by Walter Price
Terry Lee Hale has just released a self-produced video for his ode to Seattle rock n roll honky tonk The Central Tavern . A drink spot opened in the late 19th century and wearing a host of names during its storied history. Once frequented by miners during the Yukon Gold Rush over the past few decades it has been etching its place in music history as some of the most influential and just plain cool as hell artists have graced its stage.
Nirvana, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Butthole Surfers, Fastbacks, Young Fresh Fellows, Screaming Trees, Melvins, Faith No More and The Walkabouts to just grease your imagination. Speaking of The Walkabouts, playing at The Central and around Seattle is where a young musician and bartender Hale met the band’s Chris Eckman which subsequently turned into a lifelong friendship and Eckman producer for several of Hale’s albums. .
(If I have it wrong they know where to find me…)
“The Central” comers from Hale’s brilliant and underrated ‘The Long Draw‘ (Glitterhuse Records) album and the single works in Lou Reed style narrative in a firsthand telling of the iconic watering hole and music spot some 30 years ago when Hale was behind the bar watching sonic history unfold and the characters involved thrive .
In the DIY produced music video’s description Hale writes, “I was a bartender and booking agent (also occasional performer) at this bar in 1987. The song comes from my 2013 album called The Long Draw. I put together the video at home with iMovie and photos dug off the internet and also contributions from some friends. The song is autobiographical to some point I guess. Viewed from this long distance I can say it was mostly a good time for me. Those days are gone though, the bar is owned by different people and time moves on. The video is made for fun and to just fit some pictures with the music”
Watch the video, check out the songwriter’s curated images and transport yourself back in time when the Seattle music scene was on the verge of changing the world. Let me add another two cents, it is becoming increasingly rare and is certainly exceptional that we have an artist, a storyteller, like Terry Lee Hale.