Once, Deep Ellum bouncer Anthony Streeter paid the bar tab of a guy he had just thrown out. He didn't know him and it didn't matter. The guy was shitfaced, riled up and ready to fight, too. "Look," Streeter said, trying to talk the guy down from wherever the night's shots had rocketed him to. "This isn't something I live for doing. Putting somebody down. But you see that other bouncer over there? He lives for that kinda stuff. When you wake up from this, next month sometime, will it all seem worth it?" For the sake of the guy not having to walk back into the Curtain Club, Streeter zeroed his tab and sent him on his way. The guy approached him a few weeks later and apologized. It took Streeter a few minutes to even remember who he was, or what he had done.
That's the kind of guy Anthony Streeter is: big. Big in so many ways. Big in heart even more so than in appearance (he looks like he could be a linebacker for the '85 Chicago Bears), and that's why he's known to so many in the arts community as anything but just a bouncer: manager, promoter, friend, supporter,"that nice guy at the door who smiles and hugs everybody."
Streeter is fighting Multiple Sclerosis now, and as MS does, it came out of nowhere. Two benefits are in the making to help him with what has to be an astronomical expense following five weeks in Parkland Hospital ... with canceled health insurance. One benefit is September 22 at Curtain Club, and the other is September 26 at Trees.
I called to interview about the local music community, but we would appreciate an update on your scenario if you don't mind. What's the latest on your prognosis at Parkland? I understand you've been in physical therapy the last couple weeks.
Yeah, I've been in physical therapy for about three weeks now ... after about eight months, they were able to tell me I had MS. I got in, and what we did was dialysis, and a few other tests.
How long have you been there exactly? It's been quite a stretch.
Let's see ... I came in July 21 ... so, I've been here a little over a month and a week. I'm about to get discharged. Going home, man.
Man, that's great, Anthony. Could you see all your Facebook posts in the hospital somehow?
Know what? I've got it set up where it comes thru my email, so when someone tags or posts I do see it. I saw a post from (Curtain Club benefit organizer) Mike Rios, (Honey bassist) Holly Wood, (local vocalist) Greg Harville, (Guns 4 Roses guitarist) Eamonn Gallagher came and visited ... spent the day with me, and couple guys from Caller 9 and Light the Fire, too ... meant a lot to me! A friend mentioned the benefit shows. It's nothing that I asked for. I'm honored that people thought of me.
Did you grow up around here?
Yeah, born and raised in Dallas. Berkner High School!
What sparked your interest in music as a youngster? Family? School?
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I've always been interested in music. Especially hard rock, what became alternative, and metal. I never played in bands, though. I was more of a planning type guy. I think when I was really young, I thought a lot about how I could get into the music biz. I still remember when i went to work in Deep Ellum it was just kind of off the cuff. I was looking to get out of restaurant management. ... I was working at Hooters, and just about to marry my wife.
Hooters! Wow. Was Curtain Club your first gig?
Yeah, Hooters. No, I went to see a show at the Galaxy Club. I noticed the bouncers were kinda small ... and didn't have much of a personality!
My friend and I laughed about it. He said i should apply. I spoke to the manager, and he brought me on with a couple shifts bouncing at Galaxy Club.
I know you from working the door at Curtain. What else do you do?
I started doing booking and management around 2002. Decided I wanted to do something more. Also [I manage] the band System Overload, who became Light the Fire. We took them from a draw of 35 to 50 kids to upwards of 200, and relatively quickly. I booked them with bands like Element 80, and on the "New Level of Aggression Tour" with Dry Kill Logic, who were on Interscope at one point in time.
Best local live shows you've ever seen?
I don't normally talk in those terms, but LaME, who became Secret of Boris, came on and I thought they're a little different ... and told [SOB vocalist] Cameron, "Ordinarily, I wouldn't like your vocal style but combined with the band it gives it a great dynamic." Also, Kennedy when they first came around. Seeing David Kennedy and [Kennedy guitarist] Paul Trevino together was great.
Anything you want to say to all of your supporters?
Yeah! Honestly, in a situation like this, you don't realize who your friends are, and are not, until something like this comes along. I thank everybody. The people that post, I can see that they genuinely mean what they say. That means a lot to me. Thank you, God bless, and I'm looking forward to seeing everybody.
Does that mean you feel there's a good chance we'll see you at the benefit shows?
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The game plan is to be well enough to attend the shows. I'm able to get up and go short distances. Long distances right now mean using a wheelchair. I'll still be in outpatient therapy at that time but will not have returned to work yet.
If you were in a position of power over our local music scene, would there be any changes you'd implement to make it a more tight-knit community?
Right now, what i noticed most when I was managing and booking it seems like it's very hard especially to get a lot of the larger bands to work together with newer bands. If I could change that mentality, I would ... to have them come together more and not worry about who's in the 11 p.m. slot, who's "headlining" ... who isn't in bold on the ticket. I've heard people say, "We won't have all our fans there because this isn't really our show." I've never understood that mentality. Every show is your show.