The Death of Rock in the New South


The Mighty Joe Young of ANTiSEEN among a few recent greats that have passed recently. (Photo: Moloich Photography)

By Michael G. Plumides, Jr. JD 

In the immortal words of David Lee Roth, “Where have all the good times gone?” My rock-n-roll comrades are dropping like flies. I guess when you achieve a certain age, it ‘s unavoidable. Death is a part of life, as they say. But in a short period of time, we have lost a few visionaries here in the Southeast, and as I write this, It’s hard to be poetic.  I’m a little more misty about the tragic losses of these men because they all touched my life, some for good and some for bad.  However, each of these men left an indelible mark on me in my formative years, that would be an intricate part of my definition.

Joe Young- ANTiSEEN (April 30, 2014) Lenoir, North Carolina

When I was sixteen (circa 1981), Joe Young worked at the Record Bar at Southpark in Charlotte – yes, the legendary sludge-rock guitarist worked at the mall. I wanted to work at the mall record store too but they wouldn’t hire me. Didn’t matter how much I knew about music, everyone employed there was easily ten years older than me (except for Joe) and I knew nothing about retail.

While in college at South Carolina, ANTiSEEN was making a big splash at the college radio station where I worked. I think we had one single that received a considerable amount of airplay on the “punk” show, “Raucous Waves”.  I hosted occasionally with Keith Bullard (now deceased). But their first LP, Honour Among Thieves garnished the band some attention with their brand of loud, southern dis-hospitality.

After graduating college in 1988, I moved back to Charlotte – only 90 miles up I-77. When the 4808 Club opened on 7th Street, ANTiSEEN became a fixture, first opening for bands like TSOL, and Soundgarden, then headlining shows. Jeff Clayton, the band’s lead singer and long-time partner of Young, was even married at my club in December, 1989, with Joe, Tom O’Keefe, and Greg Clayton playing the wedding march. Joe and I even shared a girlfriend at one point. I remember one time Joe trying to encourage me to come to see G.G. Allin’s show at his “Church of Musical Awareness” – he said, “Mike, you really oughta come see G.G.’s show in October. He said after the set, he’s gonna bring a loaded revolver out on stage and shoot five people in the audience and save the last bullet for himself.” My response was, “Why the fuck would I want to be there?” Joe died suddenly of a heart attack last April after playing with his band for thirty years.

Jeff Lowery – Pterodactyl Club/13-13 (August 3, 2014) – Charlotte, North Carolina


If I had an arch-nemesis, it was Jeff Lowery. At one time, I admired Jeff, and wanted to be part of the new scene he was constructing in the Queen City – first, from the shambles of the legendary punk mecca, the Milestone, inheriting the Tuckaseegee shit hole from Bill Flowers and making a go of it again, bringing in alt. acts like Flaming Lips, and Camper Van Beethoven.  Then Lowery opened the Pterodactyl Club, and there was nothing like it in Charlotte. I remember the summer of 1987, I applied for a job as a deejay there. Lowery hired me and then fired me before I had spun one record. It seems the other deejay didn’t like me. All the more reason to open my own place in 1988.

Whether I want to admit it or not, Lowery was an influence – but not just on me. Andy Kastanas, Bob Okamoto, and Conrad Hunter opened the original Park Elevator on South Boulevard and had hosted some shows beginning late 1987 – Gang Green, King Diamond, Psychic TV, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to name a few. Then I opened the first 4808 Club on Central Avenue, a rock’s throw from the now-leveled Eastland Mall. I brought in the likes of Johnny Quest, Dumptruck, Dark Angel, and Widespread Panic. But both clubs were operating on shoe-string capital – unlike Lowery, who was killing it – with bands on Wednesday, and progressive dance music Thursday through Saturday.  Problem was, Lowery didn’t like competition.

As Park Elevator was operating on a month-to-month lease, Lowery snaked their venue out from under them, forcing them to relocate – and Lowery opened 13-13. He later did the same to me at my last 4808 location on 5th Street. Lowery and I had gotten into a bidding war over GWAR, but I got the contract – me, being stupid enough to allow an all-ages show. Lowery didn’t like that too much, so he bought my building. And to add insult to injury, allegedly, he tipped off Daniel Sellers at Alcohol Law Enforcement who raided my club and arrested Oderus Urungus and myself. Coincidentally, Lowery was on the guest list and watched with a needful eye as the chaos unfolded, snickering in the shadows during the incident.

Lowery also went out with a few of my ex-girlfriends – it was weird and incestuous. At a gathering last night to celebrate Jeff’s life at Amos’ Southend, I went, out of politeness. If anyone was shitty, I was going to tell them, “I only came to gloat.” His ex-partner, Tim Blong, tried to convince me of Jeff’s fondness. “Mike, you’ve got it all wrong. Jeff liked you. He said you made it interesting.” Kris, who was Lowery’s long-time girlfriend in the early nineties retorted, “I heard a different story.” We all laughed about it, however tragic. I’m sure me filing Bankruptcy in 1991 was “interesting” enough for the night club entrepreneur and property mogul, with 3 million supposedly in a Cayman account at the time of his demise. But as my Dad used to say, “You can’t take it with you.”  Lowery was found dead in his home on August 3, 2014. A toxicology report is pending. 

Dean Riopelle – Masquerade Club (September, 24, 2013) Atlanta, Georgia

In the waning days of the 4808 Club, I had befriended Greg Green, who worked as an assistant at the Masquerade Club in Atlanta. Dean Riopelle, his boss, was a night club owner from Florida, who had a string of venues, more notably, The Ritz in Ybor City, and others. Greg would become manager of the Masquerade in the early 1990’s.  While I was in law school, circa 1994, Dean decided to start the Masquerade Recordings label. Greg suggested me as “General Manager’. Dean and I discussed terms and he hired me on the spot.  I didn’t last too long there. Dean would always walk by my office not saying a word, pausing momentarily in the doorway, then he would go up to his office and call Greg down the hall. Then Greg would come and tell me whatever Dean’s gripe was. 

Dean was also in a theatrical outfit called “The Impotent Sea Snakes” – who were mostly a raunchy drag queen troop who incidentally were also musicians. Some of the guys even lived downstairs in the practice space in the bowels of the club at the old Excelsior Mill. They did have a little notoriety though, with guest appearances by the likes of Lemmy Kilmister, Jenna Jameson, and Ron Jeremy. They were a weird group of folks, really into BDSM, which was something that made me a little uncomfortable. Some were into heavy drugs – but not Dean. Dean didn’t drink or do drugs to my knowledge. Dean even used to chastise band mates if they were abusers and encourage them to give up their drug of choice.


When I discovered that Dean had died of a heroin overdose last September, I was dumbfounded. It didn’t make any sense to me, but there again, I knew a guy who started smoking at 40, so what’s the difference? Turned out, Dean was allegedly given a lethal dose of heroin by his girlfriend, Alix Tichelman, who is implicated in the murder of a Google executive.  Dean and Alix were all into the bondage thing and had recently done an interview with fIXE Magazine, a fetish rag, where they talked about their master-servant relationship. Also, Tichelman allegedly bit Dean on the hand after an argument at the club, where later he had her arrested. Dean was dead within a week of her release. Tichelman, who made the 9-11 call, left Atlanta in some haste to became a call girl in Silicon Valley.  That’s where she met client, Forrest Hayes, on his boat – where she allegedly injected him with heroin. There’s video of her stepping over Hayes’ corpse, finishing her glass of wine, and exiting. The “Black Widow”, Tichelman, is being held without bond. Riopelle was reexamined in July after Tichelman’s arrest in California: A tragic end to a legendary club owner.

David Brockie/Oderus Urungus – Lead Singer of GWAR – Richmond, Virginia

me and oderus book crop bw

Dave Brockie. What can I say. He was a real sick genius.  Interestingly, the above photo was taken at the Masquerade Club in 2009, shortly after the release of my book, Kill the Music. David and I were friends.  We happened to share the same jail cell Jeff Lowery put us in by tipping off the cops that fateful September night in 1990. First conversation Dave and I ever had was in the back of a squad car.

On the eve of his memorial before the Gwar-B-Q in Richmond on August 15th,  I write this: Brockie and I were arrested together after a live show that allegedly violated North Carolina obscenity statutes, during the moral hysteria of the PMRC years. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanors, and Gwar was banned from performing in North Carolina for a year. The incident was covered by the national media including The Associated Press, Billboard, Rolling Stone and MTV. My 4808 Club in uptown Charlotte was closed by authorities shortly after the arrests. 

In its wake, the band shot to stardom, eventually scoring two Grammy nominations, touring the world and becoming known for highly offensive, tongue-in-cheek shows that landed somewhere between Alice Cooper, Monty Python and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He was an extraordinary painter, a talented musician, a criminally ignored lyricist, a quick-witted comedian and actor, and a mesmerizing frontman. Brockie performed with musical acts X-Cops, Death Piggy and DBX, appeared in several movies, was the “Intergalactic Correspondent” on late-night Fox News program “Red Eye” and was on two seasons of Fearnet’s “Holliston.”

Brockie and I had continued our relationship in the 25 years since our incarceration. I promoted a number of Gwar shows in the Southeast in the early ’90s and wrote a book, “Kill the Music,” which chronicled our experience during the PMRC era, interviewed Brockie at Bonnaroo in 2010 for an article titled “Bonnaroo Must Be Destroyed,” and wrote frequently about Gwar for Blurt and my blog. He even asked me to work on a “Blackbeard” project he was working on. Gwar overcame many obstacles and changed lineups over the years, but Brockie remained the consummate taskmaster at his company, Slave Pit Enterprises, and was the last original member to play with the group.  His death followed Cory Smoot, the long-standing guitarist, found dead in his bed on the tour bus coming back from Canada in 2011. 

I knew Dave had dabbled in all sorts of drugs and debauchery, but I didn’t think he habitually chased the dragon. Dave died of heroin overdose shortly after getting back from a very successful tour of Australia and Japan.

Don Drakulich (aka Sleazy P. Martini of Gwar) may have said it best: “If there is any solace in this, it’s that there was little suffering. He went out on a high point in his career. And he will never know the feeling of just fading away. He went out like a rock star. My biggest regret is not getting a chance to say goodbye.”

Art Boerke – Rockafella’s Night Club (February 17, 2013) – Columbia, South Carolina


Art Boerke was huge – but he was also a big influence on me. He was a legend at my college radio station. In 1988, when he was the Program Director at 95-7 FM, I asked him for a job while I was still in college. He told me, “You talk to much!” Funny, coming from Art because he seldom would let you get a word in edgewise once he started going. But Art was a brilliant guy. He was also a great promoter and owned the iconic Five Points club, Rockafella’s. Art gave acts like Edwin McCain, and Hootie and the Blowfish their start.

I learned a lot from Art, both what to do and what not to do. I said for him not to buy that Quiet Riot show he lost his ass on, and supposedly, he told me not to do an all-ages GWAR show. Admittedly, I did it so Lowery wouldn’t get it – that was a life choice.  Art became dear friends with my brother Damon, and was always with us for as far back as I can remember. But it was Art Boerke who put Columbia on the map for music in the 1990’s. The Impotent Sea Snakes played at Rockafella’s, so did GWAR, and ANTiSEEN.  Art, me, and Lowery, all did business with a guy named Chris Bojonavich, who used to work for Cecil Corbett. We all popped into each other’s clubs from time to time. 

Art got out of the night club business, went back to school and up to the time of his death, was a college professor. Art and my brother Damon wrote a children’s book together called, The Adventures of Caterwaul the Cat: Feline Pie. Art died after falling on his head when he was released prematurely from Carolinas Medical Center, after he had taken too many Ambien, prescribed for a sleep study, in February of 2013.

These guys were punk pioneers in their own right, before the corporations took over. I wrote about each in my memoir, just a few short years ago. They were all still alive in 2009. It makes me feel very alone thinking about them. Nothing lasts forever,it seems… but their tales will echo in eternity. 

Go here:

Posted in Art Boerke, Charlotte, comedy, David Brockie, Dean Riopelle, GWAR, Gwar-B-Q, Jeff Lowery, Joe Young, Metal, NC, north carolina | 2 Comments

Why the North Carolina film business was doomed by Pat McCrory

The Gubnah

Pat McCrory: Killing North Carolina film and television jobs one at a time.

Opinion by: Michael G. Plumides, Jr., JD

Let me count the ways: On the behest of Sheila Schmidt Brothers, head honcho at Wilmywood Daily, I offer this op-ed piece describing why the newly empowered GOP in North Carolina felt the necessity to decimate the film and television production business in our beautiful state of flux.

Regarding the embattled “Film Incentive”, Governor Pat McCrory said to WECT the other day that, “We need to have some compromise on it because, frankly, there was some abuse of it.” The Republicans haven’t brought this theory up much – at least, not until they’ve been under the eye of voter scrutiny. And the “abuse” he refers to is obviously politically motivated, citing that the Democratic National Convention held in Charlotte in 2012 hosted The Daily Show, which received a rebate of $190,211 (although McCrory claimed the payout was $400,000). Not only did he single The Daily Show out, but he had to lie about how much to make it look egregious. Brothers says, “McCrory just spews out misinformation and goes about his business.” If you’re a free thinking Democrat, you watch Jon Stewart on a regular basis – and you know the Republicans don’t like him much – but that’s really not the point I’m driving at here. That’s more of an aside – but reveals the “smoke-and-mirrors”, ‘throwing-the-dart-and-painting-the-bulls-eye-around-it” tactics they have resorted to, even blaming the film business for lack of monies for teacher salaries – using Jesse Helms’ tactics from yesteryear to smear the local film employee. I smell Karl Rove.

Senior Republican, Phil Berger, from Rockingham County, has had a hard-on to dismantle the incentives since it’s inception. After the filming of the neo-pornographic yarn, Hound Dog, shot in Wilmington, circa 2007, Berger was on a crusade, of sorts, using the lurid film as an excuse to force content censorship on visiting productions – those who would apply for a tax credit, would also have their scripts approved by an appointed political panel in Raleigh .

Then Governor, Bev Purdue, nixed Berger’s proposal and instead bumped the program up to 25% as opposed to 15% so North Carolina could compete with Georgia and Louisiana – humiliating Berger. Berger vowed that if the GOP ever were to retake the NC Congress, he would squash the “Film Incentive” – which is really a misnomer because it applies to all “Qualified Business Ventures” under the tax code.

And although they accuse “Hollywood” of stealing NC tax dollars, they offer no evidence of “abuse” but also no measures to “even the playing field” for entrepreneurs and start-up business, because frankly, they don’t give  a shit.

And as we all know, it doesn’t matter how many pie charts, or graphs, or other trappings of investigation you produce to Republicans in support of the incentive (or “global warming” or “coal ash” for that matter), or how many college professors with tenure at N.C. Universities offer their 50 page comprehensive, scientific extrapolations, once the Republicans make their minds up – that’s it.  And the North Carolina GOP is directed from higher ups.

When I met with then (now disgraced) Charlotte Mayor Pat Cannon last December, he already knew what they were going to propose – stating they intended to siphon money from the counties who most benefit – and he was in tight with McCrory, et al. Ol’ Pat has been bound and determined to “sunset” the tax credit and that determination  is evident in their many unreasonable, ridiculously-lopsided and undesirable proposals (including an unworkable grant program) are written. Many of the proposed bills  are destructive and vindictive (a la Berger), flushing North Carolina’s hard earned film and television production infrastructure down the toilet.  This “Tea Party” obstructionism doesn’t take into account the five thousand full-time employees, another twenty-thousand part-timers, tourism, or the local businesses and rental houses for that matter – all of whom pay state taxes, and fees. Let the mass exodus begin just like NAFTA.

Art Pope and the John Locke Foundation? No. Higher. Americans for Prosperity a la the Koch’s? Maybe. There is a colluded effort here. They are propping up McCrory for a top slot in the program – and they are slowly taking states like Texas and North Carolina – anywhere that has an inkling of progressive thought. The rich, white plutocracy intends to send the political competition packing and us back to the stone age.

As I’ve always said, follow the money… and although there’s not a lot of Republicans in the production business, there are a lot of Republicans that own land and operate down Georgia way. The “Chick-fil-a” Cathy family – and God bless ’em, knew what was good for Georgia, and their burgeoning Pinewood Studios endeavors – and they wanted a rigged game. So, they saw their opportunity to grease “Gubnah Pat” through a super-pac or two – to get him elected (as millions of outside dollars flooded the state in 2012) to plant the seed of political unrest regarding the incentive – the same way Berger did a number of years before that resulted in low film production numbers that year. The flux resulted in Pinewood landing the Marvel contract for four years. Didn’t NC just film the blockbuster, Iron Man 3 here?

Now, another studio is in development in Georgia – at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85 – a combination of studio soundstages, back lot, office complex, film school, and hotels. Supposedly this is a billion dollar enterprise. Nobody plans this stuff overnight – the Atlanta Media Campus and Studios by Jacoby Development will break ground this summer. A similar project was proposed for Charlotte on the old Eastland Mall site – but fell on its face.  Oh, and coincidentally, Screen Gems has filmed two projects on that Gwinnett County, GA site – Fast and Furious and Hunger Games: Mockingjay – so, there’s some cloak-and-dagger, back room dealings going on here – Wilmywood should be asking some questions,  with EU sending truck loads of equipment south.

Without repeating myself, let’s just say, the GOP is anti-union, they are anti-media (because those in production are usually Democrats), they are anti-green, and anti-Hollywood. and if they run all the Democrats out of Wilmington and Charlotte, the better chance the GOP has in securing New Hanover and Mecklenburg counties next time around with little “tree-hugging” opposition.

Let’s face it. There’s gonna be a big c@nt punch to the NC film industry and there’s no easy answer to why, or who – but I think it’s fair to say that the emotionally- charged press the GOP has created, takes North Carolinian’s eyes off of their “robber baron” intent to frack and mine, and in the process, poison our water supply, create earthquakes and sinkholes, and litter the coastline with oil platforms.

I used to live in Wrightsville Beach on Asheville Street, four doors down from Dino DeLaurentiis… it won’t be a pretty sight.

If you want to read about this subject ad nauseam, go here and be among the 60,000 readers who have viewed it:


The Koch’s are at war with North Carolina’s film industry. But as I have publicly said for almost a year, they are not targeting other “Red States” like Georgia or Louisiana – or even Texas. Austin is doing well. So, this may be all to benefit the Cathy’s endeavors and others who stand to profit from building production hubs and infrastructure built by GOP-friendly companies so they get their piece of the action of an industry they do not profit from presently in North Carolina.

The latest in a series of unsettling revelations – the Koch’s share the same lobbyist with the NC Production Alliance – so it’s just become a big shit sandwich and we’re all gonna take a bite. But the Koch’s aren’t opposed to programs that afford big incentives to companies building facilities in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas (where Glenn Beck just built a studio).

The Koch’s are bolstering the aforementioned states and destabilizing others like New Jersey, Florida, and North Carolina. I think once the developments are underway, they will re-institute the North Carolina incentives, so the GOP favorites can benefit and get a piece of an industry they so fiercely fight against, once they control the facilities. This has been a concerted effort by Republicans to get their piece of a very lucrative industry at the expense of the film worker.

I always said, “follow the money.”

And it turns out, unbeknownst to me, the Kochs own Georgia-Pacific along with other manufacturing entities in our neighboring Southeastern State. These industrialists are trying to corner the market for their facilities and run everyone out of the production business in North Carolina – and our people will have to relocate to SC, GA, or Louisiana, or CA. The Kochs will bolster their interests in Georgia presently. If you want to know how they operate, go here.

UPDATE! 9/15

Douche-Burgermeister McCrory kills any chance of reinstating the film incentive – kicking the can down the road:

Posted in chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy, Democrats, film industry, Metal, north carolina, Pat McCrory, pinewood studios, politics, Republican Governors Association, Truett Cathy | 4 Comments


Phantogram 14

PHANTOGRAM at the Fillmore – Charlotte 6/25/14

Photos and Words: Michael Plumides

With a mesmerizing laser light show, nu-techno synth pop visionaries PHANTOGRAM brought their Cocteau Twins meets Massive Attack brooding beats and haunting vocal stylings to the Fillmore Charlotte on a balmy Wednesday night with an energetic stage presence and clever musicianship.  The Greenwich Village duo, sexy Sarah Barthel on vocals and keyboards (donning a Chrissie Hynde mop, and skin tight black and white paints) and Josh Carter on vocals and guitar were accompanied by tour drummer Chris Carhart and Nick Shelestak on keyboards for their Charlotte appearance. The band played their more popular songs, “Don’t Move”, “When I’m Small”, “Fall in Love”, and “Black Out Days” to the nearly sold out crowd of a 1,000 screaming fans.
Visually exploding on stage with visceral reds and blues, the pulse-pounding music combined with tantalizing allure of lead vocalist, Barthel, Phantogram is about to bust out of their underground status.  After putting on rock shows for years, and covering hundreds of bands,   I sense a new act for the Grammy’s – and Barthel is a talented, strong female performer with a fantastic look and sound. Not only is the band tight, but her pants are too… and she wears them well.  Rock star presence is something missing today and this girl’s got it in spades.




Upcoming Tour Dates

6/26/14 Music Farm – Charleston, SC
6/27/14 The Beacham – Orlando, Fla
6/28/14 Grand Central – Miami, Fla (SOLD OUT)
6/29/14 Tampa – The Ritz – Ybor City

Go here for more tour dates and tickets.
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Elvis Costello with Larkin Poe at the Ryman Theater June 21, 2014

Photos: Michael G. Plumides, Jr.

I like to take photos – it’s fun. Check out these shots I took in Nashville on June 21, 2014 at the Ryman Theater (the original “Grand Ole Opry House”). Normally I get a photo pass but in this particular situation I didn’t ask for one.  But knowing how I love to capture the moment, I brought my new Canon SX 280 HS and shot these from the balcony. Elvis 1 ??????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

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GHOST TREK episodes now on YouTube!

Be among the first to watch GHOST TREK: GOOMBA BODY SNATCHERS MORTUARY LOCKDOWN (2013) on YouTube along with the award-winning GHOST TREK: THE KINSEY REPORT (2012) in HD. Great for Chromecast users – share with your friends!

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My dear friend, David Murray Brockie (50) of the shock-rock group, GWAR, has died. This is a piece I wrote in October of 2012 examining the twenty-five year relationship with David. Details and funeral arrangements are pending.

Michael G. Plumides Jr.'s The Decline of Southern Civilization

me and oderus book crop bw

This is a piece I wrote two years ago regarding my relationship with my long-time friend and partner in crime, Dave Brockie, who died yesterday. David Murray Brockie, 50, was found dead in his bed Sunday afternoon by his roommate. I don’t have further details at this time. The last time Dave was in Charlotte he hugged me around the neck and said, “Man, I’ve been keeping up with all your stuff. I’m so proud of you, man. I’m a fan. You really got your name out there.” That affirmation meant a lot to me. Dave and I go back twenty-five years. Indeed, this is a sad day in music and a terrible loss – Of all the many people I know in rock-n-roll, Dave was the brightest, quickest, most intelligent and creative person I had ever met. To read more, go here:  I will, more than…

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McCrory/Chick-fil-a connection confirmed by Georgia State Senator – Pinewood Studios grabs Marvel Contract


By: Michael G. Plumides, Jr. JD 

I’ve been sitting on this for a few weeks now. Over the past several months, I’ve spoken with a lot of news outlets, all begging for my take on the whole McCrory/Chick-fil-a connection.  The problem was, many were reluctant to write a story based on my findings because there was no “smoking gun” – my theory was mostly conjecture, therefore they didn’t want to print it, no matter how correct I was or how much sense it made. (Go here for the story: – I mean, let’s face it, I’m that guy who went to jail with GWAR, not Wolf Blitzer.

Although I’m not the “mainstream media” (but the original blog did get 40,000 hits so I ain’t no schlub AND Oderus was the “intergalactic correspondent” on Fox News’ Red Eye), I think that fact works in my favor because it affords me the opportunity to speak the truth without a filter, so I have carte blanche to say whatever the hell I want about cronyism and crooked politicians in my state. Anyway, my theory was confirmed in such a random way that I feel the necessity to share it with you, dear reader. This will really blow your mind.

According to a North Carolina “Actor” (I will not name at this time) who was on a location in Georgia where a feature film was shooting in January, he randomly struck up a conversation with the Representative of District 25 named Burt Jones (a close friend of the Cathy family) who just happened to be on set (and wouldn’t you know it – it was his house). Unwittingly, the State Senator confirmed my theory regarding campaign funding, film incentives, and interests adverse to job creation in our state otherwise known as the “Chick-fil-a/McCrory Connection”:

(1) The Cathy Family are supporters and dear friends of Governor McCrory,

(2) The Cathy family are also campaign financiers who donated a considerable amount of money to McCrory’s gubernatorial candidacy and other GOP campaigns in North Carolina,

(3) The position of the North Carolina GOP to let the film incentive lapse was partly engineered by the Cathy Family (who funded Pinewood Studios in Atlanta),

(4) The public posturing by the North Carolina GOP to not support the incentive has influenced production work to no longer consider North Carolina and choose Georgia instead,

(5)  The Republicans in the NC Senate posturing to not support the incentive renewal and let it lapse in 2015 also influenced Marvel Studios to sign a four-year contract with Pinewood Studios (if you remember – Iron Man 3 was shot in Wilmington, NC, the top grossing film of 2013) thus solidifying Marvel as the much needed anchor tenant, guaranteeing the Cathy’s investment.

The funny thing is,  the “actor” hadn’t read my original blog until two months afterward, so there was no collusion between he and I.  The noob “State Senator” offered the information after the actor indicated he was from North Carolina, and commented on the state of affairs regarding some film projects bypassing NC and going to Georgia due to the incentives flux. What’s even funnier is, the Senator went on about it, laughing and carrying on as if it were common knowledge.

Republicans take care of each other. Of the few Republicans in the film business – the Cathy Family just happened to be the closest to North Carolina’s GOP who actually benefit from the industry… with a disposable income in the billions. They donated money to McCrory, and in turn McCrory appointed Marcella Ramirez-Savage (Chick-fil-a Marketing Director) to the North Carolina Board of Education as a little token of appreciation.  The big delivery was the GOP’s overt negative position on the film incentives and creating instability in North Carolina regarding film and television production.  It was a brilliant play.

Now it’s a moot point for the North Carolina GOP to scuttle our film incentives. Whether it was a ruse or not I cannot determine – but as the GOP are serving masters outside of our state, and those masters have now benefited from that service, it would behoove them to vote for extending the incentives, as most of their policies are highly unpopular right now in the wake of the “coal ash”, “cutting unemployment benefits” and “teacher’s salaries” controversies. The incentives have been proven a viable economic boost for our North Carolina economy.

Think about what “Bridge-gate” did to Chris Christie… this is a helluva lot more egregious than that. I will release the names when the time comes.

That’s pretty much it. I discovered this. If my findings ever grab Vice‘s attention, please know that crazy Plumides guy figured it out before everyone.

Update: 10/2/2014

Deep throat finally exposes himself! Wilmington actor, David Schifter, recently owned up to his whistle blower status, who stated that McCrory was bought and sold by Georgia in the comments section on a similar article by a Georgia resident, Ryan Felton, on the “Casting Exchange” website:

“I am the actor who had that conversation with the GA senator, Burt Jones. It took place at his lakefront home. A beautiful log style home that was the day’s location for a film I was working on in January. We talked and made simple conversation which quickly turned to the NC/GA state of the film industry. He said straight out ‘Gov. McCrory had “handed over his state’s film production industry to Georgia.’ As he should have been, Sen. Jones was thrilled. He made the Chick-fil-a connection as well.”

“I voted for McCrory. It was a mistake I won’t make again nor will I allow speaker Tillis a shot at re-election. Power corrupts, and these men do not have the interest of the majority of North Carolinians and choose to sneak out back doors at public events where film proponents attend. What does that say about the men who destroyed a two-generation industry here?”

Schifter, and admitted Republican, went on to say:

“I had a first hand conversation with a GA senator at his lakefront log home in January about the industry in NC and there in GA. I was at his home filming scenes for a faith-based film called “Virtuous.” He was very clear that NC Governor McCrory, and I quote; “handed the (North Carolina) film industry over to Georgia.

Another interesting fact about NC’s dear leader is that Chick-fil-a often caters McCrory’s state house events. But McCrory will be a one term governor who is already tied up in a couple scandals. It’s just a damn shame he will have ruined a great industry that positively affected so many. How’s the real estate market around Atlanta? I may be packing it up and heading where people understand when they have a good thing and aren’t abusive and selfish.”

So there you have it folks – your smoking gun. There were people that doubted the validity of my claim. I will be honest with you, I embellish sometimes to make a story interesting but I’m not a good liar. Here’s the link:

Posted in chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy, Democrats, film industry, Metal, north carolina, Pat McCrory, pinewood studios, politics, Republican Governors Association, Truett Cathy | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments