Well, now. This column, for me anyway, is sort of the end of an era. Its the last time Ill be writing this part of the paper, in which I try to offer up recommendations about what to do around town each week, and its probably a good thing for everyone, since I have become such a hermit that I dont actually go anywhere other than work, my nearby neighborhood bar, and my other nearby neighborhood bar. Bands start too late for me. I cant get to anything outside Midtown because it involves driving over viaducts. And my bedtime is 10 p.m. Since 1989, Ive written this column almost every week, except for the weeks when Ive been just too tired and out of it to do it. Or when the thought of someone actually thinking of making plans based on what I might recommend scared me too much. Oh, Ive found and promoted some fairly interesting people, places, and things and have taken great delight in helping give them exposure in order for them to be more successful. And I have been, more often than not, sincere about wanting to let readers know about these things, whether free drinks and other forms of payola were in it for me or not. I can think of a few standouts. If any of you ever paid attention to my ramblings and visited the Big S Lounge and tasted the late Mr. Hardaways barbecue and drank the coldest beer on the planet from little milk glasses and listened to the juke box there that has perhaps the countrys best collection of R&B music loaded into a machine, I feel honored that you took me up on the tip and just hope that you got to meet not only Mr. Hardaway but also everyone else who ever sat in that magical place. If youve ever ordered a martini and lit a cigarette upstairs in the Heaven Room at Cielo in Victorian Village while Di Anne Price wails torch songs from her seat at the baby grand piano, you might just have a good idea of what its like to be in, well, heaven. Ditto for Mr. James Govan at Rum Boogie Café. In looking back at my bound volume of the first 52 issues of the Flyer, it appears that the first We Recommend column appeared in the second issue, on February 23, 1989, as a simple listing of some of the things going on around town that week. Not sure when it turned into a venue for bashing the right wing on a weekly basis, but at that time it was pretty harmless, innocent, and naive. It mentioned blues legend Mose Vinson playing a gig at the Oak Court Mall. What was up with that? It also featured, and I quote, the National Field Trial Championship, the countrys foremost championship for bird dog competition. An annual event since 1896, pointers run 35 miles a day, sniffing out quail while followed by judges on horseback. I must have still been in AA when I wrote that! In that same issue, longtime FM 100 deejay Tom Prestigiacomo (whose name I can still spell off the top of my head), in his Let Em Cake! Birthdays column, wished a happy bday to actor Jim Lovey, I think I left my diamond cuff links in the lagoon Backus, born in 1913. In that same issue of the Flyer, yours truly seriously reviewed a few artsy video releases but loosened up in the following edition with a thumbs-up salute to John Waters classic film Polyester, stating that Housewife and mother Francine Fishpaw (played larger than life by the late Divine) becomes a dismal alcoholic when her porno-theater-owner husband runs off with the secretary; her teenage daughter gets pregnant in between go-go dances and decides to turn Hari Krishna rather than have an abortion; and her glue-sniffing teenage son turns out to be the infamous Baltimore foot-stomper. It was like being set free to really write anything I wanted to convey. In that same issue, the evolving We Recommend column mentioned catching a show by comedian Dennis Phillippi (who is still not one bit right) and the opening night of a production of No, No, Nanette at Germantown High Schools Poplar Pike Playhouse. I think at that point I had dropped out of AA. Or at least I would like to believe that was the case. And then at some point during that first year of the Flyer, I became a real smart-ass, or at least took on that persona. And, unfortunately for many of you, Ill still be writing that kind of column and it will appear on the inside back page of the paper. Maybe not every week and certainly not forever but as often as possible (starting next week) and until Im either in prison or a nursing home. So, without further ado, and for the last time, heres a quick look at whats going on around town this week. At the Brooks Museum tonight, theres Girls Night Out at the Brooks, a closing reception for Patrick Kelly: A Retrospective, with cocktails, door prizes, and hair and makeup demonstrations by Pavo Salon. And Vicky Loveland is playing at tonights Sunset Atop the Madison series.
Im going to let you in on a little secret. There are some plays opening this weekend. Flip over to the Theater listings and youll find them! Thats what I always did, only I got them before you did! Art openings? Well, just check out the Art Happenings listing. They are all there. There are about a dozen or so and I ha ha ha dont have to type them in! As for other fine entertainment, tonights Fresh Air Flicks Film Series movie is Make It Funky! and is showing outside on South Main next to Earnestine & Hazels. Yamagata is at the Beale Street Tap Room. The Gamble Brothers Band is at the Full Moon Club. And at the Blue Monkey Midtown, theres a very special benefit tonight for the family of Holly Abbott, a dear, sweet Blue Monkey bartender who was killed a few weeks ago in a motorcycle accident. There will be live music by Los Cantadores, Susan Marshall, the Circus Bears, and other special guests. So come, donate, and support this event.
Tonights Hands on Memphis Summer in the City fund-raising party at The Orpheum features entertainment, a cocktail party, food, and a big silent auction of items including airline tickets, jewelry, artwork, hotel stays, and much more. Tonights Heartlight Gala at the Cannon Center to raise funds for Agape Child and Family Services features a live performance by Steven Curtis Chapman. Papa Tops West Coast Turnaround is at the Buccaneer. And Drew Holcomb is at the Hi-Tone.
Di Anne Price & Her Boyfriends are at Hueys Downtown this afternoon, followed tonight by the Soul Shockers. And Chip Googe and Dave Norris are at Café Ole.
Its the last Monday of the month, which means its time again for the Last Mondays in Studio A concert series at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Tonights show is by Barbara Blue and her five-piece band. 7-9 p.m.
Preston Shannon at B.B. Kings.
Court Square Concert Series from 5 to 8 p.m. with The Dempseys. And now I really must go. Its been a great 16 years, and I need a drink. BIG TIME. Ill be back next week, but in a different life.