It has been a long transition. The roots of the Birmingham Weekly are in a little paper called Fun n Stuff that belonged to my brother, Bobby. When my brother died suddenly after going to the beach and being pulled out in a riptide, I was a new attorney at Maynard Cooper, a law firm downtown. I ran the Weekly for my brother’s estate for two years with no pay. It was kind of a blur. I mainly remember being at the office at four in the morning to keep things going in my spare time from the law firm—that and my ex-wife complaining about the no pay part. In 1999 I almost sold the paper to Tina Savas, founder of the Birmingham Business Journal, who had also just started the Birmingham Weekly. Instead I ended up selling Fun N Stuff for my brother’s estate on behalf of his sons, Jason and Sean. Sean works for us now—you can read his music review in this issue, and what a smart-aleck he turned out to be, but a good kid, thanks to his uncle looking after him. I sold the paper to Creative Loafing, the weekly alternative out of Atlanta that spread to Tampa, Charlotte, Washington, Chicago, and even Birmingham, Alabama. So for a while there was a Creative Loafing – Birmingham (there’s a trivia question for you). And they asked me to be a part of it since I ran it for two years for free (and for that, competitors who have no idea what they are talking about call me “slimy?”—what objective journalists!). And eventually the Birmingham version of Creative Loafing, the successor to Fun n Stuff, merged with the Birmingham Weekly, and then the overextended Creative Loafing empire went into bankruptcy and the former owner of the Weekly who took over from Tina Savas defaulted on extensive loan agreements. So that left me, still carrying on for my brother Bobby. I don’t need anyone’s approval for that. I just hope our readers like it. And as we keep evolving, for example with our new gallery/event space, I hope they will come on out to try the food by George Sarris, if nothing else. That is worth it, by itself. But bring the right attitude. Fun n Stuff was always a little irreverent and subversive, and never took itself too seriously, unlike some people I’ve heard from lately. The revolution continues in our neighborhood. What about yours?
Open House for Avondale Bricks Gallery Exhibition Opening for EN CADA BARRIO, REVOLUCIÓN Works by Cuban artists and sculpture by Dick Jemison Food by George Sarris of the Fish Market
BIRMINGHAM WEEKLY Avondale Bricks, Suite 103 130 41st Street, South Birmingham, AL 35222 (205) 991-4440