Mick’s Birthday Bash – June 21, 2013 – Ground Zero with Jesco White, Roger Alan Wade, Dan Deel and more
June 21, 2013 is a perfect example of folks working together to make something very special. The venue was Groundzero in Spartanburg SC which is a place where I have seen many diverse acts from Man or Astroman?! to Ted Nugent to Wesley Willis to Misfits to Vanilla Ice to Doug Stanhope. It’s been called the CBJB’s of the south and thru the years have survived a few decades where many have came and gone the mighty Groundzero is still providing a haven for many. I am not sure where I would be today with out Groundzero having spend most of my youth there cutting my teeth on punk rock, metal and alt. country live music. Mick Minchow is the owner/Booker who has always been coolern than the other side of the pillow, a beacon of knowledge all things pop culture, and a warrior for having some of the most memorable live shows in the area. This was billed as his birthday bash (all though his actually birthday was a few days prior) and the line up was something epic with Roger Alan Wade, Dan Deel, Jesco White, beitthemeans, Josh and Bill along with Cutie Pie (from Discovery Channel’s hit show Moonshiners), and Italo and the Passions. Before I go any further in writing this up I wanna take a second to let you know how hard of work one guy put into this and the last two trips to Spartanburg SC. That being Dan Deel who put so much on it and rolled many of dice for these epic shows and he deserves everything and more. We had alot of help from the media as well for this one many thanks to Dan Armoanatis for this articlehere.
And thanks to The Rise Guys morning show for having Jesco and Dan on the show.
I recall the morning of the show checking in my motel listening to the Rise Guys, exchanging texts with Mick and Dan about the show and being so nervous about it. I really wanted it to be everything I had told the newspaper about. It was a long day but in the end the rewards where greater than anything I ever expected. I tried to take a nap that morning but had too much to do and was too damn excited. The Rise Guys show went well and at this point I have never met The Dancing Outlaw himself but, had met a dozen or so of his famous family. Dan Deel had a gig the night before and got Jesco and went straight to the 93.3 The Planet Studio at 5am. He called me said he was going get a nap and to meet up later on. About 2pm I met up with my good friends Freddie Vanderford (Piedmont blues legend) and his son Derik Vanderford (Union Daily Times and Trans-South Wrestling Promoter) where we took refuge at Ike’s corner grill until I got a call from Dan to head over to the hotel to meet the one and only Jesco White. We all load up and headed that way while en-route Derik’s tire blew out. But, after a stop in a humid Hardees Parking lot we were back up and running. We had destiny and memories to make and nothing was going to stop us. We arrived at the hotel and I was quite nervous about what to expect but it was quite natural as we all went in said Hello to Dan Deel and then a hug to the tap dancing outlaw where I got a short audio interview with him.
We all hung out for a bit but had to meet up with Mick, Bill and Josh at one of the legendary eating spots in Spartanburg being The Beacon. I gotta say that was pretty dang cool seeing all of these guys in my hometown eating at a place where I had being going since a kid. Jesco was just what I said from the Hearld Journal article in that he was “a cartoon character who came to life”. He was very poetic and full of life as he would constantly crack jokes and one liner wisdom. After some dinner there was a car show going on where Jesco hoped on a flatbed truck and pretended to huff the gas then tap dance for a minute. Needless to say many heads where turning but faces where smiling.
I then got a call that Shannon “Hellbetty” Roiser had just arrived in town from Tennessee for she was going to be the merchandise girl for the night. This was yet another character i had yet to met until this day full of firsts. I thought perhaps the whole Hellbetty thing was as they say in pro wrestling “a work”. After meeting her I discovered it was far from a work but yet very much the truth and a life style.
The day was getting better and better as show time was closing in. I then received a phone call from Roger Alan Wade who had been in the highway all day long and just arrived in historical Spartanburg SC. We argreed to meet up in just a bit. So, I jumped in the shower in the room, loaded up my notes, recorder, and such. I got a call from Dan saying he was at Groundzero and Freddie was going join him on stage for the night. Wow, now the night was getting cooler for a guy who is a legend in the parts and also my neighbor would be part of this. I then got a call back from Fayssoux Mclean who said she would drop in for a few tonight after her gig. Roger was a huge fan of hers and I let her know. So, the line up now is getting more epic Fayssoux at Groundzero should get an award for the most punk rock thing to happen in 2013 (just saying)
“HEEEEEY How you doing!?!?!?” was the sound I heard as pulled around the hotel from a tall man with the biggest grin this side of Mississippi. This was Roger Alan Wade in my hometown of Spartanburg South Kakakli! I went on in the hotel to talk to him as Shannon headed over to the show to do the merch for the evening. We had a good talk and I got a small audio interview you can hear here.
I rode with Roger to the show and missed the opening act Italo and the Passions but, luckily my good buddy and Jroc productions himself Josh Hall got these amazing photos and told me it was something fresh and sounded a lil like T-rex. Good Job Fellas!
The energy in the building along with nervous energy flowing thru my veins was mixing up and becoming a incredible high. The always hard rocking and Ground Zero fav’s Beeithmeans were now up and to quote the late great Wesley Willis “whooping up on a mules ass!” for Mick’s Birthday Bash.
Sometime during beitthemeans set Fayssoux made an appearance. If you don’t know her vocals were lend on some Emmy-lou Harris records back in the 70s and even a huge hit with Green Rolling Hills
People were all coming together to make this a epic night for now under the legendary roof of Groundzero had Jesco White, Roger Alan Wade, Dan Deel,Beeithmeans, Italo and the Passions, Freddie Vanderford, TSW wrestling champion Deon Johnson, Moonshiners Bill and Josh, and now Fayssoux. I never seen such a group of great individuals under one roof in my entire life. All the anxiety of putting this together was finally slowly going away and was paying off. Roger took the stage next and I notice how humble he was coming in and hardly no one there knew of him or it seemed. A chair was placed on stage as Rog sat in front of a fan that was blowing to soothe the hot Carolina night. He put his play list under a pedal and it seem to flap up and down put stayed put thru the set. I asked him before the show “What can we expect tonight? are we getting the Honky-Tonk funny songs or the deeply lyrical kind?. He say “Man, I am going to play all the crazy ones!” with a wild eyed grin. “Now, you told Faysouxx this is the crazy crowd right? Because, I don’t normally get nervous but I am now”. I assured him its fine. He stared off the set with a classic from the first record ALL Likkerd Up a composition entitled She’s going back to Whoring. The crowd was instantly won over and everyone and I mean everyone stopped drinking moved to the front,put the phones away and he had the undivided attention of the audience.
I never got to see Elvis, The Beatles,Waylon or such but I was quite sure this was the same energy that was felt when those legends made a mark. With no whistles or bells armed with a Guitar, a life of stories and the truth Roger played on for about a hour and half non-stop putting his soul out there for a crowd who was head over heels in love with the singer/songwriter. Jesco made his first apperance of the night on stage tapping mid way thru the hit song that was written by Wade in Country State of Mind. During the song Brained Road it was clear as the moonshine in Josh and Bill’s still that he was very passionate about the song. His facial and mannerisms showed and then he was back to “Crazy songs” which included Dixie on my mind (which mentions Spartanburg) and a George Jones medley. A encore was needed for everyone in the entire place was clapping as the humble Wade pointed to his heart and thanked every one for being so kind. Next up, we had a stage full of talent as Dan Deel took the stage along with a screen behind him showing scenes of the Dancing Outlaw and many fan pictures along with playing Original songs of his own along with many country classics such as Alabama’s Dixie land Delight White lighting which was dedicated to Josh,Bill and Cutie pie.
Jesco and his wife even did a duet on stage. Then, it happened as Dan called Roger back on stage to pick the Wildwood Flower as the Dancing outlaw tapped in his daddy shoes in the South Carolina soil which was a long way from the hills of West Virgina but was still true in the cotton fields of here. Rog was supporting a Beeithmeans shirt now and with out missing a lick broke into another “Big ass happy family” where myself, Derik Vanderford (union daily times/TSW GM) Deon Johnson (TSW Champion), JOsh,Bill, Cutie Pie, Dan Deel, Shannon Hellbetty, Freddie Vanderford, Jesco and the birthday boy himself Mick Minchow were all on stage making a glorious noise that I could only describe as a religious experience that I am sure was heard all the way to up the hills and hollars to West Virgina. This was a a moment in time that I actually knew it was going to be something I needed to soak in and enjoy. I never felt so much love in one place for it was truly somewhere tween Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Everyone was singing passing the mic around, hugging, with tears of joy for this was a night for record books. Roger played on many more lines hollaring “ONE MORE TIME!” for what I never wanted to end and in song it never has.
I hope Mick had a great birthday for many of folks pitched in and they know who they are. Thanks Mick for putting on quality shows over the years and a haven in Ground zero for a guy like me to grow up to see such great acts I honestly dunno what I would do with out it.It restored my faith in humanity and what can happen if a bunch of old hayseeds put heads together. Thank you all for the hard work and living in those moments for I personally will treasure with all my heart. “ONE MORE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”