“Griel Marcus says that bands are ‘images of community.’ There must be something about Athens, Georgia; it seems to breed eclectics. Maybe it’s the fallout from the DuPont Factory where the members of Pylon have worked; maybe it’s art studies at the University of Georgia; maybe it’s the laetrile in the peach pits or the sweet summer sweat . . .”
Karen Moline on Pylon
New York Rocker
“Every story about this place begins, ‘“There must be something about the drinking water in Athens,” says Bert Downs, the R.E.M. lawyer.’ People also theorize about the air and the red Georgia clay. . . .”
“Newsweek on Campus”
Nobody ever did figure it out. Couldn’t. There was nothing to figure out. The reason Athens, Georgia, saw the birth of the most notable American rock scene of the 1980s wasn’t because of the red clay, the water, or the sweat. It wasn’t the cheap rent, the art school, or the availability of beer and LSD. It was simply the dynamic of exceptional coincidence. It was the initial coincidence that led The B-52’s to meet, get drunk, play, have taste and talent, and then themselves meet the right people at the right historical moment and play New York when that dark town needed a blast of color and light. Following that, there was the coincidence that Lachowski met Bewley met Crowe met Briscoe met Fred met Danny met Dana met Vic met Gamble met . . . on up to Buck meeting Stipe meeting Kathleen meeting Bill meeting Mike meeting Jefferson meeting Sandi meeting . . . and on and on and continuing even today in a great chain of ongoing and ceaseless begettings. Call it coincidence or call it magic: Whatever you call it, it wasn’t the water.