Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fundraiser for Memphis Artist Tommy Foster

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM

click to enlarge Keep Calm, Tommy's got this.
  • Keep Calm, Tommy's got this.

If you’ve ever risen above the usual noise and infighting long enough to look around and realize that Memphis is a city full of wonders and curiosities, Tommy Foster is one of the people you should thank for that. And right now there’s an easy and special way to do exactly that.

Foster is a trendsetter: the epitome of Memphis cool and inventiveness. In the 80’s this multimedia artist and endlessly creative entrepreneur founded the Pyramid Club, an upstairs rock-and-roll bar on Madison Ave. that hosted performances by a range of musical talents from Alex Chilton to Human Radio, The Grifters, and The Scam. He almost singlehandedly launched Memphis’ funky coffeehouse culture when he opened Java Cabana in the Cooper-Young neighborhood, and turned the coffee shop’s back room into the Viva Wedding Chapel, where King-loving couples could tie the knot surrounded by folk art depictions of rock-and-soul saints, in ceremonies performed by none other than Tommy Elvis himselvis. Variations on his wonderful coin operated Elvis impersonator shrine, (originally created for Java Cabana, though it came to reside at Goner Records) were placed in House of Blues venues across the country.
click to enlarge Little people enjoying floats, phosphates and funny hats at A. Schwab's soda fountain.
  • Little people enjoying floats, phosphates and funny hats at A. Schwab's soda fountain.

Not one to sit still for long Foster launched the Viva Memphis photo booth, and more recently he became the buyer for A. Schwab, where he also oversaw the creation of a fantastic soda fountain, a unique Beale St. tourist attraction with plenty of local appeal. In addition to all of these accomplishments, he’s the father of Memphis activist and musician Bennett Foster, best known for his time with groups like The Barbaras, and The Magic Kids.

Today Foster is fighting cancer and friends have organized a benefit at Amurica Studio, Sunday, Nov. 2 from 6-9 p.m. There will be a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and music provided by DJ Fresh Bennett. 

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