In this week's edition of This Week In Dallas Music History, former Observer writer Keven McAlester tells the tale of his adventures in following The Toadies to South Padre Island for a special spring break gig in 1999.
Actually, the piece spends just as much time following the band's roadie, Ken, "the Crazy-Ass Merch Dude," as it does keeping up with the band.
The story reads like a timeline outlining the events of the day leading up to gig, which took place at the 6,000-capacity venue Charlie's Paradise Bar. It starts off during the band's sound-check, in which lead singer Vaden Todd Lewis plays the riff for "Crazy Train." Meanwhile, Ken "the Crazy-Ass Merch Dude" comes up with a hair-brained scheme to purchase loads of cheap beer and sell it at a marked-up price to "desperate partiers" at 2:15 a.m., when the bars shut down.
Later on, the band finds out that the opening act will be a bikini contest, and, incidentally, so will the closing act. The band doesn't seem to care, though. Writes McAlester: "Their mission, according to guitarist Clark Vogeler: 'Get in. Rock 'em. Take their money. Get out.'"
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And that's exactly what they did -- and, yes, even Ken "the Crazy-Ass Merch Dude" got in on the action. He made a whole four dollars in profit from his beer-selling scheme. Check out the entire story after the jump.
If that margin is too tight, check out the story in our Observer archives.