Welcome to Local Music'Mericans, where we'll be meeting some people behind the local music scene who aren't musicians, but more behind-the-scenes folk.
Scott Beggs, once one of the kids in the punk rock crowds back in the day, has been assembling live concerts in DFW since the mid-'90s at various establishments: Club Clearview, Trees, Canyon Club, Bronco Bowl, and, most memorably, the sorely-missed Gypsy Tea Room and Gypsy Ballroom. More than that, though, he's always been the guy on site while the show was going on lest any shit fell apart started to go awry.
On top of all this, he managed a whole bunch of local rock acts from Dallas in his earlier days, too: Pimpadelic, Slow Roosevelt, Doosu, Caulk, and Buck Jones, among others.
More recently, as an independent promoter, you can find Beggs onstage at Dia De Los Toadies every year, acting as emcee. As if the guy didn't have enough to do already.
Somehow, though, he still manages to also make the time to remain a music fan, and to attend shows simply as a patron -- especially for local music he likes.
We recently caught up with Beggs to find out how he's still able to stay on top of these things. Check his answers out after the jump.
Was there an artist, or show, that turned a corner for you when you were younger that made you want to get involved in the local scene?
I think, for me, it was the attitude of the times (mid- to late-'80s) that did it for me. Before Nirvana, there was just this sense of urgency that what we in the punk scene were doing was "right." I think a lot of us saw that we could do this better. We had been the kids that were there when the cops would shut down the show at your favorite club, so the show would move to a garage or basement. We made it happen. We saw the fights that didn't have to happen and so we focused on making our shows safer and more fun.
Where would we have found you if we went back in time to when you were a youngster first starting to immerse yourself in Dallas' music scene?
I remember walking from Twilight Room to Theatre Gallery most weekends. I didn't always see the show, but I wanted to be close to it all. There was excitement, and even danger, around the scene. You just felt you had to be there.
You have to be proud of Gypsy Tea Room and Ballroom's legacy. You were part of a venue that, in turn, helped impact a lot music fan's lives a generation younger than your own. Take us on a nutshell tour of your "Best of Gypsy" shows...
Slayer -- that's when I knew we had a great team at that venue. Ice Cube. Willie Nelson. I remember (the Afghan Whigs') Greg Dulli running a 100-plus degree fever and giving a Jordan-esque perfomance. I remember (California hardcore punk act) Terror just killing it in the Tea Room. So did The Distillers. Clutch, too.
Don't stop now! Let's hear what you've got in the memory banks for other venues as well!
The Deftones' first show at Trees, in 1998. Flogging Molly opening for The Bosstones.
The Flaming Lips show in 1996 (?) at Trees -- they must have had a million Christmas lights. The Toadies at Trees in 1996 when (the Von Erichs') Kevin Von Erich helped work stage security. There's so many. It's hard not to miss some when recalling.
Being a guy who still stands in the crowd on a regular basis, how about a couple memorable patron performances?
Oh, man. There was the girl that fell from the crow's nest at Trees during a Course of Empire show. The insanity for El Tri shows at Bronco Bowl. There was a couple of Pimpadelic relatives that never made it past 9:30 on show night without getting tossed from the club. I swear, they never saw a Pimp show from 1997 to 2002.
Who are you fan of nowadays on a local level?
I think the House Harkonnen are one of the best we have to offer in DFW. I honestly try not to ever miss their shows in Deep Ellum. I was late to the game with them, so every gig counts. I also like Ishi, The Broadsiders, Descender, and Maleveller. Dallas is really on an upswing with live music again. I know I'm leaving some out. The Lash Outs, The American Fuse. We have it good in Dallas again.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.