Welcome to Local Music 'Mericans, where we meet some of the people behind the local music scene -- those who aren't necessarily members of bands, but make the scene move.
Bear Claw's family is part of the Kiowa Indian tribe up in Oklahoma.
He works nights as a bouncer at various spots around town, mainly The Slip Inn. Perhaps you recognize him if you've ever been to that favorite old Dallas haunt. He's kind of hard to miss. Bear Claw stands just over 6 feet tall and weights 245 pounds, with streaked red and multicolor long hair, and some impressive ink art on his arms from local talent like Adrian Evans of Death or Glory Tattoo. Reputably, he's one of the friendliest guys you could meet, though like Battle Flag Records' Josh Robinson (another scary-first-impression guy from our scene), Bear Claw can be pretty intimidating to walk by if you don't know him.
Like Robinson, Bear Claw's demeanor is opposite of his scary appearance. In between his day job in the world of lawn sprinklers, and trying to be nice while being a bouncer at night, he finds time to attend a staggering number of live music events around town, many of them featuring local rockers. But there's more.
He does it sober. Like, all the time. Not an easy discipline in our crazy scene, but certainly a commendable one.
He's a good guy to know, and he's also just an all-around good guy and a real friend to our local music scene.
As you'll see below, he may not be the wordiest subject we've had in the LMA column, but he's still just as fiercely supportive and active in the local music scene as any of our heaviest hitters. Get to know Bear Claw a little after the jump.
Was there a particular past musical moment that sort of shaped your local tastes?
A show, maybe?
I really got into the local music scene when I saw a Mad Mexicans show at Curtain Club. They had so much energy and connected with the crowd.
You go out to a lot of shows. You don't drink. It seems like just about all your friends do. Thoughts on this?
I choose not to drink because it's my lifestyle I live. I feel like I'm able to enjoy and absorb the music better at a live show by not drinking. People enjoy music in their own way. It doesn't bother if I'm around people drinking at a show.
As a bouncer, what's one of the biggest security challenges you've ever had to face?
I was bouncing at Slip Inn, and I had to break up a fight. The guy was about 6 feet 4 inches tall and 350 pounds! I was literally riding his back trying to wrestling him to the ground. It took two of us drag him out the door.
Ever played any music yourself? Maybe in school?
I played trumpet doing junior high school and high school. Didn't really follow up after that.
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How about your personal local music tastes beyond the rock genre? Are there musical styles we might be surprised to find you're a fan of? What local bands have you as a closet fan?
I love all types of music from Iindie, singer/songwriter, jazz, even country music. I'm still close and a fan of the Mad Mexicans. I'll always support those guys
What other local acts do you enjoy the most right now?
I'm currently a big fan of Hello Lover and Missile.
What would you like to see change about our local music scene? And what do you love about it the most?
[What] I love the most about the local music scene is that it feels personable and intimate when you go see a local band. What I would like to see change is that the city of Dallas get more involved, like festivals and such.