Ca Chapel was cold in the Winter and hot in the Summer. In case you did not know, Tallahassee is in North Florida, a few miles from Georgia. It is the South; a college town with Florida State, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College in its city limits. It’s notoriously liberal. Tallahassee has been compared to Austin, Texas and this, sorta fits. Tallahassee too, is an oasis.
I saw so many good bands there. Sonic Youth stopped by and the band members wrote about it afterward. I remember tuba cases of guitars and walls of noise. The members of Sonic Youth were a little stand-offish, but they sure brought the show.
The Bad Brains were intense. The crowd was peppered with punks, lawyers, artists, students and newspaper-types. What a concert.
The most memorable music show was by Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, who brought his guitar and roadhouse blues with him. It was very warm and there was a large sweaty crowd. As he jumped off the small stage and went into the crowd with his guitar, a young woman with an open can of beer was overcome with excitement. She tossed it and hit the performer in the head.
Gatemouth stopped the show cold.
“Who threw that?” he demanded. “Who threw that?”
It took what seemed like hours before she meekly raised her hand.
The tall man immediately demanded to know why she tossed the beer. He blessed her out, as they say in the South. I have never seen a person try to disappear in a room, but she did. When she apologized, Gatemouth was vindicated. The music kicked up right where it started.
Saw an early version of Bill Snowden’s play “My Father Was A Man” at CA Chapel. You could drive large autos through its pacing but it was a learning experience. Snowden late has great success as playwright at Sag Harbour, N.Y., and in Russia. He would not have able to do that without CA Chapel.
Mark Hinson 2019
Mark Hinson began his career at the student newspaper for Florida State University (the Florida Flambeu) and went on to be the Entertainment Editor at the Tallahassee Democrat.