While thinking about topics for the blog it dawned on me that a huge milestone was about to occur. Will’s Pub is celebrating its 19th anniversary for the entire month of September. 19 years is a long time to do anything and the events they have planned certainly do justice for the history and legacy of Will’s Pub.
Venues that are committed to providing a stage for live music, a great selection of alcohol, and a quirky creative sense of community that welcomes everyone to take a load off, grab a drink, and enjoy the weird circumstantial entertainment that life provides have always resonated with me. Music is my coping mechanism for all the things I can’t control and the crap that inevitably comes up in life. On many occasions Will’s Pub has been a shelter from the storm by providing an amazing show and a place to unwind with friends. It’s been one of my favorite spots to enjoy live music since I first moved to Orlando in 1998. There have been numerous occasions where my mind has been blown standing in Will’s watching some band slay the stage that has shifted my perception of the possible and for this I am eternally grateful.
After deciding on a topic and staring at the screen awhile putting this post together, I started to wonder what Will thinks about the 19 year journey he has been on. What better way to start off the Six Question Set series than with a salute to the man and the place that has been connected to so many great events, hangovers, and lost keys in my life and the life of others over the years. Of course when I asked Will if he would do the interview he responded in the affirmative in no time flat and returned the questions in less than 24 hours. So here we go…
What has been the worst thing(s) to deal with over the years running Will’s?
I guess it’s really hard to look over the things that are the current “bad stuff”.
Closing the first location may have been the worst. Spending tons of time and energy just to have it end.
I guess second on the list is dealing with the bureaucracy of the city trying to reopen Will’s.
The 3rd would be vomit.
What has been the best thing(s) to deal with over the years running Will’s?
100% it is the people that get it and fully fall in love with a band. The people that could be anywhere with their precious spare dollars and time that spend it with us. That crowd noise at the end of the night. The band is done and it’s just the huge noise of people socializing.
Can you describe why the venue has hosted such a variety of acts over the years?
Well, Will’s wasn’t a live music space at first. We were just a bar with some space. We we’re lucky to have attracted a really large amount of musicians with super eclectic tastes. There was never a question of whether or not we were going to be diverse. We already were. The musicians supported each other as long as it was good. Genres really weren’t that important. Now move that same model up to now and it’s really what is still happening. I still deal with some of the same people and the byproducts of that. Plus doing live events 5 to 7 days a week you really can’t beat on the same folks every night.
How did Sam Rivers start playing at Will’s?
Well some of the above musicians played with Sam. Sam would slide in to watch KOW. Actually Sam would slide in from time to time to see all sorts of acts. I really think Sam eventually playing there had tons to do with the love Anthony Cole felt for Will’s and his friends there at the time though.
What are your 3 favorite bands?
This question is a trap! I’ll give you the 3 I have been stuck on. I’ll listen to the same albums for quite a while then move on or in case of 2 of these backwards! Black Sabbath, Matt Woods, Hot Snakes.
Do you have any advice for bands, bar owners, or bored people?
Bands do it for the sex. Then it will probably pay off. Bar owners do it for what the band is doing it for.
If you’re bored take a hint from the band and all of you don’t even think it’s gonna get you rich, just maybe happy!
To sum it all up get to Will’s Pub and help celebrate.
9/3 – Bloodshot Bill
9/5 & 9/6 – Ikky Entertainment Orlando Band Reunions!
9/8 – Park Ave CDs DJ Night
9/10 – Eternal Summers
9/12 – The Everymen
9/14 – Super Sweet Outdoor Funtime Show Fest
9/15 – Fast Preacher
9/18 – Country Covers #3
9/20 – Girls on the Beach
9/21 – High on Fire
9/24 – New Sam River’s Rivbea Orchestra
9/25 – Broncho
9/27 – Orlando Indie Comedy Festival w/ Kyle Kinane
9/29 – Park Ave CDs DJ Night
9/30 – The Ambassadors
The conversation started a few days ago about live music in Florida. I googled the other day and found 7 shows I would go to in a perfect world without responsibilities and scheduling concerns to prove the point that there is so much going on one could see a different show at a different venue every night of the week if they wanted to. It wasn’t surprising to find quality talent performing every night of the week.
I’m curious to find out how many weeks in a row I can find great music to check out every night of the week. The Weekly Show Playlist series for the blog will yield the answer. You never know what you’ll find until you start looking. Oddly enough I found out a band I really enjoy is playing in Jacksonville in a few weeks and I may have missed that show had I not been surfing around the web doing research for an earlier post.
The conversation continued because we talk about music and the music business a lot and the question of how many live music venues are there in Florida came up. That question got kicked around in large talk for a while. Everyone contributed and it quickly got beyond the point of being stored in memory so we had to make a list of Florida’s live music venues. It became clear that most of us were talking about smaller and medium size venues where you may know the bartender, the sound guy, or the person working the door. To make things interesting and reflective of those in this particular meeting of the minds, the venue has to still be open and accommodate a capacity of 25 to 5000 people to make the list.
Here is where you come in. Check out the list and see if a venue you know of that supports live music isn’t on it. This came from a bunch of people sitting around after work so it most likely isn’t complete. If you think of a venue that should be on the list shoot us a message so we can add it. The idea is just to put a list together that people can reference to either go someplace new or play someplace new. The “there is nothing to do tonight” excuse has been dismantled. You’ll find it useful to check out venues and your favorite hot live music.
Play, mix, and master!
1904 Music Hall
The Ale and the Witch
Alley Blues Sanford
Club Down Under
House Of Blues
New World Brewery
The Om Bar
Orlando Brewing Company
Pi on Broadway
The Peacock Room
Red Lion Pub
Side Bar Theater
West End Trading Company
New date confirmed for you. Another chance to perform this year is always welcome and appreciated. Inside operation title new track still in progress. We’ll be at a venue that has been around a long time with a great bill of talent. Don’t miss this chance to come out and enjoy an amazing night of music. This turn of events is the source of much excitement for us as we continue to play, mix, and master. Details about this new event and a special ticket offer are coming soon…
In the meantime I’ve been working on lyrics the easy way and really think I’m on to something.
I love a person place or thing
I hate a person place or thing
A random conversation occurred today. The discussion deepened about Florida and it’s music over the years. The list of legendary acts is long. A lot of really great material has come out of the state that has been artistically and commercially successful. Someone wondered about what the future held for musicians, live music venues, and the whole concert or performance going experience at large in the social media hyper connected age of everything.
It was my thought that things are as good as you make them since there is no short supply of groups of all sizes and textures making great music in every genre imaginable every night. After a few minutes and 3 googles I found shows I would go to in a heartbeat to prove my point. I find it ironic that when you have the time you don’t have the money and when you have the money you don’t have the time.
This revelation came with the benefit of the new Earphunk record dropping. Checked it out today via Bit Torrent and it’s so fresh.