Have lived and died in 40 years
Pray for yourself and for your memories
And be thankful we've had 40 years
-- Bryan Harvey from "40 Years"
Bryan Harvey (left) and Johnny Hott were House of Freaks.
Art: A detail from the House of Freaks' "Monkey on a Chain Gang"
However, I liked their two-man act right away and went on to do what I could to encourage/support what they were doing. All that existed in a time in which you probably have to be over 40 now to remember. Hell, some of us are pushing 60, these days.
Thinking of those two guys, stubbornly resisting everyone who told them to get a third player -- because a duo can’t be a band! -- takes me back to that rambunctious time on West Grace Street, when it was the main strip for live music and nightlife in Richmond. In the early- to mid-80s the Shockoe Bottom club scene was still in its formative stages. Watching Johnny sob on television last night, as he tried to tell a newsman the story of finding his longtime friend's home engulfed in smoke on Sunday afternoon, tore my heart out.
As I contemplate the memorial ceremony at the Unitarian Church in a couple of hours, and who might be there, names of people, bands, and places flash through my raw nerves and into mind -- they are listed below in no particular order. Twenty, twenty-five years ago the Fan District still had a thriving hell-bent-for-leather, artsy music scene in which there was probably no more talented an individual operating than Bryan Harvey. Certainly, there was no nicer guy.
The Dads, Throttle, Michel’s, Benny’s, Orthotonics, Hard Times, The Bowties, Beex, The Village, Offenders, Megatonz, Chuck Wrenn, The Pass, Death Piggy, Millionaires, R.A.W., Red Cross, Prevaricators, Casablanca, Rockitz, Barriers, Shake & the Drakes, Main Street Grill, Grace Place, New Horizons, Chelf’s, Biograph Theatre, The Insinuations, I Remember Reality Review, Plan 9, Bopcats, Good Humor Band, Single Bullet Theory, Theories of the Old School, Shafer Court, The Pass, Lamour, 1708, The Clubhouse, Domino’s Doghouse, Faded Rose, J.W. Rayle, Toronados, Insect Surfers, Soble's, Gatsby's, X-Dux, Tom and Marty Band, Boys and Girls Grow Up, Cha Cha Palace, The Good Guys, Texas-Wisconsin Border Cafe, The Rage, The Jade Elephant, Hababas, The Back Door, Non Dairy Screamers, Color Radio, Floodzone, Joe Sheets, Don' Ax Me... Bitch!, Page Wilson, "Z," Steve Payne, AAE, The Copa, Rick Stanley, Bruce Olsen, 353-ROCK, House of Freaks...
Feel free to send in suggestions, as I'm sure I've left plenty of names out.