Little Scene: Take Me To A Place Called… Trees

Originally posted on MySpace 12/21/2005

“Take me to a place called….. Trees” – Chuck Norris, Walker, Texas Ranger

I am very saddened by the news that my favorite club ever is shutting its doors. I’m talking about a place called Trees.

I believe the first time I went there was to see industrial music supergroup Pigface. It April 13, 1991. My new boss, and old friend and I were DJ-ing at a little non-commercial radio station in Weatherford, TX, and he had begun hooking up free tickets to shows there.  This was during the Jeff Liles days, booking the club, and they took a lot of chances. Deep Ellum wasn’t the place it would grow to be, but it was moving that way. Besides Pigface, we got to see Steel Pole Bathtub, KMFDM, L7 and Thowing Muses that spring.

Trees would then go on to grow into a major music venue on the club circuit, hosting a veritable who’s who of music. Kurt Cobain trashed the soundboard, J. Mascis trashed ears, the Flaming Lips would experiment with quadraphonic sound, Soundgarden and Helmet would blow the roof off and White Zombie would play to 23 people. Radiohead even tried to play a pick up gig one off night when they were in town, but unfortunately there was already a touring band booked that night. I am incidentally one of 6 people in the area who did NOT see Nirvana there, just ask around. Everyone will tell you they were there.

Not only was Trees that great 1,000 capacity venue (fire codes suggested under 300 at one point) for the burgeoning touring act, but it was a breeding ground for local talent. For years the sign of local success was headlining Trees on the weekend. It bred a slew of locals who went on to find national success, The Buck Pets, Reverend Horton Heat, Tripping Daisy, The Toadies, Pimpadelic, Funland, and the ones who didn’t but should’ve, Baboon, Earl, Doosu, Slow Roosevelt, the list goes on. It even seemed the Supersuckers were a local band with the frequency they played from 1997-2001. Getting the call for a “3 sucks, 3 bucks” Wednesday was the high point in some bands careers, either they were invited back and treated as family, or their contact information was flushed down the toilet.

I was brought into the Trees fold during a Tool show at the Bronco Bowl, back in 1996. I had gone with some mutual friends, and our seats were together with most of the Trees staff – Mikey, Matt Tobin, Scott Beggs to name a few, and after that I was treated as family. For no other reason than the fact that they liked me, they had nothing to gain from letting me in and treating me as one of them. I feel fortunate that I played a very small, insignificant role in the history of Trees, running the door/box office from April ’03 through October ’03. It may have only been 6 months, but I was there.

So to everyone who made Trees what it was for all those years, Jeff Liles, Steve Shein, Matt Tobin, Sean Bailey, Mikey, Russell, Scott, Hollywood, Craig, Lara, Josh, Tony, Duncan, Edo, Jennifer, Adam, Ross, Paul, Mark, Sam, Chickenbone, and countless more, thank you.

I will sorely miss a place called Trees.

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~ by thesynaptic on August 8, 2010.

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