The Triple Crown will celebrate 5,000 consecutive days of live music on Oct. 10.
By HAP MANSFIELD
The Triple Crown, 206 North Edward Gary Street, will celebrate 5,000 consecutive days of live music on Oct. 10. The day will feature free barbecue, t-shirt give-aways and live music all day starting at 1 p.m.
The bands featured at the event include Debatron, Mark Jungers, R.C. Banks, Wasted Youth, Wailing Walls, Hognose, Devil in the Drink, Wargasm and the Jocks.
In 1996, Allen Manning opened The Triple Crown. By 1997, the music venue was booking music every day of the week. The popular spot features music 365 days per year, including Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.
Arriving at this watermark is no small feat. The idea of featuring live music every day is ambitious and, indeed, The Triple Crown usually has at least two acts per day, with an early gig at 6 p.m. and a later one around 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturdays generally have two or more bands playing per night.
Eric Shaw, The Triple Crown’s booking agent, lines up a pastiche of bands and musicians that appeal to a variety of music lovers. Bands with national appeal, like San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma and local treasure singer-songwriters, merge in the blend with the jamming fun of Electric Mayhem, the bluegrass of the Crystal Creek Boys and the glam rock of Chasca, just to name a few of the hundreds of acts who have graced the stage during the past 13 years.
There was one day, though, when a live music performance was in jeopardy.
“One of my early music memories from the bar was the flood of ’98,” said Shaw. “The whole town was under water to varying degrees, and Edward Gary had a fair amount of water, too. But The Triple Crown stayed open, with customers taking turns mopping water from the floor.”
The venue had already been booking live music everyday for more than a year, but the flooding was so bad that all the bands canceled. It looked like live music was not going to happen that day.
“Luckily, trombonist Scotty McClure and some friends put together an acoustic jazz act on the spot for the evening’s entertainment,” Shaw said. “And while they were playing, R.C. Banks called just to make sure we had music. He would have trekked or waded down to the bar just to make sure we didn’t go a day without. That’s how it’s been over the years – through hell and, literally, high water, the local musicians have helped us to keep the music streak alive.”
The Triple Crown has been a lighthouse for musicians in the area, guiding them to a venue that appreciates their talents. Memorable music posters from the bands sporting The Triple Crown’s name can often be seen around San Marcos blending music with art.
“I think the fact that we’re still here after all these years says more about the live music scene than it does about us,” said Shaw. ” We’re very fortunate to be located in an area with so many great musicians and dedicated fans of live music.”
More information on The Triple Crown’s calendar can be found at www.triplecrownlive.com.