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My Friend Tyrone

tyrones.jpgI’m thinking back to days now long gone, a time in my life when Tyrone was a part of the early, emerging Athens music scene of the ’80s. A good friend of mine back then, Paul Scales (co-owner of the 40 Watt) hooked me up with Tyrone one night. I’m glad that he did, and there was never a dull moment to be had with him. Tyrone, you could say, lived totally for the nights and the weekends, those Athens eves. Of course everyone in the Classic City music scene knew him, and they wanted to be part of his inner circle. People like Jimmy Ellison, Paul Butchart (Side Effects), Nathan Mende, Jimmy Dorfman (Men In Trees), and John Keane, Lee Anderson (Phil And The Blanks). There were many others, too, like the R.E.M. guys, Pylon and the Little Tigers.

Every time that I ever hooked up with him on a week night or weekend night I would run into an old friend and make a new friend, too. Oh, the adventures we had – not even a single boring moment I could remember. I still hold dear precious memories of friends that Tyrone brought to me here in Athens: Chris Edwards, John Snell, (Buffalo) Bob Bachman, Libbey McCallister, Jeff Puny, Rhonda Scripp, Rick, and Steve Eckerd. Mike Hobbs was another I met and knew, I still run into him in the here and now of Athens. A few others of those faces from then I run into now and again around here. Some, sadly, have passed, slipping from this life, while the rest have scattered all across the globe.

We all are forever bound together to that time when we were a part of the greater youth within our hearts, minds and souls. They were good times then, and our creative community was young but growing. The state of the music industry then had been restless and changing for a couple of years. The movement then was for a less polished production focus. Music here went along the path of being raw and gritty. People here in Athens wanted music that could more easily be danced to. Little did we know then that a music revolution had been brewing here.

Tyrone was there leading the charge, helping our bands along the path. Tyrone was a really woody kind of guy neither too overly polished or too rough and uncut. There was a way or vibe about him. Know for sure that he had seen more than his share of comings and goings. Still, somehow he endured, confident in his place with all of this. Just how he knew all the people in the music community really amazed me. He knew all the good bands like Oh, OK, The Roys, The Late Bronze Age, The Skin Kings and the Swimming Pool Qs. He knew bands from all over the globe. Many a band or musician came here and hooked up with him. All who did were glad that they came here to perform.

Our creative community has really grown in ways none of us from those days now ancient could have ever imagined. Tyrone played such a key role in all of it, too!

Yes, you realize Tyrone was not a person but a real-life place – indeed, a very special place, but not for long.

Early on a weekday morning near Tyrone’s third anniversary, in January, 1982 the live music club located on the corner of East Broad and North Foundry Streets caught fire and burned nearly to the ground. A few days after the fire Chris Edwards, one of the owners, did find and salvage some of the only things to survive the fire: Tyrone’s O.C. bumper stickers. He gave one to all the regulars. I put mine with great joy and sadness on the back of my car. One of us, upon hearing the news of the fire, said it for all: “I feel like my best friend just died.”

Thanks to Coach Segura, Chris Edwards, and Dan Wall for help and input with this. They were a great aid in helping me to remember times and experiences I had back then.

Tyrone’s O.C. Band List

3Rd. Avenue

Don Allgood
Ash Can Cats
Caroline Aiken
The Alley Cats

The Brains
Joe Barnes
The John Brannen & Jack Willams Band
The Basics
The Boto Teen
The John Brannen Band
T. Graham Brown & REO Diamond
The Bill Blue Band
The Randall Bramblett Band
Black Box
Clarence “Gate Mouth” Brown
Lee Bailey Band

Current Rage
Bob Cooley Band
Carol Clayton & Essence
C. C. M. B.(Clarke County Music Boys)
Guy Clark
The Convalescent Egyptians
Joe “King” Carresco & The Crowns
Cruise Control

De Boiz
The Drastics
Tam Dufill
Dixie Grease
Down Child Blues Band
Steve Davidowski & Kyle Pilgrim
Desperate Angels
Digit & The Meathogs
The Dharma Bums
The Downtown Executives
The dB’s

Eric Quincey Tate
Kirk Edwards & Tom Serabain
Kirk Edwards

Family Rebirth
The Fans
The Flats
The Fleshtones

Michael Guthrie Band
Gang of Four

Eddie Hinto & The Rocking Horses
The Heartfixers

Insect Surfers
The Idle Poor

The Jazzmen
John Jackson
The Joja Band
The Jaja Band

Jerry Kautz

Little Tigers
Love Tractor
Limbo District
The Late Bronze Age
The Little River String Quartet
Robin Lane & The Chartbusters

The Method Actors
Men In Trees
The Meathogs
John McLeod & Tom Crosby
Mad Dog Melton & Dixie Grease
Misery Loves Company
Delbert McClinton
Moon Pie
Matching Fibers
The Billie Earl McLellan Band

The Night Bloomin’ Jazzmen
The Normaltown Flyers
The Nighthawks
Now Explosion
Gary P. Nunn
The Numbers
No Exit

Oh, OK
One Eye Open

Pillars of Talent
The Glen Phillips Band
The Tony Pritchett Band
Phil And The Blanks
Pretty Good For Girls Band
Potters Field
The Plaza Drugs
The Penetrators
P. E. P.

The Roys
Reed Creek
The Resistors
Jan Riley & Friends
The Rockats
Rack Of Spam
Rusty Nail Band
The Red Scare
The Rank Strangers
The Rolling Clones

Sea Level
The Skin Kings
The Side Effects
Sloppy Seconds
Southern Crescent
Scarlet & The Carpetbaggers
Southern Breeze
Samurai Catfish
The Sunbelt Millionaires
The Space Heaters
Silent Partner
Southern Bound
Steel Pulse
The Smith-Crumley Band

Tall Dogs
Turtle Bay
The Turtle Bay Band
The Throbs


The Jack Willams Band
Roger Wilson Band
The Winterville Jazz Ensemble
The Weasels
Ed Weeks’ Last Foxtrot


Clarence Young
Clarence Young W/ Vip Vipperman, Cal Hale, John Straw & Friends
Steve Young

Townes Van Zandt

Please note that I made every human effort to research and compile a complete band listing. There is, though, a five month gap in this list. I performed research utilizing the University of Georgia’s main library microfilm archives. One spool of microfilm from the year 1979 was missing. Please forgive if a band from that time is not mentioned in this listing.