Rychus Rydz CEO Shawn'a Hatcher. Photo by Jack Evan Johnson

East Side Buzz, Aug. 27

I’m driving fast up U.S. 31 as lightning flashes and “Sympathy For The Devil” roars from my speakers. Gym sweat is cold on my back, and the air conditioner is cold on my face, but I’m not cold. I feel good, with the power of rock ‘n’ roll washing over me, just as you should in such a moment. But I’m thinking about the Rychus Rydz charity, which is about to be displaced by a Dickerson Pike development (read about that below), and I’m also thinking about Charlie Watts’ Aug. 24 death, which, undoubtedly, means the death of The Rolling Stones, even if they soldier on without him. I never saw ‘em, and I wish I did. I had even planned to, this year (really, I meant it this time). 

I’m also thinking about a writer friend’s journal entry that she shared online recently, which began with the lines: 

“I’m watching the theater of the street from the window. It’s not as interesting a theater as it probably was decades ago.” 

She was supposed to be working on her Ph.D dissertation, but was not. And I’m supposed to be working on this “East Side Buzz” newsletter, but I’m not. I’m instead thinking about how the theater of the street that is rock ‘n’ roll is not as interesting as it probably was decades ago, either — but, at least we still had the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band out there doing the thing. Even if you couldn’t afford a ticket, it was nice just to know that.

But, shit. Now I ain’t ever going to see the Stones. Sucks for me, and probably sucks for a lot of people in Nashville, because Nashville really is a city that loves rock ‘n’ roll (even if it doesn’t always seem like it). 

You can, however, catch a solid lineup of Nashville acts — including East Nashvillian contributors Tommy Womack and Andrew Leahey, as well as Stones disciple Amy Darling (who has a new single out today) — performing a tribute to The Rolling Stones and Watts, Saturday at The Basement East. 

“Exile on Woodland Street,” as the show is being called, will benefit Waverly, Tenn. flood victims. It might not be The Rolling Stones, but it is sure to be better than looking out a window at a gentrified street. (Read Editor Chuck Allen’s online piece on the show.)

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Dickerson Pike Development to Displace Homeless Outreach Non-profit

A 250-unit apartment complex planned for Dickerson Pike is poised to displace a local non-profit organization that houses and feeds the homeless. 

Rychus Rydz — a car club and 501(c)(3) charitable organization — has been headquartered at 1411 Dickerson Pike for nearly a decade, says founder and CEO Shawn’a Hatcher. The organization offers various forms of assistance and mentoring for the homeless, convicted felons, and at-risk youth. It has nine chapters throughout Tennessee. 

The property, along with neighboring 1413 Dickerson Pike and three other nearby parcels, was purchased Aug. 17, for a combined price of $6.85 million, according to the Davidson County Register of Deeds. 

The developer behind the acquisition, Nashville-based real estate investment firm Wedgewood Avenue, plans to break ground on the mixed-used development in March, says Wedgewood Avenue principal Beau Fowler. The project is expected to take 20 months to complete. 

A project overlay on the developer’s website shows one of the future complex’s five buildings sitting where the Rychus Rydz building currently sits. “We intend to redevelop the property, so we are going to build apartments there,” Fowler said. 

When asked if there was any concern that an organization housing the homeless was going to be displaced by the development, Fowler simply stated that the project, “is public knowledge,” and would not offer more on the matter. 

It may be public knowledge if you know where to look, but when contacted by The East Nashvillian Aug. 25, Hatcher said she had no knowledge of the sale or the development and had not been told by anyone that Rychus Rydz may have to move. However, she was not surprised by the news. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they did (sell),” she said. “Everyone has been bought around here.” 

The seller of 1411 and 1413 Dickerson Pike is listed as Donald E. Wall and Michael E. Wall, who originally purchased the properties in 2004 for a combined price of $195,000, according to the Davidson County Register of Deeds. The two properties alone just sold for $3.825 million, according to county records. 

Rychus Rydz is currently housing five individuals at 1411 Dickerson Pike, Hatcher says. 

“People spread the word and when I have a room open, I charge them very little, just because I want them to save money and do better,” she says. 

The organization also hosts blood drives, clothing drives, and community litter pickups, and puts on charitable events, including comedy shows, talent shows, car shows, and flea markets. In its efforts to help people, Rychus Rydz also partners with other local charitable organizations, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and the Nashville Rescue Mission. 

Hatcher says she does not know what she will do if Rychus Rydz has to move. As a ten-time convicted felon herself (with three college degrees), she says it has been difficult receiving funding and other assistance. 

“If anyone has a house they wanna give me, I just wanna help people,” she says. 

Fowler says he envisions Dickerson Pike “completely redeveloped” as a “bespoke corridor,” with an emphasis on transit, including better sidewalks and bike lanes. 

The developer also spoke of the impact tech giant Oracle’s future $1.2 billion riverfront East Nashville campus will have on the area. 

“Everything south of Trinity (Lane) is going to be within two miles of the largest job announcement in the state of Tennessee history,” Fowler said. “Dickerson is promised to take advantage of that growth.” 

Oracle hopes to create 8,500 new jobs in Nashville by the end of 2031, with an average annual wage of $110,000, according to The Tennessean.

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I Know It’s Only Rock and Roll (But Tim Easton Likes It)

Nashville-based troubadour Tim Easton has a new album out today, You Don’t Really Know Me (read Tommy Womack’s East Nashvillian review of it here). And while, yes, it’s true that I might not really know Easton, I know he digs rock ‘n’ roll. Upon hearing the news of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts’ death this week, and pondering its impact on the Nashville music community, I recalled the amazing story of Easton selling a Martin guitar and traveling to Cuba to see The Rolling Stones play a free concert.  

“I was on tour in Australia when I heard The Rolling Stones were going to play a free concert in Cuba. I immediately announced to everyone within earshot that I was going to attend this certain-to-be-historic event,” Easton wrote in a 2016 American Songwriter essay“It was a no-brainer — the world’s greatest ambassadors of rock and roll with all of their radical and lyrical implications of free spirit and liberty were going to play a gig in the land of extremely beautiful, sensual, musical, and most certainly repressed people. Under Fidel Castro, they used to arrest Cubans for listening to rock and roll. I knew that loads of other artists, including myself, had already played gigs down there, but this was The Rolling Stones we were talking about. I absolutely had to go.” 

The concert reportedly drew a half million people — record attendance for a concert in Cuba — and was later released as the concert film, “The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon.” 

We reached out to Easton — a student of folk, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll — for his thoughts on Watts’ passing, and this is what he had to say in an email: 

“Every great rock and roll band throughout history had a magnificent drummer. Charlie was the king of no-nonsense, deep pocket drumming. The jazz background gave the Stones their swing and roll, but he could rock with the heaviest like with the monster beat under “When The Whip Comes Down.” I can’t believe I witnessed them playing in Cuba. Glad I survived.” 

Tim Easton’s You Don’t Really Know Me is out today on Black Mesa Records. He plays a record release show at The Basement Sept. 2. 

This Week in Guns

A man was shot Monday at the James Cayce Homes, near South Seventh and Sylvan Streets in East Nashville. When police arrived, they found a man with multiple gunshot wounds to his back and legs. The victim was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. 

Two people were shot at a Joseph Avenue apartment complex, Aug. 18. One of the victims was critically injured, police said at the time. 

Police did not respond to a request for comment about either shooting by deadline. 

Also, a 17-year-old student at Whites Creek High School was arrested for carrying a gun in his backpack, police said in a statement Wednesday. 

“The teen said that he bought the gun on the street Tuesday and was carrying it for protection due to a neighborhood beef. He was charged at juvenile detention with unlawful gun possession on school property,” the statement read. 

On Tuesday, a separate Metro Police press release stated that 691 guns have been stolen from automobiles this year in Nashville — 25 in the last week alone. 

Quick Bits

Love Buzz(es)

EG Vines releases his sophomore effort, Through The Mirror, today — and it’s well worth a listen. Digging deep into the zeitgeist, Vines’ explores a variety of themes that underpin our collective freakout. Of particular note is the track, “Them,” which slices through the bullshit at punk-rock speed. “If you’re not with us, then you’re them“ goes the chorus, summing up the way pretty much everyone feels these days. Watching the video will remind you that what this country could use right now is a Valium. —Chuck Allen

A few weeks ago Randy Fox gave y’all the heads up that East Nashville rock and rollers Queens of Noise were breaking up as four of the band’s five members are heading off to the college.

This week they left us with a parting gift, a video for their song “Up Against the Wall.” Queens of Noise started as a Runaways tribute band after guitarist Robin-August Fritsch saw Joan Jett perform at Ascend Amphitheater in 2016. Over the next couple of years, the band — rounded out with singer Zoë Dominguez, guitarist Gwen Holley, bassist Kyra Cannon, and drummer Lola Petillo — took Jett’s electrifying, give-no-shits energy and ran with it, finding their own voices while experimenting with the classic and uncomplicated ‘70s rock sound. 

“Up Against the Wall” was released on Cass Records in February as a 7-inch and while some of the band’s other material is clearly inspired by more punk rock roots, this song harnesses undeniable Go-Gos energy, with catchy harmonies layered over peppy, surf-tinged guitar and kicky drums. —Megan Seling

“Love Buzz” is curated by contributor Megan Seling