More details are emerging about "Voices for Justice," the rally for the West Memphis 3 we told you about last week. Most crucially, organizers have moved the Aug. 28 rally, initially scheduled at the Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, to Robinson Center Music Hall. And they've lowered the ticket prices to $25.
The line-up includes Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, The Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines, QQUMC's Rev. Thompson Murray and members of Arkansas Take Action. Vedder, Maines and other "special guests" are slated to perform acoustically. And new video messages from Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are slated to be unveiled.
" 'Voices for Justice' will not only bring awareness to the case, but it will also be a chance for supporters to reflect and collectively send love and support to Damien, Jason and Jessie," Echols's wife Lorri Davis said in a press release.
Tickets went on-sale yesterday via Ticketmaster outlets and at the Celebrity Attractions ticket office. Tickets are not tax deductible.
There are typically three ways to experience King Biscuit (doesn't that sound so much better than the "Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival"?):
1. Get a room at a casino or nearby hotel.
2. Camp for $50.
3. Drive back and forth.
But all have problems. Number one requires you to plan ahead. Good luck booking a room anywhere near the fest now. Number two means camping in the early fall heat with a bunch of drunks. And number three means you can't enjoy too many tall cold ones with your turkey leg on the levee and be assured of getting home safely.
This year, the Times has conceived a fourth way: The Arkansas Times Blues Bus. We're chartering a touring bus to haul blues fans to and from Helena-West Helena on Saturday, Oct. 9. We'll leave at 10 a.m. from our offices downtown, stop at Craig's in DeValls Bluff for some barbecue on the way and get to the concert in time to catch the afternoon performers and, later, the great Taj Mahal.
On the way down, Little Rock's blues standard-bearer Bluesboy Jag will get us in the mood with a performance in the bus. The en route booze situation is BYOB whatever you squeeze into your seat area. There'll be a bathroom on board.
Publisher Alan Leveritt and A&E editor Lindsey Millar are riding along. Max Brantley said he's definitely not going, but maybe if we crow loud enough we can get him to change his mind.
Tickets, which, again, include a ride to and fro, the en route concert, lunch at Craig's and a VIP ticket to the concert, are $99. Charge by phone (all credit cards accepted) at 501-375-2985 or mail a check or money order to Arkansas Times Blues Bus, Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203.
More to look forward to: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is coming to Revolution on Friday, Sept. 24.
Eric Overmyer, the co-creator of "Treme," talked to a packed house at the Clinton School last Wednesday. Once "The Wire" scribe and "Treme" co-creator got sufficiently mic-ed and quit mumbling it was fantastic.
And newsy: Overmyer revealed that next season of "Treme" will jump a year in the future from where last season left off and focus on crime, the police force, New Orleans' severely troubled public school system and the disappearance of federal aid dollars to the city. Other tidbits: Overmyer said when he and David Simon initially pitched to John Goodman a starring role in the show, he said yes immediately (he has a house in New Orleans), but only for one season. Now that his character's been killed off, Overmyer said Goodman had so much fun on the show that he'd e-mailed Overmyer recently, saying, "I've lost a ton of weight. I look like a totally different person. I'll grow a mustache and I can come back as [his character] Creighton's brother."
Most entertainingly, Overmyer reported that the scene with Elvis Costello and Steve Zahn in the bar watching Kermit Ruffins was born from legions of stories of really famous people — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman — making the pilgrimage to Vaughan's in the Bywater to see him and his always failing to recognize them. The best story along those lines Overmyer told had Ruffins and his band going to Houston to open for Willie Nelson. After their set, Kermit and co. walked into an alley for a "safety meeting," which is to say, they walked out for a joint. From somewhere nearby, Willie spotted the weed circle and joined it. After a little bit of puff-puff-passing, he got called away, and after he was gone, Ruffins asked his mates who that "cool-ass old white dude was."