Work Journal

Monday 3/22/2010:

Looked through Internet archives of Grateful Dead to find when they played at William and Mary hall (9/11/1973-9/12/1973).

I found the complete set lists, for both of their sets, both nights of their show. To avoid extra clutter, I will not post these on the blog, but I have them in my notes.

I then looked into back issues of the Flat Hat, and the issue from 9/21/1973 had a full page spread on coverage of the concert. After reading the article, I found out some useful information, such as the fact that the second night was unplanned (to students and other audience members, the band knew they were staying two nights). This provided a completely different atmosphere, the article states, there was no need to “pack it all in.”

Tuesday 3/23/2010:

Did some research on show at William and Mary Hall for The Police and The Go-Go’s, the Hall’s highest attendance event ever with 13,514 people. Found an article in the Flat Hat about it, where I was provided with an in-depth analysis of the show, beginning with The Go-Go’s before moving on to The Police, who headlined the show. The article did mention how most people in attendance were “decked out in New Wave” apparel. The audience remained orderly, despite its size, but some people were unfortunately injured.

Wednesday 3/24/2010:

Tried to contact Cabot Wade of The Smith-Wade Band for an interview. The Smith-Wade Band has been prominent in the local music scene for the past 30 years and would be able to offer some useful knowledge and insight.

Update: Still waiting to hear back, perhaps I should utilize another avenue of communication, for which I will contact Professor Knight.

I also made another contact, the parents of a friend of mine, Emily McMillen, also a student here at the college. Her parents are alumni, having graduated in the mid 1980’s, and claim to participating in regular nightlife at the college. I would love to hear what they have to say, and I will be in contact with them soon regarding an interview.

Thursday 3/25/2010:

After finding out from a message board on the Billy Joel online forum that he played at William and Mary hall “sometime in 1977,” I’ve begun to browse all back issues of the Flat Hat from 1977. About half way through, I still have not found anything on Billy Joel, but other clippings promoting lesser-known live musical acts of the time. This got me thinking that I should just go through all the issues of the Flat Hat to find anything and everything I can about my topic.

Friday 3/26/2010:

After reading an article that Professor Knight gave me from the Daily Press, I have some deeper insights to the changing music scene in Williamsburg. In the article, Scott Varney, a local musician, discusses the logistics for a musician local to Williamsburg. He states that he doesn’t think one can “make a living playing music locally but [one] can do it regionally.” He also mentions the fact that the musical circle in Williamsburg is extremely small, and everyone knows everyone else and has even played with him or her before. An interesting fact was that he spends more time getting gigs and booking than he actually does performing each week, despite the fact that many new venues are opening, it’s becoming much more competitive to play out and gig.

Saturday 3/27/2010:

Took a break

Sunday 3/28/2010:

After looking through old issues of the Flat Hat (1983 to be specific), I found some cool ads for a place known as the Upstairs Downstairs, which I had not heard of yet. It was located on Jamestown Road across the street from Phi Beta Kappa Hall and featured a restaurant upstairs and a tavern downstairs. They boasted of their happy hour specials and fun live music. I am looking more into this. Also, in looking through old Flat Hat ads, I found that the Hospitality House used to have live music every Sunday from 10-2 for their weekly brunch. They were also hosting a Swing Dance on parents weekend both on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring the music of Dick Crist and his Orchestra. There is a lot that can be obtained through just skimming the paper for ads, which I am now warming up to the idea of, it’s just a lot of work with no guaranteed outcome.

2 Responses to “Work Journal”

  1. 1 iaknig March 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Great work, Andrew… “a lot of work with no guaranteed outcome” might be a good functional definition of what we mean by genuine scholarly research (though we’d want to add, work done methodically, with a hypothesis in mind, etc.). Another route that could provide some similar information to the Flat Hat but be a bit faster would be the W&M yearbook–but that would be more focused on events exclusively on campus and might not catch some of the larger scene (like Upstairs/Downstairs… which still existed, though it wasn’t called that and the downstairs part was pretty sporadic, as late as 1993/94 and maybe a little beyond).

    Grace noted in her post that Smith-Wade is supposed to play at JM Randalls next week (April 7, I think).

    On a personal note… I saw that Go Gos/Police tour in Chicago… jeez.

  2. 2 sgglos March 31, 2010 at 11:49 am

    That Daily Press article that mentions making a living regionally even if not “locally” made me think of our readings in Amato and the elastic ways that “region” can be defined. What is a musician’s region? How wide is the area considered “local”? I used to play gigs in NYC – technically, that was part of my “region”. We routinely go to see concerts in Norfolk, Va Beach, Richmond, and even DC and Raleigh/Durham. So, I would urge you to consider how you and others conceive of “local” and “regional” music scenes – how various are the ways in which these are defined?

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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