#94. 5’8″: Not really famous, this GA band was much beloved throughout the south in the 90s. They packed shows way down in Tampa, where we opened for them at The Rubb in Ybor.
#95. Assuck: Friends of mine more than musical peers, Assuck did headline a mini festival I played at Club Detroit in St. Petersburg, with just one band playing between us. I’ve watched Assuck perform half a dozen times at least, but am just as familiar with Assuck “singer” and tremendous visual artist Paul Pavlovich’s living room, where we’ve smoked and joked.
#96. Bingo!/Liquidrone: I loaned Clint Maedgen my guitar talents and my entire band to reform Liquidrone for a night at One Eyed Jacks, then I never got my band back; Clint made them into Bingo! Bingo’s not necessarily famous, but I do love that anecdote. No hard feelings, Clint.
#97. Bra1n1ac: My band opened for Brainiac at the short-lived Tarantula Records store in Tampa. We were morphing from a loud aggressive post-punk act into a more mature psychedelic band at the time, and I remember Brainiac’s singer Tim Taylor telling me he really liked it, but we should ditch the punk shit altogether. Extremely handsome, Taylor looked and danced and yelped like a streamlined Mick Jagger, and after the band’s amazing show, he tried multiple times to get our guitar player, my on-again-off-again girlfriend, to take him back to her apartment. I watched him, terrified that she’d say yes. She probably regrets saying no, especially as, a few months later, Tim Taylor died in a car accident. A brilliant fucking band.
#98. Dalek (3x): For some reason this amazing noise-rap group would ask White Bitch to open for them whenever they swung through New Orleans (mostly Mermaid Lounge). I sometimes suspected they just liked laughing at my “act,” or just enjoyed saying the name White Bitch, but offstage we did vibe. Their music is ferocious. They came through town with Isis, and Isis hated White Bitch. Which is why Isis doesn’t get their own entry.
#99. Dash Rip Rock: I learned not to book concerts after Mardi Gras parades by inviting this legendary NOLA rock trio to play after us on Muses night at All Ways Lounge. No one showed up. DRR played their songs at triple speed just to get out of there quickly. Frontman Bill Davis and I went fishing a few times after that. He helped me land my first big redfish, which I wrote about for Louisiana Sportsman.
#100. Elf Power: Legendary Elephant 6 band. Played with them at Circle Bar.
#101. The Fucking Champs (2x): When we opened for The Fucking Champs and Trans Am in Tampa, I hadn’t heard Champs, I only knew their guitarist Tim Green helped power The Nation of Ulysses, the only punk band I ever loved. The Fucking Champs play uplifting, instrumental metal. I remember sitting with Tim at a table that first night, nervously discussing the metal genre. “I don’t think we’re metal,” he trolled me. I later opened for The Fucking Champs again in New Orleans at Mermaid Lounge. Tim Green probably didn’t remember me, but at that gig he loaned me a distortion pedal, and when I finished my set he ran out on stage to tell me how much he enjoyed White Bitch.
#102. Greg Ginn: My college band opened for the former Black Flag guitarist’s solo band at Stone Lounge in Tampa. I remember his drummer taking hours setting up a massive red kit, covered in fur pelts. People went crazy when Ginn played a Black Flag song, but would literally leave the building during Ginn’s new songs — then they’d all come rushing back in when they heard another Black Flag riff. Then they’d leave again.
#103. GirlTalk: Aaron at Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge used to give me great opening slots like this. Place was so packed with what seemed all of LSU’s undergrads. Gregg Michael Gillis was just like, a chill bro, sitting around smilin and bein nice. He does have a good gig/life. Party was so lit, with everyone up on stage dancing, Girl Talk had to strap his laptop to a table with cling wrap, to also keep it from getting doused with beer.
#104. Home: I grew up with one of my all time favorite psychedelic pop groups. I’ve opened for Home in some terrible bands of mine, and some good ones. Very underrated group. Still around after almost 30 years, just released their 18th record.
#105. Japanther: Opened for them at a pirate radio station benefit in Brooklyn.
#106. Killdozer: Opened for this Amphetamine Reptile band at Stone Lounge in Tampa. I remember the singer/bassist stood on a trunk, high above the crowd. Good gimmick.
#107. Little Dragon: Another show Aaron hooked me up with out at Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge in 2009. Not a lot of people attended the show, but Little Dragon sounded amazing, all those live electronics, and Yukimi Nagano’s creamy voice. I feel in love. I bought a CD copy of their new album Machine Dreams directly from Yukimi, then proceeded to listen to it until it disintegrated.
The MakeUp: I already wrote a long entry about meeting Ian Svenonius, one of my favorite artists of all time, over the years, and opening for The MakeUp in Tampa, Florida.
#108. Mike Dillon: The wild percussionist for Primus and Rickie Lee Jones and many others lives in New Orleans and, not only did I open for his crazy band at local club GasaGasa, but he played percussion in my vocal group Lil Current on a couple occasions.
#109. ManMan / Needs New Body: Interviewed psych-freak-out band ManMan for Gambit before VooDooFest one year, and also got to open for their sister band Needs New Body at Twiropa. I remember taking NNB to Cafe Du Monde at 2am.
#110. Of Montreal: One of the biggest shows I’ve ever played. Kevin Barnes seemed extremely nervous and barely talked before the show. MC Shellshock and I played well in front of a totally packed One Eyed Jacks. Of Montreal were incredible, and backstage afterwards Barnes came alive, complimenting us on our “90s sound.”
#111: Peelander Z: Andy Warhol once said that eventually, every band will open for Peelander Z, at least once, like we did, at One Eyed Jacks.
Quintron and Miss Pussycat: Opened for Q&P first in Tampa at New World Brewery. I’d never seen Tampa people dance before if it wasn’t 80’s Night or Goth Night. I already wrote a whole entry for these two great artists I am proud to know.
#112: ReBirth Brass Band: I performed at a party in the Marigny and was surprised to find out they’d hired ReBirth to play after me. Since brass bands don’t have a lot of heavy gear to haul around, a lot of them zip around town playing multiple short shows in one evening. ReBirth showed up in get-in-and-get-out mode. They played, sunglasses on, for about 25 minutes, while talking on their cell phones (my brass band pet peeve!). Still sounded killer.
#113: Radiators: The Rads opened for my band at Krewe Du Vieux ball a handful of years ago — which sounds impressive, but it simply means they got the best slot. By the time we played, the whole audience were on the other side of their mushroom trips, too tired to dance or do anything but stand and stare at us like a herd of cattle. A weird experience that I will always cherish.
#114: TransAm: For a few years we worshipped this hard-rocking Thrill Jockey Records electro act, and then I opened their show in Ybor City, with The Fucking Champs also on the bill.
#115 Thrones: The former bassist from the Melvins now records as one-man-band Thrones, and he didn’t just seem to dislike my opening set before his show at Mermaid Lounge, he seemed to be actively angry at me for not being good enough to open for him. I bought a (really great) CD and shirt from him and dude didn’t even thank me.
#116: Walter Wolfman Washington: Another artist I can say “he opened for me once,” but what I mean to say is, “he got first pick, and made me play last because he didn’t want to play at 1am.” But yeah, Walter opened for my band at a Halloween or Mardi Gras party at Michaelopolis’s funeral home building on Elysian Fields. An honor. I could watch Walter play guitar all day.
Michael Patrick Welch’s “132 Famous People I Have Met” series is FREE, but please consider donating to his VENMO (michael-welch-42), or to his PayPal account (paypal.me/michaelpatrickwelch2), so he can feed his kids, pay his mortgage, etc.