What you are about to read is story about friends. I don't remember dates as well as I used to and the time line maybe a little screwed up. Really what this is a store about my friends, my buddies told kind a in the same way you tell stories about your pals to your girl when you're too drunk to notice that your she doesn't care and is planning just how to get rid of you. Slipknot is, always was and always will be a gang of friends and drinking buddies.
Recently I received the following e-mails from Jake Ludington the former owner of Safari from December of 1997 to January of 1999. I felt that in all fairness I should post them here:
Obviously, you are entitled to whatever opinions you may have about me. I would appreciate it if you would correct a few of the facts regarding the history of the Safari.
2307 University Ave was the location of 2 of the most important music venues in Des Moines, Iowa. Safari Nite Club and Hairy Mary's were not only this first venues to really open up to the idea of doing all ages shows on a regular bases but they were the home of the local music, a tour stop for countless national acts, a club house to those that hung out there and the room in which Slipknot cut it's teeth and got signed.
OK, for those that have bothered to read the other histories, I've put in here you know a little of the back ground. I guess what I'm trying to do is document as much of the last few years before it's lost. So here's my version of the history of a building that has been the home for the Des Moines Music scene since 1996, Safari Nite Club & Hairy Mary's. If you have things to add or if I got a date wrong, or better yet if you have photos e-mail me.
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.
A lot of things happened in the summer of 96, like Slipknot began to cut it's teeth, My band The Have Nots began to play out, Fastball & other national bands played the bar but the events that seemed to set the stage for change that summer are: For the first time in years a club did all ages shows, The first Axiom Promotions show, a benefit brought the music scene together for the first time in years and the 107.5 the DOT's Battle of the Bands.
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.
Shawn Crahan of slipknot had been talking about starting a club for some time. To be honest I just kind of blew it off as talk but in mid January of 97, he stopped by the studio with Paul and told me he was buying Safari. I knew he had been talking to Tony off and on for a while about taking over the club but nothing had came of it until then. I think just about everyone was, "Shawn why are you buying that dump." but Shawn had a vision in his mind. I think he took over running the club around the same time and began cleaning the place up and painting.
The first thing that bugged me about Jake was he didn't want to continue with any of the employees that made Safari what it was. I think it's natural for a new owner to want to fire everyone and bring in their own people but as an outsider of the Des Moines scene this was a mistake. It was like he cut the heart out of the club and it would be a period of decline. The first thing he did was to paint over the graffiti and remove the stickers of the bands that had played there over the past few years. Removed in a word the history of the club.
January 26,1999 after the Flys show, I stopped in for a drink and the then Bartend/manager Brian pored us all a shot and toasted to the last night Safari would be open. I freaked and quickly asked what he was talking about. He told me that Jake had failed to pay the Dram shop insurance (insurance required to carry a liquor licence in Iowa). I told Paul to call Shawn(Shawn's family still owned the building and Jake was in default on the contract to buy the business). Shawn told Paul to get everyone's keys and pull the cash.
DaVo as in I has been booking and promoting shows since 1996 both as an independent promoter and as an in-house talent buyer. First with Safari Nite Club from 1996 - 1998 and then with Hairy Mary's from 1998 to 2001 and again 2005-2007. Then in October of 2015 until May 2018, I worked as a talent buyer at Lefty's Live Music. Also, I did a few shows in Sioux City and Omaha.
Bands DaVo's Did Show With
This is not a complete list.
- 3 PILL MORNING*
- ABANDONED BY BEARS*
- Ancient Posse*
- ACUMEN NATION
- AGENT ORANGE
- AGNOSTIC FRONT
- A GLOBAL THREAT
- AIR BORN CATHOLICS
- ALBINO SPIDERS
- AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN
- AMERICAN HEADCHARGE
If you are a booking agent or a band seeking a date in Des Moines, here is some information about DaVo and Lefty's Live Music. Below are links about DaVo's background as an Independent Promoter and Talent Buyer and the venue that he works at Lefty's Live Music.
I do most of my bookings through e-mail and you can reach me at [email protected]. Your email should include the following:
Since 1996, I've spent roughly 10 years off and on working as an independent promoter or talent buying in the Des Moines area. Mostly at the 2307 University Ave location. Though I have co-promoted shows in Omaha and Sioux City and done shows at other venues. During this I've worked as an independent promoter under the business name of Axiom Promotions and a talent buyer at Safari Nite Club, Hairy Mary's and currently Lefty's Live Music.
Lefty's Live Music is located at 2307 University Ave in Des Moines, Iowa. The location has a long history as a music venue dating back to Safari Nite Club and Bag's in the 1990s. After an eight year period of the building housing a college bar, owners Erik and Anne, remodeled and updated the building to create one of the finest venues in the Des Moines area. For more information about the venue and up coming events go to Lefty's Website.
Feb - March 1997 Live Reviews Including MURPHY's LAW, The Have Nots, QUINCY PUNX, CRETIN 66, THE SEX OFFENDERS, HORNY TOADS, SMILIN JACK, ARTICAL DEBRIS, ISAAC GREEN & THE SKA-LARS, & INCH.
Murphy's Law - 2/1/97
February 1st, 1997
ThE HaVe NoTs
ALL AGES @ Safari Nite Club
Live reviews of shows in April 1997 Including PANSY DIVISION, PLEASURE FUCKERS, CRETIN 66, THE Impotent Sea Snakes, SLIPKNOT, U.S. BOMBS, 30 FOOT FALL & VICTIM's ANONYMOUS
Pansy Division - 4/9/97
APRIL 9th 1997
ALL IOWA AIDS BENIFITS
@ Safari Nite Club
This was a big deal for me because it was a chance to give a little back to the people so to speak and we did raise a fair amount of AIDS money.
Live reviews of shows in June 1997 including STRAY BULLET, THE HAVE NOTS, SWINGTONES, ANINMAL CHIN, MURPHY'S LAW, CRETIN & BLACK 47
Stray Bullets / Have Nots - 6/1/97
JUNE 1st, 1997
& THE HAVE NOTS
All [email protected] Safari Nite Club
Live Show reviews from August 1997 including, Oblivians, REVOLATORS, RED MAX, MERCY RULE, OPIUM TAYLOR, GOING TO GRANDMA'S, GLUE GUN, APOCALYPSE HOBOKEN, PROP 13, BLEED & THE HAVE NOTS
Oblivions - 8/8/97
AUGUST 8th, 1997
21 & [email protected] Safari Nite Club
October 1997 Live Reviews including Bleed, Red Max, QUINCY PUNX, BLANK 77 & THE HAVE NOTS(last show)/BOBGOLIN, THE TOMORROW PEOPLE & UFOFU, THE TEENAGE FRAMES, THE CHICKEN HAWKS & FORGOTTEN BOYS, AT THE DRIVE-IN & ROCKET FUEL IS THE KEY, HUMPERS, NECKBONES, THE SHORT FUSES & FORGOTTEN BOYS
BLEED - 10/03/97
OCTOBER 3rd, 1997
BLEED & RED MAX
21 & [email protected] Safari Nite Club
I've seen a lot of shows over the years. In fact during busy months of my talent buying and promoting shows, I can see as many as 60 bands in one month. People often give me a strange look when I say that I have booked not hundreds but thousands of bands over the years. A lot of them I remember but not all of them.
These are reviews of some of my favorite all time records, Most of these were written back in the last 1990s. As I continued to blog, I found it was much easier to mention new albums in my personal blogs. Who knows maybe I'll get a minute of two and write some more of these in the future.
. Here are some reviews. I have also included a rating system that is from † to †††††
Well it came on a gloomy day in a plain brown envelope, I pulled it open and inside lay the latest offering from ATDI. On first listening it forged itself into the disc player and hasn't been removed since. This is their first release on Fearless and to be truthful they don't fit the Fearless mold but hey I don't think they fit any mold. Something that comes to mind each time I hear this band is a Quote I heard sometime ago, "Support talented people, cause the untalented will make it on their own."
These guys are an emo-core band from El Paso, TX. If they hook up with the right people you're going to hear a great deal from them. There are very few bands that can truly write music that transfers true emotion, power and feelings into the music as well as this band can. This CD is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end with all the twist and turns and the anger with a silent shattering punch of a thunder storm. Though the song structure may be a little without direction at times, every change, note, beat and word is in the place it needs to be to cause the needed effect.
This doesn't have the roughness of Acrobatic but a clean fuller sound. The main complaint I have with this record is that the background vocals are to low. The emotional feel is a darker and moodier tone. One gets the feeling of rain and candles or a night of outcasts walking, mixed with cheap wine and broken glass. The highlights are "Winter Month Novelty", "Speechless" and "Picket Fence Cartel".
Offtime Records/PO Box 220763/El Paso,TX 79913
At the Show Blogs
This is the very first blog in a series that is about my experiences as a talent buyer at Lefty's Live Music. It will be part, here's who has played, who's going to being playing, why they are important and lastly a sounding board for some of my personal ideas and advice when it comes to live music, promotion, being a musician and all the wonder that goes with it. The plan is to try to do one at least a month but as you know I'm a busy guy who is often stretched thin but I'll give it a shot if you will.
I've going to shows since the mid 80s and promoting/talent buying off and on since the 90s. There are periods that stand out. Where all the stars aligned and I either saw a great number of shows or booked a number of shows in a short period of time. November was one of the biggest. November 2016 will go down in the history of Des Moines Live music and Lefty's Live Music as a month of incredible music. Oh and this is just the highlights. When you see about 20 or so shows a month often it's hard to remember everyone that stood out. So, if you aren't mentioned here.
With any local music scene there needs to be space to suck. That space to develop, grow and learn how to promote either as a band or as musicians. That space has had many forms over the years. When I was younger it was small hall shows or house parties. From time to time DIY spaces but when I was first starting to play it was straight to the venue stage.
The key to every successful event is promotions. It doesn't mater what acts are on the bill, if no one knows who is playing, there will be no one there. One of the most often ask questions I get as a talent buyer is, How do I promote my band and get a bigger draw? The answer is simple, work.
It seems like it shouldn't be that import but when you consider most of the successful brands, often the name of the product is second to the shape of the logo itself. A prime example is the golden arches. You see those two yellowish gold interlocking arches and you know instantly what that means. With the internet and success of instragram and emogis, we are increasingly becoming more visually triggered by symbols than words.
As a band building a professional relationship with venues, talent buyers, promoters and other bands is extremely important. The reality is that anyone who has been the industry for any period of time knows and comes in contact with a great number of people that will affect your future bookings and career. Now, you might think that burning a venue in some small city will not come back to haunt you but the reality is that often that venue, the promoter or the bands will have a relationship with others in the business in the regional area and in some cases nationwide.
A while back I wrote a blog that was 25 commandments that every band should follow. So, I thought it only fair that there should be one that discusses some of the things that venues and promoters should follow. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I have not broken a few of these over the years. However, whenever it was within my control, I did my best to uphold them.
As an artist of any medium, the hardest part is learning how to edit. To get to that point where all the fatty tissue and the cancerous cankers have been removed to reveal a tight well-done representation of what you are trying to express. I don't care if it's editing a novel, writing a piece of music or seasoning a dish, it can be so difficult to just let go of ideas, words, notes, and ingredients and just walk away. Part of this is how personal the work gets and how invested you get in the parts of that little child that you are launching into the world.