Posted: Aug 12, 2010 7:07 am
Hokay...lots of opinion and invective here. And I certainly don't have a problem with either. I also love tending mindless grudges over decades and the Tenna Reunion gave me and apparently quite a few other musicians and attendees a chance to reinvigorate some longstanding feuds as evidenced here. I temporarily gave up trying to remember why I hated certain people in attendance and found myself unreasonably glad to see them. I was certainly one of the prize hissy fit throwers at the club back in the 80s (I still do rather well in that area these days, I'm constantly told) and began to nurse a less than rational antipathy toward club owners and indie labels (in my messed-up mind Patrick Mathe, Long Gone John, Angerhead, Rebel, and the McGehee clan were some evil cabal intent on keeping me from "gettin' paid what I was really due" (which was nothing, come to think of it...I know I'll elicit some agreement on that point as well) while performing there during those years. However, I see things a bit differently these days. And, yes, I am a "producer" on the Antenna documentary and I performed with three bands, emceed, drum teched, and even tried my hand at stage managing (I was a dismal failure at that, of course...Jeff G, sorry to promise you and the Crime a midnight start time which morphed into well after 1 a.m. due to my incompetence) during the Reunion. I thought I was compensated rather fairly for my less than stellar efforts by Steve McGehee and, even more tanfastic, I count Steve as a friend these days. Yes, I like him and his whole family: Mark, Robin, Donna, Cindy, his kids, his dog, etc. Yep, Rebel and Angerhead too. I know that he did pay almost all the bands last week and that there was some extreme dissatisfaction with some of the amounts paid. I also know he did not "make a killing" as some have opined here. Others like myself were just glad to be paid something, thank you. I think the issue of payment should be between Steve and the performers he "contracted" with, but I understand what it feels like to play and not get paid. I also now understand a few things about what a less than profitable pain in the ass it was to keep the Antenna open for ten years until he punted to his brother, Mark, who kept it going a few more years. I also understand that the Antenna Club was the only place in town where an aforementioned talentless incompetent like myself could play without being thrown offstage. I believe that Steve provided a singular performance context that simply would not have existed if he had not kept that dump running for as many years as he did. No, I'm not asking anyone to give up their well tended grudges against him, but I am requesting that people remember that without Steve McGehee a whole bunch of less than skilled musicians would never have played in public and gone onto, uh, glorious careers in the music business. Well, maybe he should be excoriated for indirectly birthing the Memphis shit rock scene that "thrives" to this day. Uh oh, I probably shouldn't talk about shit rock anymore, should I? Okay, cue the violins and shed a tear for somebody.