My column appears in the Chattanoogan.com about 75-100 times per year. We get nearly 100,000 hits per day on this town’s greatest source for news and entertainment, so my picture gets seen millions of times per year. Creepy, eh? To make things worse, my columns often get “picked up” by other publications, like the Huffington Post, other newspapers, and even news organization in the country of Panama.
I have been asked many times if I wanted to join in with the band for a song or two, maybe on the drums, or even singing. Well, I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy. The musical act that has me on with them will never get another booking.
The fact is that I don’t really play any musical instrument very well.
So, what gives me the right to write about bands and music in Chattanooga? Nothing gives me that right. I have a good ear for talent and a great appreciation of the musical art-form, but I don’t proclaim to be an expert. But, I do go to listen to 100-150 live performances per year and I try to learn all I can about an artist. Want to know more? Then take my “Bob Payne Trivia Test” right here, right now. See how you fare on all things Bob. Get yourself a piece of paper to write down your answers and I will post them at the bottom of this column - the very bottom.
Q1. Did you go to Baylor School and were your parents rich, since you grew up on Signal Mountain.
Q2. I served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam and have two honorable discharges – one from the U.S. Air Force and one from the U.S. Air National Guard.
Q3. I was once the “pinball king” of the South. Not because I played pinballs, but because I managed one of the largest pinball offices in the South.
Q4. I once cooked breakfast for Ted Turner in his office (Atlanta Braves, TBS, and CNN Owner at the time).
Q5. At one time, I was the Sports Car Club of America’s Southeastern Regional Autocross Champion and won over 100 autocrosses from the time I was 16 until I was about 30.
Q6. Somehow, I managed to own travel agencies in Atlanta that put me in the top 20 out of nearly 700 agencies in Atlanta at the time.
Q7. I was 19 and married a girl that was 16.
Q8. I spent a lot of time at Yesterday’s and the Brass Register, as well as the Castaways Club, the Playlate Club, the GoGo Club, Dino’s Supper Club, and the Rustic Room. My two favorite bands at that time were Overland Express and Jimmy Tawater’s band.
Q9. While I have interviewed many celebrities like Merle Haggard, Derek Trucks, Greg Allman, Chuck Leavell and others, I would rather talk with people like Roger Alan Wade, Dennis Brown, Carle Vickers and other local musicians.
Q10. I know who Here Come The Mummies really are and will reveal their names here?
Q11. I charge a mall fee for helping bands get bookings around town.
Q12. I constantly needle All-Star drummer Johnny Smith because he can’t twirl his drum sticks.
Q13. I won the Pulitzer Prize last year for my column.
Answers at bottom of column.
For local music info, try www.chattanoogaentertainers.com or www.chattanooganightscope.com. They both have great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site www.chattacountry.ning.com.
A1. Yes, I graduated from the fine school of Baylor, but my parents weren’t wealthy. My Mom worked at Baylor, so my brother and I got to go on the cheap.
A2. False. I did serve and got two honorable discharges, but the closest I came to Vietnam was Texas at the time. They never asked me to go, and I never offered.
A3. True. I managed pinball, jukebox, and pool table operations in Memphis and Atlanta for ARA Services – the largest amusement device operator in the world at the time. Nobody I ever heard called me the “pinball king of the South” that I am aware of. So kind of false.
A4. During my time with ARA after the pinball businesses were sold, I was the facility manager at all of Ted Turner’s properties, including TBS, CNN, and the Braves. I used to brag to him about how good my omelets were and one day he called me on it. He told me to put my money where my mouth was and cook the next day in the kitchen on the executive floor at TBS. I did just that and got a raise the following week. They must have been good. Ted ate two. I was TBS when they owned WCW Wrestling and I got to know Dusty Rhodes, Andre the Giant, Mr. Wrestling II, King Kong Bundy, and more. In fact, I was in the elevator with Bundy and the Road Warriors, Hawk & Animal, were coming down the hall. I went to hold the door for them and Bundy said there would be big trouble if they ended up in the same elevator. He said they didn’t know wrestling was fake and he was afraid they would beat him up. I hit the door-close button.
A5. True. I won most of the autocrosses in my division for many years.
A6. True again. I owned a couple travel agencies in Atlanta and they had grown to a pretty big size. I was also the first agency in Atlanta to begin charging a fee for our service.
A7. True, I married a 16 year old girl when I was but 19. We had the first of our two sons 5 years later. People said at the time we got married that it would never work out. They were right – 33 years later we divorced.
A8. True. I loved live music even then as a yute. (Youth) I also had a great ear for music even then – just look who my favorites were.
A9. Absolutely true. Our local talent here is so good and very interesting when you get to know them.
A10. True- the Mummies names are Eddie Mummy, Java Mummy, KW Tut, Mummy Cass, Spaz Mummy, Midnight Mummy, Mummy Rah, and Teste Verde.
A11. False. I have never accepted any money for helping a musical act get a gig. It’s my honor to help local musicians and they don’t make enough as it is.
A12. True again, although I saw Johnny practice twirling the sticks the other night and he is up to 1 ½ twirls now, so that fun may end for me. Johnny is a great drummer.
A13. False. Wesley Morris from the Boston Globe won the Pulitzer in the category for critics. I was very proud to have my work considered by the Pulitzer committee, but I didn’t win.
Thanks for taking the quiz. I hope you know me better now.
Email Bob Payne at email@example.com or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000 .