What’s Your Sign Girl?

Chilton was an underrated guitarist. Feeling nostalgic for the late Nineties today …

From 1999 performance at Memphis’ Cooper-Young Festival. With Ron Easley – bass & background vocals, and Richard Dworkin – drums. Video by David Julian Leonard.

May 20, 1987

As some of our kids are rounding the bases on their senior year of high school, I thought I’d share a journal entry from 33 years ago. By the way, I don’t journal with any consistency, this was just something I did specifically for that school year. Sorry if this is lame, I’ll try to leave the boring parts out. But I often find myself trying to remember if we did the same stupid shit my son and his friends do now. Of course we did.

Friday, I turned in my English paper, went to Wendy’s for lunch with Mike and Jeff, then headed to Target for battery operated water guns. Afterwards, we went to graduation practice till about 3:15, then had the water fight to end all water fights. It started with water guns and balloons, then people started pulling out big buckets and coolers. David hit Mr. Phillips (our principal, who was a total dick) in the side of the head with a water balloon from about 35 to 40 feet. It was truly beautiful.

We did that until about 4:30 and then I squishily drove home to take a shower and get ready for our last high school dance ever. Eric’s band played but not many people showed up. They’d just started “Blister in the Sun” when this security guard came from nowhere and stopped the band mid-song. She said she had to end the dance because of all the “bad apples” getting in fights and drinking.

So the dance was over by about 10:30. Doug, Jeff, Mike, David and I met at my house and we decided to head Downtown. That was lame, and we ended up at a convenience store where I bought a bag of cookies and Coke. The highlight of the evening was seeing some guy laying out on some steps, possibly dead.

Sunday, I went to baccalaureate and then lunch with the family. I rented three movies from Blockbuster while we were out: Maniac, which I didn’t get to see, Westworld, and Shock Treatment, the sequel to RHPS. Bryan, Jay, and Mon came over to watch some of Shock Treatment with me before we went to the park to hang out with a bunch of people. When we first got there, Eric and Scott were racing around a parking lot median, in a Mercedes and Toyota Supra, respectively. Then Eric threw a log through the windshield of a car that appeared to be abandoned and took off. Everyone else (besides me, even then I knew this was idiotic) put dents in the sides and busted out the headlights for some strange reason. We made a fire at the pavilion while Katy, David, Doug, and Jay went to get s’mores fixings, Cokes, and chips. After they came back we told ghost stories.

The next day I went with Chris to alumni brunch, which had great cinnamon rolls. Later at graduation, Wade pulled out a long, red scarf as he walked across the stage. Mr. Phillips told him he would pay for that and tried to take away his diploma. I haven’t talked to Leigh Anne (a girlfriend I was ghosting) except on graduation night. She congratulated me. Today I wrote thank you notes and cleaned out my car. I’m thrilled to be graduated and can’t wait for summer – Florida is just around the corner. I’m getting scared of college (the unknown factor fear) but am excited all the same.

The Best Memphis Punk Band You’ve Never Heard Of

Happy Friday, you bastards, you.

In 2012, the documentary I directed about the Antenna club and the vibrant music scene which sprang up around it premiered at the Indie Memphis Film Festival. It had a successful festival run, but a commercial release of Antenna has been repeatedly delayed by music rights issues. With the help of J.D. Reager, we managed to convince Bob Holmes, who had become something of a recluse, to do an interview for the film. For three hours, he regaled us with some of the wildest Memphis music stories I have ever had the good fortune to hear. In order to honor the passing of a Memphis musical genius, I have uploaded the Modifiers segments from Antenna to YouTube and present it here for the first time since 2012.

Thus speaketh documentary director Chris McCoy.

The American Dream Value Menu

After finishing Harrison Scott Key’s first book I went a-Googling, finding his Ted talk from last summer. He’s originally from Memphis!

Harrison Scott Key is the author of two books—Congratulations, Who Are You Again? and The World’s Largest Man, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He has spoken at TEDx and hundreds of book festivals, conferences, and universities around the nation. Harrison’s humor and nonfiction have appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Oxford American, Outside, The New York Times, The Bitter Southerner, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Town & Country, The Mockingbird, Salon, Savannah Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Image, Southern Living, Gulf Coast, Creative Nonfiction, and more. He holds an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction and a Ph.D. in playwriting and works at SCAD, where he has held appointments as chair of liberal arts, professor of English, professor of writing, and executive dean. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with wife and children.

Julie Newmar In Memphis

This is an old TV show called Route 66, “Give the Old Cat a Tender Mouse,” season 3, episode 14. Original air date December 21, 1962!

Tod meets Vicki Russell again (from “How Much a Pound is Albatross”). She is again riding her motorcycle and this time has a boyfriend Frank pursuing her.

This is the spot where Tod chases Vicki out of the hotel parking lot.