Saturday, August 11, 2007

Six Degrees of Separation, Atlanta-Style

I've recently had some nostalgic "deja-vu" moments, all going back to my time in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1983, after getting an AA from St. Petersburg Jr. College (FL), I attended The Music Business Institute in Atlanta. At the time, this school was an independent program founded by Mert Paul, a former CBS executive to give people an overview and real-world instruction in the ways of the music business (It was purchased by the Art Institutes and developed into their recording/production track). One of the "guest lecturers" that came to speak to us during my tenure was Wyzard (Jerry Seay), who was currently the touring bass player for Stevie Nicks. However, Wyz was also a member of Mother's Finest [2], an Atlanta act that had regional success in the 70's and enjoys a cult following today.
That was the first time I'd heard of Mother's Finest. File away "Mother's Finest" in your head.
Also in school, for our video production class, we had to do a project and no one in my class was very pro-active. I'd been listening to a local band called "Bareback", headed by keyboardist Doug Bare.

I approached them and asked if they'd let us shoot a music video with them for our project. They thought it sounded like a hoot, and they'd get a free video out of the deal! The video turned out OK (it was early '84 at the time and MTV was just out of its infancy, remember), and got some play on a local UHF music video channel. My only directing credit!
The guitar player for Bareback was Tommy Strain, who'd been in the one-hit wonder 70s group Starbuck ("Moonlight Feels Right). He is still playing in Atlanta and the "On The Prowl" video is actually available on his website! Thanks, Tommy! You are a sick puppy.
Both Doug and Tommy had toured with Mother's Finest, I believe in 1983. So, another connection.
As another school project, in our Concert Production class, some of us actually did a little field trip for extra credit. The Atlanta Music Awards show was going on and somehow one of our teachers got us to be stagehands for the show. There were some live acts playing, the headliners being The Producers. These guys were phenomenal. Sadly, bad management pretty much robbed them of their stardom. In our Artist Management class, they were the poster children for a raw deal. They too have a huge cult following today and I am a proud fan. The bass player/vocalist for The Producers is Kyle Henderson. Little did I know, Kyle had been in a band called "Whiteface" with Doug Bare back in the late 70s. Ain't this convoluted?

A little later, I found myself working for a nightclub called Confetti and there were a couple of Mother's Finest songs that would always raise the roof off the place ("Baby Love" and "Piece of the Rock"). Now, the nightclub gig wasn't paying the bills at the time, so I picked up a part time job filling phoned-in ticket orders for a venue called Chastain Park. We'd get a pile of credit card slips from the answering service and would verify the cards, pull the tickets, stuff the envelopes, and mail them to the customers. Sounds incredibly exciting, doesn't it? Anyway, one of my coworkers was a lady named Terra Moore. It turns out, she was the wife of Gary "Moses Mo" Moore, the guitar player in, you guessed it, Mother's Finest (MySpace page here). OK, that's enough for the moment. I'll get to the current stuff next time.

No comments: