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Atomic Turtle - Expansion (1987-1991)
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Dragonslayer crew at Samford University

Tuscaloosa crewKim BoyceDragonslayer was back but many of us had graduated from college and moved.  I was now in Birmingham and others were in Tuscaloosa and Montgomery.  We started recruiting in all three cities and our numbers grew, giving us full production teams in each town.  There were hundreds of us.

Then the concerts came, and they came in a torrent.  Atlanta Fest put multiple shows in Birmingham each year, Mylon played all three cities, local churches and Christian night clubs asked us to manage their concerts, and Dragonslayer brought in shows when some of the bands started calling us directly.  We were doing almost a concert per month and the numbers kept climbing. 

Dana KeyThere were so many concerts that we started booking artists for two cities at a time, placing the gigs on alternate nights in different cities with different crews.  Montgomery and Tuscaloosa hosted concerts of their own and we even managed several concerts in Huntsville and Cullman.  By 1988 Dragonslayer was hosting some concerts in the same city on the same night. 

RuschaThe largest of these dual concerts was the 5,500-audience Michael W. Smith/DC Talk concert at Birmingham's Oak Mountain Amphitheater and the 1,400-audience Bill Gaither/Cathedrals concert at nearby Briarwood Presbyterian Church.  After the concerts I had the priviledge of eating a 2am breakfast at Waffle House with Bill Gaither, DC Talk, and the Cathedrals.  Bill Gaither commented that while all of us were getting along at breakfast, the band's collective fans hated each other.  Funny guy.

Twila ParisAll these concerts moved Dragonslayer into many new venues.  Our concerts were indoors and outdoors, at churches, night clubs, school auditoriums, ampitheaters, parking lots, city auditoriums, and concert halls.  We were the first to put a concert in the then-new UAB Arena, and the second.  We knew our way around almost all the auditoriums in central Alabama and could find a room for any size audience. 

Dragonslayer did not forget our original purpose and made sure that nearly all of these events were ministry concerts.  People were still walking the aisle to talk to our counselors at invitation time and Dragonalsyer counselor teams worked to connect those people to local churches.  We talked to thousands of people during these years and many made professions of faith.  This was always the most important part of the job for us and we took it seriously.


High Tempo

This time period saw Dragonslayer managing large numbers of concerts and the team was in constant motion. Dragonslayer used three full teams to manage different concerts, sometimes combining teams for the larger shows.


This concert flyer from late 1989 shows how many concerts we were producing over a three month period, and this was just the Birmingham list. Other concerts were happening in Montgomery, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa at the same time. We were very busy and our services were in demand!

Dove concert flyerDove Music was a chain of Christian bookstores with locations in Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Childersburg.  Dove sold a wide selection of music but also had books, t-shirts, and other items.  I managed the stores from the Birmingham location and used Dove to distribute tickets and flyers.  Dove sponsored a few concerts, held in-store autograph sessions with the bands, and Dove's position as the #1 advertiser on WDJC radio helped obtain airtime for concert ads.

Solid Rock building todaySolid Rock was a teen night club that operated in Hoover on Birmingham's south side.  It was a refurbished twin movie theater and had plenty of room inside for small concerts.  Some major bands played there including Allies, Newsboys, and Deliverance and local bands played every week.  Solid Rock became an important Birmingham music hub.  Their staff were Dragonslayer members and we cooperated on many activities, often announcing Solid Rock events at our bigger concerts.  Solid Rock was also across the street from my apartment and I was a frequent visitor.

T.A.B. building todayTeens Against Boredom, or T.A.B., was a teen night club that operated in Center Point on Birmingham's northeast side.  T.A.B. team members were rabid allies of Dragonslayer and supported us many times.  Sponsored by Cathedral of the Cross it's parking lot was a frequent venue for outdoor concerts.  The first Birmingham DC Talk concert was held here as were other concerts including Geoff Moore and Truth.  T.A.B. used the Dragonslayer team for all of their events and many Dragonslayer volunteers were also T.A.B. volunteers.

WDJC is a commercial 100K-Watt radio station that serves central Alabama. In the 80's WDJC was caught between Southern Gospel and Contemporary Christian listeners, splitting their airtime between formats.  They were limited in what contemporary music they played because older listeners didn't like new stuff and would complain about things like saxaphones or drums in contemporary music.  Dragonslayer worked with WDJC when we could and let them emcee concerts that matched their format, but our policy was if they didn't play the band on air they could not emcee that band.  Despite our minor disagreements we got along well with WDJC.  They were good friends and effective partners.

Answering machineDragonslayer needed a way to get word to concert-watchers around Birmingham but there was no Internet, WDJC did not play all of the bands, mailouts were slow, and flyers took a lot of effort to distribute.  The fix was an answering machine with a dedicated phone number updated whenever we had a new concert in any of our cities.  The machine got lots of calls and was usually the first place people found out about upcoming concerts.

Dragonslayer Tickets and Flyers

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