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Des Moines, Iowa


Top Nights at People's - Honorable Mention

Geoff Wood

As I was consolidating my list of “Top 5 Nights at Peoples” I was flooded with enough memories of other nights that I thought they deserved their own post:

1. My very first Hello Dave show was at Peoples. I remember that I went with Waddill and James and we had one of the rectangular tables on the north side of the bar. I enjoyed it so much that we went to see the band the next week at the Q in Iowa City(1).

2. On the subject of Hello Dave shows at People’s, I think there was about a twelve month stretch where my friend Casey and I didn’t miss a show(2) and that was when they played People's a lot.

3. One more Hello Dave moment: everyone remember the infamous “Baywatch Wedding” in Ames(3), right? In the days and months afterward the couple was often sighted in Central Iowa and one time they (and several of her bodyguards) made it to a Hello Dave show at People’s. The bride, Tracy Bingham, even went up on stage to sing a truly horrendous cover of The Beatlles “Obla Di, Obla Da”.

4. There were a couple memorable Damon Dotson shows, too. He hit the People’s scene after I had moved from Ames and played both the night of my bachelor party and the night that our friends Chad and Jackie came back for the Nebraska game.

5. There are too many of FAC’s to enumerate so I thought I’d group them here. They featured several musicians (Tony Bohnenkamp, Brian Congdon, and Curtis James to name a few) and several games (The Name Game and Hockey) and for the majority of my last semester of college, featured me skipping Senior Studio (4). I should explain that Senior Studio met three days a week for four hours in the afternoon for an entire semester. It was not a particularly interesting class and that meant the weekly Friday decision between either attending or skipping (5) to participate in FAC were pretty easy to make.

6. The final “honorable mention” night at People’s had to be my first night in the bar. I remember that it was December 1997 – the end of my pledge semester. Several of my pledge brothers and I had just visited The Asylum to get our fratoo’s(6). Most of us had invitations to the Gamma Phi Crush Party at People’s so we decided to head over to the corner of Welch and Lincoln Way. For those that don’t remember Crush parties, it’s when a Sorority rents out a bar one evening and each girl invites lots of guys to the party. On the whole, these parties aren’t fun but for some reason (7) we typically went whenever invited. I remember a discussion at said party with Charley (8) that this was the best Crush party we had ever been to because the girl who invited us was actually making a point to hang with us, rather than ignore us like said girls typically do at their Crush parties. Who was that girl that invited us, you may be thinking? My wife Hope (only about 5 or 6 years before our first date).

(1). Not exactly truthful, we were already in Iowa City for a Dance Marathon event at the Children’s Hospital of Iowa, we did not make the trip just to see them – we have done that several times since, though. (2) This ended at graduation when she moved to Texas. (3) Sadly, this did not work out. (4) This would be the same class that overlapped my graduation party. (5) At the time I used the term “cancelling class” – if instructors could do it, why not I? (6)A term I first heard from Michele at the Dance Marathon Conference in Nashville. (7) Probably because it was a chance to be in the bar underage. (8) I believe this night was also the trigger for most soap-operatic event of my college career when Charley was fired from his VEISHEA committee, but that’s a story for another time.