Well kids, this past weekend, Atlanta’s favorite rocker son, Butch Walker surprised his hometown fans with a surprise show at Smith’s Olde Bar and then woke up Saturday morning to host the “Super-Producer Panel” at the W Hotel for The Recording Academy’s “Grammy GPS” event. He is one of the most sought after producers, an insane songwriter, and one of the nicest fellows you would ever meet. He joined us for our 5GB series, before he heads off to Europe for some shows, and to help promote his award-winning documentary Butch Walker: Out of Focus.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
My first memory of a concert was seeing KISS play at the Omni Arena in Atlanta, GA with my whole family. I was 8 yrs old and it changed my life forever. I would never want Gene Simmons to know that because he is such a bitter, shriveled up old asshole nowadays, but they did make me start playing music… the next day.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
That’s tough because some of the best shows were not exactly the biggest or most successful shows. I can remember finding my head inside of a song like no other time, when it was just me and the bartender’s friends at the bar. I also have to say that headlining Music Midtown in Atlanta in front of about 40k people, right before my band, The Marvelous 3, was to break up for good, was an incredible vindication. We blew this damn town apart that night and I am proud of our city for singing along to the top of it’s lungs for an hour straight. I left that show with a great sense of accomplishment, considering we started at Smith’s Olde Bar, playing to about 50 people, years before that.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Again, a tough one. In retrospect, the KISS concert was not the best show ever executed; it was a lot of smoke and mirrors. Some of the most memorable shows I think I can recall seeing were maybe:
Prince (at the Fox on the “7” Tour, mid 90’s)
James Hall and Pleasure Club (at Smith’s Olde Bar, back in the early 00’s)
Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club at Smith’s, can’t remember when but just him and an acoustic, sitting in a chair)
Elvis Costello (some random club in Hollywood, 6 years ago.)
The Dead Milkmen (The Chestnut Caberet in Philadelphia. I was subbing on guitar for a new wave band out of Rome, GA and we were opening. We were terrible. The Milkmen were even worse. But it was INCREDIBLE)
What is the gig you would most like to play?
hmmm… I got to play Isle of Wight festival with Pink. That counts, right? Other than that, I’ve played every gig I want to play.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Hmmm… maybe just add a 5th member to ABBA… or a 7th member to the Eagles (in the 70’s). Or a 3rd brother to The Everly Brothers … I would take any of those.