February 26, 2011
From the window of a downtown Nashville club, I watched a parade of four or five eighteen-wheelers tap their brakes and roll slowly forward, waiting to load out after the Brad Paisley mega-tour made its brief stop at the cavernous Bridgestone Arena. I turned around and waded back into a densely packed crowd that was stomping and swaying to the sound of resurrection.
Just why was the stone rolled away? In fact, it was because Government Cheese, a reborn band of post-punk ne’er-do-wells, were touring again. Sort of…this Nashville gig was not only the second gig of the tour, but it was also the last. It was also very fitting that their two-stop journey launched in their hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky and then splashed down in the current home of one of the group’s members and keeper of the sonic flame, Tommy Womack. It was Tommy’s drive and desire, his love of what he and his band mates did (and maybe a bit of wanting to finally hear some ackn
owledgement of their place in music history) that inspired him to write the incredibly funny and delightfully insightful Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock N Roll Band You've Never Heard Of and to pursue purchasing the original masters from ex-manager Scott Tutt (other authors have told tales of being screwed by managers or record companies, but Womack’s are a must-read), then re-mastering and re-releasing them as a two-disc compilation titled
Willis still had the pipes and the moves of a lead singer that had his share of lingerie launched in his direction, Chris “Viva Las Vegas” Becker sneered and stalked the stage (often making sure Hodges was on the same page during songs), Billy Mack Hill played bass and sang with fervor and drummer Joe “Elvis” King pounded the skins as hard as one would expect from someone wearing a Led Zep t-shirt.