Linda Tovar has Sacrificed More than One Set of Clothes for Dallas Music

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Local Music 'Mericans has been running almost two and a half years now on DC9, and one disappointing shortcoming in writing this column has been the lack of "war stories" from live local stages: odd, unforgettable things seen. Not sure what the problem is! Sure, there's been a few interesting points, but not since the early days of LMM, when we interviewed door guy Sean Wayne have we gotten a good handful of colorful firsthand live music first hand accounts.

To the rescue is Linda Tovar. Aside from approaching so many in our local music family with a very kind, motherly and hospitable approach, Tovar's also a budding concert tech who's really the Swiss Army Knife of handiness at Trees in Deep Ellum. She's currently serving as an understudy to the man who pilots the jet engine of a PA found in Trees, the previously LMM-featured Lee Russell. As far as amusing things happening during local shows, she's not only seen it, but is far enough up on the front lines to have smelt it, felt it and had it stick to her clothes...all in the name of rock. I'll let her explain.


It's been a lot of fun hearing some of your "war stories" from the front lines of live local music. Some of the best I've heard. Please, indulge us.
Let's see, There was the drummer who poured, like, 2 gallons of fake blood all over himself and the drum riser. For weeks I would forget and kneel on the riser and have to deal with my pants sticking to my knees and shins. That might have been the same band who used real barbed wire on stage as a prop. They still owe me a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. I was at one show where I was thoroughly entertained listening to the sound guy ask the drummer what he had that needed to be mic-ed. It took a while before he understood that the drummer had an actual brake drum (off a car). He kept asking, "what's a brake drum?". How do you answer that? It's a brake drum!

I know which band that is! I think it's great that these are all local acts. What else?
I've seen singers stick vocal mics down their throats and down their pants... My most recent favorite was a fight between a giant cardboard robot and giant blob with a giant eyeball, their drummer's costume was great! It's hard to tell these stories because you really had to be there. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC! You won't be sorry..most of the time.

You are a multi-task master at Trees. Outdoor, indoor, front of house. What about before this work? Or currently and in addition to this?
Before this, I worked in Bakersfield at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace! A music venue "built by musicians for musicians" when it first opened in 1996. After I left Bakersfield, it seemed like everywhere I moved to, I was meeting musicians and becoming involved in the local scene. I moved to Dallas to be close to my family. My brother, Rob and sister-in-law, Vicki, are both musicians in local bands. I started working with them in various roles from roadie/drum tech to running sound.

And what was your first experience with local music here?
The first show I ever went to in Deep Ellum was a Mad Mexicans show at Trees on my birthday. This was right before Trees closed. After I moved to Dallas and found out Trees was going to open again, I was excited. I had met Clint Barlow and [Trees Sound Engineer] Lee Russell, who was at at Firewater at the time, coincidentally during another Mad Mexicans show, which was on my birthday. Lee and I became friends and somehow I was able to finagle him into teaching me some of his magic.


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