Axiom Promotions kind of just happened. I was sitting there planning the 96 Halloween party of the Studio and decide that since there would be alcohol at the party it would have to be 21 & over. I didn't like the idea of excluding my clients that were under 21 but for legal reasons it had to be. So, we began planning an alternative all ages party at the Safari. Also, my band the Have Nots had been itching to do an all ages show. So, we began to pick bands to play with. To say that it was pretty slim pickings would be an under statement. Finally we got Victims Annoyous from Souix City, Going to Grandmas(a local punk band that plays to this day), Dr. Castratia(a local Ska band of Drake students), and the Skull Caps. The show was on Sunday October 27th and close to 170 kids showed up. I remember going up to play and trying to fit over $500.00 in ones and fives into my wallet. It set the pace for the future and convinced me that it was a job worth doing.
The benefit shows were over a weekend for a local musicians, I believe it was Brad Roth, who had been part of the scene back into the early 80s and I was in the ATOY. He had been arrested on a drunk charge and thrown in the drunk tank at the Des Moines City Jail. During his stay, he was beaten by another prisoner to the point of having to be hospitalized. There was a feeling of togetherness that only a good cause could bring. The attendances was around 200 a night for the two nights and it brought out many people I hadn't seen in years. It's sad that it took a tragedy to do this.
The battle of bands was important because it really brought the full scope of the Des Moines scene into focus. Not only did it establish Slipknot as the band to see but it showcased the talent of Des Moines and help a lot of musicians to realize that they were not alone. Many contacts & friendships were started there.
Also, I have to mention that Slipknot released Mate, Kill, Feed, Repeat on October 31, 1996. The CD release show/costume party marked the beginning of the metal crowd's migration to the club. Not to say that they weren't there in the first place but it seemed like there suddenly were a lot more of them.
I'm not sure when but sometime in late 96 Barry left to move to Boston and Bull left for Minneapolis. The Manager position was taken over by Lanny and Tony(the owner) took over booking. Axiom Promotions continued to do a few more regional shows in 96 concentrating on All Ages Punk & Ska shows. Before long I began to get contacted by agencies and National acts. I did book Isaac Green & the Skalars and the US Bombs(show was cancelled) during this period but the goal was an all ages show once a month and then it became one every other week. At the time I really had no idea of the level that was to come but mainly late 96 was a building period.
Next Chapter - Chapter 05 - Shawn's Safari