Rockin' a Hard Place by John Jeter
Flats, Sharps & Other Notes from a Misfit Music Club Owner

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John Jeter is a burnt-out journalist living in Florida when the younger brother who once saved his life with a donated kidney telephones with life-altering news: he’s found the perfect spot in Greenville, South Carolina for the concert hall they’ve always dreamed of opening—a nearly abandoned cotton mill fluttering with pigeons … and potential.

Rockin’ a Hard Place is the story of The Handlebar, an intimate “listening room” that has presented thousands of artists—John Mayer, Joan Baez, Zac Brown, and Sugarland among them—and hosted a quarter-million fans since its opening in 1994. A promoter’s memoir, this is the story of a naïve plunge into an industry that Hunter S. Thompson once called a “cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free.”

With a wry and irreverent voice, Jeter describes the concert business from the bottom of its food chain, where one band’s backstage demand includes “one hamster dressed like Indiana Jones, one dressed like a police officer,” where a landlord seeks to evict him over an ice machine, and where he is reduced to standing with a decibel meter in the dark behind his club.

Singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor tells him at the grand opening: “Never book anyone just because you’re a fan.” But for this cantankerous club owner, it’s often Art before Commerce, financial risk be damned. After all, it’s the small clubs—where the likes of Springsteen, Jefferson Airplane and even The Beatles got their start—where real music is made.

About John Jeter

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published October 18, 2012 by Hub City Press. 200 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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The money never seems to have been there (at least not enough of it), and for every transcendental night with Joan Baez or John Mayer, there appears to have been 10 hellacious nights with snotty eccentrics demanding costumed hamsters in their contract riders.

Aug 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Rockin' a Hard Place: Flats, ...

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