Nashville has always allowed quirky characters to thrive. From dueling President “Old Hickory” Andrew Jackson, to George Jones getting DUI’s on his lawnmower, and Miley Cyrus’ tongue; there is never a dull moment in the town’s history.
My favorite local legend passed away almost two years ago after months of complications. Brad Baker, 58, was the very grumpy, longtime sound man at The End. Most musicians in town that played The End had a love/hate relationship with Brad, who would almost always come over the monitors and say, “you suck,” (or worse) to even the better bands in town.
Brad had an affinity for the booze and loved to drink and tell wild stories about his past; the truths of which are still drunkenly debated today in his absence (pour one out).
Fact: Brad managed Third Encore Studios in Los Angeles.
Legend: Brad was working when Nirvana was rehearsing to record Nevermind. He, of course, told them they sucked the entire time.
Legend: Brad continuously claimed he came up with the Guns and Roses song “Night Train” after they had taken a break from being in the studio all day and someone drove by and yelled out the window, “I’m on the Night Train.”
Fact: Created and promoted the Itchycoo Park Festival in Nashville (now known as Bonnaroo).
Legend: Brad was out with cheap trick and he claimed he was credited as “porque” on live at budoken.
Whatever the truth, his legacy lives on; for no one is truly dead until their name is whispered for the last time. RIP Brad.