Vanessa Briscoe Hay


Vanessa Briscoe Hay at Pylon’s last show, Halloween 2008 in Atlanta.

Photo by Rhonda Fleming

“In the early part of 2004, I received a phone call from Pylon guitarist Randy Bewley. He wanted to get the band back together. The guys and I met and after some discussion, we decided to get together for fun. We all missed each other and missed playing music. In late July, Curtis (Crowe) came to practice at Nuci’s Space and said that he would have to leave Athens for a while to go to Hawaii to work on a new series called ‘Lost.’ To keep our momentum, we decided that we would play before he left.

By our next practice, Michael (Lachowski) had a space lined up. It was at the corner of Hancock and Hull Street and belonged to Manhattan owner Joey Tatum. There wasn’t a sound system yet, so Randy called Herb Guthrie to bring one in and run sound. Curtis called Bill Berry and asked if he would loan him a drum kit.

I was a little nervous because I still didn’t have all of the lyrics re-memorized, so I typed them all up and put them in a notebook like the old days. We had an excellent practice that night.

On Thursday afternoon, Aug. 5, 2004, I called a few close friends to let them in on the secret. Everyone was surprised. My daughter Hana informed me that WUOG was broadcasting a request for information about where our show was going to be that night. I told her not to call, but Randy’s son Adam did call and he told the DJs where the show was taking place after they promised not to broadcast the time and location. They didn’t broadcast it. They decided to go off the air instead when it was close to time for the show. I think that is one of the biggest compliments that we have ever been paid.

Sound check went well. People were already filtering into the space to listen and running past the windows. I had initially visualized a show with maybe 75 people. At this point, I realized that it was going to go over that estimate. I saw people that I had not seen for years who had driven in from from Atlanta. Michael had friends who started driving when they got off work in Tennessee and barely made the show.

The show completely sold out, and there was a large crowd hanging out in the street watching us play through a side window, including my daughter Hana.

Curtis said that it was like an old plane that had been sitting around in a hangar for years. It cranked up and the engine still ran! The energy was wonderful, and it felt like one of our early 1980s shows. It was amazing.”

—Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Pylon