By Jesse Wood
Less than a week away, the 10th annual and final P.B. Scott’s Reunion is picking up steam with a good chunk of tickets for Saturday’s show at Canyons Restaurant in Blowing Rock already sold.
“The response has been phenomenal,” said Randy Kelly, former P.B. Scott’s manager and reunion organizer, on Tuesday. “I am hearing from everybody all over and they are saying, ‘I wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world’ … People who normally wouldn’t come are actually RSVPing from around the country.”
P.B. Scott’s opened its doors on Oct. 1, 1976, and in the seven years that followed, a who’s who of musicians and bands performed in the geodesic dome in Blowing Rock: B.B. King, Arlo Guthrie, J.J. Cale, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Skaggs, John Prine, Lightning Hopkins, Muddy Watters, Papa John Creach, New Grass Revival, Guy Clark and so forth.
But other lesser-known acts, such as Snuff, Sugarcreek, The Spongetones and Sidewinder, drew just as big and enthusiastic crowd on nights when bigger acts didn’t stroll through town.
The Spongetones, which will perform at the reunion on Saturday, May 2, played the last show at P.B. Scott’s in June of 1983, when the club shut down because of new restrictions requiring establishments to balance food and liquor sales.
The music starts at 9 p.m., but the party starts at 8 p.m. with a presentation and remembrance of the old music hall from those who invested in, worked at and frequented the legendary music venue.
Because of the logistics of throwing a concert, Canyons owner Bart Conway said the kitchen won’t be open during the show, so if you want to grab a bite to eat make sure you come early.
Conway added that he’s already sold more tickets than he normally would have sold for this reunion party well in advance of the actually show. The Saturday night event is expected to sell out. If you want to secure a ticket, call Canyons at 828-295-7661 to reserve a ticket, which costs $10.
Jean Travers has been coordinating with folks off the mountain to get them to come to the show and has also coordinated pre-party and post-party activities.
Travers used to party at P.B. Scott’s Music Hall in the early days as a student at Appalachian State University, and after college, she moved to downtown Blowing Rock and continued to frequent P.B. Scott’s.
Harking back on the old days, Travers said she can remember the “spandex and long hair” like it was yesterday.
“It was just so amazing back then,” Travers said. “While I can’t remember what I did yesterday, I remember everything from when I was 19 years old. Why the reunion is so special is that I can remember it like it was yesterday and there are so many memories. It’s a cool thing to relive.”
She recalled the famous acts that seemingly had no business playing in a small venue in a small little village in the mountains like Blowing Rock. She talked about the intimacy of the three-level hall, when nobody in the audience was more than 40 feet away from the entertainers.
One of her most vivid memories is of the encores at the hall, when the audience would stomp its feet in unison, trying coax the band into play one more tune in the wooden hall.
“I was scared to death that place would go down any moment,” Travers said.
Travers said that each person that purchases a ticket will receive a P.B. Scott’s bumper sticker. Travers’ husband, Bill, who owns a print shop in Cary, made a few hundred bumper stickers modeled after the original ones made when the hall was still open. Kelly is also having a number of P.B. Scott’s t-shirts made that will be for sale.
Travers said that it has become a tradition during the reunion weekend to hang out at Price Park on Saturday afternoon and then eat an early dinner at Canyons Restaurant before the show. As for Saturday, the weather is forecasted to be a very nice day. On Sunday at noon, a group of P.B. Scott’s fans will meet at Canyons to enjoy some bloody marys and support Canyons throughout the weekend. The general public is invited to all of these events.
For more information, check out the Remembering P.B. Scott’s Music Hall in Blowing Rock Facebook page.
Favorites Back in the Day, The Spongetones To Perform at Final P.B. Scott’s Reunion in May
Relive the Magic: 10th and Final P.B. Scott’s Reunion at Canyons on Saturday, May 2
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