Out of the Closet

With Trees' fate nearly sealed, we look back at its brave beginnings--and, of course, the blood

Davis eventually sold Trees to Entertainment Collaborative owners Brandt and Brady Wood. This turned out to be a horrible mistake on their part. Besides putting them into competition with themselves--Gypsy Tea Room is also a 900-capacity venue a mere block away--it left the Wood brothers exposed and adherent to the success or failure of their other businesses. When Jesse Chaddock attacked and permanently disabled David Cunniff at an Old 97's show at the Gypsy, Cunniff's civil lawsuit against the owners of the club forced their hands--and indirectly put Trees in its last death throes.

One less venue for local bands to play, and 15 years of memories tarnished and banished to history, because of a drunken skinhead with a chip on his shoulder? What had started with money that Cullen Davis had stashed in his son's bank account may now end because of a bankruptcy proceeding tied to a random act of unsolicited violence.

If Trees closes, it will be sad to drive down Elm Street and see 2709 empty once again, but we can feel good about the experiences we had there. We should thank Jessica Clarke for having the foresight to want to change Brian Davis' mind about opening a seafood joint there instead. We can give props to the people who worked, played, drank, bled, danced and fought there--they gave the neighborhood its character. We can thank them for rejuvenating the local music scene and for living up to the long-standing heritage and subversive reputation of the Dallas creative community.

The calendar currently outside Trees is devoid of concerts in 2006--and Dallas will know by week's end if that will change.
The calendar currently outside Trees is devoid of concerts in 2006--and Dallas will know by week's end if that will change.
Nirvana establishes Trees as Dallas' hottest music venue of the '90s with an unforgettable, oversold concert. Below: Trees' old T-shirts touted musical dominance that has been unmatched to this day.
Nirvana establishes Trees as Dallas' hottest music venue of the '90s with an unforgettable, oversold concert. Below: Trees' old T-shirts touted musical dominance that has been unmatched to this day.

Deep Ellum as a creative destination is history, but the influence of Trees will live forever.

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