tom smith | make green bay weird | june 2018
The city of Green Bay will be getting a new mayor in 2019. I sincerely hope that there will be numerous mayoral candidates that have the potential to help make Green Bay weird. I myself tend to stay out of local politics, so much that until very recently I thought that Sam Halloin was still in office. In no way am I pitching myself as a candidate — trust me, I will not be throwing my hat into the ring. My schedule is really tight as it is, so I wouldn't be able to do more than a quarter-assed job at being mayor. In addition, if I were to run for mayor, the other candidates' opposition research would have a field day with me. I've always said that people who live in glass houses with glass closets should not run for mayor. Unfortunately, none of my skeletons are made out of glass. I would never want to limit any mayor of Green Bay on how they could make Green Bay weird, but of course, I do have some suggestions on how they may perhaps go about it.
The absolute number one priority the next mayor of Green Bay should have on his agenda is booking the Jesus Lizard at Lambeau Field. Green Bay deserves this. We've had to endure two Kenny Chesney concerts at Lambeau, the Jesus Lizard is the only possible way we can right this wrong. I'm sure many of you are thinking, “Why should the Jesus Lizard play at the Sistine Chapel of the gridiron?" I can list many reasons why.
No. 1: I think it's a great idea. No. 2: Tony, the bass player in the band Holy Shit!, also thinks it's a great idea. No.3: A friend of mine relayed a post I made on social media about the Jesus Lizard playing at Lambeau Field to David Yow the singer of the Jesus Lizard and he thought it was funny. Now for those of you not in the world of booking bands, I have to inform you that when a member of a band chuckles over a social media post made by a promoter in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who has absolutely no ties to Lambeau Field this practically counts as a binding contract, which means we have the hardest part of the equation done already: the band is willing to do it. No. 4: It will coincide with Rusev Day. No. 5: Everyone loves cats, and we will also make this a benefit show for cats. No. 6: Tourism. The Jesus Lizard at Lambeau would draw people to Green Bay from all corners of the globe. These tourism bucks would be a great “Shot" to the local economy. No.7: Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback for the Packers is the Greatest of All Time. The Jesus Lizard have a great album called “Goat." It just makes sense to me, folks. No. 8: Green Bay's street cred would shoot up immensely in the key demographic of lovers of Touch and Go records. No. 9: Rumor has it the Jesus Lizard will soon be closing shop as a performing band, and why not give them a concert worthy of their contribution to American music. No. 10: Who doesn't want to see David Yow do a Lambeau Leap? I so strongly believe that the city of Green Bay truly needs this event to happen that I will volunteer my services for free to the Green Bay Packers to help make this happen. How many promoters in America would volunteer to set up and promote a concert at a venue that could hold 90,000 people for free? I'll tell you how many — besides me, none. I'm not sure if Frankly Green Bay's print editions are available in hell, but if they are, I'm positive the late promoter Bill Graham would do a spit take over his breakfast of grapefruit and sulfur if he read this. Yes, Bill, there are some of us who have not forgotten your comments on punk rock.
I've already decided which bands will be opening up for the Jesus Lizard. The first band that I will ask to appear will be Wisconsin's own Killdozer. The reasons for this are: Killdozer deserve to be on this bill, the bands were label-mates at Touch and Go Records and I would love to see Killdozer again at an open-air festival where it's guaranteed I'm not kicked out during their performance for no reason at all. The other bands that make the cut are Milwaukee's Aluminum Knot Eye, Space Raft, Drugs Dragons and Holy Shit!; Sheboygan's Garbage Men, Green Bay's George's Bush and Sons of Kong and the Green Bay/Manitowoc joint production Rev. Norb and the Onions. The Madison contribution besides Killdozer will be the Hussy and the Wood Chickens. The LoveSores from Portland, the Scientists from Australia and Seattle's Mudhoney and The U-men will all be extended invitations to play. The Rhythm Chicken from parts unknown will MC the entire day. There may be a few other bands added to this bill. This will be an all-day event with music starting at the crack of noon. This event will be priced at the low, low price of $9.99 to guarantee a sellout. You may ask, “How are we going to afford setting up this huge event?" Quite simply: the current extra half percentage sales tax being charged to Brown County residents. I figure if all these years I've paid extra sales tax to subsidize the entertainment of Green Bay Packer fans, it just seems fair for the Jesus Lizard fans to be afforded the same luxury. Lambeau Field for this show will be surrounded by a ring of food trucks and food vendors. I want the smell of the food to draw out residents like a cartoon floating in the air smelling and following the smell of the food. This will also serve for public safety because the eventual food coma will slow down those who have been tailgating since 6 a.m. I don't expect the new mayor to be able to push this through instantly, so let's give him a little time and go for a tentative date of Saturday July 04, 2020. So please mark that down in your social calendar that you already have plans for 7-04-20. Yes there will be a fireworks show that will replicate all of the Jesus Lizard album covers.
I also think the next mayor has to make more interesting/weirder bets with other mayors of cities the Packers are playing. Enough of boring cliché bets like the Packers are playing the Eagles so Green Bay's mayor will bet some cheese and the Philadelphia mayor bets some Philly cheesesteaks. Here are a few suggestions of future wagers the mayor can make. These examples apply to the 2018 schedule for the Packers. Week 1: Packers vs Bears. If the Bears win the mayor of Green Bay and his chief of police spend a weekend in Chicago trying to help solve the gun violence problem. If the Packers win the mayor of Chicago and his chief of police have to spend a weekend in Green Bay helping residents attempt to navigate roundabouts. Which for many Green Bay residents is as challenging as someone who has never played bass before learning a bass line by the late Chris Squire of the band Yes. Week 2: Packers vs Vikings. This game is a gold package so it will be Milwaukee season ticket holders, so this bet will be a tip of the hat to the city that die Kreuzen made famous. If the Packers win the mayor of Minneapolis has to give a thumbs up to the statue of the Fonz in Milwaukee wearing only a leather jacket. If the Packers lose the mayor of Green Bay has to reenact the hat tossing scene from the opening of the Mary Tyler Moore television show wearing only the hat. Week 3: Packers at Washington. If the Packers win the mayor of Washington has to make an attempt to convince Washington's owner to change their nickname for the rest of the season. If the Packers lose the mayor of Green Bay has to convince the Packers Deep State to revert to the ACME Packers for the remainder of the season. Week 4: Packers vs the Buffalo Bills. If the Packers win the Goo Goo Dolls have to play Green Bay but will only be allowed to play songs from their first three albums. If the Bills win the Goo Goo Dolls have to play Green Bay but will be only allowed to play songs off their last three albums. This game will be the hardest I ever root for Green Bay to win ever. Week 11: Packers at Seattle. If the Packers lose our mayor has to go to Pike Place Market and have fish thrown at him to catch with the help of trained seals who actually will be trying to stop him from catching the fish. If the Packers win the Seattle mayor has to convince the Fastbacks, Gas Huffer and Cat Butt to play behind the Exclusive Co. I suspect these bets will bring a ton of extra press coverage of Green Bay and will help tourism.
Live Long and proposition bet what song David Yow will Lambeau Leap during.
Since 1984, when he first began selling records at Galaxy of Sound inside the Port Plaza Mall, Tom Smith has been part of the Green Bay music scene. Promoting his first show in 1986 and hitting his stride with the Concert Café (1995-2001), Smith continues to promote shows in Green Bay. He first honed his journalistic chops while serving as a student DJ at WGBW, interviewing such icons as Motörhead and the Ramones. Today you can find him championing live music and managing The Exclusive Company in Green Bay.