Hopefully, you’ve gotten to hear some of the Drive-By Trucker’s The Big To Do by now. And more importantly, you’ve heard “After the Scene Dies.”
“If we don’t support this, we could lose this,” says Hood.
Sadly, not every band is going to make it big. Not everyone is going to be able to quit their dayjobs and go on the road. For every so-called “success,” there’s been a half-million that never got that far. The drummer that moved away, the guitarist with two kids to feed, the frustrated singer that ends up just singing karaoke on Tuesday nights… They’re as much as a part of Athens as guys like the Truckers and Widespread.
Clubs close. Sometimes burn down. Great businesses and venues can’t continue business. And great bands will never get their due. Such is nature. I hate that it’s like that but then again, everything can’t be sunshine and rainbows.
It annoys me when people claim that the Athens scene died out in the Eighties. Or the Nineties. Or whenever you want to scrawl RIP across the tombstone. As far as I’m concerned, the “scene” is still around. Yeah, it’s different than how it used to be but you can’t expect it to stay the same and still be interesting.
But Cooley and Co have some good points in that video. Athens is one weird place where people tend to support others in the scene, even if it doesn’t make the best financial sense. Hood talks about going to a show on a Monday night and seeing something amazing with only twenty other people around. It’s that feeling of discovery, knowing that you’ve stumbled on something great. You wish that there were more people around to see it, sure, but part of you is happy that you got this moment to yourself.
That’s what I love about Athens. Any night of the week, you can see and hear something incredible. Maybe no one signs a record deal and the band folds in a few months but you were there and the music meant something to you. That’s the important thing. You’ll carry that with you long after the scene dies….