Journal Note, 15 September 2017:
East Nashville: Grand old houses, fresh new businesses, brick schools, and grit–both the good and bad.
K. phoned last night and said come join him in East Nashville at the American Legion Post #82. Said singer Nikki Lane would be playing along with others and that they were ok with me shooting the show.
Had a little trouble finding the place at first. The sign, once you see it, is plain enough I guess–one of those little white glow-signs on a pole with AMERICAN LEGION in bright red letters. But the building sits down an incline of pavement behind an Enterprise car rental shop and a Goodwill truck depot–which you drive between. And the street-Gallatin Pike–is all strip plazas and crowded signage, so it was pretty well hidden unless you knew where to look.
I drove down the incline and parked in a mostly empty lot (when I left around midnight it was an ocean of vehicles and I had trouble getting out).
K. greeted me and introduced me to Nikki, who was busy tending the door, taking the money. K. later said it is her way–she does all her own work, sometimes even putting the wrist bands on customers at the door!
Like all Nashville music spots I am encountering, at the American Legion Post #82 everyone seems welcome. It isn’t a a place for cliques. The crowd was a mixture of military veteran members, locals– young, old, white, black–and even tourists.
It is a tiny place, really. Pretty gritty, no-frills. K. said ‘This is Nashville, baby. This is the real thing.” K. said the Post doesn’t worry about dressing up, the place let’s the music do the talking.
K. said the Post doesn’t worry about dressing up,
the place let’s the music do the talking.
I felt comfortable and at home. It reminded me of my parents’ old steel mill bar in New Boston, Ohio– Frank’s Place. American Legion Post #82 may be a true reflection of the city. I hope so. As for music, the show was of course great. You can never go wrong when the stage is six inches high and two feet from the crowd.”