Thursday, March 18, 2010

Does Anybody Remember when Alex Chilton Played The Dugout?

My friend Joe posted this story on his Facebook page today. It's about singer/songwriter Alex Chilton, who died earlier this week.

To learn more about Alex, go to

It's a great story, so I invited Joe to be my first guest blogger ever. Being a gentleman and a scholar, he agreed. He asked me to mention that the story took place 20 years ago.

Does anybody remember when Alex Chilton played The Dugout?

I was the soundman that night and I'd heard nothing but horror stories about how he loved to dress down sound guys from the stage. I was a little nervous as I was still kind of new to Atlanta and we had a more or less thrown together a PA, elements borrowed from here and there.

I did a little research and found out that Alex liked to smoke a little weed. He walked in the club, which was mostly still a sports bar in spite of the new stage and modest lighting rig, with a bit of a skeptical look on his face.

They showed him downstairs, to what would function as his dressing room, and (I'm guessing) offered him some food. I went down and introduced myself,

"Hi, I'm Joe. I'll be your soundman tonight. I have this for you." and handed him a big old hog leg of a doobie.

"I've heard you can be pretty particular about how you like your monitors to sound. I hope we can get them the way you like 'em."

Alex looked at that big fat joint and simply said, "Me, too." ...

About an hour and a half later, Alex and the band got on stage and we had (I'm told) one of the smoothest and quickest sound checks anyone had ever seen Alex have followed by a really terrific set. He even shook my hand afterward.

A few years later I mixed him at the Point. We had a similar pre-show meeting,

"Hey, Mr. Chilton, remember me? I gave you one of these last time."

"Oh, yeah! Good to see you again!" and another smooth show. I just wish I could find the recording I made that night. Oh, well.