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Bacon and booze: Fall Crawl 2005

By Michael Petitti
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 6, 2005
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If there has ever been reason to crawl, it's now. That's right, the annual Fall Crawl (the fall companion to the wildly popular Club Crawl) is back and better than ever. With the Rialto Theatre back in business, local clubs/music stages aplenty downtown, and numerous national and local musicians participating, attendees can expect one hell of a Crawl this year. Plus, with alcohol being served and (gasp) able to be taken outside of the venues, some attendees can very well expect to be crawling by the end.

Now, understandably, some people may be confused with all the recent music festival madness that's been taking Tucson by storm recently. At the beginning of September, Club Congress celebrated its 20th birthday with a ton of reuniting acts. Then, just weeks ago, downtown Tucson and the UA area hosted the Big Arizona Music Festival, which was a collection of local and a few national acts performing to boost interest in local businesses.

This Saturday Fall Crawl/Club Crawl is the original downtown Tucson festival of music, beer and all around good times. Fall Crawl looks to have one of its most successful years ever with a bevy of talented national and local acts performing.

Speaking of mainstream recognition, it has somehow managed to allude Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs (just The Pigs to their fans) throughout its 20-year career. This has not stopped the ever-touring band from doing what it does best, releasing albums and performing live, and audiences can expect a rocking set when the band plays the AVA Stage during Fall Crawl.

Bacon - no affiliation with those actor/musician brothers - and his band are currently supporting their newly released CD Still Smokin' After 20 Years, an odds and sods compilation disc of fan favorites and Bacon's personal selections.

"I guess it was just a way to compile some of the work I've done in the last 20 years, you know, just a look back down that long bumpy road," Bacon said. "Something for the fans who may or may not have been there at some points along the way."

For Bacon a lack of mainstream recognition does not really matter, as music is a way of life in addition to being a source of income.

"Well, I'm on tour most of the time so it feels like going back to work," Bacon said. "I've had some time off so I'm ready to hit it again."

With the band 20 years into things, Bacon spends as much as 200 days a year on the road and is fortunate enough to be able to make a living out of it. Thankfully, it hasn't left him unnoticed as he's garnered a remarkable fan base that includes Joe Walsh of The Eagles/James Gang.

"I don't come to play with The Pigs because I'm a friend, but because I'm a fan," Walsh said.

Bacon enjoys having a diehard fan base, even if it's taken so long.

"It makes me think of my misspent youth," Bacon said. "Seriously, I didn't know what to expect when I started out, but it's been a great 20 years."

Meanwhile, Bacon is no stranger to Tucson as his manager, Fall Crawl organizer Jeb Schoonover, is a local. Playing Fall Crawl should be a sort of homecoming for Bacon and The Pigs.

"I'm looking forward to it," Bacon said. "I've always had a great time in Tucson ever since the days of the El Casino Ballroom shows. I've made reference to Tucson in a few of my songs. It's a great place."

To check out Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs and tons of other great music, get your $8 wristbands ($10 day of the event) at CD City, 2890 N. Campbell Ave.

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