Many Thank Yous

16 Jan

We owe thanks to so many people who made Chris Gray Day possible … while we’re catching our breath, allow us to start the list:

Thanks, first and foremost, to Chris himself. We hope you could feel all of the love, respect, and appreciation that we have for you. Knowing that you’re doing better every day is the best news we could have.

Thank you to Officers Zepeda and Wagner of the METRO Police Department. Our city is so fortunate that you’ve chosen to serve in such a meaningful way.

Thank you to all of the music fans and Chris Gray fans for donating to help Chris defray the mounting costs of his medical bills. Buying raffle tickets, purchasing and bidding on great memorabilia, and flat-out donating – we’re breaking out our green visors and abacuses so we can come up with a total very soon. (Hope you don’t mind that we took a little break today to rest and watch the game – we’re on it tomorrow, promise.)

To Charlie Hardwick, a.k.a. Uncle Charlie, for designing a killer poster to get the word out.

Thank you to all of the staff at The Continental Club, Pachinko Hut, and Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge. Pete, Goodtime, and everyone working a door or a bar or a parking lot, we appreciate you for being the first ones there and the last ones to leave, and for all that you did in between.

To the fantastic bands! Over 100 bands offered to donate your time and talent, and while we couldn’t squeeze everyone in, we sure did put on a helluva festival. Some of the fabulous bands that weren’t on the bill still showed up big to pitch in, which amped things up that much more. Thank you.

To Allen Hill, for putting together the schedule and keeping everyone in the loop so the show could go on.

To the teams at Cactus Music, Sig’s Lagoon, and the Houston Press, our thanks for casting wide nets to pull in some amazing donations that we were able to sell and auction away to fatten the bottom line on this fundraiser. Wow!

To George Greanias, METRO CEO, who made his first (but we hope not last) visit to The Continental Club to help us show our deep appreciation to your officers.

To the relentless Houston Press staffers and street team who shook every last penny out of every pocket person who came through the club doors on Saturday for the cause!

To the pop-up shop team, Quinn Bishop, Andrea Greer, and some key volunteers who stepped up exactly when we needed them, who peddled merch all day long and made sure many people will always have a little something – or a big something – to remember Chris Gray Day by.

To Bundrick & Sons Music, who donated over $8,000 worth of backline so we could run a 16-hour show on three stages that actually ran on time.

To the dedicated photographers, professional and amateur, who made sure we’ve got buckets of great shots documenting the whole shebang. Send us links!

To the KPFT DJs and Duane Bradley, for taking the good word to the airwaves. To the social media mavens who helped us get the word out, and the old school shoe leather folks who hung posters, thank you. You turned out the crowds.

THANK YOU to everyone who made this day possible. Who’d I forget? Someone will remind me. Stay tuned for more details on our results, but for now, enjoy the gorgeous day and know that you did good for a good man.

Oh, look, pictures! Check them out!

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Jesse Dayton Does Doug Sahm

14 Jan

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It’s On!

14 Jan

The ALLEN OLDIES BAND has hit the stage. Where are you? What could possible be more awesome than a bloody mary, jalapeño pancakes, and dancing to the oldies?

Doing all that for a great cause!

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See you Today for Chris Gray Day!

14 Jan

The day has finally arrived, and we could not be more excited. Are you ready to raise some money? Make some noise? Have a great day in a great city?

Bring your pennies, because we have an awesome assortment of items for sale and auction. We listed some earlier this week, but we’ve added some, too, including:

  • A pair of box seats with club passes & a parking pass for The Black Keys show at the Woodlands on April 24th.
  • A VIP box for 8 at the House of Blues for the Old 97s show on January 17th.
  • 4 tickets to see ZZ Top rock it out at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
  • 4 GA tickets to see Megadeth and Motorhead at the Verizon Wireless on March 2nd.
  • And even more killer rock & roll photos, posters, prints, albums, and autograps.

YES, you can buy wristbands at the door today. They are a $20 minimum donation, but since all proceeds go to defray Chris’s bills, why do the minimum?

YES, you can really have jalepeño pancakes and dance to The Allen Oldies Band starting at 10 a.m. (And yes, it does sound better and taste better if you get there at 9:30.)

YES, if you can’t make it today, you can head up to Austin tomorrow for their benefit. OR, you can stop by Sig’s or Cactus next week to drop off a check, or check out our F.A.Q. page to find out where to send a donation.

Don’t forget that the METRORail Ensemble/HCC stop is right in front of the club, so you can park anywhere along the rail line and ride to the club if you are worried about parking in the lots or on the street around the clubs.

Thirteenth Floor Elevators Rare Singles Collection

12 Jan

At the benefit on January 14th, we’ll be auctioning off some one-of-a-kind items and opportunities. As soon as they are donated, you’ll read about them here. Your chance to bid will be January 14, 2012. We’ll also set aside some items with a “buy it now” price so you can guarantee you’re going home with what you want.

The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. A collection of all versions released of the 7″ single with You’re Gonna Miss Me/Tried to Hide.

Pyschedelic? Absolutely.

All Houston? Definitely.

This is your chance to scoop up all five discs for your collection. If you miss Chris Gray Day, you’re gonna miss these.

Auction v. Buy It Now – All You Need to Know

12 Jan

You’ve seen the list of some of the amazing items that have been donated. (Go ahead and check it out now if not – we’ll wait.)

Here’s how it is going to work.

The majority of these items will be for sale. There will be a price, and you can pay it and take the item home with you.

Between five and seven items will be offered instead to the highest bidder. You’ll be able to place a bid with our auction team, back with the other merchandise in the pool room/back bar area in The Continental Club, and then hope like hell that no one else outbids you.

The auction will end at 7:30 p.m.

If you are intent on winning, you should make plans to be there in the last fifteen minutes of bidding for sure.

Some suggestions and rules for the auction:

  • Come by early to check out how the system works. Practice makes perfect.
  • Be nice and have fun. In auctions and in general.
  • Bids will be displayed on a white board rather than a clipboard on a table. Auction staff will take your bid. You’ll give your name and bid amount. Please watch the staff write your bid down and confirm they got it right.
  • There will be minimum raise amounts. There will not be maximum raise amounts. So, if the item is at $100 and the bid increment is $50, sure, you can raise by $50. But why not scare everyone else away by raising by $250 instead?
  • It is almost like Ebay, but since we are human and not computers, if you try to wait until the last 5 seconds of the auction to bid, and one of the bid-takers is writing someone else’s bid down, you might just miss out.
  • Also, please do not say to the auction staff “whatever the high bid is, just put me down for $100 more.” They can’t be your proxy bidder.
  • If you want a proxy bidder, that arrangement needs to be between you and your proxy. We’ll hold you accountable for the high bid should you win this way, so better make sure you trust your proxy. Better to just be present yourself.
  • We’ll ask all bidders to either give us a business card or jot down name/phone/email on a note card. That way, if you are the high bidder but you’re not around when the auction closes, we can track you down. (By the way, you’re really rolling the dice if you leave before the auction ends, unless you take the maximum raise approach.)
  • If bidding is fast and furious on any given item, we reserve the right to take that item to a purely live auction at 7:30, where a designated auction official will take bids from the participating bidders until somebody says uncle.
  • We also reserve the right to offer an item to the next high bidder or otherwise sell any item that is unclaimed or not paid for by January 17, 2012.

The overarching rule here is that we are doing this to raise money for Chris. We’re going to bend over backwards to make absolutely certain that the bidding is fun for everyone and that we raise a bunch of scratch. If you act like a bully, overindulge and get mean, or otherwise act in a manner which under normal circumstances would lead to you getting kicked out of a bar, well, you just might get kicked out of the bar and have your bid withdrawn.

We’ll announce soon which items are going to be offered at auction. What do you want to see on the block?

For Sale and For Auction on Saturday

11 Jan

This is the down & dirty, not-too-pretty list of most of what we’ve collected thus far for Saturday’s benefit. The majority of these items will be for sale; a few will instead be auctioned to the highest bidder.

We’ll have more details shortly on the auction rules and items, and we’ll continue adding to this list of items as well.

Some items were donated by artists, some by collectors. Whenever possible, we’ll provide info on provenance (like the photo of Willie Nelson signing the Red Headed Stranger album), but (use your lawyerly/car-or-pharmaceutical commercial voice for this part) all items are sold as-is with no guarantees of authenticity or other warranties express or implied.

My apologies if we’ve left something off – this is definitely a work in progress. We figured it was better to get some info out there so people could start budgeting. Some incredibly generous folks have stepped up big, so let’s give them a hand!

So now, the not-too-pretty but wildly awesome list of some of our wares:

  • The lyrics to the Hayes Carll song of your choice, written out by hand and signed by the man himself, Hayes Carll
  • Four hours of recording time with a sound engineer in Studio A at Sugar Hill
  • Professional mastering of one song by Allen Corneau
  • Design for one band poster by artist Carlos Hernandez
  • Wilco: Special Record Store Day promotional poster signed by all members of the band
  • Justin Townes Earle: Collection of all three of his LPs, a bandana, and a signed screen print
  • Vince Gill: Signed poster from Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Rise Against: Signed poster
  • Local Natives: Signed art print
  • Girl in a Coma: Signed poster
  • Hayes Carll: Signed promo-only comic book
  • Wild Moccasins: Signed poster
  • Fitz and the Tantrums: Signed poster
  • William Elliott Whitmore: Signed poster
  • Steve Earle: Autographed poster, art prin, and turntable mat
  • Will Johnson (centromatic): Signed art show print
  • Jim Marshall: Photographic art print – Woodstock Stage, 1969
  • Fleet Foxes: Album art screen print
  • Charlie Louvin (deceased) of The Louvin Brothers: Signed Hatch Show Print poster
  • Paul Thorm: Signed and numbered Pimps and Preachers art print
  • Bruce Bryant and Jim Barham: Posters signed by director and producer of For the Sake of the Song – The Story of Anderson Fair
  • New West Records: Vinyl record prize package – multiple New West artists
  • Daptone Records: Daptone 10th anniversary t-shirt, size small
  • Mason Jennings: Autographed art print
  • Drive By Truckers: Art print
  • Thirteen Floor Elevators special vinyl collection – all five original issues of the 7″ single You’re Gonna Miss Me b/w Tried to Hide
  • $50 gift certificate to Heights Vinyl
  • Four tickets to ZZ Top March 8, 2012 from the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
  • Walk with John Nova Lomax on a Sole of Houston walk across Houston
  • Autographed Dave Alvin photograph by Jay Lee/Bald Heretic Photography
  • Numark portable CD DJ deck in carrying case
  • Gibson Epiphone guitar autographed by Joan Jett
  • Poster from 1977 Townes Van Zandt performance at Liberty Hall in Houston
  • Poster from the 1977 Johnny Winter performance with Nils Lofgren at the Houston Coliseum
  • Screen print poster from Stereolab North America Spring 2004 tour
  • Signed and numbered screen print for Austin/Houston Sugarman 3 Featuring Lee Fields Waxploitation Soul Happening Show
  • Banana Blender Surprise boxing-style poster for 1996 Houston & Austin shows
  • Poster from Texas Opry House show featuring Shake Russell, Dana Cooper, John Vandiver, and Full Moon Band August, 1977
  • Poster for Black Crowes SXSW performance autographed by the artist
  • Poster featuring Dizzie Gillespie photograpy by William P. Gottlieb
  • Autographed Hatch Show Print poster from Ryman Auditorium 2005 Prairie Wind concert that was recorded and became Jonathan Demme’s movie, Heart of Gold
  • The Judy’s Moo and Washarama vinyl LPs autographed by members of The Judy’s
  • Red Headed Stranger vinyl LP autographed by Willie Nelson
  • Pair of SXSW wristbands
  • Framed art photo of Steve Earle playing House of Blues – Houston in 2011 with quote from Chris Gray review superimposed over the image by Jason Wolter
  • Autographed photo of ZZ Top
  • Jay Dryden photograph of Hayes Carll at Free Press Summerfest
  • Jay Dryden photograph of Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith at Cactus Music
  • Jay Dryden photograph of Iron & Wine’s Sam Bean at Fitzgerald’s
  • Jay Dryden photograph of Eels’ Mark Oliver Everett at Warehouse Live

Again, my apologies for anything I got wrong or left off. I’ll continue striving for perfection, you just get busy making sure you & all of your friends have your wristbands and are ready to come help us make a little noise and raise a ton of money for Chris!

Prairie Wind and a Heart of Gold – Signed Neil Young Poster

10 Jan

At the benefit on January 14th, we’ll be auctioning off some one-of-a-kind items and opportunities. As soon as they are donated, you’ll read about them here. Your chance to bid will be January 14, 2012. We’ll also set aside some items with a “buy it now” price so you can guarantee you’re going home with what you want.

In 2005, Neil Young released Prairie Wind, recorded in Nashville just before he underwent surgery for an aneurism. The premier live performance of the album took place a few months later at the Ryman Auditorium (which used to house the Grand Ol’ Opry), a two-night run was memorialized in a Jonathan Demme movie, Heart of Gold.

Seems only fitting that at a benefit for Chris Gray, who clearly has a very strong heart of gold, we’d have a poster from that concert, autographed by Neil himself. And not just any poster, but a poster designed by the venerable Hatch Show Print.

The internet tells us this is a rare poster, sold only by the venue in a very limited edition. We’ve only got a small image to tide us over while the original wings its way to us from a gracious supporter and Chris Gray fan in L.A. We’ll take a bigger photo of the actual poster once it arrives, but wanted to tempt you with this preview:

Hayes Carll Playing Chris Gray Day

10 Jan

Breaking news! Hayes Carll has joined the bill for Chris Gray Day in Houston!

He’ll be performing at 6 pm at The Continental Club on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

Just a reminder that wristbands are not guarantees of entry to the show, as the club’s fire code must and will be enforced. So get your ticket now and get to the show early.

Enjoy a little taste …

The Judy’s on the Block

9 Jan

At the benefit on January 14th, we’ll be auctioning off some one-of-a-kind items and opportunities. As soon as they are donated, you’ll read about them here. Your chance to bid will be January 14, 2012. We’ll also set aside some items with a “buy it now” price so you can guarantee you’re going home with what you want.

While they won’t be performing at Chris Gray Day, The Judy’s definitely wanted to be on board to help Chris out with the fundraising. They’re sending over some autographed vinyl for your collecting pleasure. Check this space later this week to see photos of what they’re actually donating, but to whet your appetite, we borrowed a photo someone else posted of some of their treasured vinyl:

Don't worry, bryankennedy, we just borrowed your Flickr image. We're not taking your album!