Monday, January 06, 2003


Good to hear that story again about the graveyard.

Here's one about Uncle Green, now that Bobby Swanay has brought up that band. I don't really remember how it got started, but we Pleztones played with those guys on a number of occasions when they came to Johnson City. I don't remember how many, but definitely more than once. Anyway, this story is from October of '88. Uncle Green had been to Johnson City to play either during the spring or summer of '88. They had a good crowd, as I recall, at the Pub Outback. Then, the Highlander opened up, and Burt went through one of his periods when he wanted to make the Pub into a "high class dEEsco." After a few weeks of that, I think it wasn't working out, as it never did when Burt decided he would try to run a college dance club right across the street from the biggest college dance club in town.

Anyway, I was doing my student teaching at the time and had told the guys in the 'Tones that I wouldn't be able to play any gigs for a few months because I'd be too busy. But I went in there one afternoon after dealing with 8th graders all day long to get a slice and a beer, and Burt told me that Uncle Green had called and wanted to play a gig there. He told me they asked if the Pleztones could play with them. I asked him if they knew that there wasn't a P.A. back there anymore. Burt said he told them, and they were willing to bring their own gear. So ok. One gig with those guys. I could handle one show on a Friday night. No problem. But everyone was going to the Highlander at that time, so the prospects of getting people to come back to the Pub Outback for one gig were not good. I don't remember who was booked at the Highlander that night. It could've been somebody good like Southern Culture or somebody. I don't remember. But I seem to recall we and Uncle Green were up against some pretty stiff competition.

Anyway, the show date arrives, and we come, and there are like 12 people sitting in there when we start. Uncle Green doesn't mind, but their sound guys seem to be a little peeved. I remember saying to Pete, the drummer, that everyone always showed up late so not to worry. We play our Pleztones set, and, no kidding, EVERYONE except Drew, Phil Bowman, and I exits the place. There may have been one other person there, but I can't imagine there were two. Uncle Green played a special show for us. I even had to leave fairly early on in their show because I had to get up for my awful weekend job the next morning.

Burt had to pay those guys their 300 dollar guarantee. (I think that's what it was.) They had to bring all of their sound gear up. And they drove back home that night, too. And they did all of that so that they could practice in front of us. They weren't mad, but Drew told me afterwards that their sound guy was really angry about it. Uncle Green came back to town several times after that, so they didn't hold any grudges against the town.

I don't recall there being any shows at the Pub Outback until March 9th of the next year (1989), when we talked Burt into doing a show with this bill: Mike Hilliard, the Pleztones, Plane Jane, Stinky Finger, and Beat Yo' Mutha With a Putrid Herring. I am, right at the moment, looking at a flyer from that March 9th, 1989 show as a matter of fact.

Can anyone remember how many times Burt decided not to have music in favor of opening a "high class dEEsco" and then changed his mind?

That's all on that.



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