By Doug Ward
There aren't many things more " Rock and Roll" than motorcycles and tattoos , both were in abundance at SPYDER'S CUSTOM TATTOO 5th ANNUAL CUSTOM BIKE AND TATTOO SHOW in Calera last Sunday.
Spyder has been around for a long time . He was doing tats in the early 70s, before everyone's mother had one and it was still Taboo. And He looks the part. Because an old school biker tattoo artist is exactly what he is. You would expect someone who has been doing this for so many years to be a bit jaded and cynical. Spyder comes off just the opposite, “ I am doing this to thank all the
folks for sticking with me and supporting me all these years"Said
Spyder. "I have been doing ink since 72 or 73 and just keep on going . I
have seen a lot of young artists over the years and try to encourage
them as much as I can." He speaks as an elder guardian of the art
should. After all, the industry has grown and changed a lot over the years. Every college boy under the sun has some ink these days. Tattoos have become pretty much mainstream.
The man has seen a lot . The event he hosted for his customers and friends spoke volumes . The bike show has some very nice bikes...every single one was rode in on ...no trailer queens . Most of the work was done by the owners. Every hour he gave away something ranging from blue tooth headsets to a $500.00 tattoo session. There were soft drink for sale at 50 cents each. This event was truly a gift to his customers and friends. And there was a prize for best tatoo artist. "The artist who did the winning tattoo for the contest worked for a lot of shops around here . I am glad he has his own now." Said Spyder
Now, on to the reason this ended up one my radar....other than the bikes...and the tattoos that is.
The two musical acts sharing the stage for this were both on my list for a review. The day opened with Jessie Minor, the man who might be Alabama's "hardest working man in show business." The guy plays everywhere. He came in from a gig in Florida Saturday night to play Spyder's on Sunday . His motto seems to be "One man, One guitar , and a heart full of music." Hearing him sing, you have to believe that.
His voice has the ability to take almost any song and turn it into something soulful. His style is Country but his covers have so much feeling you forget about the genre and who wrote it..he makes it his own song. He played several sets Sunday, entertaining with his trademark crowd interaction and wit. His original music has a bit of a George Strait feel to it .
Lyrics of a Lonesome Song“ from Jessie's upcoming Cd is strong. That could be the tune that gains him the exposure he needs to forever move beyond cover tunes . Time will tell .
Next up were rockers Divided Seasons. When I think of hard rock music I expect a singer like Brandon Hackett, long hair , tall, and full of onstage bravado.
The threat of rain did not slow these guys down. Opening with an original that seemed to pull the crowd in closer. They brought the rock. From a distance the band probably looked like a young Black Oak Arkansas putting on a show, like they were playing to an arena... This band means it when they play. Thundering drums and dead on guitar and bass each song seemed to bring the band tighter and tighter. Performing a real rock show with Mick Jagger style stage jumps and flirting with the girls like crazy .
Divided Seasons makes you wonder how the hell people ever watched grunge bands. The pure attitude is infectious and reminiscent of a time when rock bands were the territory of long haired alpha males who did not whine, did not complain all the way through a song in hopes of getting some sympathy booty from some chick impressed by the sensitivity of the lyrics. These guys are not some wrist cutter skinny jeans alt band. This is pure “ hold my beer while I talk to your girlfriend.
“ The covers ranged from newer metal to Billy Idol, but every one was played as if they were in an arena... fantastic set!
The one thing every single part of this little festival had in common was that hard to define state of
being “ real,” not following a trend . It was not a huge crowd or a large stage..no lighting...no $5.00 hot
dogs. It was real people with heart and soul giving all to the art that has called to them and working
hard to share it with others. I will be back next year.
5/12 Tyler Navarres Bar and Grille – Pelham, AL
5/17 Cafe Firenze (Beer, Bands, and Bingo) - Birmingham, AL
5/18 Friends Steakhouse - Clanton, AL
5/19 Clanton, AL's Assistant Living (The Gardens) - Clanton, AL
5/30 Half Shell Oyster Bar – Troy, AL
5/31 The Red Shamrock - Birmingham, AL.
6/2 Cancer Charity / Fish Fry - Centerville, AL
6/8 Cafe Firenze 2 - Clanton, AL(***CD RELEASE PARTY***)
6/14 Half Shell Oyster Bar - Troy, AL
6/27 Half Shell Oyster Bar - Troy, AL
6/29 The Red Shamrock - Birmingham, AL
6/30 Eastside Grille - Montgomery, AL