Friday, December 08, 2006

DBT Lyrics Tour - Metropolitan Buttholeville or.....

... On My Way Home....

UPDATE: Steve Richerson (Trash) has put up some footage of the DBT show on Thanksgiving on Youtube. Check it out:



UPDATE AGAIN: Damn, we got all kinds of good stuff coming this Saturday. Here's the "Aftermath USA" video I reference in the Cooley's Birthday post. Looks like it just went up on Youtube:



Welcome to Metropolitan Buttholeville....



Where we fry our turkeys and taste our food before we salt and pepper it...



(actually we salt the piss out of it before we taste it. We just know and we don't need our damn-fool taste buds tellin' us otherwise. It needs salt. Period. End of discussion).....



Where the women start sassing you at age 6. (couldn't resist putting my little neice in the tour. Obviously, she's got a lot of her uncle in her)....



... And when those southern women ask you to play some Dylan, by god, you better play some Dylan.

Where Cooley might not have a need for brand new set of golf clubs... but you just might if you come visit 'cause we've got some mighty fine golf courses and some of the best hustlers in the world.



The following is a hole on the "School Master" course that's part of the Robert Trent Jones golf trail in Alabama. It is named after President Woodrow Wilson whose nickname was the "Schoolmaster" because he was once a teacher. Wilson Damn is also named after President Wilson.

It is located in Colbert County along the bluffs of the Tennessee River. There are two courses and both are amazing. I'm sure a PGA tournament is bound for these courses sometime in the future.

Our hometown PGA Tour member is Stewart Cink. I grew up playing golf with Stewart at Florence Country Club.



Where the woods in Alabama don't see no light.... well, in the fall and winter they see light and plenty of color..... and I'm sure the occassional moonshine still even to this day. The following pictures were taken on a walk-about on my buddy's land in Colbert County:









Where the Tennessee River coughs up the occassional dead body... but mainly supplies the region with much beauty and expensive lake front property. Doctors, lawyers and musicians.....







Where a world famous architect built a home for a family.

Below is a home in the neighborhood I grew up in which has recently been turned into a historical museum. This home was built by Frank Lloyed Wright for the Rosenbaum Family back in 1939. I remember being a wee lad and playing with a granddaughter of the Rosenbaums in this house.



The style is called Usonian and only 26 of these type of homes were built in the U.S. This is the only Frank Lloyed Wright structure in Alabama.




Drive-by Picture Taking

Let's take a trip out of Buttholeville proper to visit some good friends. First we'll cross O'Neil Bridge heading south.

The following picture was taken as we're driving over O'Neil. You can see the old railroad track, the new bridge and behind that Wilson Damn.

They converted the old railroad bridge into part of a walking trail that cuts through what was once called South Florence on the Colbert County side of the river. You can still find old curbsides and roads that were created for what was to be South Florence. The reason for South Florence was that Henry Ford came to town back in the early 20th century and he almost decided to build his car making factory here. Fortunately, he decided on Detroit.



As soon as you cross O'Neil Bridge and enter Sheffield there stands what was once Club XIII. Club XIII was the largest club in the Shoals for several years.

The original, original Club XIII was located just past the Alabama border in Tennessee. My aunt would tell me tales of waking up on the dance floor with the birds chirping in that particular locale.

A generation later.....

I worked as a bar back, bartender, doorman, DJ, contruction, etc. starting at the ripe old age of 19. Essentially, myself and my good friend and roommate at the time, Woodham, ran this joint when it first opened. Mike O'Rear owned the place but was never there as he was a talent agent/music manager and most of his business was in Nashville. Mike is a great man and the last I heard of him he was struggling with cancer (as so many in the Shoals are/were. Fucking Ford Plant/Reynolds Metals/TVA and all the other industries that used this place like a toilet. Again, fuck all of you). I hope he is still alive and well. If anybody has any info on O'Rear drop me an email. I'd like to know.

XIII was the best part of my existence between the ages of 19-22. We had a huge dance floor and in between live band sets we'd play dance music so you could get your grove as well as your rock on. Virgil Kane, Baghdad, Velcro Pygmies, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Atlanta Rhythm Section, shit, about a million other cover and original bands whose names I've already forgotten played there. We even talked O'Rear into booking Kyper for a show. Anyone remember the song 'Tic-tac-toe'?

The fire code was about 450 people but we would consistantly put between 700 and 800 in the place.

Club XIII was the major reason that I was a sophmore in college for a good 3 years. It was also one of the reasons I got out of Buttholeville. I was having too much fun at the club and not much fun anywhere else in town.

After I moved to Birmingham to attend UAB I'd come home on the weekends and work the door or bar or spin records... whatever was needed. By that time O'Rear had changed the main building, seen in the picture below, into a country music joint and the old car wash in the same lot was converted into a Rock Bar named Woodies.

The only time I've ever spent a night in jail occurred with my arrest just to the left of the red awning. Of the several times I should have been arrested and wasn't, this was the one occassion I should have never of been arrested. Luckily the prosecutor saw it the same way when I took those fuckers to court and settled before we even saw the judge.

But all good things come to an end and the bar is now a loan center. *Sigh* You can never go home again.




Where we've got good help down in....



They'll hunt you like a dog....
(These are two of Jenn's mom and stepdad's pooches trying to figure out how to climb down a bluff in Frog Pond, Franklin County, AL)



Where tornadoes are birthed 5 miles north of......



After a nice visit to Franklin County let's head on back across the crick to Buttholeville proper and hook up with.....



Hwy 72....



Where the Great Car Dealer Wars were as much fact as the artistic fiction Patterson presents in a song with the same name..

Below are pictures of Nelda Stephenson's Chevrolet located on Florence Blvd (Hwy 72). This lot use to be named Bobby Mitchell Chevrolet. I don't have direct confirmation from Patterson on this but I do believe Jim Stephens in GCDW may partially represent the tale of Bobby Mitchell. Bobby Mitchell was gunned downed.....



In the door way right in the middle of the picture below.



Bobby and his wife were friends of my family. His wife baby sat me once during an emergency though I have not memories of it. Bobby was rumored to have been dealing drugs on the side. Hell, if you've ever lived in The Shoals chances are you've dealt some drugs... or at least consumed some.

Anyway it wasn't the drugs that did him in. I believe Bobby was killed by a mentally disturbed man.

Now, all the songs written by DBT that reference events that occured in North Alabama aren't 100 percent true. They're based on local lore then a fictional account is built around that base.

Let's take a look a Decoration Day/Boys From Alabama.

There was a back woods, country-ass gang in Lauderdale county called The Dawson Gang. Rumor has it that The Dawson Gang were the ones who put the hit out on Buford Pusser. The Dawson's may also form the basis for The Lawson's in Jason's Decoration Day. I asked all my relatives if there were aware of a feud between the Dawson's and any Hill's or similarly named group. None of my people could recollect such a feud.

It was interesting to see the reaction some of them had to a mention of the Dawsons. My granddaddy on my mom's side had a fisceral reaction and stated that those were the meanest boys he had ever come across. This man served in WWII and at age 82 killed a deer while I was home for Thanksgiving and drug it out of the woods. Badass! Another relative stated that they weren't nothing but petty theives whose reputation was far greater than anything that they could actually pull off.

It would be interesting to trade stories with Jason and Patterson regarding what they've been told about the Dawson's. I'm sure that legend has several version.

If you think DBT cherry picked the best myths out of the Shoals then you be thinkin' wrong. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Florence/The Shoals is one of the most fucked up places in the world. Sometimes it is like living in a Stephen King novel. Southern Gothic doesn't even begin to describe it. There's another good 5 albums of wild ass stories that could be told but DBT is being gracious and leaving those for another band....

Movin' on down Hwy 72......


Where you better not be caught in Kendale with a wealthy man's bucket of paint...



Where the daughters of this fair city....



....are full of soul and lay down kickin' beats....

Shonna and a few of my cousin's high school in Killen.....



Where loneliness might set in on this mean 'ol highway. You just might need a friendly outpost...



Where on your way home from a rock concert you most assurredly will get pulled over in.....



(Seriously, Rogersville cops don't mess around).

... hopefully you aren't sporting a half ounce of weed and a case of Sterling Bigmouths.

Where you can lay in our outdoor spas until your lilly white skin peals....



Where you can sit on your porch and eat yourself an apple... while you enjoy the sunset over the Tennessee River...

11 comments:

Jesse said...

That was nice, J. Thanks. Also wanted to mention that I really like your pictures from the Birmingham show. Definitely need more photos of Jen out there. I swear that girl's inner beauty shines through in those photos. She's just one of the most prettiest girls I've ever seen.

I went through Alabama to Pensacola around the same time you were there. Made a special CD for the occasion which included "Birmingham" and "72 (This Highway's Mean)." Those songs probably sound great driving around northern Alabama, but they fit right in driving around the Pensacola/Pace area as well.

Haney said...

mmmmmmm..... Fried Turkey......

JPW said...

Hey Jesse, Thanks for the comliments. It was a blast getting to shoot the show. I'm looking forward to getting to shoot some other bands. The Drams will be coming through SF in about 6 weeks.

Jenn is a beauty for sho'. This was the first time she's every let me put a picture of her up on AAW. I feel quite honored. You made her blush, BTW with you comments.

Hey, 72 and B-ham work just as well on I-5 here in Cali! The best is "Shut your mouth...." on an airplane prior to takeoff. I listen to it every time as a sort of 'fuck you' to the fates.

JPW said...

Haney, that dang fried turkey is so good it should be illegal. It's as if you add an element of bacon to the turkey when you fry it. And who doesn't love bacon!

Haney said...

A friend of mine who lives in Cali told me that he got some awfully strange looks when trying to buy 5 gallons of peanut oil out there - LOL

JPW said...

HA! Yeah, depending on what part of California you live in, 5 gallons of peanut oil could raise some eyebrows.

Corey said...

That bathtub in the woods looks familiar. :)

JPW said...

Corey, that's Frog Pond Day Spa over in Lawrence County.

:-D

Anonymous said...

I'm writing a novel about some of the myths of The Shoals and I was looking up info on The Dawson gang when I came across your site.

What's really strange is that there are rumors that my dad shot a car dealer over a bad deal. He was mentally unstable and went to the criminally insane jail in Decatur for a long time because he was counterfeiting with the Dawsons. I was writing about that part when I came across your site.

Who are you? I must know you.

Anonymous said...

The Dawsons are from Colbert County. Leighton to be exact, Jason Dawson is still there. Dewitt's son.

Jesusfirst said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.