The East Nashvillian 9.3 Jan-Feb 2019

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K N O W Y O U R N E I G H B O R : Danny Bua

A R T I S T I N P R O F I L E : Ed Nash


JOHN AND LILLY HIATT ON FAMILY, TRAGEDY, AND LIFE TOLD THROUGH SONGS ROCK TO RECOVERY Musicians Wes Geer and Phil Bogard help folks get a groove on getting sober

BOOK ENDS New books from Randy Fox and Daryl Sanders broaden perspectives on Nashville's music history

HELIUM HOT RODS Vroom Vroom Balloon keeps up the pace

OLAN ROGERS’ FINAL FRONTIER Venturing into the unknown has never looked so bright

2 January | February 2019



NE W LOC ATIO N: 1307 DIC KERSON PIKE N ASHV ILLE TN 37207 615 .4 5 4 . 3 817 | G OODWOOD N ASHVILLE.C OM | mail@good woodnashv i l l e .com January | February 2019





TRY IT FOR FREE* AT ORANGETHEORY.COM Orangetheory Fitness East Nashville | 1214 Gallatin Ave Suite 125 | Nashville, TN 37206 | 615.285.8090 4

*First-time visitors and local residents only. Certain restrictions apply. $28 minimum value. At participating studios only. Orangetheory® and other Orangetheory® marks are registered trademarks of Ultimate Fi2019 tness Group LLC. © Copyright 2018 Ultimate Fitness Group LLC and its affiliates. January | February

January | February 2019


6 January | February 2019

January | February 2019



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8 January | February 2019

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Supervised activities for the kids while you work out Unlimited group exercise classes Year-round swimming Family-friendly wellness facilities Convenient hours and locations No annual contracts 30-day money-back guarantee Special members-only rates on swim lessons, youth sports and more!


Founder & Publisher Lisa McCauley




Chuck Allen

Managing Editor


Randy Fox

A Tribute to Sublime with Ballyhoo!, Little Stranger

Proof Editor

Leslie Lachance

Calendar Editor Emma Alford



Contributing Writers

Jon Gugala, James Haggerty, Joelle Herr, Theresa Laurence, Brittney McKenna, Daryl Sanders, Tommy Womack


with Hawthorne Heights, As Cities Burn, Capstan

Creative Director Chuck Allen

Layout & Design

Benjamin Rumble



Photo Editing

Travis Commeau


Benjamin Rumble, Dean Tomasek


with Guardin and Mallrat

Contributing Photographers

Travis Commeau, Chad Crawford, Stacie Huckeba, Jamie Rubin, Michael Weintrob, Zane Williams

Social Media Manager


Lightning 100 Presents An Evening With Pete Yorn You And Me Solo Acoustic Tour


10 Years 10th Anniversary Tour with ’68, Emerge, The Other LA


Ookay with BONNIE x CLYDE, Holly




Bayside Acoustic Tour with Kayleigh Goldsworthy

Liz Foster McGillis

Advertising Sales Lisa McCauley 615.582.4187

Ad Design

Benjamin Rumble

The East Nashvillian is a bimonthly magazine published by Kitchen Table Media. All editorial content and

photographic materials contained herein are “works for hire” and are the exclusive property of Kitchen Table Media, LLC unless otherwise noted. This publication is offered freely, limited to one per reader. The removal of more than one copy by an individual from any of our distribution points constitutes theft and will be subject to prosecution. Reprints or any other usage without the express written permission of the publisher is a violation of copyright.

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Pop Evil with Don Jamieson, Them Evils


AJ Mitchell with Marteen


Pop 2000 Tour Hosted by Lance Bass of *NSYNC with O-Town, Aaron Carter, Ryan Cabrera


Revolver Presents: Corrosion of Conformity with Crowbar, The Obsessed, Mothership


P.O. Box 60157 Nashville, TN 37206

January | February 2019



B R Iand N GLillyT Hiatt H E onF Afamily, MILY 44 John

tragedy, and life told through songs By Randy Fox


EAST NASHVILLIANS OF THE YEAR 37 Intro & Past Winners By Randy Fox

38 Business Award: Lockeland Table 40 Citizen Award: Anthony Davis By Randy Fox

By Theresa Laurence


Lilly & John Hiatt

Photographed by Michael Weintrob

10 January | February 2019


ROCK TO RECOVERY 54 Musicians Wes Geer and Phil Bogard help folks get a groove on getting sober By Chuck Allen

OLAN ROGERS' FINAL FRONTIER 73 Venturing into the unknown never looked so bright By Jon Gugala

78 Vroom Vroom Balloon keeps up the pace HELIUM HOT RODS

By Brittney McKenna


62 MUSIC CITY HISTORY ² PLEDGING HIS TIME 65 Daryl Sanders chronicles the story and

musicians who made a Nashville masterpiece By Randy Fox

HIP-SHAKING HISTORY 69 Randy Fox’s new book spotlights legendary Excello Records By Daryl Sanders


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Matters of Development The Editors

By Randy Fox

21 Fond Object Future Uncertain By Randy Fox


your Neighbor: 27 Know Danny Bua in Profile: 28 Artist Ed Nash By Jon Gugala

Tree Canopy Bill Seeks to Preserve the Shade By Randy Fox

81 Bookish

By Joelle Herr


85 East Side Calendar

14 Editor’s Letter

By Emma Alford

By Chuck Allen

24 Astute Observations By James “Hags” Haggerty


97 East of Normal By Tommy Womack

Visit for updates, news, events, and more!

12 January | February 2019


Stairway to Pabst Photograph by Jamie Rubin

a nook for people who love beautiful books 1043 West Eastland Avenue • East Nashville

January | February 2019




Medication Nation


recently suffered from — in medical terms — a psychotic episode that was the direct result of venlafaxine discontinuation syndrome. In street-speak, I “went off my meds” and went through a hell of a withdrawal. When I entered recovery over 13 years ago, I learned something that really stuck with me. One of the lectures by the staff physician focused on the long-term impacts of the use of stimulants like meth, crack, and my favorite, cocaine. The doctor made it crystal clear: regular users of any of these should expect physiological recovery to take 1-3 years. Minimum. He went on to describe the symptoms one might experience during the healing process: mood swings; the absence of a “sense of well-being;” and “the blues.” Early recovery is already a minefield, and now this? I steeled myself for what I imagined was inevitable. Within the first year of leaving treatment I was living in Jackson, Mississippi. During a visit to the clinic for an unrelated medical need, the doctor, a primary care physician, and I were shooting the shit and came to realize we’d both been through drug & alcohol treatment at about the same time. As it turned out, his experience with the blues and such had been similar to mine, and he mentioned he’d been taking an anti-depressant called Effexor (the brand name for venlafaxine) that was very effective at relieving these symptoms. “Would you like to try it?” He asked. “Sure!” I replied. I doubt he even knew much about the effects of long-term use, much less what it would take to get off of it. I didn’t ask, either, because he said it worked and was “non-addictive.” That was over 12 years ago. The good doctor was right. Effexor worked, for a little while. But slowly, incrementally, its side effects began to materialize. So slowly that I didn’t begin to connect the dots until years after it began having a seriously detrimental impact on my quality of life; it wasn’t until clearing my system of it that I’ve been able to draw a straight line between cause and effect. Eleven years ago, I found my (now former) primary care physician in Nashville during what was, ironically, the first shot across the bow that all was not well in Effexor land. I’d run out of pills and had no refills left on my prescription one Friday. I really thought nothing of it until the following Sunday when I began experiencing bizarre symptoms — what are known amongst those who’ve had them as “brain zaps,” which can only be described as inter-cranial lightning bolts. This was my first experience with them, and it freaked me out. I ended up going to a 24/7 walk-in clinic where I was prescribed a month’s supply and referred to a local family practice. At no point during my entire 12-year ordeal was I

ever referred to a psychiatrist. I now believe this is by design. The manufacturers of this drug are in business to make money. Period. They tell the general practitioners the drug is “safe and non-addictive,” and as long as the patient isn’t suicidal, then more’s the merrier. Never mind that I repeatedly complained to my doctor about sleeplessness, restless leg syndrome (RLS), the need for naps almost every day, anger issues, etc. “Maybe we need to adjust your dose,” would be his response. “This a good drug. People can stay on this for their entire lives if needed.” Right. “Well, what if I want to get off of it?” I would ask. “The recommended method is tapering off,” was always his answer. I should also note my doctor never, ever connected the taking of Effexor to the RLS or my inability to sleep. The same week as the 13th anniversary of my sobriety, I found myself out of Effexor. I’d been on the six-month re-up plan for years at that point: schedule appointment; go to appointment; answer “no” when asked if I’m suicidal; receive prescription for another six-months’ worth of dope (yes, as far as I’m concerned, it’s dope). I’d missed one appointment already and had to have a prescription called in for enough dope to make, to my rescheduled appointment, which I then proceeded to miss. With no dope left and knowing the brain zaps were forthcoming, I was faced with a choice: Reschedule again and re-up, knowing that I’d be back on the horse for another six months or; Fuck it! — the underlying thought being, “There’s never going to be a good time to do this. Might as well get it over with.” In a move I would never recommend to anyone, I chose option two. Obviously, I made it through. I’m not sure what the outcome would’ve been without the loving care of my partner during the ordeal, which lasted every bit of three weeks. A subsequent trip to a psychiatrist revealed I never should have been on Effexor to begin with, and he was quite appalled when I told him a primary care physician had been prescribing it for a decade. The results are in: The USA is the most medicated nation on the planet. How’s that for American Exceptionalism? One might argue our prosperity is making us very unhappy and killing us. According to a Centers for Disease Control survey for the years 2005-2008, 11 percent of Americans aged 12 years and over take antidepressant medication. The CDC also reports 70,237 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2017.In both rural towns and affluent suburbs; from rock stars to the poor and disenfranchised; white, black, or brown, no one is immune. No part of our society is untouched. The scars are everywhere. We are all culpable. We’ve allowed this. The question is: What are we going to do about it?

I’m not a doctor, so nothing in this essay should be interpreted as medical advice. Anti-depressants help countless people, and the efficacy of these drugs can only be ascertained by psychiatrists who work with individuals on a case-by-case basis. My experience has obviously been a negative one, and I’ve heard from countless people theirs has, too. If anything, I speak to what is, from my experience, a broken system. 14 January | February 2019

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Visit Us in the Shoppes at 10th and Fatherland New Clients Enjoy 5 Classes for $35

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Matters of Development New restaurants and retail shops are open, as well as on the way, along with big developments for the Trinity Lane Grimey’s campus. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Folks eagerly awaiting the rebirth of 1601 Riverside Dr. have some good news: Babo, the new Korean eatery first announced back in May, is now open. The restaurant, which occupies the former Pied Piper Eatery space, is the creation of Joey Plunket and Sara Nelson of East Nashville bar Duke’s, and friends Tim and Danny Song, of Atlanta restaurant Gaja. And if you lean toward casual, low-key dining, this’ll definitely appeal — Babo takes an unfussy order-at-thecounter-seat-yourself approach, with a menu that doesn’t creep above $14 for dinner items.

On said menu? Korean favorites like bulgogi and bibimbap, plus crafty fried chicken with gochujang and tofu ranch, and fried pork katsu with BBQ and slaw. Diners tell us they’re drawn to the scallion pancakes with buttered leek and beer batter, as well as the house-made dumplings. The kitschy rock ’n’ roll decor of Pied Piper has been traded for moody industrial vibes in Babo, with a full bar, including soju and sake. For now, Babo hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m.- 1 a.m., with a full kitchen serving late-night diners until midnight. (Hours are subject to change as they get settled, so keep an eye on the Babo Instagram @ babo_nashville for the latest updates.) A new, metaphysically minded addition to the East Side’s business landscape, Nashville Crystal Store, opened at 804 Meridian St. this fall, offering a mix of crystals in various

sizes and categories, from quartz and citrine to jade and Himalayan salt. The McFerrin Park location is their second; the flagship, at 2819 Columbine Place, Ste. 7 in Berry Hill, offers a similar mix of sparkling stones. Crystal and energy healer Ataana Badilli leads both shops, with an aim of making “high-quality, clear energy crystals accessible to everyone who loves crystals in Nashville and around the world.” Hours are noon to 6 p.m. daily. For more, visit, and/or follow their Instagram @nashvillecrystalstore. Retrograde Coffee, which opened over the summer at 1305 Dickerson Pike, recently broadened their menu on both the food and beverage front by adding house-made breakfast and lunch sandwiches, along with a fresh selection of wine and beer. Their wine list is curated by well-known Nashville consultant

January | February 2019


EAST SIDE BUZZ Robin Riddell Jones of Tavola, who’s also worked with Josephine and The Catbird Seat, among others. The new menu additions came with expanded hours: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sundays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For more, check out Happy to note The Cake Project, longtime Nashvillian J.P. Smith’s cheesecake-focused bakery, opened its East End location recently at 1006 Fatherland St., Ste. 207 in the Shoppes on Fatherland. Clean Juice recently opened in December at 962 Woodland St., offering healty drink options like organic cold-pressed juices, protein smoothies, and cleanses. Light bites — like their almond or avocado toasts, as well as some gluten-free options — fill out the menu. Hours are: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Eater Nashville recently announced its reader-voted “Eater Awards 2018,” and the newly crowned Restaurant of the Year is East Nashville’s own Peninsula. Chef of the Year is Philip Krajeck, from East Nashville’s Folk. Dining Neighborhood of the Year is, of course, East Nashville!

East Side B U Z Z

In response to the deadliest wildfire in California history, over 1,400 of the nation’s breweries are charitably collaborating on a special brew. Thirty Tennessee breweries have have stepped up to support this joint effort, including East Nashville Beer Works. With what’s known as the “Camp Fire” still active at the time, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. founder Ken Grossman established the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund, which it seeded with a $100,000 donation, to assist with long-term support for the affected communities. The brewery is located in Chico, California, just to the west of the area ravaged by the fire. As the embers still glowed, Sierra Nevada also began brewing Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, donating all of the proceeds to the Relief Fund and asking breweries across the country to join them. Anthony Davis, President of East Nashville Beer Works and Tennessee Brewer’s Guild board member, said, “We considered our own batch, but with the Guild collaborating and doing this, it spreads the risk of a batch out and seemed like a much easier and productive way to get this done. We are very excited to have taken part of it.” “East Nashville Beer Works is one of 30

Tennessee breweries purchasing kegs at a premium, then selling the beer back in our taproom to pay that back, so 100-percent of the funds will benefit the California wildfire fundraising efforts,” says Davis. Resilience IPA will be brewed and distributed to participating Tennessee breweries and will be available in their taprooms starting January 2019. CLOSES & MOVES TWO SON closed its doors in November. Operating at 918 Main St. since late 2015, Two Son specialized in highly curated, highend clothing, accessories, and home goods. The business’s founders — couples David Perry and Leigh Watson, and Aubrey McCoy and James Kicinski-McCoy — have re-focused on new horizons. The McCoys are working on a new endeavor called The Bleu, while James continues to run Mother magazine and popular blog “Bleubird;” Watson just released a new album called Duo with her sister band The Watson Twins, and co-runs The Cordelle event space; Perry is the founder and CEO of the DSP Group, a fashion apparel development, sampling, and production outfit. Five Point’s Rudy’s Barbershop outpost, which opened in February of 2017 at 960 Woodland St., clipped its last locks on Monday, Dec. 10. “Nashville has been an exciting market expansion for Rudy’s and we will greatly miss the many customers and friends we’ve made over the last two years in East Nashville,” director of marketing and brand Danny Segal tells us. “We’ve made the tough decision to put focus on expanding our shop presence in existing and new markets and on our rapidly growing product business.” Rudy’s entered East Nashville during a time of relatively busy hair-artistry expansion here, with Local Honey, Scout’s Barbershop, the Yellow House Salon & Barbershop, Parlour & Juke and several others all opening up East Side salons within a few years of each other. The Rudy’s brand will keep a Nashville presence, though — their Edgehill Village shop at 1200 Villa Place will remain open. Beyond our environs, Rudy’s maintains multiple locations in its native Washington, as well as in California, Oregon, New York, and Georgia. If you’re a Rudy’s devotee who’d like to stick with the brand, information about the Edgehill Village shop can be found at COMING SOON The former home of Two Son didn't remain empty for long, as the 918 Main St. location quickly received a new, Technicolor paint job in preparation for its new tenant: family-owned

18 January | February 2019

EAST SIDE BUZZ clothing and accessories shop Molly Green. Molly Green web & media director Laura Foster tells us that the current Molly Green location in Opry Mills mall will shutter soon, with the location in Historic Edgefield opening soon afterward. The store has two other Nashville outposts in Green Hills and Cool Springs, as well as in Chattanooga and Birmingham, Alabama. Having an office/studio in a freestanding building also opens up the opportunity to host events at the new East Nashville hub, Foster says, from private shopping hangs to charity gatherings. “We have so many ideas, and we can’t wait to make them happen and have the whole community be a part of it. This is more than just a store for us, it’s our way of reaching out and investing more in the people and in the city, who have given us so much.” Get to know the Molly Green brand better at, and keep up with the latest news about the opening on their Instagram feed, @shopmollygreen. The newly East Nashville-d Grimey’s New & Preloved Music and the colorful Anaconda Vintage are set to have a bunch of new neighbors soon. Joining the mix at 1056 E. Trinity Lane in early 2019 is Living Waters Brewing, a “Brewery & Coffee Bar” that “focuses on creating unique small batch beer and coffee experiences.” When Living Waters starts pouring — they’re shooting for an early 2019 opening — we can expect two categories of adult brews: waterfalls, and rivers. “These are named according to when they can and should be enjoyed,” according to Living Waters’ website. “A waterfall beer should be enjoyed soon after purchase to ensure the intended flavor is achieved. A river beer can be enjoyed now or cellared for an extended period. More specifically, flavors will include an imperial milk stout called Rubicon, a thicker “milkshake IPA” called Burgess and lots more. Alongside the beer, they’ll have filtered coffee and signature espresso beverages. Learn more at and keep up with the latest news on their Facebook page. Right there with LWB, likely useful for burning off all the beer calories: CrossFit Rising Sun, who’ll be relocating after calling West Kirkland Avenue home for almost three years. Rising Sun will offer an array of fitness options, including CrossFit, boxing, and open-gym classes designed for all levels and “focused on quality, high-level training with a personal touch.” Co-owner Kyle Hopkins tells us they hope to open their doors very soon, depending on inspections and approvals, and expect the new, much larger space will allow for more programming, better visibility, easier parking, and more.

East Side B U Z Z

“We will have separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, each with their own showers — fairly rare for CrossFit boxes,” Hopkins tells us. “We will [also] have a 1,200-square-foot private studio that will allow us to add on a host of new classes. We offer more than just CrossFit and are looking to expand upon that.” Other ideas/plans in the works: a new “Healthy Steps Nutrition” program and, potentially, kids CrossFit classes, plus the possibility of daycare. For more, visit Crossfit not your preferred method of training? Also coming to the Trinity Lane campus is Legion Jiu Jitsu, whose new East Side studio joins other Middle Tennessee locations in Hendersonville and Murfreesboro. Those folks offer group classes for all ages and skill levels (classes are available for kids as young as 3), along with private lessons to supplement and sharpen training. Legion will be sharing some common areas/locker room space with their Rising Sun neighbors, but inhabiting their own private studio in the facility. Sean Patton — a former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer, and a 2018 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Masters World Championship runner-up — is set to lead the new location, with an “authentic, fun and

focused” brand of martial arts training. “We believe that whether you are training Jiu Jitsu for self-defense, fitness, competition, or fun, the answer is leaving your ego at the door, opening your mind to learning, and training hard,” he says. Patton, who’s lived in East Nashville for the past four years, says he “can’t wait to bring world-class Jiu Jitsu for the whole family” to the neighborhood. If you’d like to explore the Legion offerings in the meantime, there’s lots of info at Kettner Coffee Supply, a new venture from public relations pro and hospitality vet Hannah Schneider, is aiming for an early 2019 opening in mixed-use complex The Eastland at 1035 W. Eastland Ave., Ste 1045. Schneider, who also helmed Sylvan Heights spot Salt & Vine and runs the PR firm Hannah Schneider Creative, chose the spot in part because it’s close to home. Really close to home. “After being a resident of The Eastland for over a year, I am so excited to be joining this great location in a business setting,” she said in a press release. To keep up with the latest as they work toward the opening, follow their exploits on Instagram @kettnercoffeesupply. For more on Hannah Schneider Creative,

Local eyecare. Independent eyewear.


January | February 2019


East Nashville Architects

historic renovation | custom design 6I5.76I.9902

20 January | February 2019

EAST SIDE BUZZ check out On the hunt for a fresh place to get your hair wrangled? The Hideout Salon and Lounge is in the works at 1400 Woodland St. Does that address look familiar? Yep, it’s the same location as the long-loved Lipstick Lounge. “I am thrilled to be right above The Lipstick Lounge,” says Hideout owner/stylist Chelsea Joffray. “It embodies everything that I want The Hideout to represent. We will have a separate entrance from Lipstick behind the building for clients and event-goers. Just ring the buzzer on the back door and come on up.” Those “event-goers” will be a key component of The Hideout’s business, hence the “lounge” part of the name. “[The Hideout] will have two main functions: one as a hair salon and secondly as a communal event space,” says Joffray. “The salon will be offering haircuts, color services, and straight razor shaves. We want to create a space for everyone, a place where anyone can come get their hair done, artists can hang their art, musicians can perform, yoga teachers can host classes. This is a safe space for craft, exploration, and just plain-old lounging. We have an entire room just for the people to come and do events they are wanting to share with the community.” Joffray’s become close to the community in recent years through working at the East Side Rudy’s Barbershop location (stylists Blair Winston and Erin James from Rudy’s East are also due to move into the Hideout, she tells us). She hopes to swing open the The Hideout doors on Sunday, March 3. Check out Instagram @thehideoutsalonandlounge, and/ or for the latest. East Nashville restaurant eDESIA recently shut its doors — but if you’ve become a fan of the fusion restaurant, which opened this summer in the former Rumours East space, worry not: It’s good news! The shuttering is temporary and part of a revamp. GM Sathyan Gopalan tells us significant renovations are in the works, including a kitchen expansion, new flooring, a new bar, and a revamp of the back patio. Along with the new looks and set-up is a new menu focus. Gopalan says that, with the reopening, eDESIa’s menu will be “90-percent Indian”-focused, reflecting his own background (and the home of his other ventures, which include boutique hotel Sunshine Guest House and the Global Watch Foundation Children’s Home, both in Tiruvannamalai, India). Current plans are to have eDESIa reopen, serving, and “full of surprises” at 1112 Woodland St. by Feb. 15. For more on the East Nashville restaurant’s early approach — and leader Gopalan’s background — check out the eDESIa feature story in our recent “Food & Drink Issue.”

East Side B U Z Z

New apartment buildings are set to go up on 1330 Dickerson Pike — once home of the iconic meat-and-three restaurant, Charlie Bob’s. Bristol Development Group is planning two buildings for the site, with 205 units collectively. Bristol has enlisted Smith Gee Studio to handle the design, but no renderings have been released at this time.

Get deeper info

on these happenings and more on our blog at

Have East Side development news to share? Reach out to

Fond Object Future Uncertain It’s been a rough and rocky time for Inglewood’s Fond Object Records. In November, the shop’s downtown location at 535 Fourth Ave. S., closed its doors after having been around about a year and a half. Now the future of the beloved shop’s original location is in serious doubt. Several months ago, plans were announced

by Corner Partnership to redevelop the building housing Fond Object Records and several other shops into Moto Moda (a vintage-esque motorcycle shop and pizza restaurant envisioned by the owners of Barista Parlor). In addition to redeveloping the building located on the northwest corner of McGavock Pike and Riverside Drive, the developer had planned to build 33 apartments in six buildings behind what would be the new retail strip. Although there was some support for the developer, those plans have been nixed. Corner Partnership withdrew their request for Metro Planning Commission consideration after strong community protest, which included a petition opposing the deal that garnered more than 1,700 signatures (highprofile East Siders Margo Price and Aaron Lee Tasjan were among those who signed on). Although the preservation of Fond Object was a major factor, District 7 Council Member Anthony Davis says there were other citizen concerns, such as, “traffic congestion, having motorcycles around Riverside Village and the noise they might bring, cutting down all the trees, and destroying the ‘village-like feel’ of the community.” The developer’s decision to cancel their request for a Specific Plan (SP) means the

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22 January | February 2019

EAST SIDE BUZZ site will revert to existing zoning rules, which don’t require Planning Commission approval (a base-zoning build). “There’s an old saying when it comes to zoning, ‘If you’re saying no to something, you’re saying yes to something else,’” Councilman Anthony Davis says. Davis explains with an SP, “You can control every aspect of the development, you know exactly what you’re going to get. With an SP we would’ve committed to several community benefits, including having control of the parcels; keeping the scale to one story and saving the McGavock building; a sidewalk extension up Riverside to 2324; requiring a certain number of trees be planted to double the required density; and barring any short-term rental units, which would prevent buildings full of Airbnb’s. There was also an outside chance of Fond Object and the owners working something out for leasing the Bailey and Cato building.” With the plans for the SP scrapped, the future of the property is uncertain at this time. Davis says he could only pass along what the owners told him, “They would likely soon tear down the McGavock building, design, and at some point build, a new three-story building on McGavock, with either retail ground floor and apartments above, or all apartments. The parcels behind on Riverside Drive could be subdivided administratively at the planning department to potentially 7-8 houses, to be determined.” New plans and tenants for the development have not been officially announced. Fond Object has announced through their Facebook they plan to continue business as usual through at least February 2019. —Randy Fox

East Side B U Z Z

opment plan submitted to codes, and that all new, commercial developments be reviewed and approved by a licensed landscape architect. “We also plan to add an amendment to help protect heritage trees,” Davis says. “We want to strengthen the restrictions on not cutting older, historic trees.” The current bill was approved on first reading and sent to the Metro planning department

Nashville’s Japanese-style pub and social house

Tree Canopy Bill Seeks to Preserve the Shade A new bill is working its way through the Metro council that will throw more shade on Nashville’s citizenry — the good kind of shade, that is. Sponsored by Metro council members Anthony Davis, Angie Henderson, and Colby Sledge, the proposed bill seeks to preserve and expand Nashville’s urban tree canopy. “Angie Harrison is working on a rewrite of the entire tree code, but we wanted to push something along while waiting for the new, overarching bill,” says Councilman Anthony Davis. “We have enforcement issues that will be addressed in the larger bill, but it was important for us to act as soon as possible because we’re losing more of our existing tree canopy every day.” The new bill will increase the required tree density units on new developments from 14 per acre to 20 per acre. Tree density units are calculated using the trunk diameter of existing or newly planted trees. The bill will also require any trees with trunk diameters of 24 inches or more be surveyed and indicated on the devel-

for review. Davis says he hopes the bill will be sent back to council by February and to build a consensus for its passing. “We can’t just count on parks and Metro-owned land to preserve Nashville’s tree canopy,” Davis says. “It has to extend to private property as well, and we have to ensure that private development plays their part.” —Randy Fox




January | February 2019


Astute O B S E R V A T I O N S

Of self-analysis and sourdough B Y J A M E S “ H A G S ” H A G G E R T Y nomenon. I have concluded I’m transforming into a 1950s housewife or, more accurately, a 1950s househusband. This is to say I’ve been self-medicating with an over-abundance of liquor. To put it in ’50s terms, everyday I’m living a Hagsie Knows Best episode, if you will. My self-analysis further informs me that my domesticity of late is in direct reaction to the state of our (dis)union. My vehemently exercised single vote brought scant satisfaction, and I have retreated to the hearth and the solitary lifestyle of the bread baker to find my refuge while the winds of intolerance rage outside. 500 words to get to the point? Really, Hags? [Editors’ note: Since you mentioned it, we’ve been wondering the same thing for the last eight paragraphs.]

Forgive me. I’m a scene setter! Sourdough bread baking is salvaging my sanity in these gas-lit times. “Ferment and Be Saved” has become my mantra. Sourdough is a micro world. Four ingredients make a successful loaf: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Four ingredients kneaded together with my hands, stretched and folded, rested, and baked in cast iron bring a quiet satisfaction. It is a simple, yet profound exercise: simple in preparation; meditative in its multi-day process; and profound in the sense that these inexpensive, uncomplicated ingredients combine to form something so deliciously sustaining. All it requires from me is time and attention, the perfect antidote to screaming headlines and hateful sound bites. A spoonful of yeast, a couple cups of flour, some water, a pinch of salt, and a preheating oven to warm the house. That’s it! The Hagskins Diet. You’re Welcome! Hey, whaddya know? My Christmas spirit just kicked in. God bless us, EVERYONE! Hags is a part-time bon vivant, sourdough bread baker, and resolute goodwill ambassador for The East Nashvillian. He earns his keep as a fulltime bassist extraordinaire.

Have a hankering for more Hags? We suggest visiting for all of his previous observations.

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illustration :


hronologically speaking, I find myself in an interesting place with this issue’s column. The thing is, dear readers, today is Sunday, Dec. 16; I’m solidly ensconced in the holiday season. However, by the time this issue hits the stands, the holidays will have passed us by, leaving nothing to look forward to but dreary old February and Valentine’s Day. As it is, Christmas is nine days away. The lights are twinkling. All is holly jolly, merry and bright, but in fact, something feels a bit off with me. I can’t quite put my time finger on it. Besides the fact it is 60 degrees and sunny outside, I find myself feeling somewhat salmon-like. Which is to say, I feel as if I’m swimming upstream, cheer-wise, this Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. Although I may not be Clark W. Griswold, I’m not Ebenezer Scrooge or Mr. Grinch either. The usual solution is to put on The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album followed with 1968’s Christmas Album by Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass and … embrace the sunshine! Which I’ve done, but it only worked for a couple of hours as a temporary balm to soothe my restless mind. So, I watched a Charlie Brown Christmas. Messrs. Schulz and Guaraldi always, always kick start the Christmas spirit for me, and yet I am far from carefree. Where is my peace on earth? Where is my goodwill toward men and all that? What is the cause of this joyous interruptus, you ask? Anxiety, thy name is Trump (expletives deleted). The constant barrage of denials and lies beamed live and direct from the White House have my head spinning, but not with visions of sugar plumb faeries. I could go on, but I trust you understand. I’ve done a lot of touring this year. For the first time ever, normally reserved and polite European and Brit folk have been asking, “What the hell is going on in your country? Have you gone crazy?” Aside from a simple, “Yes,” I haven’t had a good answer. A ball of confusion, that’s what the world is today. Temptations sing! Like my man Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living, and I am nothing if not a life examiner. My self-analysis has revealed an interesting phe-



January | February 2019



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wanted my own restaurant. I thought I needed to open a small restaurant at first. So I asked myself, ‘What’s the smallest I could go?’ and I decided on a food truck.” — Danny Bua

Danny BUA

After learning the basics, Bua began to craft his own unique take on south-of-the-border By Randy Fox favorites, combining traditional Mexican food with unusual ingredients and methods. By 2013, Bua began Since making the decito desire new challenges and a sion to leap from the world warmer climate, which led him of fine china and white and his wife, Lauren McLeod, to tablecloths to disposable Nashville. Bua quickly secured a plates and paper napkins position as sous-chef at Lockeland a little over a year and a Table where his trademark half ago, Danny Bua has Boston Red Sox cap became a familiar sight. realized his entrepreneurial “One of the things I told vision with That Awesome [Lockeland Table co-owner and Taco Truck, a playful and executive chef ] Hal Holdenidiosyncratic take on one of Bache when he hired me is I the most basic and popular don’t know everything. There are of all street foods. Bua has things that I’ve never cooked won the loyalties of hungry taco lovers throughout before. There are techniques I Nashville by reimagining don’t know and things that I don’t the archetypal Mexican fast even understand. But that’s okay, food, while adding unusual I’m never afraid to ask questions. approaches like his sweet poIf someone knows something tato and collards taco, New I don’t know, great. I want to keep learning.” England lobster roll taco, After three years at Lockeland and the “’80s Throwback” Table, he was ready to begin a ground beef taco (combining quintessentially-gringo food truck adventure. “I was not “McCormick” spiced beef running a fine dining restaurant with more adventuresome anymore,” Bua says. “But I decided to do smaller versions of fare). tacos I’d done back home [in a A native Bostonian, Bua fine dining setting]. I wanted began his culinary career at to make composed dishes on a the age of 15 with a temporary job at a summer camp. “I tortilla. It’s very different from was about to go home because what you’d get at other taco it was a four-week run [as trucks, but everything is on an unpaid camp counselor],” there for a reason — it all tastes good together.” Bua says, “but someone in After securing a food the kitchen got fired. For two truck and adapting it to fit his needs, That weeks I learned about cooking and got paid Awesome Taco Truck made its street debut 150 bucks. When I came home, I wanted to in October 2017. Since then, the playful food go to culinary school.” truck with the happy unicorn on its side has For almost two decades, Bua studied the become a welcome sight on the streets of restaurant business from all levels, working East Nashville and at many special events. in Boston’s fine dining scene, graduating Bua’s wife contributes administrative support from culinary school in 1996, and spending while prep assistant Tim Trotter works with three years as head chef of an award-winning him in the truck’s very small kitchen. Mexican restaurant. “This is the smallest space I’ve ever worked “I never ate Mexican food growing up. There were no Mexican restaurants in the area where I grew up. Maybe in,” Bua says. “But I have things that I never had in any of the other my Mom made McCormick ground beef tacos, but that was the extent kitchens I worked in, things that make me happy — Christmas lights, of it. When the opportunity came to work in a Mexican restaurant, I fun stickers on the walls, music playing all the time. If this leads to brick read a lot of cookbooks, watched a lot of YouTube videos, and tried a and mortar in the future, that’s great, but if it doesn’t, I’m fine. I’m havlot of recipes. I then sat down with a lot of Mexican and El Salvadorian ing so much fun. I get to go to different places, and I’ve created this little happy kitchen where I’m making this great food to share with others.” cooks and asked questions.”

I then sat down with a lot of Mexican and El Salvadorian cooks and asked questions.

Locations for That Awesome Taco Truck are listed at When not booked for weekend events, it parks at Southern Grist Brewing (1201 Porter Road) on Friday evenings and at Lockeland Table (1520 Woodland St.) on Saturdays until 3 p.m. and Sundays all day.

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Ed Nash The art and space East Nashville allows BY J O N G U GA L A


d Nash’s Inglewood studio is cavernous. His paintings hang from and lean against every vertical surface. “When I moved in here, the space was overwhelming — it was too big,” the 42 year-old says. “But gradually, it was freeing.” The two-story space, which he began building out in 2010, displays works with rolling blue hills of pine as one might see through a Vaseline-smeared lens. The heavy textures of others, their paint caked to create ridges and cracks, suggest lunar surfaces and volcanic fields. Blurred figures disappear into chalk-white fog, the lines faint and suggestive. And then there are those defying any recognizable form, abstracts evincing Nash’s command of composition and strong color theory, which have become some of his most popular and sought-after works. →


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“[Nash] has a way of showing depth and dimension,” says Chenault Sanders, a Nashville collector who currently owns seven of Nash’s works, the first of which he purchased in 2010. East Nashville was the first place Nash lived with his wife after they moved to the U.S. from their native England and purchased a home in Inglewood. It was here he opened his studio, expanding into the adjacent unit when it came open a few years later. It’s also where he continues to operate. At the back of the studio is a raised area with a wide view of the gallery reminiscent of a proscenium stage in an old gymnasium. Surely this must be where Nash creates his pieces. Indeed, an easel holds an unfinished work roughly two-by-three feet. But instead of lingering, he bends down against the back wall, grabs the bottom of a segmented garage door, and rattles it up, opening a space behind twice the size of our current space in length and width. More paintings lean against paintings, which lean against paintings. It's an impressive body of work, especially from an artist whose initial focus was not on painting.


ash grew up in Letchworth, a small town 40 minutes north of London, England. As a child he earned a scholarship to a prestigious boy’s school, and it was during this time he began training as an artist, which continued through university. His focus then was on field hockey and installation pieces, the latter of which incorporated movie footage to make Orwellian points on privacy and what he refers to as “the embodiment of space.” “I wasn’t necessarily locked in to doing art at that point,” he says, explaining a double major of fine art and psychology. “I’d love to be an artist, but how does that happen?” During this time, Nash was spending his summers in the U.S. — Nashville, specifically — selling educational books door to door to fund his U.K. art school. America’s symbolism, its Manifest Density and the Wild West, was not lost on him. Its space and mass: “You get on a plane and you fly across America, there’s just so much out there. It was a lot, coming from a little island,” he says. “But it was definitely more of, ‘There’s just a vast amount of opportunity.’” After graduation and a stint in Edinburgh, Nash immigrated to the U.S. in 2006, but rather than working as an artist, he was a fine-art dealer, appraising and selling works by the Post-Impressionists. While some would consider it a special torture to work a vocation so adjacent to their avocation, the

period was one of seeming enjoyment for him, and it would be significant in two ways: the development of a sense for what would and would not sell, and a master’s-level class in visual art. “I was looking at thousands of paintings every week, trying to decide what to buy,” he says. “In doing that, you’re training your eye really well in the composition of a work. You can’t buy that exposure.” Nashville photographer and longtime friend Allen Clark says Nash’s shrewd understanding of art and commerce led to the artist’s success. “There’s not a lot of difference between selling an idea and selling a tangible piece of artwork,” Clark says. “He’s got a good sense for both business and for the art side of things, which is a hard balance.” Nash’s return to painting — a boyhood passion he dropped in university for other mediums — was unabashedly calculated. (The market for installations was much leaner than for paintings, he admits.) But his fascination with space — which at one point in college had him (harmlessly) stalking his art tutor for a meta piece in which the artist became the art — carried over: “When I first started painting [again], it was, ‘How can I


transform what I was doing here [with video installations] into something more marketable?’” he says. Through the rolling garage doors in the back of Nash’s gallery are multiple rooms. One is a display area, its walls hung with works earmarked for galleries and private collections across the U.S. In another, the cinderblock walls are layered with sealant, a substance applied to protect the vulnerable surfaces his brushes create. And in another, a room coated with saw dust, his frames’ raw materials hang on hooks, ready to be custom-cut to the finished work’s dimensions. Nash demurs as to the number of works he sells each year, but it’s obvious the volume is great. He employs multiple staffers, from assistants to framers to installers; he currently works from two studio spaces while openly discussing the likelihood of a third; and his own box truck, which crisscrosses the country to deliver commissions, is wrapped with his logo. “Ed Nash,” the brand, is booming, and yet Ed Nash, the artist, wages a constant war to keep himself in front of the easel as the demands of his shop grow by the year.

Smiles without the miles. East Nashville’s orthodontist! Straighten your smile without crossing the river.

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Nasahn- s villi of ther Yea

The start of 2019 can only mean one thing: the announcement of the 2018 winners for East Nashvillians of the Year! Awarded by the Historic East Nashville Merchants Association (HENMA) from nominations submitted by the general public and selected by HENMA members in a secret ballot, these awards recognize contributions to the local community that stand out — ones

that “pay it forward” and exemplify the values we share in our humble neighborhood. The awards are presented in two categories: Business and Citizen. The Citizen’s award for 2018 goes to Anthony Davis. Lockeland Table is the recipient of the Business award. We’d like to offer our congratulations to the winners and wish them all the best in the coming year.

PAST WINNERS 2008 BUSINESS: Meg & Bret MacFadyen, Art and Invention Gallery CITIZEN: Bob Acuff 2009 BUSINESS: Dan Heller, Riverside Village CITIZEN: Carol Norton

2010 BUSINESS: Alan Murdock, ArtHouse Gardens CITIZEN: Catherine McTamaney 2011 BUSINESS: The Green Wagon CITIZEN: Eric Jans

2012 BUSINESS: The East Nashvillian CITIZEN: Elizabeth Chauncey 2013 BUSINESS: March Egerton, Developer (Walden) CITIZEN: Carol Williams

2014 BUSINESS: Powell Architecture + Building Studio CITIZEN: Brett Withers 2015 BUSINESS: Matt Charette, Restaurateur CITIZEN: Darrell Downs, Kelly Perry

2016 BUSINESS: The Basement East CITIZEN: Bonnie Bogen 2017 BUSINESS: The 5 Spot CITIZEN: Stacie Huckeba

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LOCKELAND TABLE By Randy Fox | Photographed by Travis Commeau “When we started Lockeland Table, I knew I wanted our happy hour to give back to the community,” Cara Graham says. “There were so many ways to do so. At the time, a tree was planted for every featured bottle of wine sold. There are so many awesome companies out there doing things like that, and if we support each other, we can really make a difference.” When Graham speaks of giving back to the community, she isn’t bragging. From her tone of voice and enthusiasm, it’s plain she considers locally focused-altruism as integral to business as proper accounting or creative marketing. It’s a conviction she shares with her business partner, Chef Hal Holden-Bache, and it’s a commitment that has propelled Lockeland Table to its beloved status in East Nashville. “[Community involvement] is just something I’ve always taken part in whether it was Big Brothers Big Sisters or donating to charity auctions,” Graham says. “Hal has supported the Leukemia Association for years. It’s just part of who we are and what we do.” This powerful East Nashville team also creates great restaurants. When Graham and Holden-Bache first met in 2006, they already had years of separate work experience in fine dining. With Graham as general manager and Holden-Bache as Executive Chef, they guided Eastland Café to the top of Nashville’s dining community. In 2012, they made the decision to strike out on their own with a new venture, Lockeland Table. From the beginning of Lockeland Table, a strong emphasis on giving back to East Nashville was front and center, but Graham soon believed supporting worthy charities wasn’t enough. She wanted a personalized and locally focused effort. “I wanted to give even more back to the community,” she says. “My son was a kindergartner at Lockeland Elementary, and I started talking to other parents. I told them I wanted to have a happy hour where a portion of the proceeds would go directly to the schools, and I would get this weird look from them. It took me three months to figure out the program, and I had to change the name because parents were associating happy hour with drinking.” While adult beverages remained a part of Graham’s concept for Lockeland Table’s “Community Hour,” the

program expanded far beyond the alcohol-fueled, endof-the-workday unwinding typical of most happy hours. Instead, it has become a daily neighborhood social gathering frequented by locals and their children, along with an ever-growing number of tourists looking for a homey, locally focused taste of East Nashville. Each Community Hour brings great food, great drinks, and an ever-popular supply of creative toys to engage young minds while mom and dad socialize. (For a taste of the typical Community Hour, check out the feature story in last month’s Food & Drink Issue, archived at The money raised from the Community Hour goes directly to the PTOs for Lockeland Elementary Design Center and Isaac Litton Middle School. The funds pay for student supplies, classroom iPads, and a variety of other learning needs. “As it has grown, more people have supported it, meaning more money we can give,” Graham says. “It’s definitely my baby of community service.” Community Hour may be the centerpiece of Lockeland Table’s service to the community, but both Graham and Holden-Bache are active in a variety of other forms of community service. “I’m currently co-chair of the Martha Maddox Fund, which has a special place in my heart because I see the impact it has on children,” Graham says. “I see the literacy program in action. I see kids receiving swimming lessons paid for by the money we’ve raised, and it makes me want to work even harder. It’s a foundation that’s so important to our community and one of the things that make East Nashville, East Nashville.” Ultimately, Lockeland Table’s success goes beyond the financial and the culinary, and while receiving the award for East Nashvillian of the Year is an honor for Graham and Holden-Bache’s business, simply belonging to East Nashville’s business landscape carries its own rewards and responsibilities. “You have to start in your backyard and support the people around you,” Graham says. “You don’t give to get, but it is true that building a stronger community helps your business thrive. More businesspeople need to understand that concept — giving back is a win all the way around.”

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A N T H O N Y DAV I S By Theresa Laurence | Photographed by Chad Crawford Do you like gathering fresh eggs from the urban chickens in your backyard? Value sidewalks, bike lanes, and pedestrian safety? Appreciate Google Fiber’s availability in the neighborhood? Want economic development in Davidson County to be more equitable, inclusive, and transparent? Then thank Metro Council District 7 representative Anthony Davis, the 2018 East Nashvillian of the Year Citizen Award recipient, who has supported all these causes and more. You can toast him with a frosty mug of Roaming Dog ASB next time you see him at East Nashville Beer Works, his Trinity Lane brewery and community gathering space. In all his endeavors, from informing Inglewood neighbors about zoning and development issues, to overseeing special events at the brewery, he sees himself as “the neighborhood captain, and I hope I’ve steered it in the right direction,” Davis says. Davis’ ENOTY nomination noted that: “Throughout the year and beyond, Councilman Davis has done a phenomenal job of keeping his constituents informed of what’s happening in Metro government, bills being considered and how they might affect East Nashville at large, and happenings in his district, as well as taking the concerns of both his constituents and East Nashville residents on every part of the political spectrum to the Metro Council. Beyond his political career, Councilman Davis has brought a new and popular business to the depressed Trinity Lane area in the form of East Nashville Beer Works and has used their brewery and taproom as a meeting place and forum for those interested in moving East Nashville forward.” “We want to be a warm, open, welcoming space,” Davis says of brewery. Over the last two years, they have hosted everything from college reunions to Nashville LGBT Chamber meetings and just about “any progressive group you can think of,” Davis says. The brewery also hosts just-for-fun events like “Festivus

for the Rest of Us,” “Noon Year’s Eve,” and a Parks and Recreation themed trivia night. “We’ve done what we set out to do” with the brewery, Davis says, which is brew great beer, serve delicious pizza, and build community on the East Side. “We just want to keep it going.” But life is not all beer and pizza parties when you’re an elected official and tireless neighborhood advocate. There are street lights to have repaired, pedestrian crosswalks to build, conservation overlays to pass, and schools to support. As a strong public schools advocate, Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High graduate, and the father of two young children, “focusing on schools has been a huge priority for me,” Davis says, particularly Dan Mills, Rosebank, and Inglewood Elementary schools, Issac Litton Middle Prep, and the Stratford STEM Magnet High campus. Davis notes Stratford’s $20 million renovation early in his first term as one of his proudest achievements. With donations of time, talent, and treasure, Davis “has been very supportive of our school,” says Rosebank Elementary principal Kellee Akers. Davis has attended career day at the school and talked to third and fourth graders about how government works and his role in it; he’s donated to school fundraisers and been a vocal supporter of increasing teacher pay. Last year, East Nashville Beer Works hosted a fundraiser for the local nonprofit organization Athletes Can and their “Christmas on Wheels” event, which raised money to purchase 50 bicycles and helmets for Rosebank students. “So he’s been very involved,” Akers says. As the council representative of a rapidly growing district, Davis has been engaged with a number of contextual overlays, which limit the scale of new builds and require them to fit in with nearby existing homes. He has also shepherded through a conservation overlay for Inglewood Place and Riverwood/Plymouth streets. →

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Inglewood Neighborhood Association (INA) president Rod Boehm, who lives within the conservation overlay area, says Davis was helpful laying out the ground rules and following through with neighbors during the process, helping build close to 90-percent support for the overlay before moving forward. “The overlay gives pretty good piece of mind for a homeowner,” says Boehm, who has lived in Inglewood since 1980. Davis has navigated some tricky neighborhood issues during his tenure, perhaps none as fraught as the recent Riverside Village dust up concerning development plans for the intersection of Riverside and McGavock, including beloved local record shop Fond Object. “I tried to be a leader on it, but we fell short on what I thought was the best thing,” Davis says. “Many neighbors wanted to compromise with developers and move forward with an SP zoning plan, which would guarantee we knew what we were getting with new development in that area.” But a vocal group of neighbors resisted all plans for new development at the site, rallying to save Fond Object with a widely-circulated petition, an effort that ultimately failed. With no neighborhood agreement, “it just doesn’t make sense to move forward (with an SP),” Davis says. “I pride myself on being a consensus builder; if we don’t have consensus I won’t bring something forward.” Now, the developer will use the original base zoning plan for the site, which allows multi-story, multi-use buildings along McGavock and the demolition of existing buildings, including Fond Object. The end result left many neighbors unhappy, but Davis tried to remain optimistic about future development at Riverside and McGavock. “I know in the end, we will get a good product,” Davis wrote in a Nov. 26 Facebook post. “I truly believe we will, and our growth in the area will be positive.” “I give Anthony credit for keeping the neighborhood informed (throughout that process),” INA president Boehm says. “He didn’t ignore the neighborhood on that issue.” In addition to issues that primarily affect residents of his district, Davis has moved a number of bills forward in the Metro Council that affect the entire county. One recent bill he is proud of is the “One Touch Make Ready” legislation. “OTMR” encourages new internet carriers to enter the Nashville market and “move visionary broadband policy forward,” as Davis says. One contractor would be allowed to do make ready work on a pole, moving lines and placing a new carrier. This kept Google Fiber in the market, Davis says and as a result, Comcast and AT&T have already have upped their game. Davis was also a leader on passing the “Do Better” bill, which calls for more transparency on the front end and more accountability from businesses receiving economic incentives from

the city. According to Davis, the bill asks for a report card on amount of local hire, wage information, and any potential wage theft or OSHA infractions, among other items. The “Do Better” bill ultimately gives Metro Council an effective tool to determine whether the incentives under consideration are serving the people of the city, and gives them a way to end an incentive agreement if the company fails to hold up its side of the bargain. Today, the appetite is smaller for tax

incentives like those recently offered to Amazon, Davis says. “We’ve cut way down on them, but to stay competitive with other cities we still need to do them. If we’re giving incentives out, we need more accountability.” At the end of the day, Davis — whose term as councilmember ends this year — is proud of his big-picture accomplishments, but “I love doing the little things, like helping get a stop sign or a sidewalk in, reporting street lights out,” he says. “That’s what drives me.”

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John and Lilly Hiatt on family, tragedy, and life told through songs By Randy Fox | Photography by Michael Weintrob

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For over four decades John Hiatt has served up his personal fusion of rock ’n’ roll, country, blues, and folk. With intimate, confessional songs, he has captured the joys, fears, and tragedies of life through the seemingly simplest turn of a phrase, earning him praise as one of the finest songwriters of his generation and the 2008 Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. His daughter, Lilly Hiatt, made her recording debut in 2012 and is now a rising star thanks to breakout success of her 2017 album, Trinity Lane — an album that music critic David Menconi, writing for Rolling Stone, said, “portends even greater ones to come.” In celebration of the forthcoming Record Store Day 2019 release of a shared single on April 20, father and daughter sat down with The East Nashvillian for a discussion of their mutual love of family, music, and a perfectly good cup of joe. EAST NASHVILLIAN: Before I ask any questions, do you have questions for each other? LILLY HIATT: I do. My first question for my dad is what coffee did

you drink this morning?

JOHN HIATT: This morning I had a Peet’s Major Dickason Blend, the kind your mama drinks because we’re out of my Peet’s French Roast. L: I know that’s your coffee. J: That’s my go-to cup. It’s just a little rough around the edges, like me. (laughs)

L: I’m not a French roaster. I had Krispy Kreme light roast this morning. It’s new at the Piggly Wiggly. They now sell Krispy Kreme coffee. J: Do you remember when we used to pass by the Piggly Wiggly and you used to say Pig-a-lee Wig-a-lee! Was that you or Georgia Rae [Lilly's sister]?

L: It was Georgia, but I have a soft spot forever in my heart for Piggly Wiggly because of that. That was one of the selling points for the place I live in off Trinity Lane. My friend Sarah Potenza, who used to live below me, said, “The place has more of a Piggly Wiggly vibe than the Turnip Truck.” And I was like, “I’m there!” (laughs)

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EN: John, do you remember a specific point where it became obvious that Lilly was really interested in having a career in music? J: When she came home from the University of Denver, and she brought a band back with her, we were pretty convinced that she was serious about it. They had been playing around out in Denver, her songs were good, and she was trying to form a style of her own. I was pretty impressed. I can’t remember when you told us you were bringing a band home.

L: It was after I met with Ken Levitan on spring break, my senior year. Ken has managed

my dad for a long time and now he manages me, too. I feel a lot of gratitude toward Ken because he so kindly took a meeting with me as a favor. He let me come in and talk to him for about 20 minutes, and I asked him if I should move back with my band. He said, “Yeah. If you want to play music, come to Nashville!” I went back and asked my band members, “Who’s coming?” We all moved to Nashville after I graduated that spring, and one of my band members even dropped out of college to come with me.

I don’t look at it as, “You’ve got to make it or break it.” Music is wonderful however it pans out. — John Hiatt

EN: John, were you proud of Lilly or hesitant about her decision based on your own experiences? J: She didn’t really know what she was getting herself into, but I was thrilled for her. That’s the thing about music. I don’t look at it as, “You’ve got to make it or break it.” Music is wonderful however it pans out. If you wind up being successful and it becomes a way to make a living or if it’s just something you enjoy doing on the side. Whatever it turns out to be it turns out to be, so I say go for it.

L: My dad really imparted that idea to me. Music is wonderful, and nobody can ever take it away from you. It’s a really magical way to live when you just give yourself to it and let the love of music be enough, but it’s a crazy path if you want to make that a sustainable career.

J: It’s really hard work, and I think a lot of people don’t really understand that.

L: It is hard work. There’s times when you feel you’re really falling short, and there’s a

lot of choices and sacrifices in your personal life that you have to make. But having a dad that has been through it and has done his own thing, and has let me do mine, it’s something we really connect on. For instance, stage me is a completely different person than home me, and getting to that other person can be weird sometimes. It’s interesting trying to find that balance, and I’m at a different point in learning how to maintain it than my father.

L: I have a question: What is it like to have someone you grew up listening to, like Bob Dylan, sing one of your songs?

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J: It’s pretty cool. You just gotta pinch yourself and say I can’t believe this is happening. You recently shared a stage with Eddie Vedder, one of your heroes. L: It was a surreal day. He looked in my eye and introduced

himself and said thanks, and I could feel he meant it! Did you get to meet Bob Dylan?

J: I’ve met him a couple of times. He’s a funny guy. You know who he really liked was your mother, Nancy.

L: Well, of course everyone loves mom. She lights up the room and always has.

J: We were at this benefit that Barbara Orbison put togeth-

er. Levon Helm introduced us, and [Dylan] cornered your mother. She came out of the room about a half hour later, and I asked her, “What were you two talking about?” and she said, “He just started telling me his life story!”

really stepped up and hit a homer [with Trinity Lane].

L: Aww, thanks, Dad! I wrote about a lot of different

things on Trinity Lane, but something we both share [on those two records] are our struggles with addiction. Our journeys have been different, but it’s a shared bond. I would feel like I was cheating if I didn’t bring that to light. It’s something we both care about and don’t want to dominate us. Something about my dad that is really impressive to me is that he’s done this sober for years and never gloats about it. That’s something I want for myself. I quit drinking a while ago, and I’ve had ups and downs, but it’s really important to me to maintain my sobriety. There’s been times on the road, especially in this last year, where it’s been very close to me, and I realize this isn’t something you just get over. This is something you have to live with for the rest of your life. I’m grateful that I have my dad as a sober person in my life.

Just being the daughter of John Hiatt means I get a lot of dad questions. It’s wonderful, and it’s weird. — Lilly Hiatt

L: So if you want Dylan’s life story, get it from Nancy Hiatt!

J: I said, “Give me an example,” and she said, “He said, ‘You know that stuff they tell you when you’re a kid? You just gotta forget all that stuff.’” L: (laughs) I like that. I’ve had to forget a lot of that. J: (laughs) Sorry about that!

EN: Many artists grab a lot of attention with their debut album, while others take a while to achieve a breakthrough. I found it interesting that you both began recording in your twenties, but it took several albums to really find your voice — Bring the Family in 1987 for John and Trinity Lane in 2017 for Lilly. Is that just the Hiatt way? J: (laughs) We’re just slow learners.

L: Yeah, we’re just late bloomers. We really are, but it’s okay.

J: It’s true. Yeah, I was 33 before you could say I really had a career, and I think you can definitely say Lilly reached that point with Trinity Lane. She’s a known entity now. She’s writing great songs, and people will come to see her. That’s what I call success. Our whole family felt that she

J: Well, I’m grateful that I have you. I’m grateful for all the sober people in my life, and all the people that pointed out to me that I had a problem. And I’m grateful I could get help. It’s not something you can combat on your own, and I don’t take credit for my sobriety because it takes a lot of help from a lot of people for me to stay sober one day at a time. Addicts and alcoholics are everywhere, but this industry and the road takes its toll on us in particular. I’m glad Lilly brought it up because it is possible to make music without taking drugs and alcohol. It’s actually quite wonderful.

EN: While we’re on a serious note, I wanted to talk about Lilly’s song “Imposter” from Trinity Lane, which is a devastatingly beautiful song in both its sadness and hope, touching on a number of subjects, including her relationship with you and the suicide of your first wife, Isabella, when Lilly was a baby. Is the song’s opening line, “He said, ‘I feel like an imposter, took me ‘til 62 to realize I’m good at what I do,’” also drawn from real life? J: I can’t hardly get through that song without crying. I did actually say that, and I was 62 at the time, and I did sort of feel that way.

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L: He has a song called “Adios to California,”

Lilly asked to be brother and sister, and then Georgia came along, and these two did not care for that because all of a sudden she was the baby and could do no wrong.

J: It’s funny how those three songs are con-

EN: You wrote the song “Georgia Rae” about her shortly after her birth. Did that song ever cause any trouble in the household?

and I kind of wrote this song as a response to that, but “Have a Little Faith in Me” also swirls in there.

nected. Mine talk about the time when I was struggling with her birth mother’s death, and Lilly’s song harkens back to that time and talks about the pain she’s had to deal with over not really knowing her birth mother.

L: It was an interesting time when I wrote that

song. We were having a feel-good day at the pool when Dad said he’d felt like an imposter for most of his life. I was 32, and I was coming to terms with a lot of stuff concerning my birth mother who struggled with mental illness and killed herself when I was little. I was an adult, who was now older than she was when she died, and I had struggled with my own anxiety, depression, and addiction and seemed to come out of it okay. It was a reflective and somewhat scary time.

But there’s also some funny memories from that time period. We had a serious talk around that same time because I was crying over the fact that my career seemed stalled and I wasn’t the flavor of the month, and dad said, “Lilly, we will never be hip. We’re just not those people.” I really took that to heart.

J: (laughs) Well, it’s true. Let me ask you this. What role does family play in your life now?

J: It may have. (laughs) It may have.

L: That’s a good point. Just being the daughter

of John Hiatt means I get a lot of dad questions. It’s wonderful, and it’s weird. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me “Are you Georgia Rae?” And other people say, “You didn’t get a song about YOU?”

J: (laughing) Well, Lilly, it’s comin’!

L: But it is special because that song is awesome. She is Georgia Rae from the song!

J: It was a group effort to make this family

work. In a weird way we all raised each other. We all had to figure it out, and that’s what makes it that much sweeter.

L: We’ve really hit our stride as adults. Some people ask me, “How’s Georgia Rae?” and I tell them she’s 30. That makes people feel old!

EN: Tell me about the new single. I understand both of you covered a song written by the other. How did you decide which songs to cover?

J: I recorded “All Kinds of People.” I loved that she chose that song to open Trinity Lane, and I love the wistful vibe, the guitar riff, and what the song says. And it has a cool sing-song thing about it. L: I’m glad you hear the sing-song because I think of it as a pirate song.

J: That’s exactly it!

L: I chose “You Must Go” from his album

Walk On, which is a special album to me, from a special time in my life, 1995. It has our first dog, Lila, on the cover. I recorded it in my boyfriend’s studio, and it’s a song that my boyfriend used to listen to with his dad.

J: I didn’t know that. That’s great.

L: The restlessness of that song has always res-

onated with me. I made my guitar player play drums on it. It was kind of intense at first, but I told everyone, “WE’RE HERE TO HAVE FUN!” and we did!

J: I have one final question for Lilly. Have I ever given you any kind of a leg up in terms of getting you this deal or that deal? You’ve done this all on your own, haven’t you? Am I correct in assuming that? L: Well …

J: Yes you have. You’ve done it all on your own. That’s all I have to say about that!

L: Our family is so deeply inspiring to me. I could write so many songs for my family — it’s you, my older brother Rob, my little sister Georgia, and our mom Nancy. I call us a patchwork quilt family, but we are very close. We need each other. I’m not happy if I’m not in constant communication with my brother and sister. My sister is incredible. She works with homeless people, and I’ve written a billion songs for her. Our brother builds houses and also helps people. My mother listens to everybody’s problems and tells them why they’re going to be okay. There’s nobody like her. I’m glad we’re getting to talk about them. Dad and I talk a lot about each other, but Georgia, Rob, and Nancy are everything.

J: I think they feel the same way. We’re extremely family centered. We really can’t do without each other. I think we’re each other’s favorite people.

L: We are, we drive each other a little bonkers

sometimes, because we’re all eccentric and we’re all artists. So it can be really intense, but it’s beautiful.

J: That’s the way I feel. I met your mother and Rob in 1985. About a year later Nancy and I got married. You were two and Rob was eight, and we had Georgia two years later. It was a trip trying to make this family of yours, mine, and ours work. It’s not like Rob and January | February 2019


Rock to Recovery founder Wes Geer Photograph by Travis Commeau

54 January | February 2019


recovery LAST FALL, GUITARIST AND FORMER KORN SIDEMAN, WES GEER INTRODUCED HIS brainchild, Rock to Recovery, to members of the press and Nashville-area drug and alcohol treatment professionals in an event held at the Nashville offices of Foundations Recovery Network. As the group listened, Geer and Rock to Recovery’s Nashville Program Administrator, Phil Bogard, explained that everyone present — regardless of whether or not they’d ever picked up an instrument or attempted to sing — were going to write, perform, and record a song. Despite the skepticism present in the audience, by the end of the 45-minute session, the song was written and the group was singing along to the accompaniment of a band picked at random from the audience. Along with the basic instructions for the inexperienced musicians on how to play, Geer took on the mantle of motivator and cheerleader for the group at large. While pushing a group of people far outside their comfort zone is no easy task, according the Geer, the tools to do so are pretty basic. “[It takes] love and support, gentle nudges, and TONS of positive reinforcement, I mean TONS! We cheer for people as they do the unthinkable, and it lights them up.” While this scene might invoke memories of feel-good campfire singalongs, its purpose is directed at one of the most serious and challenging medical problems — the treatment of addiction. →

By Chuck Allen

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reating addiction is problematic. Consider this understatement central to the need for fresh ideas and approaches; there is no one-size-fits-all model with guaranteed outcomes. The very nature of addiction presents challenges unlike any other medical crisis. The American Medical Association classifies addiction as a disease, but this particular disease affects the sufferer emotionally, mentally, and spiritually — as well as physically. Throw a dysfunctional family into the mix along with the economic impacts that come with chronic illness, and the landscape becomes fraught with pitfalls and seemingly insurmountable obstacles for an addict entering treatment. Wes Geer was well aware of those challenges when he launched Rock to Recovery in 2012. Having been through treatment himself years earlier, he’d experienced firsthand the feelings of disconnect, the resistance to being vulnerable and open, and the fear of the unknown. “The Korn gig was coming to an end,” Geer says. “I wanted to think of a way to leave a greater legacy than just being another guitar player. [I wanted to do] something that could help people — hopefully — long after I had left the planet. I was [about to be] an out-of-work, sober musician. Easy to get into self-pity — instead I got deeper into prayer and meditation, asking, ‘What can I do to HELP people and make a living?’ and the idea came to me, to try and grow and evolve how music was used to treat people.” Geer remembered an experience during his time in treatment when he was asked to play the guitar; a change came over everyone, and they all seemed to forget the weight of the world they’d been carrying. Geer wanted to take music a step further by having everyone play an instrument (singing came later, as his approach became more refined), regardless of whether or not they’d ever played before, and that core idea provided the foundation for Rock to Recovery. As the program evolved, Rock to Recovery became a guided experiential session lasting an average of 90 minutes in which a group — initially composed of people in treatment for addiction — composes, plays, and records a song from start to finish. “Without giving away our personal brand of magic, we start by connecting with the people in the session on a level we can meet at, based in our similar plight, desperation to find hope, and change,” Geer says. “We create a topic for discussion, and all give feedback on the topic. Those usually become our lyrics. Then we pick a style, a groove, a guitar riff, a bassline, something to get us going, and we put on layers of music, and melody on top, until everyone is playing. We create a vocal hook, and we get the entire band to sing together, through some magic I used to call the ‘patented Wes Geer kumbaya technique!’” While it might sound like fun and games, there’s hard science behind the music. Through the use of brain-scan imagery, neuroscientists can actually see the effect music has on brain, and the findings are fascinating: for the listener, one hemisphere

lights up; for the player, both hemispheres light up. What’s more, the affected areas correspond to those affected by drug use — the pleasure centers. When people are in treatment for PTSD, behavioral disorders, mental health issues, and addiction, Geer says, “There is a common thread; any combo, or all of these things — darkness, hopelessness, apathy, despair. We can talk all day to people and give them classes, lectures, and information overload, and try to teach recovery — which is of paramount importance. But arguably, most of what people hear when bombarded with words in a treatment program gets forgotten. “What Rock to Recovery does is show them they can do the unthinkable: They can challenge themselves, work through stress, fear, pressure, and create magic,” he continues. “The unequaled, transformative properties of playing music help people drill down past the layers of hurt, damage, and trauma to tap into their Source: that playful, happy, joyous, and free inner child that is still there. It demonstrates that joy still exists, and it doesn’t require a drug, or something outside the individual, but rather it’s always there, waiting, inside of each person.” While Geer’s excitement and enthusiasm for his brainchild is palpable, it was a difficult sell at first. “Much like the problem I was trying to solve, everyone loved the idea of music in treatment and agreed music is magic, but people seemed afraid to give my, dare I say, revolutionary ideas to get EVERYONE singing and playing, ‘musical’ or not, a chance,” he recalls. “Since I was out of work and literally doing five jobs, trying different endeavors to keep the lights on, I was desperate to generate any revenue,” he continues. “While working odd jobs, I pitched the concept to dozens of people and programs, over six months, until finally I had a taker.” That “taker” was Paul Moen at Balboa Horizons in Orange County, California — one of the Golden State’s most respected addiction treatment centers. Geer pitched his ideas in October 2012, founded the 501(c)3 non-profit Rock to Recovery on Dec. 12, 2012, and the first sessions at Balboa Horizons began the following May. The results were almost immediate. “As soon as I had it working, … the results were incredible!” Geer says. “Physical, emotional and, dare I say, spiritual transformations — I knew I wanted to take it far and wide.” Since that start in 2012, Rock for Recovery has expanded to other addiction treatment facilities as well as receiving an official contract from the Department of Defense for the program’s work with injured veterans suffering from both addiction and PTSD. Establishing a presence in Nashville seemed like a logical next step. “Erica Krusen from MusiCares said, ‘Hey you should talk to Phil [Bogard]. He’s pretty rad.’ So, we had long wanted to get into Music City and just needed the right, magic human to do it with. In one phone call I knew Phil was our guy. His talent, heart and passion are very special. “See most of us had record deals and toured,” Geer continues. “The magic of a sacred form of expression gets mostly lost, sadly. But for Phil and all of us that share this common mission, we get to see music take on a new, next-level manifestation. Phil has been magical in his own right and just the perfect guy to develop a new marketplace for our vision.”

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was touring with a major label act, playing in arenas, and scraping by,” Phil Bogard says. “I knew something was missing in my soul, and I didn’t know what that something was until I found this.” The “this” Bogard refers to is his position as the Nashville Program Director for Rock to Recovery. It’s a role that has allowed him to fill his spirit through being of service to those in need, and one that he didn’t even know existed when he began looking for something “outside of the touring existence.” It was during a phone call with Erica Krusen, Senior Director of Health and Human Services for MusiCares, that serendipity stepped in. Bogard had heard of a facilitated group therapy founded by guitarist Wes Geer called Rock to Recovery and asked Krusen if she had heard of it. She was in fact on Rock to Recovery’s Board of Directors, and before the conversation ended, emailed Wes Geer to introduce the two musicians. A lengthy phone conversation between Bogard and Geer followed, and “Within 15 minutes I was getting texts from an administrator asking for a picture of my driver’s license so they could book me a plane ticket for L.A.,” Bogard says. Upon his arrival, Bogard was fast tracked through the training process, which included 4-5 sessions per day with three different Program Administrators in Southern California. By the end of the week, he was given his first session to lead. Constance Scharff, Ph.D., the Science and Research Chair for Rock to Recovery, provides insight for the reason things moved so quickly with Bogard: “When we saw the opportunity to expand to Tennessee we jumped, because we recognized the need,” Scharff says. “According to the Tennessee Department of Health, in 2017, 1776 Tennesseans died from overdoses. Three quarters of these overdoses were associated with opioids. This is the highest number since reporting began. For 2018, unless Tennessee somehow bucks the national trend, that number will likely increase. Once we had Phil identified as someone able to facilitate the program, providing services in Nashville became a top priority.” Although Bogard has only been on the job since July 2018, he’s already spent a significant amount of time leading sessions, developing new clients for the program, and researching other ways the Rock to Recovery model can be of service. One of his ideas is setting up quarterly events for first responders who are dealing with the opioid crisis day-in, day-out. “Our goal is not only to provide support to those in treatment from addiction, but to provide mental health services to those who need them most — be that in domestic violence shelters, juvenile justice facilities, veterans’ hospitals, in workshops in the workplace or facilities that provide psychological services,” explains Scharff. “Ultimately, we’d like to provide services across the state, provided that we are granted funding for our nonprofit outreach and [more] great facilitators like Phil.” While Bogard’s duties extend beyond the music sessions, securing participation from skeptical and often fearful session participants remains his central and most challenging duty. “When I walk in the door and they are told basically what this is, more than half are like, ‘Yeah, probably not doing that,’ or ‘I’m good. I’ll just watch,’” he says. “My goal is to get them on the other side of that hump, and my success rate is pretty high. I measure success by having a song at the end; a song that we have all collectively built together, written, and recorded.” But Bogard’s greatest satisfaction in his work can’t be captured on digital musical files, it’s the change he sees in the program’s participants and the effect it has on their lives and in their hope for the future. “One of the big things I do is point out how many people feel better than they did when I walked in the room,” Bogard says. “It seems like without fail, the person who had a scowl [and] absolutely no intention at all of participating ends up being the star of that song.”


recovery I N A C T I O N


hil Bogard, the Nashville Program Director for Rock to Recovery, brings devotion and passion to his work. While awaiting tonight’s group at Buffalo Valley’s after-care facility on Music Row, he’s sharing a listen to some of the latest Rock to Recovery sides on his iPhone. Each song is the result of one 90-minute session by participants who are, one and all, in the infancy of recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction. “My favorite verse!” he exclaims one minute, followed by, “Check out this piano part!” the next. The individuals due for this evening’s session are fresh out of detox. Most of them were there to kick an opioid addiction; all of them arrive anxious and unsettled. Phil wastes no time taking charge of the room. He introduces himself and provides a brief history of his careers as a musician and an addict — essential for establishing credibility with the group. He then launches into the nitty gritty. “We are going to form a band, right now,” he says. “You’re going to play instruments and sing. We’re going to creatively — as a team — build, write, and record a song in its entirety. The reason we are going to do this, why we are doing this, is everybody knows the therapeutic value of music. I can point at every single person, and you can tell me what particular song got you through what particular time in your life. But when you’re listening to music you fire off only one half of your brain; when you actively participate in music it fires off both halves of your brain. It releases oxytocin; it increases serotonin. We literally get high from playing music, and, clearly, we all like to get high. Otherwise we wouldn’t be in this room together.” That last bit receives the sought-after laugh and puts everyone a bit more at ease. It’s the first connection, and connecting with this newly sober bunch facilitates the goal: participation. Phil rapidly assigns everyone an instrument. Attention spans are short, so time is of the essence. Tyler takes on lyrics. Bill covers the bass line. “Derek, you’re rad!” shouts Phil in support as Derek locks down the keyboard melody. As everyone starts getting the groove, Phil hops in with guitar riffs to drive things on. Before five minutes have elapsed, the outline of song has developed — with non-musicians. The crew that began fidgety and distracted is now engaged in their part. And they are … smiling. Percussion is added along with another guitar, while Tyler continues work on the lyrics. The groove deepens as latecomers arrive (who are promptly handed a tambourine or an egg shaker). Meanwhile, Alex and Phil get the chorus melody moving along. But this is just the surface. What’s really happening is a shift in consciousness: the animation of brain waves, the drug-free high. Phil repeats the ‘music makes you high’ explanation to latecomer and newly christened tambourine-player Marcus. “Four, three, two, one!” The groove fires up with Tyler and Phil hopping in, giving voice to Tyler’s just-composed lyrics. “Four, three, two, one!” A surprisingly smooth shift into the chorus: Separate the darkness Moving towards the light Walkin’ thru our weakness Moving toward the light Within 45 minutes, take one is in the can, and everyone is invested. January | February 2019


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y t i C c i s Mu


Nashville is one of the few places on Earth where introducing yourself as writer may require the immediate clarification of, “not a songwriter.” East Nashvillians Daryl Sanders and Randy Fox have both built careers around that small addendum, writing about music and specializing in the less-heralded corners of the Music City scene. Both writers recently made the leap from magazines to books with separately published volumes that chronicle significant but seldom-told chapters of Nashville’s musical history.


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IT ALL SOUNDS GOOD TO US. 62 January | February 2019

Pledging H I S



By Randy Fox In his new book, That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound, author and East Nashvillian Daryl Sanders details the history and making of Bob Dylan’s complex and revolutionary 1966 masterpiece, Blonde on Blonde. According to Sanders, the classic album could have only been crafted in Nashville.


he musicians in Nashville were inspired by the same music that inspired Dylan, but they were closer to it,” Sanders says. “They were Southerners; it was in the air, the water, and in their blood. Beyond that, they were also highly versatile studio musicians. They had done hundreds of sessions and knew what to do in the studio. They had played on pop, soul, rock, country, and blues records. They could do it all. That’s what made Blonde on Blonde a uniquely Nashville record — Dylan got all of that here.” Nashville provided Dylan the sound he had been searching for since his decision to shed the folk-troubadour, protest-singer image of his early career and fully embrace rock ’n’ roll and its

many antecedents. Dylan’s search began on his 1965 album, Bringing It All Back Home, where he first fused rock, folk, country, and R&B elements, which continued with his next album, Highway 61 Revisited. Although both albums garnered critical acclaim and financial success, Dylan was not satisfied. The music lacked a vital element, an energy and excitement he later described as “that thin, that wild mercury sound — metallic and bright gold.” It was a sound harkening back to Dylan’s youth when he first fell in

love with the full spectrum of American music. “Whether he was consciously thinking of Nashville at the time or not, the city had been a source for the music that made Dylan want to pick up a guitar, play, and write songs,” Sanders says. “He listened to the Grand Ole Opry on WSM, and Hank Williams had been his first musical hero. It’s almost certain he first heard his second musical hero, Little Richard, on WLAC.” Along with the influence of Nashville’s two powerhouse 50,000 watt clear-channel →

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radio stations, Dylan’s road to Nashville was facilitated by his friendship with Johnny Cash and the arrival of producer Bob Johnston, who began working with Dylan on Highway 61 Revisited and immediately pushed the singer to record in the Music City. Johnston’s case was strengthened when Nashville session man Charlie McCoy visited New York City during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions and supplied the vital guitar lick for Dylan’s song, “Desolation Row.” “Dylan saw how quickly and intuitively Charlie made that recording better,” Sanders says. “But I think the key factor was Dylan had one of Charlie’s records — [the Charlie McCoy and the Escorts single] ‘Harpoon Man’ which had the Willie Dixon song ‘I’m Ready’ on the flip side. It featured organ, guitar, and harmonica, which was the blend Dylan was experimenting with. I think Dylan realized, ‘Wow, this guy’s doing something similar to what I’m doing, and he has a hot band.’” As Sanders engagingly details in his book, the members of the Escorts — Charlie McCoy, Wayne Moss, Kenny Buttrey, Mac Gayden, and Wayne Butler — shared a musical alchemy derived from long hours of live performances combined with the professionalism and versatility of crack studio musicians. Supplemented by other Nashville studio cats like Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Jerry Kennedy, and Joe South, along with the musicians Dylan brought with him — guitarist Robbie Robertson and organist Al Kooper — Dylan was able to capture the thin, wild mercury sound that had previously eluded him. The story of how the 1960’s premier rock poet and the “voice of a generation” forged a partnership with the new generation of Nashville Cats, is one Sanders is particularly qualified to tell. As a Tennessee native and a Nashville-based music journalist for the majority of his career, Sanders focused on the many non-country sides of the Music City. His journey to writing the definitive history of Blonde on Blonde began as he was writing for the pioneering left-ofcenter Nashville music magazine, Hank, in the mid-70s. “Right after I graduated from Vanderbilt, I was writing about Nashville’s non-country music scene, and I met Mac Gayden at a show at the Exit/In,” Sanders says. “Mac really opened my eyes and ears to so much of Nashville’s music history, and that’s when I found out Blonde on Blonde was recorded in Nashville.” In the following years, Sanders forged friendships with many Nashville musicians, and in 2011, published his first story on Blonde on Blonde. “I was working for The Nashville Musician magazine and writing a regular feature called ‘Flashback’ about famous Nashville recording sessions. I had all these interviews about the Blonde on Blonde sessions I had accumulated over the years I used for the story. Jim Ridley of the Nashville Scene saw the story, and I expanded it into a cover story for the Scene.”

The story’s reception eventually led to a book contract with Chicago Review Press and several years of intense research, interviews, and writing. It was a responsibility Sanders didn’t take lightly. “[Writing this book is] the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Sanders says. “Blonde on Blonde is Dylan’s masterpiece, and I knew Dylan-ologists would put my book under the microscope. I’ve already heard from some Dylan scholars who bought two copies so they could read one and

mark one up, and I’ve already made some corrections for the second printing. I’ve welcomed their input because this book is not about my ego. “I’m proud of getting this story out there for the sake of the musicians and for the sake of Nashville,” he continues. “It’s funny some people now regard me as a Dylan expert because it’s not really a book about Dylan. It’s really about the Nashville Cats and the rich rock and soul history of this town.”

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y a K h Po It’s



LEARN MORE 901 WOODLAND STREET STE. 105 • NASHVILLE, TN 37206 66 January | February 2019



By Daryl Sanders The many reasons Nashville’s nickname is Music City, as opposed to Country Music City, is made abundantly clear in Shake Your Hips: The Excello Records Story, the new book by East Nashville music writer (and managing editor of The East Nashvillian) Randy Fox.


hake Your Hips documents the extensive history of the legendary Nashville-based R&B label and its affiliated labels (Nashboro, Nasco, A-Bet, etc.) and shines a light on an important, but often overlooked part of the city’s music history: the vibrant and influential R&B scene that had its heyday in the 1950s and ’60s. Although Fox, who has contributed historical pieces to Goldmine, Vintage Rock, Record Collector, The East Nashvillian, and Nashville Scene, had not previously written about Excello, he was familiar with the label’s rich history when he was approached by Scott Bomar of BMG books about possibly writing a book for their RPM series

on important independent record labels. “Scott told me they had this idea for a series on labels and asked if I’d be interested in doing one,” Fox recalls. “I said, ‘Yeah, and I think the most obvious choice is Excello.’ He loved the idea, so we went for it.” In addition to Fox's exhaustive research of historical documents, Shake Your Hips relies on first-hand interviews with a number of people who played a part in the label’s history, including Mac Gayden, Ernie Winfrey, Glen Snoddy, Bob Wilson, Freddie North, and Rob Santos to tell Excello's story Fox opens the book with a story illustrating

the far-reaching and monumental influence the label had on popular music: It was the fall of 1961 when a couple of British teenagers, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, got together to listen to and talk about the blues. Among the records Jagger took to Richards’ house that day were some with the bright orange and dark blue Excello label. Concrete evidence of the label’s influence on them came three years later on the Rolling Stones’ debut album, which included a cover of the A-side of Slim Harpo’s first record for Excello, 1957’s “I’m a King Bee.” A few years later, the band would cover another of Harpo’s Excello →

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March 8


Student Variety Show for Lockeland Design Center Event at East High

68 January | February 2019

releases on their masterpiece, Exile on Main Street; the song with which Fox’s book shares a title, “Shake Your Hips.” If you are familiar with the Excello story at all, you know the name Ernie Young and Ernie’s Record Mart. You may also know that with the help of the Ernie’s Record Parade show hosted by legendary deejay John Richbourg, aka John R., on the pioneering R&B radio station WLAC, Young built Ernie’s Record Mart into a mail-order powerhouse for R&B and black gospel recordings, which is how Jagger came to have some of the label’s releases. As Fox notes in the book, for British teens like Jagger and Richards, “a goldmine of American blues, R&B, and rock ’n’ roll was just a stamp and a money order away from their doorstep.” As did many of the best-known artists associated with Excello, Harpo came to the label via a relationship begun in 1955 with Louisiana-based independent record producer Jay Miller. “Most of the previous scholarship on Excello Records has focused on the Louisiana recordings,” Fox explains. “So there was a lot that wasn’t known about the earlier, pre-Jay Miller stuff, and the Nashville material recorded concurrently with Miller’s productions.” Shake Your Hips is a deep dive into the entire history of Excello’s parent company, Nashboro Record Company, from its beginning in 1951 to the renaissance it enjoyed in the ’90s when much of the label’s catalog was released on compact disc. Fox’s research for the book quickly led him to the realization that there was much more to the Excello story than he had realized. “The story of the subsidiary label Nasco and how (Young) had this flirtation with trying to score pop hits was new to me,” Fox says. “And very little of the story of the post-Ernie Young period had been told.” The post-Ernie Young period began in the summer of 1966 when Young sold the entire business — record store/mail order business, record labels, and publishing companies — to the Crescent Company, which would own the business for 14 years before selling it to AVI. As Fox delineates in the book, one of the company’s first moves under Crescent’s ownership was to begin construction of a state of the art studio at 1011 Woodland Street in East Nashville. Christened Woodland Studios, the facility housed two recording studios, as well as the recording and publishing divisions of the company. From there, Excello’s new owners looked to expand the label’s horizons, releasing soul and funk recordings, most notably Funky Music Machine, the 1972 album by former James Brown saxophonist Maceo Parker, billed as Maceo and All the King’s Men. It was also during the ’70s the company moved into an area genuinely surprising to Fox. “Another thing that fascinated me

— even though it’s a minor point — was their experiment with signing prog rock bands, such as the Electric Toilet and the Whalefeathers. It was just kind of a crazy wild period,” he says with a laugh. In spite of the company’s occasional forays over the decades into other genres, Excello made its mark as a purveyor of authentic blues and R&B. That’s the music that influenced Jagger, Richards, and so many others, and that’s the music that makes Shake

Your Hips: The Excello Records Story such an important book. As Fox relates, after signing the Stones to Atlantic Records in 1978, founder Ahmet Ertegun spoke to Excello’s lasting influence in an interview with Esquire: “I think Jagger would have liked to be on a funky label,” Ertegun said. “I think Jagger would have liked to be on Excello. We were the closest he could get to Excello and still get five million dollars.”

Nashville Children’s Theatre GHOST By Idris Goodwin Based on the book Ghost by Jason Reynolds

January 17-February 3, 2019 “Trouble is, you can’t run away from yourself.” A world premiere production created through The NCT Hatchery - A New Works Incubator Performance Times: Friday at 7 pm Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm Co-commissioned by Nashville Children’s Theatre and Metro Theater Company

615-252-4675 or FREE PARKING ON SITE

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW FEBRUARY 21-APRIL 7, 2019 Created by Jonathan Rockefeller Based on Eric Carle’s books

January | February 2019


70 January | February 2019

Olan Rogers’ FINAL FRONTIER Venturing into the unknown has never looked so bright

Photograph by Zane Williams, courtesy Olan Rogers


January January | | February February 2019 2019


72 January | February 2019

Thank you for your call, but Olan Rogers is out of Nashville for the next month. He is currently in Los Angeles, wrestling with the final table reads for the second season of his TBS show, Final Space. For messages regarding his Five Points confectionery, The Soda Parlor, which celebrated its four-year anniversary in November, or for his apparel company, Space Cadet, please leave your message for his wife, Rachel Rogers, who manages these businesses anyway, along with their dog, and reins in most of his craziest ideas, ensuring the whole operation doesn’t float off like a balloon.


lan Rogers moved to Nashville in 2011, but more and more, if you want to catch the Memphis native and East Nashville storyteller in action, you’ll have to visit his YouTube page. There, he recounts surreal comic tales like “Ghost in the Stalls” on demand. But of late, if you want to see Rogers face-to-face, you’ll need to look elsewhere, because, if he’s not moving on, he’s at least moving out to the destination where he was always headed. “‘YouTuber’ has never had a good reputation behind it,” the 31-year-old says over the phone in November. “There’s always been a time where you think, man, they get paid stupid money to do videos.” But unlike his peers, Rogers never saw the platform as a career. Rather, it was a means to an end. And the end is near. “I’ve done YouTube, and I consider myself a YouTuber, but at the same time, I just consider myself a storyteller,” he says. “A lot of YouTubers, they come into it, and they have no idea what they want to do. They get burned out because they have no game plan. For me, since high school, it’s [been to] become a director. However I get there, that’s what I want to do.” Talk to the people who know Rogers best (a small but intimate group of Nashvillians



Passwords Tour



with Mipso

FEBRUARY 22 & 23


with Chris Shiflett (2/22) and Will Hoge (2/23)

FEBRUARY 24 & 25


with Mt. Joy



with Noah Kahan

MARCH 8 & 9


with Ethan Gruska

that, more often than not, traces its roots back to West Tennessee), and it’s clear that while YouTube has been vital to his current success, it was never more than a midpoint. “I don’t know that any of this really could have happened without YouTube,” says Thomas Gore, a longtime friend of Rogers’ and a consulting writer on season two of Final Space. When the pair met during their senior year of high school, Gore remembers being star-struck by the guy who would become his creative partner. Rogers was at that point filming sketch videos that preceded the morning school news. They became collaborators almost immediately, with Gore — at that point — standing in as an actor. Later, when the two attended the University of Memphis, they cofounded the sketch channel “Balloonshop,” which first launched on Myspace and later migrated to YouTube. It was because of Rogers that Gore would move to Nashville in 2012 to continue their creative partnership, this time working on Rogers’ own channel. “It wasn’t surprising to me that his solo channel would become as big as it is,” Gore says. “First of all, he works incredibly hard. So, there’s that, underlying everything. But he has a good ear for dialogue, and he’s most talented as a director and editor.



with The Sadies



On The Line Tour

APRIL 5, 6 & 7


APRIL 15 & 16




116 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37219

January | February 2019



Day Stages at


Live radio broadcast and HD Video webcast via "The Local" - 110 28th Ave N, Nashville, TN

*pending as of printing. check for up to date lineup and info. 74 January | February 2019

He has a capacity for having this large, expansive story in his head and keeping it all organized.” The big story was always the important part, even as Rogers’ smaller stories, told through YouTube, took off. At the time of this writing, Rogers has just under a million subscribers to his channel, with many of his videos garnering millions of views. But possibly one of Rogers’ least-sung talents is as magnet and mentor. He draws people into his orbit, and whether or not they appear gifted at the time, he gives them an opportunity. Jake Sidwell, an Indiana native who began chatting with Rogers online, moved to Nashville in 2012. He tells the story of a barebones sci-fi project they worked on called Pop Rocket. Rogers had raised some $17,000 via crowdfunding, and yet the budget was so lean (and, indeed, had already been exceeded) the crew was rationing frozen pizzas. He had to approach Rogers and explain lost income from his coffee-shop job during the two-anda-half-week shoot near Atlanta had resulted in a shortfall for the month’s food and rent. It was no problem; Rogers bought his meals and floated him a check to cover his rent. Later, when Rogers needed music, he purchased Sidwell’s first orchestral software. Sidwell would go on to write most of the score for season one of Final Space. Running the show in Nashville is Rogers’ wife Rachel. The pair will celebrate their second anniversary in April, but have know each other since meeting in a high school art class. “The crush started then,” she says, laughing. The biggest addition to the couple’s projects has been the opening of a graphic design, production, and photo studio in Madison, near where they live. “It has been able to become more than just about him,” Rachel says of their companies. “He treats everything that he does like, ‘How can this include everyone?’ And I think that that was what was appealing about Final Space.” Final Space, an animated series, which debuted in February 2018, follows an astronaut named Gary and his alien friend Mooncake as they adventure around the universe seeking to solve the mystery of “Final Space.” It’s an idea that Rogers had been sitting on since 2010, and one for which he’d already self-funded a pilot. It took six, long years before it fell under the right eyes — in this case, Conan O’Brien’s Conaco production company. The budding show was heading to basic cable, and Rogers and his friends came along. “The first review, he couldn’t find one thing to like about the whole thing. He was like, ‘Final Space will likely float off into space,’” Rogers says, laughing. But despite the mixed reviews, the show found an audience, and a second season was announced in May.

“There’s always improvements — there’s a lot that I learned from that first season as far as voice acting and writing. I felt like [the reviews were] fair.” For season two, in addition to the lessons he learned, Rogers is listening to his critics as well as his longtime fans. “When they see the second season, I think they’re going to be, like, ‘Wow, the comedy is amped. These episodes are legit,’” he says. Even as his Nashville businesses are

booming, Rogers knows that his current split of time between the West Coast and “Third Coast” can only last for so long. He believes a move West is inevitable, but credits his time here as being pivotal to his development. “Hollywood wants what’s popular, what works. With Nashville, I was able to do whatever I wanted to do,” he says. “When I came out [to Los Angeles], people said, ‘Dude, you have a very unique voice.’ I was like, well, that’s Nashville.”

January | February 2019



HOT RODS Vroom Vroom Balloon keeps up the pace


hen Harlan Ruby gift shop owners Sunny Becks and Fiona Flaherty first envisioned Vroom Vroom Balloon in early 2017, they imagined a small balloon stand in their East Nashville gift shop. Their primary ambitions were to create a source for extra income and to bring smiles to the faces of customers’ children. Flash forward a year and a half and things have turned out differently — and far more colorfully — than they could have dreamed. “We had our gift shop that we had just launched,” Becks says, seated next to her daughter and business partner Flaherty in Vroom Vroom’s workspace at Harlan Ruby. “We followed some other gift shops around the country that we were really inspired by. We love color and brightness and design. One of the gift shops we follow out on the West Coast had a little balloon bar. So Fiona’s idea was to do [the same], and I was like, ‘Hell yeah, we can do a balloon bar.’” The pair ordered an array of colorful, quirky balloons and set up shop in the spring of 2017, unsure at first whether or not there would be the level of customer demand for such an enterprise. “We really thought it would just be one little unicorn balloon going out the door every few days,” Becks says. “It was not that at all. It’s been a lot more than that. We had to grow with the demand of the community and the demand of our own creativity and inspiration.” The pair’s breakthrough balloon commission was for tech company Slack, on the exterior of Belmont Boulevard eatery Proper Bagel. Restaurant patrons were stopped in their tracks by the pair’s colorful, two-story creation, which turned the dark brick exterior of Proper Bagel into an art piece. Vroom Vroom Balloon became a word-of-mouth sensation, with their reputation further buoyed by photos of the massive balloon installation on Instagram. Many found themselves wondering just who was behind Vroom Vroom Balloon, and how they could enlist their talents at events and celebrations of their own. “That was our first paid, outdoor, big installation,” Flaherty says of the Proper Bagel project. “It was up for less than 24 hours and it, by Nashville standards, went viral.

76 January | February 2019

That was a huge game changer for us because it was right before New Year’s Eve, and then we suddenly had wedding planners calling us and event spaces calling us and people wanting us for their homes.” “There were people that drove by Proper Bagel that immediately called their wedding planners and were like, ‘I just saw this on Proper Bagel and I want something for my wedding,’” Becks adds. “It was this really neat, organic ‘wow’ moment for our customers and for us.” Since then, Becks and Flaherty have been in-demand and working around the clock (“We’ve worked every single day but two this year,” Flaherty says), designing and installing balloon creations for Hewlett-Packard, Draper James, Victoria’s Secret and, recently, Miley Cyrus, whose fiancé, Liam Hemsworth, posted a photo of Cyrus standing beneath a rainbow balloon arch for her 26th birthday. Becks recounts Cyrus’ installation as a personal favorite, saying, “I loved doing Miley’s birthday. I think that was really special, because it was a very sweet, loving gesture.” While higher-profile installations get a lot of attention for Vroom Vroom Balloon, they also work with individuals and families for more intimate milestones and celebrations. Those projects don’t always get the level of “virality” of, say, Proper Bagel, but bring a great deal of meaning and fulfillment to Becks and Flaherty. “We did a celebration of life for a gentleman in town who passed away,” Becks says. “He was a very colorful person and his children loved color. For us to really pull something together last-minute that was super meaningful for that person, I think is one of my biggest thrills. I like achieving what you think would be impossible and making it happen.” Becks attributes their success to positivity and faith in their neighborhood. “I’ve always looked at East Nashville as not what can’t succeed or thrive, but kind of just assuming that we have a really supportive neighborhood and we can make it, even though I have seen a lot of businesses come and go over the years.” But Flaherty sums up the biggest dividend of Vroom Vroom Balloon’s success quite succinctly: “We get to make a lot of people happy.”


By Brittney McKenna

January | February 2019


GOODPASTURE C H R I S T I A N S C H O O L Building Confidence, Intellectual Growth, and Spiritual Strength


12 MONTHS - 12TH GRADE SUNDAY, JANUARY 27TH 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM With our strong record of academic success, athletic achievement, and artistic cultivation, our faculty will prepare your student to thrive at the next level and beyond, all while helping to build character and foster spiritual growth. We hope that your family will join us! Please RSVP to! 78 January | February 2019




Someone’s Staring at You Over in Personal Growth


ello, 2019! High fives to all of us for making it through another round of holidays. Chances are, you’re feeling a little hung over from weeks of indulgent feasting, imbibing, merry-ing, and, lest we forget, spending. Lucky for us, the publishing world is here to help. Or help us help ourselves. See where I’m going, here? Of course, I’m talking about self-help books, the on-fire genre that has seen double-digit increases in sales each of the last couple of years. When (or where) did the whole self-help thing begin? That’s hard to say. Could Confucius be considered a guru? How about Thoreau? The line between philosophy and self-help can be fine, dear readers. Certainly, one of the earliest self-help commercial smashes was Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, which was first published in 1936 and still sells tens of thousands of copies every year. My introduction to self-help was by way of When Harry Met Sally. . . . You know the scene: Sally (Meg Ryan) and her friend Marie (Carrie Fisher) are chatting and browsing in a bookstore. Marie says, “Someone is staring at you in Personal Growth.” It’s Harry, of course, doing a terrible and creepy job of trying to hide behind a copy of What Jung Really Said. I remember pausing the VCR (yes, I’m ancient) to decipher the titles of the books on the table in front of Sally and Marie (yes, I’m a dork). A sampling: Making Life Right When It Feels All Wrong; Cold Feet; If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? and I Love You, Let’s Work It Out. The titles are chuckle-inducing, yes, but also whiny, fussy, and, well, yuppieish. (Harry and Sally were of the Me Generation, naturally.) They are also all real books, not just ones concocted for the film. In 2013, the initially quiet publication of a yellow

paperback with black type ushered in a new generation of self-help titles. You know which one I’m talking about? Chances are you have a copy on your shelf. Of course, I’m referring to You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, which has spent years on the bestseller lists. Sincero’s sassy, friend-to-friend, no-nonsense vibe has clicked with countless readers. I’ve lost count of how many customers (women and men) have told me the book changed their lives. Badass not only spawned follow-ups by Sincero (natch), but also a whole new wave of even more expletively titled, straight-talk tomes. Most notable is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, which has sold more than three million copies in just over two years. Also wildly popular is the Sarah Knight “No F*cks Given” series, which includes Get Your Sh*t Together and the just-published Calm the F*ck Down. The latest catchiest-title winner (I predict, anyway) is the forthcoming I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck by John Kim. I guess the publisher is counting on folks to hone in on the past tense in the title. Otherwise, I’m not sure anyone would want to read about a f*ck who’s still miserable. (Pardon all of the French, by the way.) On the other end of the present-day, self-help spectrum are the relatively new (at least to us here in the States) books from the School of Life, a London-based lifestyle company founded by writer Alain de Botton. The brand is “dedicated to developing emotional intelligence” (according to their website), and their books are not only gorgeously minimalist in design, but also full of insightful, thought-provoking content, covering a wide range of topics, from work life to relationships to self-knowledge to small pleasures. What say you, booklovers? Are you into self-help? Secretly or unabashedly? Do you consider yourself more of a self-help badass or a school-of-life student? Swing by the shop sometime to chat about this or any other bookish → thing on your mind.

“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.” —Alain de Botton

January | February 2019


80 January | February 2019

New & Notable

⟫ ⟫ ⟫ Looker Laura Sims

If you’re in the mood for crackling suspense of the psychological variety, you might want to add this taut tale of jealousy and obsession to your teetering to-be-read stack.

(January 8)

Black Leopard Red Wold

⟫ ⟫

On the Come Up Angie Thomas

Teens and adults who alike devoured Thomas’ bestselling, award-winning The Hate U Give will no doubt want to get their hands on her sure-to-be-a-hit follow-up.

(February 5)

You Know You Want This Kristen Roupenian

Remember “Cat Person,” a short story in The New Yorker that went viral about a year ago? No? Go read it, and then I dare you not to be curious about this highly anticipated collection by its author.

(January 15)

Marlon James

The buzz is deafening for this first book of a fantasy trilogy inspired by African history and mythology, from the Man Booker Prize winner of A Brief History of Seven Killings.(February 5)

Mari Popova

This first book from Popova is a unique swirl of history, social science, and philosophy, and promises to be as insightful and heady as her superbly addictive “Brain Pickings” website.

(February 5)


Mary Wears What She Wants Keith Negley

This children’s picture book is inspired by the real-life story of Mary Edwards Walker, a 19th-century doctor who was — get this — arrested several times for wearing pants.

(January 15)

Joelle Herr worked as a book editor and is the author of several books. She owns and curates The Bookshop East Nashville. January | February


When the weather outside is frightful

Indoors is so delightful!

Exploring the great indoors since 1984. w w w.G ra f f i t i Ind oo m 82 January | February 2019


J A N U A R Y | F E B R U A R Y 2019

F O R U P -TO - DAT E I N F O R M AT I O N O N E V E N TS , A S W E L L A S L I N K S , P L E A S E V I S I T U S AT: T H E E A ST N A S H V I L L I A N .C O M


Mr. Bond and the Science Guys 5th Annual Science Spectacular 10 a.m., Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, April 13, Shelby Bottoms Nature Center

East Nashville’s, Mr. Bond’s Science Guys are back in the laboratory again for their 6th annual “Science Spectacular” to benefit Shelby Bottoms Nature Center. This year the little science buffs will have 4 opportunities to see a “Science Edutainer” in action. Register in advance to get your edutainment on. Also, donations will be encouraged but not required. (Although, it is scientifically proven the donations will benefit the work Shelby Bottoms Nature Center does throughout the year.) 1900 Davidson St.


Regional Library LEGO Competition 2019 Saturday, Feb. 16, Main Nashville Public Library We may curse those tiny plastic bricks when we sink a foot into one, but the kid in all of

us can’t deny the appeal. Each year, Nashville Public Library welcomes all the LEGO maniacs to showcase their most impressive original creations. The competition has age brackets for all generations, so don’t count yourself out. If you’re not a LEGO prodigy, you can just swing by and vote. Added bonus, beloved locals Mr. Bond and the Science Guys troupe does two performances during the afternoon at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. 615 Church St.


Nashville Community Education is a program sponsored through Metro’s Nashville Community Education commission that offers classes to enrich the population of Nashville through professional and personal education. See the full course offering and sign up at All events at Inglewood Elementary School, 1700 Riverside Dr., unless otherwise indicated.

Eat Smart at Home Tuesdays, Jan. 22 through March 5 6-7:30 p.m. Free

Stretch and Restore Yoga Tuesdays, Jan. 29 through March 26 6-7:15 p.m. $50 Tai Chi for Energy Mondays, Feb. 4 through April 15 6-7 p.m. $65 American Sign Language I Mondays, Feb. 4 through March 25 6-7:15 p.m. $75 Intermediate Conversational Spanish Mondays, Feb. 4 through March 25 6-8 p.m. $50 Kung Fu Basics Mondays, Feb. 4 through April 15 7-8 p.m. $65 Six Steps to Managing Your Money Tuesdays, Feb. 5-12, 6:45-7:45 p.m. $20

January | February 2019


East Side C A L E N D A R

Understanding Debt Collection Monday, Feb. 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free Relief Printing Basics Thursday, Feb. 21, 6-8 p.m. $40

Buyer’s Path to Purchasing a Home Tuesday, March 5, 6-8 p.m. $10



Worldclass Bluegrass Jam Hosted by East Nash Grass Mondays, 6-8 p.m.

947 Woodland St.

Madison Guild Hosted by various songwriters Mondays, 8-11 p.m. Jon Byrd Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m. Kenny Vaughan and Dave Roe (The SloBeats) Tuesdays, 8-10 p.m. West King String Band Tuesdays, 10:30 to midnight The One and Only Bill Davis Hump Day Happy Hour Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. Songwriter Showdown hosted by Andy Beckey Wednesdays, 8-10 p.m. Thomas Bryan Eaton Wednesday, Jan. 16 & 30 Melissa Carper and Rebecca Patek Thursdays, 6 p.m.



Explore programs designed to engage girls in

ACADEMICS, ARTS AND ATHLETICS. 16 new additions to the catalog this year! Camp Favorites

• All Sports Camps • Parks, Picnic, Play • AAA • Little Girls Camps

New Additions

• Digital Adventures of Social Media • Salt, Fat, Acid Heat

• Music Theory • Celebrations Around the World • World of Wizards • Stitches and Sparkles • Adventures in Science • Princesses and Potions • Mind-Body-Art • STEM Science Phenomena — Inside Out

• Olympic Madness • Artful Yogis Animal Adventure • Super Fun Spanish • Sound Explorations STEM Maker • And Many More! 3801 HOBBS ROAD • NASHVILLE, TN 37215 • 615.297.9543

84 January | February 2019

Royal Thursdays with the Royal Hounds Thursdays in January, 9 p.m. Cristina Vane Thursdays in February, 10 p.m. Amelia White CD Release Party Thursday, Feb. 7 Christy Hays Thursday, February 14, 8 p.m. Hoedown with the Dee’s House Band Fridays, 5:30-8 p.m. �

THE COBRA NASHVILLE 2511 Gallatin Ave., 629.800.2518 Comedy Open Mic Sundays, 7-9 p.m. đ?„Ş

East Side C A L E N D A R

THE 5 SPOT 1006 Forrest Ave., 615.650.9333

RAVEN AND WHALE GALLERY 1108 Woodland St. Unit G, 629.777.6965

Freaks of Nashville First and third Sundays of the month, 8:30 p.m.

Noon to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday 6-10 p.m., second Saturday of every month

Sunday Night Soul Hosted by Jason Eskridge Second and fourth Sundays of the month, 6 p.m.

Works from Sami Wineburg Through February =

LANE MOTOR MUSEUM 702 Murfreesboro Pike

The Dan Auerbach Collection: Vintage Harley-Davidson Motorcycles from 1937-1950 Through May 6, 2019 =

Two Dollar Tuesday Hosted by Derek Hoke Tuesdays, 9 p.m. to close Tim Carroll’s Rock & Roll Happy Hour Fridays, 6-8:30 p.m. Strictly ’80s Dance Party First Friday of the month 9 p.m. to close The 5 Spotlight Artists vary First Saturday of the month 6-8:30 p.m. Funky Good Time First Saturday of the month 9 p.m. to close �

VINYL TAP 2038 Greenwood Ave Live Jazz from Micah Hulscher and Greasy Neale January 3, 10, & 17

ART EXHIBITS EAST SIDE ART STUMBLE 6-10 p.m., second Saturday of every month, multiple East Nashville galleries =

RED ARROW GALLERY 919 Gallatin Ave., Ste. 4, 615.236.6575 Matt Christy Opening Reception 6 p.m., Jan.12; through Feb. 17 John Paul Kesling Opening Reception 6 p.m., Feb. 23; through March 31 A Red Arrow Gallery art talk series Every month—check the website for more details =

ART & INVENTION GALLERY 1106 Woodland St., 615.226.2070 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday =

January | February 2019


86 January | February 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R


Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists Through Jan. 12 Life, Love & Marriage Chests in Renaissance Italy Through Feb. 18 2018 Young Tennessee Artists: Selections from Advanced Studio Art Programs Through March 17


RYMAN AUDITORIUM 116 Fifth Ave. N 500 Cowan St.

Lightning 100 Presents: Pete Yorn You and Me Solo Acoustic Tour 7 p.m., Jan. 18

Opry at The Ryman Fridays & Saturdays through January, 7 p.m. Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots 4thAnnual Million Dollar Show Benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Monday, Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m.



Jan. 17 through Feb. 3

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Feb. 21 through April 7

Evenings and weekends are open to the public. 25 Middleton St. đ&#x;ƒ?


Rainbow Squad

February 2-3, February 7-10 Dates subject to change 4809 Gallatin Pike đ&#x;ƒ?



9 6 2 WOODL A N D ST N A SH V IL L E, TN 3 7 206 ( 6 1 5 ) 7 7 2 - 13 2 3

Love Notes Feb. 9

Season tickets on sale now 505 Deaderick St. đ&#x;ƒ?


Topdog/Underdog Feb. 9-23

Shakespeare in Love March 23 through April 13 161 Rains Ave.


January | February 2019


88 January | February 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R Art Garfunkel Sunday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. Tedeschi Trucks Band Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 8 p.m. St. Paul & The Broken Bones Feb. 7-8, 8 p.m. Dawes: Passwords Tour Feb. 9-10., 8 p.m. Brothers Osbourne Feb. 13, 15, & 16, 8 p.m. Blackberry Smoke Feb. 22-23, 8 p.m.

EVENTS & CLASSES Storytime 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16 All ages, registration required Make an All Natural Bird Feeder 1-2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17 All ages, registration required

Bird Friendly Coffee Social 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 19 All ages Winter Warmer Pickin’ Party 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 All ages, registration required Winter Moonlight Hike 7-8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 All ages, registration required


Cosmos- An HD Odyssey, featuring the “New World” Symphony Friday, Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m., 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, 3 p.m. Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy with the Nashville Symphony Tuesday, Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing Music Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. Valentine’s with Chris Botti and the Nashville Symphony Thursday, Feb. 14, 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m. Beethoven’s Seventh Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.


Exhibits: Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s This major exhibition, slated for a minimum three-year run, explores the artistic and cultural exchange between Nashville, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas, during the 1970s.

SHELBY BOTTOMS NATURE CENTER The Nature Center offers a wide range of nature and environmental education programs and has a Nashville B-Cycle station where residents and visitors can rent a bike to explore Nashville’s greenways. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday Noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday and Friday Closed, Sunday and Monday 1900 Davidson St., 615.862.8539 January | February 2019


East Side C A L E N D A R There’s Plastic in the Water! 10-11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 Ages 5 and up Nature Play! 10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 All ages, registration required Cold Bike Ride & Hot Drinks Noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 Ages 8 and up, registration required Seed Swap with the Nashville Public Library 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 All ages, registration required Bird Friendly Coffee Social 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 2 All ages Body Works 10-11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 2 All ages Groundhog Day Waddle 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 2 All ages, registration required The WHOLE Hog! 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2 All ages, registration required Coloring and Cocoa Noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6 All ages Bird Friendly Coffee Social 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 9 All ages Waterfowl Walk & Treat 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 Ages 7 and up, registration required Nature Detectives: Winter Edition 1-2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 All ages, registration required Storytime 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13 All ages


Wild & Weird Winter Hike 10-11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 All ages, registration required Young Birder’s 4-H Club 9:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 Ages 10-18 Early Signs of Spring 1-2 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28 All ages It’s the Balm 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28 Ages 21 and up, registration required

M ondays at Eastwood Christian Church: 5-5:30 p.m., Beginner Class; 5-6 p.m., Intermediate/Advanced Class

You’re never too young — or too old — to kick out the Gaelic jams with some Irish Step dancing. No experience, or partner, required. Just enthusiasm, a heart of gold, and Scott-Ellis School of Irish Dance classes, and you’ll be dancing in the clover in no time.

805 Woodland St., Ste. 314, 615.601.1897

Eastwood Christian Church, Fellowship Hall 1601 Eastland Ave., 615.300.4388


Sundays at Porter East Noon to 4 p.m., First Sunday of every month, Shops at Porter East

The Shops at Porter East open their doors the first Sunday of every month for a special parking lot party. You can expect to enjoy a selection of rotating food trucks (and usually a flower truck), fix-ups from Ranger Stitch, and often some good tunes, too. 700 Porter Road


Scott-Ellis School of Irish Dance Sundays at DancEast: January | February 2019

2-2:30 p.m., Beginner Class; 2-3 p.m., Intermediate/Advanced Soft Shoe Class; 3-4 p.m., Intermediate/Advanced Hard Shoe Class

ANSWER ME THIS Trivia Nights 8 p.m., each week, various locations

East Siders, if you’re one of the sharper tools in the shed (or not), stop by one of these East Side locales to test your wits at trivia. They play a few rounds, with different categories for each question. There might even be some prizes for top-scoring teams, but remember: Nobody likes a sore loser.

Drifter’s Edley’s BBQ East Lipstick Lounge (7:30 p.m.) Wednesday Noble’s Kitchen and Beer Hall The Mainstay (7 p.m.) Thursday 3 Crow Bar Monday Tuesday

East Side C A L E N D A R


Community Hour at Lockeland Table 4-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, Lockeland Table



East Side Storytellin’ 7 p.m., first and third Tuesdays, The Post East

Looking for something to get your creative juices flowing? East Side Story has partnered with WAMB radio to present an all-out affair with book readings, musical performances, and author/musician interviews in just one evening. Look for this event twice each month. If you want some adult beverages, feel free to BYOB. Check the website to see who the guests of honor will be for each performance. The event is free, but you may want to reserve a spot by calling ahead of time.

Crying Laughing 9 p.m., first Wednesday of each month, The Crying Wolf

The Post East

At monthly comedy showcase Crying Laughing, two talented ladies — Chloe Stillwell and MK Gannon — lead the proceedings, with local and regional comedians serving up feisty, feminist jokes. Expect lighthearted ribbing on politics, LGBTQ rights, pop culture and more. The show donates a portion of proceeds to Everytown for Gun Safety, so your laughs go toward a worthy cause. Think wisecracking with a hint of activism. (They’ll also host a special anniversary block party in August.)

1520 Woodland St., 615.228.4864

1701 Fatherland St., Ste. A, 615.457.2920

823 Woodland St., 615.953.6715


Lockeland Table is cooking up family-friendly afternoons to help you break out of the house or away from that desk for a couple of hours. Throughout the week, they host a community happy hour that includes a special snack and drink menu, as well as a menu just for the kiddies. A portion of all proceeds benefits Lockeland Design Center PTO, so you can feel good about giving back to your neighborhood while schmoozing with your fellow East Nashvillians.

Motown Mondays 9:30 p.m. to close, Mondays, The 5 Spot For those looking to hit the dance floor on Monday nights, The 5 Spot’s Motown Mondays dance party is the place to be. This shindig, presented by Electric Western, keeps it real with old-school soul, funk, and R&B. If you have two left feet, then snag a seat at the bar. They have two-for-one drink specials, so you can use the money you save on a cover to fill your cup. Get up and get down and go see why their motto is “Monday is the new Friday.” 1006 Forrest Ave., 615.650.9333

East Side Story



Free Conscious Transformation Groups 7-8:30 p.m., second Wednesday of every month, The Post East


Bluegrass Wednesdays 8 p.m., Wednesdays, American Legion 82

Been searching for a midweek jam pick-me-up? Wander no more. Each week scoot and pick on down to American Legion Post 82 for their bluegrass night. The lineup changes each week, but you can check out their Facebook for the week’s grinners. Admission is free, but tips for the pickers are encouraged. Don’t forget to sign the mandatory guest log on your way in. Happy strumming. 3202 Gallatin Pike, 615.228.3598

A supportive environment to focus on professional and personal development, these monthly meetings offer a place to focus on conscious transformation teaching, tools, and meditation practices to promote and focus on a plan of action to support your transformation. Energy healer Ben Dulaney leads. Think of it as conscious coupling with other like-minded folks.

1701 Fatherland St., Ste. A, 615.457.2920

January | February 2019


East Side C A L E N D A R


Walk Eat Nashville 1:30 p.m., Thursdays; 11 a.m., Fridays, 5 Points What better way to indulge in the plethora of East Nashville eateries than a walking tour through the tastiest stops? Walk Eat Nashville tours stroll through East Nashville, kicking off in 5 Points, with six tasting stops over three hours. You will walk about a mile and a half, so you’ll burn some of those calories you’re consuming in the process. This tour offers the chance to interact with the people and places crafting Nashville’s culinary scene. You even get a little history lesson along the way, learning about landmarks and lore on the East Side. Sign up for your tour online.

Corner of South 11th and Woodland Streets 615.587.6138


Precinct’s Commander David Imhof and head of investigation Lt. Greg Blair. If you are new to the East Side, get up to speed on criminal activity in the area. 974 Main St., 629.800.2050


The Sidebar Comedy Hour 8 p.m., first Friday of every month, Nashville Urban Winery

Few things in life are as fine as a good laugh and a tall glass of wine. You can snag both at Nashville Urban Winery’s stand-up nights — laid-back evenings of laughs brought to us by local comedians Ben Sawyer and Lucas Davidson. Each month the shows will offer sets from some of Nashville’s funniest folk, kicking off at 8:30 p.m. Just $10 at the door. 715 Main St., 615.619.0202

East Nashville Crime Prevention Meeting 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Thursdays, Noble’s Kitchen & Beer Hall Join your neighbors to talk about crime stats, trends, and various other issues with East


Queer Dance Party 9 p.m.-3 a.m., third Friday of every month The Basement East On any given month, the QDP is a mixed

bag of fashionably clad attendees (some in the occasional costume) dancing till they can’t dance no mo’. The dance party has migrated over to the Beast, which gives shakers and movers even more space to cut up. Shake a leg, slurp down some of the drink specials, and let your true rainbow colors show. 917 Woodland St., 615.645.9174

PICKIN’ YOUR BRUNCH Bluegrass Brunch 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays, The Post East

What could make brunch even better, you might ask? Bluegrass. For a pickin’ and grinnin’ kind of meal, join the folks at The Post East every Saturday. They’ll have a few jammers there to complement the toast (and jam). P.S.: For those just focused on snacking, brunch runs from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 1701 Fatherland St., Ste. A, 615.457.2920

ONCE UPON A TIME… Weekly Storytime 10 a.m., Saturdays, The Bookshop

The Bookshop has a story to tell to us each and every weekend. On Saturdays, they sit down for a good old-fashioned storytime for young East Side bookworms, occasionally welcoming special guests (learn more about that on the shop’s website). One thing is certain: These are solid Saturday plans for wee bibliophiles. 1043 W. Eastland Ave., 615.484.5420

Classes start Jan. 22 Join us for affordable classes in languages, fitness, business, sewing + much more. Spring 2019 registration is ongoing! Now offering evening classes at Inglewood Elementary in East Nashville.

Register now at 92 January | February 2019


SHOP LOCAL ⟰⟰⟰⟰⟰⟰⟰⟰

East Side C A L E N D A R

NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS HISTORIC EDGEFIELD NEIGHBORS Neighborhood Meeting East Park Community Center 700 Woodland St. 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 29 Board Meeting Turnip Truck 701 Woodland St. 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19 900 Fatherland St. LOCKELAND SPRINGS N.A. TBD 1701 Fatherland St. SHELBY HILLS N.A. 6:30 p.m., third Monday of every month Shelby Community Center 401 S. 20th St. MAXWELL HEIGHTS N.A. 6 p.m., second Monday of every month Metro Police East Precinct 936 E. Trinity Lane EASTWOOD NEIGHBORS Odd Month Social 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8 location TBD Business Meeting 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12 Eastwood Christian Church 1601 Eastland Ave. GREENWOOD N.A. 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12 East Precinct 936 E. Trinity Lane HIGHLAND HEIGHTS N.A. 6 p.m., third Thursday of every month Trinity Community Commons 204 E. Trinity Lane

CLEVELAND PARK N.A. 6:30 p.m., second Thursday of every month Cleveland Park Community Center 610 N. Sixth St. INGLEWOOD N.A. 7 p.m., first Thursday of every month Isaac Litton Alumni Center 4500 Gallatin Pike MCFERRIN N.A. 6:30 p.m., first Thursday of every month McFerrin Park Community Center (Location may vary though summer) 301 Berry St. ROSEBANK NEIGHBORS 6:30 p.m., third Thursday of every month Memorial Lutheran Church 1211 Riverside Drive HENMA Dates and locations vary Historic East Nashville Merchant’s Association (HENMA) is a cooperative formed among East Nashville business owners to promote collaboration with neighborhood associations and city government. Check the association’s website to learn about the organization and where meetings will be held each quarter. = MOMS Club of East Nashville Monthly business meetings at 10 a.m., first Friday of every month, location varies by group MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club is an international organization of mothers with four branches in the East Nashville area. It provides a support network for mothers to connect with other EN mothers. The meetings are open to all mothers in the designated area. Meetings host speakers and cover regular business items (including upcoming service initiatives and activities), and also allow women to discuss the ins and outs, ups and downs of being a mother. Check their website for the MOMS group in your area.

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January | February 2019



Misty Waters Petak M.S., CFPÂŽ, CLUÂŽ Financial Advisor (615) 479-6415

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January | February 2019


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EAST OF NORMAL Just take one of these and you’ll feel better ... BY TOMMY WOMACK


here used to be a jive-ass writer of self-help books named Peter McWilliams. He’s dead now. His books were always printed with large type and often a whole page would be taken up by a single joke, or an affirmation, or suchlike in huge font, stretching 20 pages of text out to 100. He sold millions of books, all of them the ramblings of a charlatan. Why do I care? I care because he had the nerve to entitle one of his books How to Heal Depression. As a lifelong depression sufferer, I take severe offense at that title. The gall to cobble jokes, aphorisms, and four-line poems into a selection of big-text paperback pages and call it How to Heal Depression, when the respected core of the psychiatric community hasn’t figured out how to do this yet, is breathtaking. It breaks my heart to consider how many desperate people — people who cry every day and haven’t the energy or the optimism to fight for Tommy Womack is their own lives — paid good money for a Nashville-based this crap believing that it would help singer-songwriter “heal” them. Why not write a book and author. His new called How to Heal Cancer or How to book, dust bunnies: Heal Autism? Go all out! a memoir is available Depression can’t be cured. It can around town and at be managed like diabetes, or rendered dormant with medication, exercise, and His 7” single “We’ll Get cognitive therapy, but a sufferer will Through This Too”/ never be “healed.” Depression will al“Feel Beautiful” will be ways be there, waiting to pounce. Even released in early 2019. with treatment, it can come back, again

and again and again. Victims must always be looking over their shoulders, ever mindful they are saddled with brains that lie to them, telling them they’re weak, worthless, or just plain bad. And now I turn my ranting lens to two other matters: sufferers who give up too soon, and the failings of Big Pharma. Reaching out to depressed people is kind of my ministry. At the end of my weekly “Monday Morning Cup of Coffee” video blog, I show a banner that reads “Depressed? Write me. I WILL answer.” And I do. And I wish I had a dollar for every person I’ve engaged with who tried one med that didn’t work, or they didn’t like how it made them feel, and never tried a second med. This is tragic. It can take years to find the right med regimen. It took me 20 years, but I found what works. For me it’s a combination of meds working

together. And so long as I take them faithfully, and avoid such depressants as alcohol, I’m as close to fine as I’m ever going to get. Now to the dark side of the meds, and Big Pharma’s contribution to it. Pharmaceutical salespeople are, by definition, drug dealers, and they are as unconcerned with ethics as their street corner counterparts. Television is spilling over with commercials for drugs — marketing them directly to consumers, which doesn’t happen in other countries and used to not happen here. The ads are rife with obligatory warnings about all the side effects, usually including death. A lot of them — in my opinion — should not even be on the market, and one I’m sure of is Effexor. Doctors prescribe many different antidepressants, and they know slightly more than jack shit about them. They’re just throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks. Prozac stuck, Zoloft stuck, and unfortunately, Effexor stuck too. Like our distinguished editor-in-chief, I have my own story about Effexor. In 2003, I started on it after Prozac just didn’t seem to be doing the trick anymore. For a week I felt little to no relief as the med began to build up in my system. The second week, I felt great, better than I had in a long time. The third week, it stopped. I became so depressed I remember my five-year-old son trying to play basketball with me, and the ball just bounced off my chest when he threw it at me. I needed to try something else, but I couldn’t until the Effexor was out of my system. It effectively held me hostage. The withdrawal from it is hellish. You’re nervous, feel unhealthy, and you get the “zaps,” little flashes pulsing through your nervous system and the feeling that when you turn to the right, all the blood in your body surges to the left. It took a long time to get over that stuff. I’ve since heard many stories like mine. The stuff should not be on the market for any purpose whatsoever. A final few words from my shrink. Pushups. Walking. Swimming. As he told me once, until you get some air moving through your bloodstream, all the Prozac in the world won’t help you. So, lace up your sneakers and learn a better way to live. And don’t read anything by Peter McWilliams. How to Heal Depression? — As Bill Hicks would have said, “Jesus! What balls!”

January | February 2019



Stairway to Pabst


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