‘Thank you, thank you very much’

by Charles Womack

I guess the cat is out of the bag, or better yet, the guitar is out of the case.

At the end of Feb. 2016, Ziggy’s Winston, Inc.”” a partnership of Brad McCauley, Jay Stephens and myself””will hand over the keys to the 170 West 9th Street building that you’ve called Ziggy’s, and we’ve called ours, for the past five years. It’s a sad time. A confusing time.

There are lots of tears. Lots of anger and blame. Lots of second guessing, and lots of hurt pride and bruised egos.

It’s natural and easy for people to want to choose sides as they watch partners pointing fingers and blaming each other. I’m not innocent, but from where I stand today, I am here to say “Thank You Brad and Jay.”

Because as horrible and nasty as people think each partner feels about the other, we had some good times. We had some laughs. We high fived and we patted each other’s back. We each know the others loved this place and wanted it to work. We each know that it was not a hell on earth all the time and that none of us had horns. I know it now and I’d like to hope that Brad and Jay know it as well.

We shed some tears when we lost big on a show. We stressed out and lost sleep when we had to borrow money from equity lines or bank loans to pay for upcoming bands, equipment replacement and big bills. It was hard. But back then we got along, tolerated each other, let things slide and loved Ziggy’s. That’s what I choose to remember today.

I choose to remember my son working the door for his first job or being able to block off a small section on the front row for my daughter and her 10 friends to watch Juicy J perform. Or being able to get the VIP Suite for my wife and her friends for Donna the Buffalo or me going alone and picking up Skid Row’s lead singer Sebastian Bach at the Greensboro airport and having a long conversation about things I can’t repeat.

I want to take this opportunity to appreciate these times and say “ThankYou.” Friends, we had some incredible nights together and heard some great music. Whether it was an up and coming local performer like Caleb Caudle, who graced our stage and is now touring nationally and receiving rave reviews, to my favorite 1980s rock stars like Bret Michaels, Sebastian Bach, Tom Keifer and Vince Neil. Then there are some of Jay’s favorites like Drive By Truckers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Donna the Buffalo and Blackberry Smoke. Brad loved Chris Robinson and the Brotherhood. We’ve enjoyed a lot, had some laughs, clapped and yelled, and come back for more.

In this fog of emotions, I’d like to toast the thousands and thousands of fans that came out to support live music. Without you guys none of this would have been possible and there would be no good memories at all. You made the room come alive.

A toast to the wonderful Ziggy’s staff and crew that served the drinks, ran the door, lights and sound, loaded the equipment and kept us safe. A toast to the fine members of the Winston-Salem Police Department and the City of Winston- Salem.

Here’s to you all”¦. !