In 2007 I penned a piece for Brick Weekly that looked back on the 30 years of HOTH.
When it suddenly began raining in 1980, rather than lose momentum by shutting off the electricity and clearing the stage—to wait out the downpour—Wrenn broke out his staple gun and large rolls of heavy-gauge transparent plastic. With the help of volunteers an awning was hastily improvised to keep the rain off the stage. A portion of the yard closest to it was also protected, somewhat. Then, with the electric guitars of Don’ Ax Me ... Bitch wailing in defiance of the chilly rainstorm, the sense of common purpose felt by those dancing in the mud was unforgettable. The full potential of live rock n’ roll music to simultaneously express both lamentation and celebration was realized.Click here to read the entire piece.
Note: Memphis Rockabilly Band was the last band to appear on the HOTH stage. It was their seventh appearance. The leader of that band, Jeff Spencer, died on Feb. 11, 2009.