I was reading one of our local Asheville blogs today and ran across a video featuring Malcolm Holcombe, a singer-songwriter from this area. I checked out YouTube and discovered quite a few more by this local legend. It brought back memories.
Back in the mid-80’s, a partner and I opened a small restaurant called the Jersey Shore Deli just north of Asheville. When I say small, I mean small! We had a seating capacity of 40 people.
Our lunch business was great, but our dinner traffic left a lot to be desired – even with our beer and wine licenses. We needed something to draw people in on weekends so they’d see the place, taste our food, and come back during the week. The answer was live music and our first performer was Malcolm Holcombe, probably the most well-known and well liked singer in the area. He had a huge following, and our weekend business exploded. Eventually, we had a rotating stable of about 5 or 6 performers, but our biggest draw was always Malcolm. Check out the link below to see why.
(could not get link to embed – sorry. Just go to You Tube and search for Malcolm Holcomb – you’ll get the idea)
Malcolm was still pretty much a local phenom back then, even though he had performed in Nashville and gotten good reviews there. Somehow we managed to book him for New Year’s Eve, 1985 and we threw a huge, sold-out private party.
Back then, Malcolm loved his beer and we made sure that all our performers had as much of that free lubricant as they wanted. New Year’s eve, being what it is, Malcolm imbibed far more than was his norm and by midnight he was RIGHT – hammering that guitar and belting out some great music.
Our stage was small and on it we had a stool for the singer and a large potted plant (a ficus tree if I remember correctly.) Malcolm was sitting on the stool belting out his rendition of James Taylor’s “Steamroller” and just rockin’ back and forth. Next thing we knew, Malcolm went ass over tin cups backward into the plant – but he never missed a lick. When he finished the song a couple of people went up on the stage and picked him up out of the plant, sat him back on the stool, and he went right into his next song. What a fucking show!
Here’s another link to Malcolm. I don’t know how much he’d been drinking the night this was recorded, but you’ll get the idea. He’s rockin’ the shit out of that chair.
(Again – would not embed. Check out the song where he starts off talking about how good the potato salad is)
Enough of this memory lane crap. Malcolm – if you’re out there – cheers. I’ll have a beer or 6 for you tonight.