Wednesday, March 11, 2020

School of Rock, Moxy, Crawfish

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2020 at 11:43 AM

click to enlarge I tried my Schroeder (as in "Peanuts") stance at the piano, but I still failed my audition and I didn't manage to get in School of Rock - JON W. SPARKS
  • Jon W. Sparks
  • I tried my Schroeder (as in "Peanuts") stance at the piano, but I still failed my audition and I didn't manage to get in School of Rock

If you haven’t heard one of the School of Rock house bands perform, make sure you do. They’re amazing.

I wrote about the school’s owner, president, and operator, Marc Gurley, years ago when he was in Dust for Life and Southbound. Now, he’s helping young people learn everything from the fundamentals of playing an instrument to performing live on stage and transitioning into a professional musician.

School of Rock includes Memphis, Germantown, and Wolfchase schools. Each school has a general manager. “Roughly 500 students between the three schools,” says Gurley, who opened the Memphis school in 2013. He later acquired Germantown and recently got Wolfchase. All are franchises of the worldwide School of Rock, which has over 250 schools around the world.

I went to some of the school’s recent shows featuring School of Rock students and I was blown away. Brown Eyed Girl, which I’ve heard a million or so times, sounded so fresh and, well, great. That was at a show featuring the Memphis house band as well as the Germantown house band at Newby's. These bands gig around town and tour across the country.

I also went to a show, which was held at Lafayette’s Music Room, that featured students from the Memphis school performing together on stage.

The next part of that show featured students paired with members of noted Memphis bands: Lucero, FreeWorld, Marcella & Her Lovers, The Dirty Streets, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, and Star and Micey. “We’ve only done that twice,” Gurley says. “It’s hard to pull off and find flexibility in the musicians’ schedules."

But it's important, he says, "that in a city that’s so rich in music heritage that we also pay tribute to what is happening currently.“

And it’s also important to expose the students to great Memphis performers, Gurley says.

Harlan Hutton, a graduate of School of Rock, went on to form her own band. Harlan is “a former student that goes to school at Rhodes and has a successful band that is touring: Harlan. She learned her craft and really came to us at the beginning. She had been a hard core dancer all her life and was on that path and she chose to take a different path. Her guitar playing and songwriting, we feel a big part of that.”


Other respected members of the Memphis music scene taught at School of Rock. These include Joshua Cosby, Jeremy Stanfill, and Geoff Smith from Star & Micey.

Gurley has great memories of being in bands. “It led me to where I belong - doing this and not being on the road. ‘Cause that was not my path - being on the road and touring - although it’s awesome. I ended up where I needed to be.”


click to enlarge Bass player Caleb Crouch and drummer Bry Hart - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Bass player Caleb Crouch and drummer Bry Hart
click to enlarge George House brings down the house at Newby's. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • George House brings down the house at Newby's.
click to enlarge Joshua Cosby performs with School of Rock students Hadley Donaldson and Jose Espinal at Lafayette's Music Room.
  • Joshua Cosby performs with School of Rock students Hadley Donaldson and Jose Espinal at Lafayette's Music Room.

click to enlarge Kosten Goldberg - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Kosten Goldberg
click to enlarge Drummer Hopper Harmon and his pop, Jamie Harmon. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Drummer Hopper Harmon and his pop, Jamie Harmon.
click to enlarge Marc Gurley - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Marc Gurley

click to enlarge Will Presley, Memphis School of Rock instructor, show director and house band director. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Will Presley, Memphis School of Rock instructor, show director and house band director.

click to enlarge Atlanta and Valentine Archie at Moxy Coming Out VIP Party - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Atlanta and Valentine Archie at Moxy Coming Out VIP Party

“Moxy” means “confidence” and “courage.”

So, the Moxy Memphis Downtown hotel lives up to its name. It’s the opposite of a traditional hotel. There are no “bellmen,” “deskmen,” or other hotel job titles. All employees are referred to as crew members. Their uniform consists of jeans, T-shirts, and tennis shoes.

The hotel at 40 North Front Street held its “Coming Out VIP Party” March 5th.

“The purpose was really to announce to the Memphis area that we’re here and to show Memphis what we’re all about,” says operations manager Ryan Marsh.

To help them announce, the hotel featured a range of activities, including henna tattoo artists, a tarot reader, “drag queen bingo,” fire performers, live music, deejays, a Gibson’s doughnut wall, a taco truck, and more.

There were about 400 attended, Marsh says. “It was a huge hit.”

If you missed it, you still can take advantage of Moxy Memphis Downtown gatherings beginning in April. “We will start every Friday and Saturday to have a live band or deejay in our public space,” Marsh says.

“Public space” is Moxy’s word for “lobby.”


click to enlarge Moxy Coming Out VIP Party - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moxy Coming Out VIP Party
click to enlarge Moxy Coming Out VIP Party - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moxy Coming Out VIP Party
click to enlarge Moxy Coming Out VIP Party - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • MIchael Donahue
  • Moxy Coming Out VIP Party
click to enlarge Moxy Coming Out VIP Party - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Moxy Coming Out VIP Party
click to enlarge L. R. and Peggy Jalenak at Moxy Coming Out VIP Party - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • L. R. and Peggy Jalenak at Moxy Coming Out VIP Party
click to enlarge Gregory Averbuch, Noe Cerrato, Susan Covington, Ryan Marsh at Moxy Coming Out VIP Party. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Gregory Averbuch, Noe Cerrato, Susan Covington, Ryan Marsh at Moxy Coming Out VIP Party.

click to enlarge Curtis Pandas and Ryan Marsh at Moxy. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Curtis Pandas and Ryan Marsh at Moxy.
click to enlarge Harbinger of Spring IV: Crawfish. Glaze Hardage is on the job at "Glaze's Crawfish" at Max's Sports Bar. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Harbinger of Spring IV: Crawfish. Glaze Hardage is on the job at "Glaze's Crawfish" at Max's Sports Bar.

Crawfish definitely is one of the harbingers of Spring.

Glaze Hardage and his business partner, Ricky O'Rourke, began selling boiled crawfish February 1st at "Glaze's Crawfish" at Max’s Sports Bar in the South Main Arts District.

“I think we did about 270 [pounds] that day,” Hardage says. “We’re there every Saturday that it’s not raining until June. The bar opens at 11. We start serving at noon until about 4 or 5.”

You’ll know when Hardage is at Max’s. “Look for the crawfish flags flying out front on Saturdays.”

His boiled crawfish comes with corn, sausage, and potatoes. And, he says, “We use pineapples. And we have a special seasoning blend we call ‘G Bomb.’”

I asked Hardage to tell me what was in that special seasoning. “A little this. A little that.”

His crawfish comes from Billy’s Crawfish in Southaven. “He brings them up about three or four times a week from South Louisiana.”

Crawfish will get cheaper, Hardage says. “As the season progresses our prices will drop as the price of crawfish drops.”

Max’s provides a variety of libations to wash down the crawfish. “Max’s is also the home of the $2.75 PBR pint. Along with a good assortment of whiskies. And they also have frozen drinks.”

During most of the rest of the week Hardage is a cook at Blink, the restaurant in Southern College of Optometry. His mother, Melissa Williams, is the chef.

Hardage will concur crawfish is a sign of spring. And March 20th - the first day of Spring   - is a special occasion in another way. “My birthday is the first day of Spring. Next Friday.”



click to enlarge Glaze Hardage and Max Lawhon, owner of Max's Sports Bar. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Glaze Hardage and Max Lawhon, owner of Max's Sports Bar.
click to enlarge Ricky O'Rourke - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Ricky O'Rourke

click to enlarge MIke Mustapha dresses the part at Max's Sports Bar. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • MIke Mustapha dresses the part at Max's Sports Bar.

                                         WE SAW YOU AROUND TOWN
click to enlarge Amy LaVere and Will Sexton at Antique Warehouse. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Amy LaVere and Will Sexton at Antique Warehouse.
click to enlarge University of Memphis soccer team members at Gibson's Donuts. - MICIHAEL DONAHUE
  • Micihael Donahue
  • University of Memphis soccer team members at Gibson's Donuts.
click to enlarge Linda "Miss Linda" Foster at Kroger. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Linda "Miss Linda" Foster at Kroger.
click to enlarge Trey Greer and Ken Stinson at Gibson's Donuts. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Trey Greer and Ken Stinson at Gibson's Donuts.

click to enlarge Fiona Estes and Bruce Marshall at Calvary Waffle Shop. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Fiona Estes and Bruce Marshall at Calvary Waffle Shop.
click to enlarge Louie Gettings, Dawson Hardesty, and Clayton Brown at Gibson's Donuts - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Louie Gettings, Dawson Hardesty, and Clayton Brown at Gibson's Donuts

Tags: , , ,

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Readers also liked…

Most Commented On

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2020

Contemporary Media
65 Union, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation