An Evening with Fred Schneider
Originally formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976, the
have been a staple of the New Wave music genre for over thirty years. And their frontman - none other than
himself - emceed at
Fred Schneider’s Spring Thang Bingo Dance Party,
a benefit for the
Having managed to get myself on the VIP guest list, the only remaining task was to get to the
- the once scandalous adult nightlife venue, deliciously rehabilitated as one of the newest additions to the Atlanta club scene.
But first I had to get there.
Flying in on one of Delta's 757-200's from Miami, I tore out of the airport and zipped up I-85 and the Downtown Connector (okay, it was like slogging through mud!), picked up my partner, Jeff and
E. Vincent Martinez
. Our chariot soon deposited us at the Gold Room's valet. A quick check of the guest list and VIP hand-stamp later and we were upstairs, cavorting with a festive assemblage of mavens, media, hangers-out and hangers-on.
It took only seconds to encounter
Bubba D. Licious
, Atlanta's own Drag Diva, with her signature platinum blond hair and frocked in enough sequins and beads to light up Times Square. Along with
, director, Bubba represented Pets Are Loving Support for the evening.
And there behind her in the DJ booth was Fred. I said a quick hello and asked him to declare a word for the evening, to wish he thoughtfully replied "Donate!" Fred's garb for the evening was right in line with the B-52s' "thrift store chic" style.
Before long came the first event of the evening: Bingo! Fred and Bubba set about administering the
game like a morning radio show team, describing prizes, calling numbers, and generally working the crowd into a seething mass. The bingo machine malfunctioned frequently, spewing the little game orbs onto the floor and providing Fred ample opportunity to campily jest about losing his balls. The prizes, on the other hand, were nothing to laugh about; gift certificates and baubles from the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue and Valentino—and much more—ensured the players' rapt attention.
During the bingo festivities
, lead vocalist of Georgia's own
- nominated as Top New Vocal Group in the 2010 American Country Music Awards - stopped by for a quick chat. Ryder - who along with Fred represented the Georgia Music Hall of Fame for the evening - was clad in his signature cowboy hat and left a trail of swooning women (and more than a few men) in his wake.
After bingo it was auction time with the vivacious
, PALS Charman! The now-frenzied crowd opened their purses and wallets, gobbling up such items as an autographed, silver halide "early years" photo of
, signed guitars of the B-52s and The Lost Trailers, signed LPs from
, and much more. Not to be outdone, Fred even auctioned off lunch with himself at
[caption id="attachment_2148" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="The lovely Bubba D. Licious"]
[caption id="attachment_2149" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Kevin Bryant, PALS Director. Jerry Friday, PALS Chairman."]
[caption id="attachment_2151" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Lisbeth Rhine & Ashley Brooks of EDIN helping out PALS"]
[caption id="attachment_2152" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Betsy Robbins & Randi Layne"]
[caption id="attachment_2153" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Kevin Bryant, Fred Schneider"]
[caption id="attachment_2154" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Boys will be Girls!"]
One last bit of excitement for the evening: I came within inches of driving away from the Gold Room in a beautiful, brand new Range Rover! But alas, the valet had simply brought the wrong car.
It was quite the evening to remember!
The fashionado Traveler
has traveled extensively throughout the world, including 47 States, four continents and over thirty countries. He holds elite status with multiple hotel chains and is a charter Diamond Medallion member on Delta Air Lines. He lives in the Atlanta area and hails originally from California, where he spent his younger and admittedly less stylish years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He invites your comments and encourages invitations to your favorite away-from-home places and events. Follow him on Twitter: