April 7, a night that many will remember as the night Montgomery’s last venue for original music,Head on the door, closed it’s doors forever.
A month earlier it was quietly announced that two of the most famous bartenders in Montgomery had lost their jobs, within hours, that message spread like a wild fire across social media. from there, the news would turn from bad to worse, with a revelation that new managers were closing the bar.
After tons of messages from long time patrons, the bar owners agreed to let the April 7 record release party for the band V8 Deathcar, serve as the Bar’s finale. as the night began, tons of people made their way to the bar, saddened at the thoughts of losing their favorite hang outs, others happy and joyful for the friends they made over the years and the memories that would last a lifetime.
The Band Shehehe took the stage, with a roaring applause from the first note to the last, fans cried and cheered as the lead singer expressed how much this bar meant to the band and how they loved coming here on every tour. by the time the bar was at (or unofficially over) capacity, many wearing the familiar colors of the Plug Uglies, a Punk Rock music support group, Arrived to the venue. the plugs would always be seen hanging out at Head on the door, inviting everyone in to join them in a good time, with great music.
10pm rolls around and it’s finally time for the host act, V8 Death car, the rock the house, lead by Trey Martin, this band made a name for themselves at head on the door opening up for many acts, only in the last few years has V8 death car stood out as a headliner, the last song of the night was hard to listen to without a box of tissues, as it started to sink in that the end was near.
The lights came on, as friends hugged friends, and bid a tearful goodbye to a bar that many called a cross between cheers and the iconic CBGB’s. it was a place that felt like home to many, last great bastion of rock and roll to others, and the only place to hear original music in Montgomery, to all.
Head on the door may seem like a small bar, but it was the people and the music that will remain in the hearts of those who called this place home. The once infamous wall of stickers plastered over the glass windows in front of the bar, gone, replaced by newly tinted glass, decorations inside the bar were either gathered up and relocated to other venues, or simply tossed away.
Britt and Adam Powell, of the band BPM, credited Head on the door as a source of their early success, and it’s closing inspired them to go into business themselves and open their own music venue in wetumpka, Alabama, called “Against the grain”. At the time of this column being published, their new venue is gaining a rapid following among the art and music community, I wish them nothing but success in the venue for years to come.