A typical Denton scene: A few guys get together to swap stories and languish away a summer evening. As happens often in Denton circles, the conversation turns to music.
Randy Robinson, president of Access Bank, decides this is the right time and place to propose an idea he’s been massaging for quite a while.
“I love the Denton music scene. But, sometimes, I really just want to hear tunes I know. You know, our music,” he said.
His buddies nod in agreement.
“So, what if we had our own music festival?,” he said.
“Great idea! ” they reply.
“Let’s do it!” he said
“What’ll we call it?” they ask.
“Geezerpalooza,” Randy announced. Amid the laughter and guffaws over the name, a new Denton event was born then and there.
A lot of back and forth ensued over the next few weeks about the geezer reference, understandably because these guys aren’t what I imagine when I think geezer.
While these 50-somethings don’t see geezers in the mirror either, they thought the name was funny and comically referenced a generation whose soundtrack is mostly played on FM oldies stations these days, rarely featured in Denton’s predominantly indie music venues.
Let me butt into the story here and take you back almost 45 years to Labor Day weekend in 1969 in Lewisville, just two weeks after the famous Woodstock festival.
More than 100,000 people, hippies included, converged on the then-sleepy little town for a Woodstock repeat in the area of Lewisville now known as Waters Ridge, just off Interstate 35E. The A-train actually runs right through the original site and an historical marker placed there just a few years ago will tell the story of the three-day Texas Woodstock for generations to come.
The event was called the Texas International Pop Festival and featured many of the Woodstock flock on stage: Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Santana, Canned Heat, plus a lot of the era’s greats who skipped New York such as Led Zeppelin and B.B. King.
What do these two stories have to do with each other? The “geezer team” remembers those days. Some were even there, though I won’t name names. But with the 45th anniversary looming of what at that time was the largest music festival held in Texas, why not give a nod to that event, maybe even lay some groundwork for something bigger next year or at least for the 50th?
Even geezers still dream big.
Industrial Street International Pop Festival, a.k.a. “Geezerpalooza, a Denton Original” is coming to Denton from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.
The geezer team is headed up by Geezer-in-Charge Robinson along with Tim House, Richard Hayner, Dan Mojica, Shaun Treat, Pete Kamp and a few helpers like Julie Glover and yours truly.
The event will unfold in the heart of Denton’s music scene, the Industrial Street entertainment district, surrounded by Denton’s hot spots for food and beverages. Back-porch conversation areas are designated for ’69 alums to rehash the old days. And the festival hours keep bedtime in mind so we can make it to work feeling chipper on Monday.
Mojica is the music planner and he’s got quite the lineup of super tribute bands playing the genres of our younger years:
Psycho Pony — Crazy Horse/Neil Young
The Buick Six — Bob Dylan
The Allmost Brothers — The Allman Brothers
Remain in Light — Talking Heads
Forgotten Space — The Grateful Dead
My daughter, who grew up listening to my music, wondered if only geezers are invited. No way! Everyone is invited, and it’s free, though donations benefiting Serve Denton are welcome.
Check out details on Facebook: Industrial Street International Pop Festival
To sponsor, volunteer or get involved, contact Robinson at 817-996-5076. To learn more about the 1969 event in Lewisville, visit http://www.cityoflewisville.com/index.aspx?page=896.
Denton’s got sound. Everybody knows it. We are a music city, and music lovers in our city come in all shapes, sizes, styles … and ages. Geezerpalooza is merely adding another layer, a missing layer, to our wealth.
Some may sneer at the tribute band concept, saying there is no originality there. But au contraire! This was the original music of “back then” and it deserves to be brought out and dusted off. It’s how we rolled! Someday, future generations will do the same with the new original tunes.
This is going to be a blast. See you there!
KIM PHILLIPS is vice president of the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Denton Chamber of Commerce. She loves promoting Denton’s original, independent spirit through the city’s sense of place and cast of many characters. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.