Joey Hollywood had been the sound man at the Old Hairy Mary's and foundry and had been floating around the Des Moines music scene for a better part of 10 years. I think at the time he was or would soon be the road sound man for House of Large Sizes. Joey is a big guy with a Benny Hill sense of humor. He was the first and the last person to ever talk me in to eating Pork Rhines and Tabassco. We had got to know each other during the last year or so of the old Mary's and 8 months the Foundry had been open. Joey was a staple of the Des Moines scene and when able still is. He was instrumental in bending Tony's ear to the change and helping to bring in others from the local scene.
Barry a local Artist and Bar Tender who had worked at the Foundry came in and started managing the club in, I believe, the summer of 96. One of the first things he did was to bring in Mike aka Bull to handle the booking. Bull was and still in a Booking Agent for a lot of regional bands, most notable being House of Large Sizes. The club still continued to have Rasta bands but Bull brought in regional and national bands that were definitely not Rasta. Bull brought in bands like Fast Ball, House, Billy Goat and many of the original Mary's regulars.
I think the first show I saw there was Radio Caroline. A local band with a reputation for being really loud. They were a cross of roots rock and plain old rock and roll at High Volume. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure if this happened before or after Barry took over the management. At any rate it was a turning point for the club. I saw a lot of faces that I hadn't seen since the Foundry closed and it put that seed in everyone's mind that something could happen here.
Soon after Barry took over, he hired Lanny. A good friend of mine to say the least. When he started working there it was required that we end up there every weekend. Lanny added a great deal of character to the club. Lanny has to really be experienced first hand to be completely understood. Just to give you a small idea; take an ex Marine add a great deal of Irish Pride, mix in a steady diet of Beef and only beef and then top with a lot of Guinness. He was also a veteran of not only the Gulf War but the Old Hairy Mary's and the Foundry. Shortly after he started, he got Paul a job there working the door. So then, I had no choice but to be there every night they were open. Paul of course is in Slipknot but before his big ass band and long before SK was voted the Greatest Band in the world and sold millions of records, he was a lonely door man making around $30.00 a night plus free drinks. Paul would be at that post till the January 1999.
Next Chapter - Chapter 3 - Summer of 96