Thursday, May 26

Hattiesburg legend ill

Sadly, my first post on this newborn blog is to pass on the information that Tal DeCell, currently the owner of Tal's Dart Bar and Hattiesburg icon since the 1960's, is ill.

Tal's is not the hotspot it used to be, but there was a time that if you were out seeing good music, both local and national acts, the chances were you were tapping your little toes at Tal's. There have been songs written about the place (Fight at Tal's, Atomic Jefferson), funny (at least as far as arrests go) arrests of local iconic musicians there, and plenty o' slamdancing. Folks from Fishbone to major Country and Western acts have played there or at previous clubs owned by Tal, and ask your parents about The Stone Toad. (Which Tal primly declined to name the Stoned Toad, though everybody called it that.)

Every old-school musician in town owes Tal thanks-- for providing what was sometimes the only live venue in town, often a free place to practice, and sometimes cash money for the down-on-their-luck. If Tal were to ever call in the tabs that people have run up, many of us would be a lot poorer, and Tal could retire to where ever he wanted with a sexy nurse to help him through his illness. As it is, he is in a convalescent center, likely heading to the Collins VA.

I will be posting a mailing address here as soon as I get it for those of you who may want to drop him a card. There are also plans for a "Thank You" benefit in the works. Musicians, if you would like to give back a little, contact me about playing the gig (deadmandancing at gmail).

I will leave you with two of my favorite Tal's quotes:

"Double shotta Jager? I'll drink to that!"

To a young lady: "Bend over, and I'll ride you home, as a courtesy!"
As a courtesy! That always cracks me up.

Please post your stories about Tal and Tal's Dart bar in the comments section.

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