Well today — August 29th — will be your last chance to enjoy the quirky, cozy confines of Hang Fire here in Savannah. The lease is expiring and is not being renewed because of longstanding complaints about noise from owners of condos upstairs. As I understand it, there has been some sort of bar at 37 Whitaker Street since the 19th century, and Hang Fire was open well before anyone tried to move in upstairs.
Wes Daniel and Heather Flagle have both expressed optimism about finding a new space — maybe even two spaces — but nothing has been announced yet.
Anna Chandler (who was a contributor to this blog before become an editor at Connect Savannah) wrote a great piece this week:
“I think we’ve given them a place to start out,” Daniel says. “And there are so many bands now…I remember at the time we opened, there was Kylesa, Black Tusk, Superhorse…it was sparse. The Americana thing hadn’t happened. Then gradually, over the last two, three years, there are so many bands, and so many really, really good bands.”
“I remember back in the day, people would say how much the music scene in Savannah sucked,” Flagle chimes in.
“When I hear that now, I say, ‘you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” says Daniel.
Bradley Mullis wrote about today’s huge 11-act closing day in Do Savannah:
“There are so many great memories,” said Crazy Bag Lady frontman Josh Sterno, as he made a fist, pounding his chest with a flexed arm. “But my fondest is Crazy Bag Lady’s record release.”
He went on to say, “I grew as an artist, a musician and a person there. Wes and Heather gave me the platform and freedom to do whatever I wanted (as a promoter and a performer) … To me, 37 Whitaker St. will always be Hang Fire, and nothing else.”
In my City Talk column on Tuesday, I recalled my interview with Wes in 2006:
“We’re really about the locals,” Daniel said when I asked about opening in the summer when so many college students were out of town and when tourism was waning.
“The mere mention of ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ makes our stomachs turn,” he added.
So here’s the crazy lineup for today. Superhorse was the first band to played at Hang Fire’s opening, but the bar didn’t become a major music venue until around 2011 when the small stage at the front was added for the inaugural Savannah Stopover.
Hope to see a lot of you tonight. I could go on and on about good times at Hang Fire over the last nine years, but right now I’m just thinking about today.