What you didn't read in Barry Fey's memoir: Barry turned throwing phones into an artform
Chuck Morris (Feyline, 1975-1997)
President and CEO of AEG Live, Rocky Mountain Region
Before Chuck writes how wonderful I am, let me say a couple of things about him. I love Chuck. He was the light of my life for 25 years. He was so important to me, but things didn't start that well. He was booking talent for Tulagi's, a Boulder college bar. Through me, he booked Zephyr in 1969, but they showed up late and he was going to dock them $200. I got on the phone with him.
"Was the place full?" I asked.
"Yes, but people were leaving because Zephyr wasn't on time."
"Was there a line outside?"
"Did they come in when others left?"
"Just pay the fucking band, asshole."
I think that was my first conversation with Chuck.
In 1972, I was invited to speak to a class at the University of Colorado, taught by, of all people, Chuck E. Weiss. Several years later, he'd have a hit song written about him by Rickie Lee Jones called "Chuck E's In Love." Anyway, Chuck Morris found out I was going to be in Boulder, and he called my office. He had become more afraid of my assistant, Leslie Haseman, than he was of me. She was tough on him. When she answered the phone and found out it was him, she said, "What the fuck to you want?"
Once he made it through Leslie, he asked me if I'd stop by Tulagi's while I'm in Boulder for Chuck E.'s class because he had a group he wanted me to see. Tulagi's was having a good run, and I respected him as a booker making it work in a small club, so I went. The group he wanted me to see was called Stone Ground or something like that. There was a stage full of them.
I took one look and said, "Forget about it. They don't have a shot."
"Why do you say that?"
"They've got fourteen guys. How are they going to support themselves?"
Chuck told me he wanted to leave Tulagi's and open a club in Denver. "I know I can't do it without you, but I'd like to do it with you."
I agreed, and for $110,000, we bought a small -- and I mean small, 250 capacity -- club in a downtown Denver condo building, Brooks Towers. We named it Ebbets Field, and since I was a recently convicted felon because of Richard Nixon, I couldn't have a liquor license, so we put the club in my wife Cindy's name. Cindy and Chuck owned Ebbets Field.
We opened the club with the Mark Allman Band. Some great acts played there: Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker and many more, but it only held 220 people. We never really had a chance, but gave it a great try for two years. After that, Chuck came to work with me.
Chuck was more into country and folk music than rock. He was lukewarm about the Who, which I thought was the greatest band ever. One show, I think it was at the Denver Coliseum, I had a couple of security guys grab him and make him sit in the audience through a set. When he came backstage, I asked, "So, what do you think?"
I'll never forget this. He said, "They're good. They ain't no Pure Prairie League, but they're good."
Continue on for Chuck Morris's thoughts on Barry and his time at Feyline