End of summer 1994, garage party at the Raybon's house. Dig Dug, Basil, Freshmakers. I think this was when the Hot Springs scene started to realize our bands were just as good as the Little Rock scene's, if far fewer in number. Every kid I knew rocking ass in the goopy humid night. I have photos if anyone is interested.
Not quite as cool as...
Fourth of July, 1995, the Summer of CYAC, Damon and Doug DeLuca held a punk rock pool party at their parents' house on Lake Hamilton. Somehow I was in every band playing that afternoon (being one of two bassists in the crew had its advantages I guess). The lineup included legendary Soophie accomplices Trumpetmouth, who had just submitted two songs for a ska compilation (Skaca records, I think), Kaboom!, which was sort of Dug Dug mk II with Matthew Bradley and Robbie Fry, and Hot Sandwich, with Stan Cantrell (aka Stan LaFever). I might be forgetting one or two bands...
Right. The most memorable moment came at the end of Trumpetmouth's set. The "stage" was a raised porch above the pool deck, which presented the most amazing sort of scene stolen from a John Hughes movie we could have ever hoped for. As we skronked out the finishing notes of the set, the entire band spontaneously and simultaneously leapt over the railing, instruments in hand, to the pool below. Somewhere there's a freeze-frame shot of all 500 members of Trumpetmouth in mid-air, hovering 10 feet above the terrified kids in the water below. There has to be.
And for anyone interested or able to convert it to digital, I discovered a relatively intact copy of the storied Skubbard demo while moving into my new place. Gold.
Andrew Moore (32) - Submitted Friday Jun 15, 2007
In the Spring of 1993, The Yard played the Hot Springs Mall. It was near closing time, and I remember a group of us, maybe forty or fifty kids, clustered around a stage in the middle of the building. There was one older guy, drunk or high or both, who kept yelling "Sex, Rock and Roll, and Airplanes!"
The Yard was tight. Great sound, very "alt rock." Think REM or Lemonheads. They played covers of "Orange Crush" and "Brown Eyed Girl." The crowd absolutely erupted over the latter. (There were only a couple of halfway decent radio stations in town, one was the oldies station, and “Brown Eyed Girl” was in pretty heavy rotation.)
At some point in the set, some idiot in the crowd discharged a can of pepper spray! That was it, party over. Security shut the thing down, and we all grumbled back to our cars.
Dave Hill (29) - Submitted Saturday Dec 2, 2006
During the Spring of 1995, many of the kids in bands in Hot Springs started meeting to discuss renting out a collective practice space so that bands could rehearse without having the cops called on them.
That March, a group of kids drove to Detroit for the annual Detroit hardcore fest. There they met with kids from around the country who were already planning or had started their own collective show spaces. Kids from Bloomington, IN, Washington DC, and Lake Charles, LA all shared stories about turning show spaces into something larger, something that focused on more than just music and built a creative community within the scene.
Upon their return, the discussions turned from practice space to community center, and that summer the Citizen Youth Action Coalition Community Center was opened right in the heart of downtown Hot Springs. (CYAC was an ad-hoc group thrown together to fight and defeat a curfew ordiance in Hot Springs. The main players were basically the same)
The CYAC, with the help of Book Your Own Fuckin' Life and various contacts, hosted touring bands from all over the country that year, adding a second Arkansas stop (or sometimes just an alternative to Little Rock) to many band's schedules. Less than Jake, Christite Front Drive, Hot Water Music, Carbomb, Harriet the Spy, and dozens of others played the CYAC.
In addition to shows, the CYAC held monthly art shows to coincide with Hot Springs' mothly Gallery Walk. Their innagural show was a celebration of graffitti, entitled "Street Art" that showcased photos of local graffitti matted and framed and distributed maps so that gallery hoppers could visit the sites of the graffitti they saw in the show. This exhibit drummed up much controversy in the local art scene.
The CYAC held plays, video game tournaments, movie nights, political meetings, and served as a general hang-out spot for local youth. Decisions were made by a voluntary council that met once a week. Bills were paid by donations collected at shows and other events. The Sentinel Record, the local paper, did a four page feature on the center [I'll try to scan it].
The CYAC eventually closed its doors in the spring of 1996 due to lack of funds. But in the short 9 months it was open, it inspired many.