the band opened a sold-out arena for Blink-182; the time it used System of a Down’s colossal drum kit to record. He thinks the best moment was drinking with Motorhead’s Lemmy in L.A. at the Rainbow Room on Sunset Strip.

Avery looks at home, flush with a Budweiser and a fistful of cash intended for the four Pure Pleasure women. Recently turned 30, he’s been touring hard in rock bands for more than a decade. Still, losing MCA was a blow. “Who would have thought the house that Buddy Holly built would close?” he asks.

River City High has signed with a new label, Repossession, founded by a former MCA executive. Avery and Menefee have labored the better part of this year acquiring a new drummer and backup guitarist. The two are sure that now, presented another opportunity like MCA, they’ll do some things differently. Rule No. 1, Avery says: “Spend more quicker.” — Wayne Melton

River City High’s last studio album was “Won’t Turn Down,” available through the band’s Web site, www.rivercityhigh.com.

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