Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Outside Food or Drink...Don't Try to be Sneaky! No beer allowed to take out building. No slam dancing!

Above: Jon Parker and Kevin Crothers of Sea 7 States at The China King

The China King on Knoxville's strip has a storied history as a music venue, though not originally under that name. Sea 7 States became the first band to play there under Mr Lu's ownership in the late 1980's.* This is a combination board and room mic recording made to four-track cassette recorder (the Cutec of previous-posts legend) though at this point in time only three channels were working. I think the room mics were an amazingly-cheap Realistic stereo mic. Based on who is in the crowd, I'm guessing that the Taoist Cowboys might have been the opener - this was sometime in 1988 (Sea 7 States Mark II) and to my ears is the sound of a band falling apart. Shortly after this we took a long sabbatical and regrouped after replacing departed drummer Todd Eaton. I do like the "Oh Darling" cover, and it's nice to hear the first performance of "Shiva Shuffle", which was one of mine (with Jon). Heck, I've got five songs in this batch!

A big thank you to Bob McCluskey for the intro!

A technical note: apparently the direct channel disappeared on the third tape, so it's just the room mics.


Set List:
The Beauty of Fire/Calypso
(Just Before The) Break of Day
Broken Guitar String Jazz Groove/George Bush Rap
Spinetingler [partial]

Spinetingler (con't)
Wild Wild West
Sake Of Me
Life In A Love
Where The Wild Things Are (partial)

Distant and Narrow (partial)
Swan [this is the "Trainwreck Special Version"]
Modern As Summer
The Incline [just barely partial]

The Ice Age
Oh Darling
Shiva Shuffle
Salvation [tiny partial]

*from a Philip Wolff-penned bio of the band:

That same summer, Mr. Lu, owner of the Strip’s China King, approached Wolff, who lived just behind the restaurant in a typical-of-the time Ft. Sanders subdivided house on 19th Street. China King had decided to host bands, Mr. Lu told him, and wanted Sea 7 States to break the ice. Wolff tried repeatedly to warn Mr. Lu that the band scene would nothing but heartache for his restaurant. But Mr. Lu saw only potential revenue.

As the bands and their followings got rowdier and rougher, new hand-written signs would appear from time to time taped to China King’s walls. You could read entire unfortunate scenarios between the lines of these signs. “No Outside Food or Drink...Don't Try to be Sneaky!” was one of the first to appear, followed soon after by, "No beer allowed to take out building," and "No slam dancing!" (posted on the ceiling above the dance floor).



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