Cord Boyd says he started playing shows at TLMS, a local garage-DIY venue, back when he was just a guy in a band (actually, two bands—No Radio and Help Me Sleep). Today, Boyd is a still a guy in a band, but he also owns, runs and manages TLMS, now known as Gary's Place, 125 W. Ventura St. For more info, visit Gary's Place Facebook page.
How did you guys get started?
We were friends with a guy named Billy Brooks and I met him just through playing shows in the DIY scene, and he started up a venue called TLMS, which is where Gary's Place is now. And I just started volunteering there and my band practiced there, and eventually he didn't really want to run shows there anymore so he asked if I would take it over.
What types of bands you usually host at Gary's Place?
We have a lot of everything, from indie-punk, to metal, to hardcore, to emo. We've even had hip-hop shows a couple times.
When did you guys start Gary's Place?
Gary's Place opened in Jan. of 2014.
Describe the Gary's Place community.
It seems really tight-knit. Everybody seems to know each other, which is awesome. And everybody is really friendly. We very rarely have fights or any types of altercations, which is really neat, because, you know, that's a pretty common problem at other spaces.
Is Gary's kind a more organized house venue?
Yeah, it used to be—they used the building for refrigeration and air conditioning, so that's what it was before. But, yeah, it looks like a house. It's super tiny, we don't really like to sit more than 130 people in there.
Do you have any crazy stories from any shows Gary's hosted?
I was running a show once and there were these kids who had forgotten some gear there and I was like, "Yeah, you can come in, you can check out the show." And they started moshing, and one of the people in the touring band didn't really like that they were moshing, so they started pushing them and I got in between them, and the touring guy almost grabbed me by the throat. That was really crazy, the craziest thing I've seen really.
There's also this local band that plays at Gary's pretty often, and the lead guy, the vocalist, likes to cut his head open with the microphone during the set.
How do you hope the community you've created affects the Tucson community as a whole?
I hope it brings people together more. I feel like people my age, the 18 to 28 range, think Tucson is a boring place, that there's nothing to do, so I really hope that (Gary's Place) makes people realize, hey, there's so much to do. You just kind of have to look for it.
What shows are coming around the bend at Gary's?
On Friday we have a local band called Lariats [playing]. It's their last show. They've been playing for like seven or eight years now. Coma Prevail is playing, American Standards from Phoenix is playing, Help Me Sleep is playing, and a band called Sin Luz is playing. And we had two (Tucson Takeover) after shows on March 4 and 5.
How do you sustain the place? Has it ever been difficult?
We take donations at the door. People who tour come in and we split half of what we make with the band, and the other half goes to our rent. And if we have local bands playing, we just pay whatever we make at the door toward our rent. It gets pretty difficult every once in a while, especially in the winter.
When are you guys the most busy?
Probably this time of the year. You know, February, March, a little bit of April just because of South by Southwest. People are either going through to that or coming back from it.
What stands out to you most about the venue?
I don't know, I just think it's a safe space for really anybody to go to shows. We're an all-ages venue, and that really gets misconstrued as, "Oh, yeah, it's really just the younger demographic," but we actually have a lot of all-age groups go there, which is really cool because it's a mixture of generations.
What stands out to you most about Gary's, and are there any weird stereotypes people think about it?
Honestly, the most misconstrued stereotype is that it's a house. That's really it, other than people thinking my name's Gary all the time.
What's your favorite part about running Gary's? I would say all the people, I guess. There's so many types of people and I've made so many friends, whether it be bands coming in and out of town, or just people coming to watch the show. That and the tie between the people and the music.