Han Vance Live:

Atlanta:
Posman Books at PONCE CITY MARKET, ATL
(North Ave side)
On Aug 26th, Sunday from 12-2p
Golden State Misadventures” 3rd edition
(nonfiction novel, new cover, liquid libations)

New York City:
Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan, NYC
(in the Bowery)
On Aug 12th, Sunday Night
Silver Stone Press Presents” with Tom Cheshire
(Sean Scharbach and Cheshire will be reading with me)

– www.silverstonepress.com for info

Hanfest

(Photo by: Han Vance)

The day I moved from Marietta proper to the more distant suburbs, a punk rocker juvenile delinquent named Chris Damico was building a small wooden skateboard ramp in the street that led to my new culdesac. Though I had never ridden a skate ramp before, I’d picked up street skating about a year earlier as the sport hit a second wave of major national popularity in the mid 1980s.

It was the heat of a Southern summer, and most of my like-aged friends were living closer to the Marietta Square. I was living way out in the vast stretching sprawl of what had been previously rural, then exurban, and finally suburban Cobb County, in what was then known to be the fastest-growing civilization in the history of mankind: greater metropolitan Atlanta.

My siblings were a good bit younger than I, and I found myself with no one cool to regularly hang out with when I was not at work as a fine-dining busboy at The Planter’s restaurant. By mid-summer, my friend Doug got a Chevy Nova and was the first to get a license. He started picking me up, and I was back hanging with my old crew of friends. Before that, I skated with Damico everyday.

We grew apart, Damico and I, but we talked from time to time. Then when I was a senior, his mom moved out of the school district, and he talked my brothers and folks into letting him ride out the school year living with us. I thought it was a terrible idea, but the decision was made before I had any input. He bunked with my brothers.

For the first time, we became truly close friends. My epic high school career was winding down, so we decided to have a huge graduation party as a last hurrah. We set a date and gathered friends from neighboring schools, like Dave Weiss, at my house for a meeting and told them to tell their friends and friends of friends from many of the schools across the county.

A week before the party my parents went out of town for one night, so we threw an impromptu gathering. Hundreds of kids from my school showed up and lined my entire street with cars and trash. I paid my brothers to clean up the mess after, but I was immensely worried. We didn’t have access to enough space for the coming big graduation party, and my folks’ plans to go out of town again were suddenly cancelled. We were screwed.

My mom and stepdad’s yard at the time led to a stretch of woods that eventually led to fields behind a huge western store called Horsetown. Damico came up with the idea to rent these fields, and in a meeting in which the outcome still baffles me to this day they agreed to lease us the property for a night. We paid them a small amount of money and assured them it would be a calm affair.

As the day approached, I distributed flyers amongst the upperclassmen at my school listing my address as the location for an “Adult Graduation Party.” A teacher found one and said I could not go on with the plan, but I scoffingly told him I was eighteen and the party was the day after school ended. It was out of his jurisdiction.

My friend Todd Smalley’s band the Wild Onions agreed to play the event, and I made him promise not to reveal the real location of the party to anyone at our school. He kept my secret at Lassiter; meanwhile we called our party planning colleagues and told them to tell everyone to be at my house by 5:00 p.m.

We hung a sign on my basketball goal on the day of the fest that said: “Go To HORSETOWN.” We were there well off the street and obscured from visibility with the rock band playing as the thousands and thousands of kids began to show up. As the sun set, the traffic continued to stream into the fields. We positioned paid parking attendants in the drive to charge admission for vehicles and made hundreds of dollars over the field rental. Interestingly, Damico and I both later worked for years in the management of the parking industry.

Of course, the cops came that night. We heard it told that for a few hours they could not find the exact party location. When they did attempt to bust the party, it still went on for over an hour as they simply directed traffic out while making very few arrests for underage drinking. When the crowd finally started to thin, we grabbed as many cute girls as would follow us and led them back through the woods to the relative safety of my house.

For weeks after, we were the reigning stars of the county. I began to commonly hear the term “Hanfest” and wondered who’d coined it. About a month later, I was hanging out with my artist friend Mike Tom. He told me he’d hand-painted a sign at the entrance of the Horsetown fields that said: “HANFESTIVAL.”

Up On Ponce (C) 2013 HV:

Up On Ponce:

Mammas Are Chocolate Milk

Cheap American Swill

Is The High Life

And Thomas Cheshire

Will Always Be A Hero

Races, Classes, Demographics

Whites, Blacks, Hispanics

Neon-Lit Classics

Against An Old Marquis

And Just Me, See

Boozers, Cruisers And Stone Cold Losers

Atlanta, Georgia ~ Deep South

Plus, That Damn 2 Bus

Where They Ripped The Pioneer Heart

Out Of Our Fair City

Divided We Ain’t, Y’all

Summer-Winter-Spring-Fall

We All Do, Hear-I

Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

And A Revolution

Watch Wheels Spin Round

I Skyscrape Devotion

Center Of Town

ART BOX pARTy, Curated by: Han Vance

Kudos CFPP and Atlanta INtown paper. What a great event! Mind blowing poetry by Collin Kelley and FOCUS (and me). ATL’s very own dooGallery is my favorite almost-famous spot. American Spirit Whiskey and Asahi Beer and Sandwich Buddha ~ delicious. June’s ATL ART STARS were bright: Jackie Ducros, Ted Murphy, Charity Lindop, Travis Smith, Jolene Wheeler, Frances Byrd, Stephanie Anderson, Suzanne Bobo, Dan Curran, Jen de Plour, Linda Costa, PaperFrank Dunson, William “KING POP” Floyd, Kendrick “GREATeclectic” Daye of Art Nouveau magazine, and the incomparable Ashley Norfleet:

“Certain beauty to that”

After my shaded Druid Hills, I walked through Candler Park itself and the neighborhood of the same name, under intermittent sunshine, toward the train station. I saw some old wooden furniture left out for the taking or the trash. “Certain beauty to that,” I had said aloud, as I contemplated the impending summer in the South.

 

My Last Hipster Run

(Photo by: Han Vance)

My hair was overgrown, so I took out my peanut and shaved the sides up – way up. I looked a bit like Crispin Glover as I made a deposit in my bank and quickly walked the rest of the way down Ponce to get my haircut. I wanted to make sure the sides were right, and the line was perfect. I trusted only myself. I had the rest done relatively short and usually left it product-mussed. I broke out my dad’s old cover sunglasses, as huge as any they wore in Manchester and Miami. I started wearing bright tight shirts everyday, which almost fit me, as I’d recently lost ten pounds. I longboarded as much as I could and strutted to the transit station or took cabs everywhere else, except on the weekend mornings when my curvy fiancee’ drove me to work at the Euro-cafe’ in Midtown. Those mornings, I would finish a can of Coors Light in the bath to rally. Then we would sit in her car and make out while I swayed about to the space age Athens weirdness of Of Montreal. Then I would walk inside and make myself a double espresso. I was drunk in bars with thirty-somethings, with twenty-somethings to the point of belligerent incoherence and laughed and talked too loudly. I proudly peacocked amongst fellow urbanists whom would never have my flair for extravagantly varied fashions or my honed way with words. I worked a final lunch shift, had a huge late lunch, walked back to the cafe’ and had my free birthday shot, a Strega. Shared a toast with the definitely-old-enough-to-know-how-to-live-way-better-but-still-clinging-to-it-for-some-reason bartender, had a drink with the actor Paul Walker as we discussed Hawaii and my California book and my afternoon pool party planned for the next day. Walked away and had a few drinks in various haunts with a career student. Met my love in our suite. Went out by taxi for sushi and for wine by candlelight. The city glowed around and for me, as we stumbled to the disco lounge without panic or pretense. An off night in the Southern sprawl of summer ATL, but an on one for me, I suppose. My last as a hipster. As she and I had done so many times in the old loft where we deeply fell, we sat perched atop our city as midnight neared. I counted it down like it was New Year’s Eve. Five-four-three-two-one. Suddenly, I was 40. And I went to bed.

Jade Lemons and the Crimson Lust at 529

Tommy the Tomcat is back. Jade Lemons, the mastermind behind the Underrated Records label and studio, debuted his new act at 529 in the East Atlanta Village. A few spots around EAV had decent crowds, as a weekend summer night down South buzz was in the air. My sister, Anna and photog friend, Marc were on the scene with me as we stopped in for a quick one at the newly-reopened Glenwood. Then Mr. Lemons appeared crossing the street in Captain’s hat and his signature skinny jeans, blonde beauty in tow all dolled up. He was headlining, and his mom was on hand. His friends and fans were on hand. His new material was ready for its first public consumption. He delivered to the full venue with the help of a band totaling five pieces, counting Jade, and you should because the dude rocks. Sallow, gauntly thin, tall and intensely transposed on guitar and lead vocal against a punk-looking black girl playing bass, a classic-in-delivery accompanying singer, also of color, white dudes wailing on sax and pounding on drums – this is real now Atlanta music. Yet, Ziggy Stardust meets T-Rex’s Marc Bolan again is what I most hear in obvious classic influence. Familiar and good songs, the first time heard. Though this group is worthy of a bigger venue soon and Jade clearly couldn’t hear his monitors well on stage, the short performance came off as well-rehearsed and of crystal clear quality. This band is only a key hit song away from being at least a minor household name, as this new formula for Jade works. I predict a big future for them.

(Photo by: Wizard Smoke)

Jewel of the South

Center, City Center Heat

Buildings Are Neat

Buildings And Food

Was The Name Of A Talking Heads Album

And I Have A Friend In Town

From SoCal

Plus My Girl Is Out Of Town

In SoCal

We Are Down On Ponce

Returneth

The Rhetta, His Folks’ Place, The Frat

Then Back To The City

Listening Of Montreal (Of Athens)

In The ATL

After We Saw Her Architecture

Stretch Along The Connector

Rocket Ships Of Virtual Explosiveness

Through The Urban Forest

The Words Came To My Mouth

Center Of The South

(Photo by: Han Vance)

Righteous Art Room

My love for a good jukebox bar can best be emblem-ized in The ATL by the Righteous Room on Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood – where a mix of old and new rock emanates available by the dollar. They also display local art down on Ponce here, in The Plaza shopping center, next to the Majestic Diner. Royce Riley’s long run – which resulted in me purchasing a painting entitled “Frog Flag” – is over. And Ashley Norfleet has taken over.  She lists herself as “mother, painter, designer, human” and all that experience plays out in portraits lifelike of humans and birds. Eagles and other birds, people with wings, eyelashes becoming birds, even a few portraits not associated with flight. My favorite piece in this collection of works is of smaller birds forming into what I take to be a giant ostrich, running barely above land. Though the show by Royce Riley (aka R.Land) was nearly impossible to stand up to, Ashley Norfleet holds her own. Check her out: www.bossladydesign.com

Painting by Royce Riley:

(Photo by: Jami Buck-Vance)