Last summer Raoul and I took the Music History Walking Tour. These tours are really interesting - we really enjoyed going on them. They are hosted by local musician and music historian, Paul Butchart. Paul did a great job giving us a historical background of our city!
Here is Paul, our tour guide. He has lived in Athens for a long time and also played in a band called the Side Effects. On this tour, we walked from the Visitor's Center all over town.
Paul has a notebook he showed us at each stop. It has images of show flyers, bands, concerts, and buildings from then and now. Often, downtown changed so much that some places that were venues "back in the day" are now restaurants or bars, and some are still music venues. Paul talked about who played there and accounts of happenings from those days.
Here is Michael Stipe of R.E.M. from one of their early shows. I am a fan of R.E.M., so this stuff was really interesting!
Another favorite Athens band of mine is the B-52's. Here is a picture of Kate Pierson - this is taken near their practice space that used to be a funeral parlor! This is on Hull Street for those in Athens!
I love seeing these pictures of the B-52's! I always loved them, even though I was quite young when they started!
We also went by Low YoYo Stuff, a local used record shop. We love Low YoYo and go here often for Monkees records, and Raoul loves 80's vinyl.
And of course, we stopped at the Fabulous 40 Watt.
I know I am not going to remember everything from this tour, but I do know there seemed to be lots of fires at certain venues, then they moved to different parts of town. Here is a sign reclaimed from Tyrone's. This sign is in the 40 Watt, above the door. I never noticed it before, maybe cos when I am there and it is not the morning!
Some history of Caledonia, which this space used to house the 40 Watt, and served coffee during the daytime, if I remember correctly.
Can you see this is R.E.M. on the stage?
Here is a closer pic - Mike Mills!
Here is the first B-52's show flyer from the Last Resort.
Here is an old photo from the Georgia Theatre, yet another venue that was taken by a fire. We went inside, too - when it was rebuilt, they reclaimed some of the wood and bricks from the original structure.
Glad to see the giant fan has been put in.
Next stop - Wuxtry Records! Wuxtry sells new and used music and gear. I especially liked all the band posters and flyers in the back of the shop. They have posters for the B-52's, R.E.M., Pylon, and newer bands like Olivia Tremor Control, Maserati, and Drive By Truckers.
So here is the local 24 hour diner, the Grill. We went to the door to the left when facing the Grill - I had no idea this was even up above the diner!
Here we go up! Now the hallway and staircase here is so skinny, and dark - single file, too. Crazy!
This used to be a local hang out and bands would play, today it is artist space. If you look close, you can see signs from the past...
And even the wall is still signed by Ricky Wilson of the B-52's!
A flyer from the B-52's show on UGA campus.
Flyers from $0 Watt Club East when the 40 Watt had two locations. Today this is the upstairs of the local downtown Starbucks! Go figure.
Then we boarded the tour van and drove to another part of town. On the way Paul played R.E.M. on the van, and spoke about other venues, cafes, and bands around town.
We rode by Weaver D's, home of the phrase "Automatic for the People" that is the title of R.E.M.'s record.
Murmur Trestle! This was photographed for the back of R.E.M.'s album called Murmur. If you have the album, take a look!
This is the steeple of the church that R.E.M. used to live and play shows in. Today only the steeple is there, and you can visit it. Paul showed pictures in his notebook of how it used to look through the ages.
Last stop was Nuci's Space. Here you can rent studios to record or practice, take part in Camp Amped, or get health care. Nuci's helps and takes care of local musicians.
I hope you enjoyed going on the tour with us!