For Moody Fuqua, the Deep Ellum dream is dead. Or at least the dream as he's known it. Last December, Fuqua, one of the best talent buyers in Dallas, left his longtime role booking at Crown & Harp to take over the same role at RBC in Deep Ellum. But only four months later, he and RBC have parted ways, and he's set his sights on reforming another venue just a few blocks away: Club Dada.
“I’m really fucking excited,” Fuqua says of his plans with Dada. He's coming on board as the music programmer. “I prefer working for these guys because they really understand the business and they have been doing it for a really long time. They’re good people and I trust them.”
Working with RBC’s sound engineer, Geoff Lloyd, Fuqua made significant renovations to the stage and upstairs patio. While putting lights up on the patio a couple months ago, Fuqua fell from the chair he was standing on and the chair went through his neck. He was rushed to the hospital and it left a scar.
But his efforts certainly seemed to be paying off. The biggest month under current RBC owner Tammy Moss before Fuqua’s arrival was nearly doubled in January. But Fuqua told Moss he was through last week.
“We just saw things differently,” Fuqua says, expressing a great deal of relief about the change of direction. “The music scene needs to focus on the music, not on petty bullshit. This will be yesterday’s news in a few days and I want it to be that way. I’m in a new spot with a new set of goals."
Moss says there isn’t much of a story to tell about the change. “We are happy with the transformation that has taken place at RBC since Moody’s arrival,” she says. “We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.” Moss says the venue will continue on the same path, working with several promoters, with no plans to replace Fuqua. But she does plan to “further engage” with Hidden Friends, “a boutique service agency” she previously hired to develop RBC’s website and creative materials.
“The timing’s perfect,” Fuqua adds. Indeed, Dada seems to need a shot in the arm these days. Its doors have been closed quite a bit lately as the partners are busy preparing to open a new restaurant on Main Street. “There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be open five days a week,” he continues. “I’m adding weeklies and monthlies.” There are already plans for Faded Deejays and John Stewart to bring regular shows to Club Dada, beginning with Stewart's All/Everything series this Sunday.
Dada is ready for changes. “We are thrilled to have him onboard as part of the team,” says Joshua Florence, one of Dada’s partners. He admits that the venue should be open more nights a week and believes that Fuqua is someone who can bring in local content between shows from touring acts.
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“We’re definitely looking to be open from Thursday to Sunday without dark nights in between,” Florence says. “That’s a full time job and we’ve never hired anybody on staff to fill that role. That’s always been something that we as the owners have tried to do and kind of piecemeal together. I feel like we haven’t done a very good job of it. To have somebody come onboard who has tons of experience doing that and tons of success with it, we couldn’t be happier.”
“We’re going to build the patio out,” Fuqua says. “We can do some major things with that.” He and Florence mention the possibility of day shows, making use of both stages more often, and moving shows outside more often when the weather is nice.
As for the remaining shows Fuqua booked for RBC, none have been cancelled. He plans to be in attendance. As for the fate of the regular programming at RBC, it remains to be seen whether those shows will stay put or follow Fuqua to Club Dada.