Every Music scene has that guy who has seen it all. He's the guy you always run into at influential shows, record stores and DJ nights from as long as you have been going to shows. Evan Chronister, known to many as Captain Groovy, was one of those guys in Dallas. There are not many like him left to continue the oral history of this city's music scene and history -- be it recounting how the Nervebreakers blew the Sex Pistols off stage at their infamous visit back in 1978, or the story of a young U2 opening for a wet T-shirt contest. Unfortunately, Chronister passed away in a tragic scooter accident last week.
For years Chronister would make mix CD's for the 60s themed Lollipop Shoppe party. For this week's mixtape we are posting Chronister's final mix for the upcoming Lollipop Shoppe Anniversay party. Instead of the usual Q&A we reached out to a few of Chronister's Fellow music nerds to share a music experience they shared with the infamous Captain Groovy.
Jimmy Holcomb of Vinyl Preservation Society: Seeing the Relatives for the first time at Ponderosa Stomp with him in New Orleans in 2010. In the middle of the first song, we looked at each other with these looks that all but said, "How the hell are these guys from Dallas and we didn't know about them before now?"
Brad Sigler of Dead Wax Records: I thought it was funny last week that Jimmy (Holcomb) and I both thought of Hawkwind when we started to talk Evan and music. About a month ago, he wasn't in town when I brought into the store all the reissue LPs and he messaged me from wherever he was and asked what was left. When I told him that there was only four albums still in the bin, he didn't seem surprised and said he'd get them next time. He loved him some Space Rock and heavy psych! He'd also really been loving Texas stoner/psych group the Linus Pauling Quartet and kept telling me how great they were live. I always thought of him at shows I was at where i knew he'd dig what was happening, and I'd text him sometimes to say, "You should be here!" When the Quireboys played at Trees this summer, I told him how much they sounded like prime era Faces and he immediately remembered hearing them in the 80s and owning their first LP. Just a few weeks ago, he saw that I was at Lita Ford and remarked that he almost went to the show. I'd love to have been at that gig with him!
Patricia Rodriguez aka DJ Tiger Bee of Lollipop Shoppe: "So you're going to Guided By Voices with Dean and I, I've got tickets already and I'll pick you up at 8:00." This was Evan after my Dad passed away, knowing I was tore up and in need of good friends and music. So there I was enjoying one of Evan's very favorite bands with him. It was a very good show and he smiled through the whole thing. What a friend!
Marcos Prado of The Smoke and Black Gold Soul Club: Memorable Evan moment: One night, after a Smoke, Evan and I and a few other people went out for a very late night breakfast. This was the first time our friend Michael West came out to eat with us after a Smoke. He sat between Evan and another enthusiastic music aficionado. Big mistake. The volume level and amount of music one-upsmanship was astonishing. Not to mention Michael's need for an umbrella due to the amount of spittle flying.
DJ Wild in the Streets: I enjoyed so many conversations with Evan at different DJ nights and shows around town. He's truly one of the most eclectic collectors I've ever met, and the fluidity with which he could spout knowledge about any musical content he'd ever consumed was impressive -- I'd usually have less to contribute in comparison, so I'd sit back, listen and absorb the opinions, facts and trivia. While he could be one of the most steadfastly opinionated friends I had in the scene, he was also kind, sympathetic and quick to lend an ear or dole out a sincere compliment. He often very generously imparted musical knowledge in the form of recommendations tailored to your specific tastes.
After I'd heard of his passing last week, I began to look back on the artists and albums he'd suggested to me via Facebook over the years, and I've collected them all together so I can make one more Captain Groovy mix for myself. So far it will consist of rare funk and R&B tracks, '60s French psych, '60s Italian groove jazz, '70s German and Hungarian funk, Vietnamese soul, among other things. He's someone I always looked forward to seeing at music-related events in Dallas, and I will sincerely miss his presence.
Christopher Todd Penn of Good Records: I first met Evan in 1997 shortly after moving to Dallas while I was working at CD World. I have a lot of great memories of the man. He was very generous when it came to music and his opinion; Evan wasn't afraid to let you know what he thought of something. While I was at CD World he wasn't back into vinyl yet but had purchased a double LP of Radio Cramps Purple Knife Show Hollywood CA July 1984 on Munster Records. A couple of days later he brought it back and gave it to me after converting it to MP3s. He knew I was into vinyl and thought I would dig it. I still bust it out pretty much every Halloween as it has some great stuff on there like "The Blob" by the 5 Blobs and Vic Mizzy's "Addams Family Theme." Now I will treasure this unsolicited record even more.
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Over the next 19 years he would surprise me with other goodies, some of which were non music but McDonald's related. A Grimace T-shirt and tie as well as whole sets of the happy meal toys for my kids. He was a FREQUENT show goer. I pretty much lived vicariously through him over the years as he seemed to make it to more shows then anyone I knew. Whether it be Terrastock or something more recent like Big Ears he would make the trek and plan vacations accordingly. He was a great supporter of local artists and the community. He would scour the internet for free music but as the owner of Good Records I couldn't get upset with him as he was one of the rare breed that still bought more music than anyone else. He couldn't get enough. He would subscribe to limited-run tape and LP labels across the globe. He was a music fan we all should aspire to be.
He was a HUGE Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices fan and would keep up with his prolific output more than anyone I knew. He always said about the recent stuff if you took a song or two from all of the different monikered projects you would have a pretty great album. I always meant to tell him to do that for me as I quite frankly didn't have time to keep up with Mr. Pollard. I know Even would have graciously done that and enjoyed doing it. (If he didn't already have such a playlist on his computer.) Unfortunately for me, and the rest of Dallas, I won't have the opportunity to do that now.
Oliver Sheppard of Wardance and Post-Punk Happy Hour: I first met Evan when I overheard a conversation he was having with someone else about one of my DJ events. (It was with Brad at Dead Wax.) This was kind of funny and awkward, as he didn't know the guys whose DJ event he was speaking about was right there behind him, but we started talking and I realized pretty quickly the sheer depth of Evan's eclectic interest in music. We talked mainly about Current 93, Legendary Pink Dots, and psych rock. He referred me to his Static Thoughts blog. I was and am really surprised at the depth of the dark ambient and really underground experimental noise stuff he was staying on top of!
Tracklist: 1. Diana Dors -So Little Time 2. Jack hammer -Swim 3. Les kitchenettes- Tu En Fais Trop 4. Davie Jones and The King bees - Liza Jane 5. Jaques Dutronc - On Nous Cache Tout, On Nous Dit Rien 6. Ola & The Janglers - Let's Dance 7. The Easybeats - Sorry 8. ??????? -Sugar Bee 9. Joe Medwick - Hip Shakin Mama 10. The Searchers - Needles and Pins 11. The Archies - Sugar Sugar 12. The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee 13. James & Bobby Purify - Shake a Tail Feather 14. Roy Head - She's about a Mover 15. The undisputed truth - I heard it through the grapevine 16. Screamin Lord Sutch & the Savages - The Train kept on Rollin 17. The Sensational Alex Harvey band - Jumpin Jack Flash 18. The Animals - It's My Life 19. The Grass Roots - Midnight Confessions 20. melda May - Tainted Love 21. The Trends - Thanks for a Little Lovin 22. Pink floyd - Lucifer Sam(Mono) 23. Ola & the Janglers - Let's Dance 24. Bern Elliott and The Fenmen - New Orleans 25. Truth - Baby You Got it 26. The Merry Go Round - Listen Listen 27. Freddy King - Now I got a Woman 28. The Redcaps - Talkin about You 29. Five by Five - Fire The 30. Tikis - Pay attention to me