Concerts

Mike Snider Looks Back on 20 Years of Booking Shows in Dallas

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Despite having success booking the Gypsy Tearoom, Snider could see that all was not right. The partners he was working with didn't share Snider's vision. The investors also had a stake in another Deep Ellum hot spot, Trees. In its original incarnation, struggles there led to one of Snider's darkest days in Dallas.

"When we first opened the Tearoom, it was really nice," says Snider. "It was clean and sleek. I was always trying to convince the owners that they should differentiate between Trees and the Tearoom. They should have made them totally different entities. Trees had a reputation of being a little rough around the edges. It was a bunch of guys dressed in black with tattoos.

"The downfall of the Gypsy Tearoom was when the guy got assaulted," says Snider. "It was an Old 97s concert. It was one of my shows and I was very embarrassed that it happened there. Trees was the place where the skinheads hung out. The worst one of them all was at the show that night. The club went under because of that."

Yet both Snider and Deep Ellum recovered. Trees opened under new management in 2009 and has flourished. And the shows Snider booked at Sons of Hermann and other venues never completely went away. Indeed, some of the shows during and after the slowdown in Deep Ellum are some of Snider's favorite memories.

"The shows that were the highlights were those featuring Doug Sahm," says Snider. "Many people don't know how great that guy was. I loved him. Obviously, the Ray Price show we did at Sons of Hermann in 1996. In order to pay him his guarantee, we had him do two shows on the same night, one at 7 and one at 10. He had five fiddlers in that band. His voice was so soft. It was so much different than any show we ever had."

Snider claims that his time booking shows is just about over. Looking back over his body of work, Snider is both proud and pragmatic.

"Before getting into the music business, I was a music fan," he says. "You want to like all the people that you think are cool. You want them to be really nice and you find that some of them are and some of them aren't."

See also: -The 100 Best Texas Songs: The Complete List -The Ten Most Badass Band Names in DFW -The Best Bands in DFW: 2012 Edition -Photo Essay: The Tattoos of Dallas' Nightlife Scene

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers

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