Jared Corder and East Nashville Underground hearts Ron Jeremy.
This weekend brings another installment of the locally-infamous East Nashville Underground. As our own Emily said in her coverage of the most recent festivities: If life were perfect, the East Nashville Underground (ENU) would be more than just a quarterly music festival. It would be a regular establishment, and its theme song would run along the lines of Cheers’ “you wanna go where everybody knows your name.” So who are some of the familiar faces you’ll be seeing this time around? Vinyl Thief, All Them Witches, Alanna Royale, Machines Are People Too, Magnolia Sons, KS Rhoads, Colorfeels, Frances & The Foundation, Hanzelle, James Wallace & The Naked Light and MOON TAXI, plus many more. All the specifics can be found here.
If you’ve ever attended an ENU – or any quality festival, big or small – you know the stories and quirky experiences are as much a part of the game as the music. Maybe you spent an entire night staring up at the Coachella sky with two German tourists who didn’t speak English. Maybe you snuck into a band’s trailer at Bonnaroo to use their shower. Maybe you hung out with Ron Jeremy at the ENU.
To celebrate festivals and their untold moments, we asked Jared Corder, co-founder of ENU to share the Top Five Stories You Never Knew From the East Nashville Underground :::
1. KAT SMO MET HER HUSBAND: I’m sure there have been instances of what I call “temporary love” at East Nashville Underground. There are a ton of people and free beverages, so naturally some freaky stuff is gonna go down. But back in the early days of the festival when we were still in my basement, a real love story happened. I asked Kat Smo to play the festival, and in the audience that night was Doug. The two had never met, but this evening would be the start of their journey. They got married last year, all because they met at Underground. Maybe that night there was something in the water (hint: it was alcohol)
2. RON JEREMY,….THE. RON. JEREMY: Famous porn star Ron Jeremy came to my festival and ate bagels…Now for the backstory.
…It was 3pm on a Saturday afternoon at the festival. I was hungover. I was exhausted. I had just introduced Allen Thompson Band and they were playing an amazing set. My friend Seth came over to say hello and introduced me to Ron, apparently the two were hanging out together on the set of a Wanda Jackson music video. Upon meeting Ron Jeremy, I couldn’t think of anything better to say than “Ron!…I’m a big fan of yours” Which was obviously the weirdest thing I could have said at that moment. He said “thanks” and proceeded to eat several bagels, sign a poster, and at least one pair of breasts.
3. GOING ALL SNOOP DOGG WITH CAGE THE ELEPHANT: During Underground, I’m all over the place. One second I’m on stage introducing a band and telling people to drink water, the next I’m dragging a keg to the bar. I’m always doing something. Back at the first ever season of Underground (which was in my house) I was running upstairs to check on the bathrooms, and was stopped abruptly by some dudes in thick Kentucky accents. They were in my kitchen, and were using one of my forks to clean out a pipe. They were there to see “Schools” from Bowling Green, and kept telling me how much fun the fest was, all while grinding pot on my countertop. After using some of my kitchen utensils to prepare the paraphernalia, they offered to smoke with me. I obliged, and later was informed that those guys were the members of Cage the Elephant. I don’t typically get starstruck (unless it’s than Ron Jeremy), it’s just funny that I smoked weed with a famous band in the same room that I usually prepare toast. And for anyone that wants to judge my actions, I assume it was medicinal, and I didn’t inhale.
4. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET KICKED OUT OF EAST NASHVILLE UNDERGROUND?: All stories below are true
-Getting drunk, falling and hitting your head, claiming that someone sucker punched you for absolutely no reason, and threatening to sue us.
-Being a drunk girl from Bowling Green, starting a fight with another drunk girl, slamming my fingers in the door, demanding that a cab take you from East Nashville to Kentucky, claiming that your father’s a cop, and finally passing out in the yard.
-Dropping Acid and trying to get into acid-induced shenanigans.
-Trying to tell the bartenders they are doing a shitty job while they are currently serving you free booze.
Truth be told, it takes a lot to get kicked out of East Nashville Underground. Drink what you can handle and don’t do anything dumb.
5. WE PUT ON THE FESTIVAL BECAUSE WE LOVE IT, AND YOU: When you come to the festival and see a packed house, with free drinks and some of the best local bands in town, it may be easy to think we rake in the cash at the end of every season. We don’t. Because we are Underground and independent, we put on the entire festival out of pocket. The money you pay at the door goes to pay the bands, the door guys, the bartenders, the sound guy, the event space. Basically we pay your bar tab. We do it because we love to see each season get bigger and better and more successful without some corporate sponsor. Every time you walk into our festival, you are our family, and we want to grow with you. We have many big, exciting plans and goals for the future of the festival, and none of them involve us selling out. We will never be Bonnaroo or Coachella, but we don’t want to be. They are unique, and so are we. We will always continue to try new things, some may work, some won’t, but we couldn’t keep doing it if it wasn’t for the support and love from the community, the volunteers, the bands, and you. As cheesy as that all sounded, I still think it’s pretty fucking punk rock.