Looking Back At Nine Years Of Memories With Members of The Double Wide Crew.
Everyone remembers their first Yoo-hoo Yeehaw.
“This doesn’t taste like alcohol,” you most likely probably said back to the bartender in disbelief, certain that he just served you a delicious chocolate shake by mistake.
On the other hand, very few people remember their third Yoo-hoo Yeehaw — or just about anything else they may or may not have done the rest of the night.
But their frozen white trash take on the White Russian is just one of the things that make the Double Wide one of our very favorite bars in town.
From the curious first-timers on the patio posing for cell phone photos of each other sitting on toilet seats in front of the joint’s Barry Manilow/Johnny Cash mash-up mural to the slew of tattooed regulars enjoying the bar’s wood-paneled walls, which are filled with velvet paintings and taxidermy, there’s always someone interesting to talk to — or just gawk at — at the Double Wide.
Maybe it’s just because the Double Wide’s regulars are so loyal to the place or maybe because their drinks really do hit harder than dad, as the spot’s slogan proclaims. Regardless, everybody seems to have some sort of crazy story that’s taken place there. And as the bar celebrates its ninth anniversary tomorrow night, the stage appears to be set to add a few more of those memorable moments to the bar’s history.
Actually, make that stages plural. In addition to the monster lineup of Ishi, Quaker City Night Hawks, Foreign Fires and Party Static that was originally planned to mark the occasion inside the venue, the Double Wide has now added a second, outdoor stage to accommodate the Missile, Biters, Broken Gold and Black Habits that was originally scheduled to take place at La Grange on Saturday night.
To further honor this occasion, we asked Double Wide owner Kim Finch, booking agent Chelsea Callahan, and DJs Mark Ridlen and Josh “Hammertimez” Robertson, who respectively head up the venue’s weekly Scaraoke and Good Luck karaoke nights, to reflect upon their nine most memorable moments from the Double Wide’s last nine years.
Kim Finch, owner.
• “The Sword show was super crazy awesome. We were all standing and sitting on the bar to see because it was so packed. It was so fun.”
• “I remember one of our first pool party/Warped Tour parties. It was so busy. When I finally had a chance to look up and in parking lot, tons of Warped Tour peoples stripped down to their bra and panties and man-panties, [and were] running around and jumping into pools. It was awesome!
• “One night, there was a 50th surprise party in the main bar and a metal show in venue. The dude whose birthday it was ditched his party and hung out in the venue for the metal show. Cute. Real cute.”
• “Seeing a bride in her wedding gown on the mechanical bull one year was awesome. We had a wedding reception in venue and I think a Warped Tour party out in parking lot.
• “The day I got the call asking if I wanted to buy Double Wide. I was sitting in a bathtub, scraping crap off a wall. I was working with a friend that painted and remodeled houses. I laughed and said, ‘Yeah, right.'”
• “At one of the Camel Bartender’s Ball parties, people were getting tattooed in the bar, while armadillo races were happening in the parking lot, and chicken fried steak was being served in the venue. It was rad. I wish that was every weekend.”
• “Our first Valentine’s ’80s proms! It was so fun. Everyone danced their butts off! People’s drinks were flying everywhere with all the dancing. The floor was drenched and the place was so trashed. The before-and-after pics of the room are still hilarious!”
• “I know there is way more and stuff I’m forgetting, and other stuff I will remember tomorrow and say, ‘Oh damn! I wish I would have sent in that one!” There have been lots of good times with lots of good people! I’m just going to go ahead and predict the future here and list my ninth favorite memory as being from tomorrow’s anniversary party! I’m so excited!”
Chelsea Callahan, talent buyer.
• “The time Kim and I stood on the bar in the venue to count how many people we had fit into The Sword show.”
• “The time we had a Warped Tour after-party and a wedding reception on the same night and didn’t separate the parties. It worked awesome. The Warped Tour band guys all wanted pictures with the bride and made her get on the mechanical bull in her wedding dress.”
• “The time Double Wide closed and I had to cancel three months worth of shows. It opened back up three days later and I had to try to get all those shows back. I did — except for one.”
• “The time Erykah Badu DJed [at the 2011 Dallas Observer Music Awards after-party]. She kissed me on the cheek when she was leaving and told me how great of a time she had.”
• “The Hayes Carll show. Not only was it cool he played such a small space, but he hung out the entire night and was a super cool, great dude.”
• “The time Astronautalis played his CD Release for Pomegranate with a full band.”
• “The time I walked into the courtyard for one of my charity birthday parties, Cinco de Cha Cha, and Kim had strewn really colorful Mexican fiesta party flags all across the top. It was beautiful!”
• “Every LIONS show.”
• “The Straight Man Drag-Off where I re-met my now-boyfriend two-and-a-half years ago. He was not a contestant. However, Wes Solem of Here Holy Spain very deservedly won the competition.”
Mark “Mr Rid” Ridlen, DJ/host of Scaraoke.
• “Acting and co-directing Larry Moses’ video for my version of ‘The Backside of Dallas’ with Hannah Hokes when the bar was just a few months old.”
• “The four Chinese punk bands Reid Robinson organized to play there once.”
• “Leslie Hall’s first Double Wide appearance.”
• “Halloween Scaraoke 3 years ago. There were way impressive costumes.”
• “The time a Japanese film student documented one of my ‘Singles Nites.'”
• “Elvis Bowie Scaraoke 2011. It was fire-code packed.
• “The Telethon show with Darktown Strutters.”
• “The time Valiant Thor performed Scaraoke.”
• “A tie between Hugh Cornwell’s and Lazer’s performances.”
Josh “Hammertimez” Robertson, DJ/host of Good Luck Karaoke.
• “The Pleasant Grove Christmas show, December 2005. The guys in Pleasant Grove are some of the best guys around, but shows during the holidays are so much better because Tex-pats are back in town and no one has to work in the morning. The night ended with a dance party in the parking lot.”
• “The Gay Pirate, 2006. Drinking hard liquor has many phases. These were my rum years. But drinking rum and coke all weekend? That sugar was ruining my hangovers, so I tried to make Malibu and Diet my tipple. That was until Double Wide owner Kim Finch gave my drink a different name. I found a fast friend in Tito’s and club soda shortly after.”
• “Centro-matic played the wedding reception for Justin Evans of The Angelus, July 2007. This was the first time I heard Centro-matic cover The English Beat’s ‘Save it for Later.’ Scott Danbom got up from the keys to play bass and I grabbed his mic to add my own background vocals. Sorry, guys!”
• “Slowride in the venue, September 2007. The best Dallas rock band you’ve never heard of absolutely blew me away. I’m embarrassed to admit it was my first time to see the trio of Dan Phillips, Rob Marchant and Steve Visneau. Phillips’ True Widow started playing shortly after this show, but Slowride’s set was a lesson in not judging a book by it’s cover or band name.”
• “The Fleshtones with The Ugly Beats in the venue, June 2008. Besides being one of the hardest-working frontmen in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, The Fleshtones’ Peter Zarimba was the host of I.R.S.’s The Cutting Edge on MTV. The show introduced underground bands to national television. The fact is, without it, we wouldn’t have had 120 Minutes… The entire band ended up playing on the floor with the audience. And again, the keyboardist left his post to similar results. Yes, I have a problem.”
• “Will Johnson and Liz Durrett in the venue, September 2009. They were two intimate and soulful performances by two amazing songwriters. It is also remembered by the staff and myself as the night I had my first and last non-alcoholic beer. Hey, It was a school night!”
• “The pool party, September 2009. And here’s where it all went wrong. My 1st bona fide DJ gig. I had no idea at the time, but when the Double Wide asked me to give them my DJ name for their ads, I panicked because I didn’t have one and quickly decided on ‘HAMMERTIMEZ ON THE DOUBLE.’ I had no idea the ‘DJ Hammertimez’ moniker would last, and, years later, I do wish I’d given a bit more thought to this decision. I also remember back-flipping off one of the barstools into the kiddie pool.”
• “Valient Thorr and True Widow, October 2009. It was another anniversary party, but I remember it mostly for the lingering soreness of my inner thighs. Yes, I’m talking about riding a mechanical bull. For a kid growing up in Texas, reared on Urban Cowboy, the mechanical bull is a rite of passage. It was definitely the most athletic moment I’ve ever experienced involving alcohol.
• “September 2011. Forgive my bias, but, aside from the night Erykah Badu asked to DJ with me at Double Wide, Oliver Peck and I moving Good Luck Karaoke to Double Wide has made each and every week since then a challenge and a pleasure. We owe every karaoke performance we do to the road Mark Ridlin and Scaraoke paved before us. But to do it in a different costume each week makes you think about how many times you can re-invent Halloween for the sake of a good time. I’m sure Oliver and I never thought we’d last this long. And, really, that’s what each of these Double Wide memories boils down to: Doing it all for the sake of a good time.”