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Interview with Don Chambers, June 8, 2018

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:15 - Coming to Athens, GA

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Partial Transcript: I was living in Atlanta...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers recalls his decision to move to Athens, Georgia as a result of his attraction towards the city's cultural atmosphere. Chambers explains how he came to receive a Masters in Fine Arts at a college in Athens.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia; Tom Hammond; graphic design

00:07:17 - First shows

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Partial Transcript: And that was really the height of that...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers relates how he eventually created the band, Cursing Alice, shortly after he came to Athens, Georgia. Chambers describes his first performance at RockFish Palace and the shows of other bands including Black Crows and the Mudpuppies.

Keywords: Agora Vintage; Cursing Alice; Rockfish Palace, Athens, Georgia; The Grit, Athens Georgia

00:15:14 - Athens's music culture / Choosing an instrument

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Partial Transcript: And then the Mudpuppies played...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers recalls his experience listening to the band Mudpuppies play, during which he recalls that dancing during shows was not common during the 1980's. Chambers relates the significance of playing an acoustic guitar during the punk-rock period of the 1980's and how he came to play the electric bass later in Cursing Alice. Chambers talks about his work playing for University Church located in Athens, Georgia.

Keywords: Cursing Alice; Mudpuppies; University Church

00:23:27 - Cursing Alice splits up

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Partial Transcript: I was just remembering a couple of other bands...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers talks about some of the bands he watched during the 1980's. Chambers describes the split of his band, Cursing Alice which he states lasted from 1990-1993. Chambers recalls the challenges he encountered in his search for practice locations around Athens, Georgia.

Keywords: Benjamin Smoke; Chris Lopez; Cursing Alice; Jim Stacey; La Grange- ZZ Top; Opal Foxx Quartet; Southern Culture On The Skids; The Downstairs

00:30:57 - Practicing at Buckhead Beach / Interactions with Curtis Crowe

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Partial Transcript: That space, I lived there for a little bit...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers describes his experience practicing at the location, Buckhead Beach as a member of the band Cursing Alice during the early 1990's. Chambers recalls his interactions with a member of another band Curtis Crow, who often donned detailed costumes during parties along with dedicated character impressions.

Keywords: Buckhead Beach; Curtis Crowe; Vic Chesnutt

00:37:05 - From Cursing Alice to Vaudeville

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Partial Transcript: And then the third Kurtis was the year...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers continues his recollection of the extravagant costumes a member named Curtis Crowe wore during the party scene around Athens, Georgia. Chambers explains that the name of his band, Cursing Alice, was eventually changed to Vaudeville due to his affinity towards circus culture. Chambers recalls his first demo as a member of Vaudeville.

Keywords: Cursing Alice; Vaudeville; Vic Chesnutt

00:44:09 - Playing with Vaudeville

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Partial Transcript: And then, we continued to play with Andy...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers describes his experience playing in the band, Vaudeville, after the addition of a new drummer. Chambers recalls performing the opening for the band Wide Spread Panic at the Georgia Theater. Chambers shares that shortly after the release of a C.D., Vaudeville split up.

Keywords: Drive-By Truckers; Georgia Theater; Kinko's; Vaudeville; Wide Spread Panic

00:51:34 - Joining The Fountains / Touring during the 1990's

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Partial Transcript: So yeah, by the time he came back...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers explains that he eventually drifted away from his band, after one member took an extended hiatus, during which Chambers independently wrote a series of songs. Chambers explains that he later joined a band called The Fountains which released a record during 1998. Chambers describes some of the difficulties he encountered while touring during the late 1990's.

Keywords: Andy Baker; The Fountains; touring

00:59:17 - The end of Vaudeville / Don Chambers and the GOAT

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Partial Transcript: And we were not the first act to go on...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers describes the last gig of his band, Vaudeville. Chambers explains that after the disbandment, he quit his work at Kinko's and took up a job as a bar attendant. Chambers states that he eventually to came to join a band called Don Chambers and GOAT where he play the banjo and Concertina.

Keywords: AthFest; Ceiling Fan; Concertina; Don Chambers and GOAT; Vaudeville

01:06:51 - Don Chambers and the GOAT continued / Writing songs solo

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Partial Transcript: There was a little bit of that on the first record...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers describes the instrumental make-up of his band, Don Chambers and the GOAT. Don Chambers explains that the band eventually split up around 2011, after conducting a series of tours and releasing four albums. Chambers states that he lived in Berlin, Germany for a few years after the band split up, where he performed under his own name.

Keywords: Berlin, Germany; Don Chambers and the GOAT; album release

01:12:47 - Writing solo (cont.) / Pursuing art

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Partial Transcript: I was really, seriously thinking about quitting...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers recalls how he eventually transitioned to recording solo records after his band, Don Chambers and the GOAT broke up. Chambers explains how he came to pursue solely art after his music career. Chambers talks about his experiences teaching art appreciation at a technical college in Georgia. Chambers states how he came to appreciate teaching as it had the appeal of "missionary work."

Keywords: Don Chambers and the GOAT; art appreciation; songwriting

01:19:52 - Teaching for the University of Georgia / The Stanford Prison Experiment

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Partial Transcript: How did the test usually go?

Segment Synopsis: Chambers details his class's average test performance, and shares his experiences as an art appreciation professor for the University of Georgia. Chambers talks about the Stanford Prison Experiment and some of the falsehoods behind popularized legends surrounding the experiment. Chambers shares his thoughts towards the city of Athens Georgia, after having lived there since the 1980's.

Keywords: Stanford Prison Experiment; University of Georgia; art appreciation

01:26:58 - Changes in the Athens music scene

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Partial Transcript: I assume that there are great things...

Segment Synopsis: Chambers talks about the "underground" appeal of the 1980's and 90's Athens music scene. Chambers describes the atmosphere as a product of the decade, susceptible to change as new music genres arrive. Chambers talks about the gradual decline in his involvement in musical events as he has gotten older.

Keywords: 40-Watt Club; Athens, GA