The Agora Ballroom: where artists such as Prince, REM and the Beach Boys have rocked the house
I recently had dental treatment, and the young dentist was the same age as my son, attended the same schools as my son, from elementary to high school. He even knew my old dentist in Sandy Springs.
The office / reception area was very pleasant. The charming, masked assistant led me to a trendy room with state-of-the-art dental toys. A really nice touch was a flatscreen for music with titles and artists. Not videos, but photos of whoever was playing.
When all of us kids were taken to the dentist, it’s more than likely that we heard tunes from recordings by Mantovani, Bert Kaempfert, Ray Conniff or The Lettermen, which did sweet “covers” of the original hits. , playing softly in the background as we waited our turn.
Percy Faith’s “A Summer Place” or Hugo Montenegro’s “Theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” would have been familiar hits that made it onto the lists because they were “easy to listen” and didn’t get in the way. calm, environment relaxation.
This dentist office music was there to allay the fears of those like me who were terrified of what might happen to my mouth.
After being taken to where the dental procedures were to take place, a paper towel with alligator clip items and a chain were placed around your neck. In those old chairs, you had round spittoons with swirling water to expel anything that needed to be expelled from your mouth from a small paper cup you were given for rinsing.
There was no continuous suction like that which comes from a small device placed in your mouth these days. You prayed for enough Novocaine. The dentist from my childhood was kind and gentle, but his hands were so big that my face was disfigured and numb at the same time when I left his office.
Things are different now. There is a much improved music selection compared to the super boring and boring stuff I mentioned earlier. While I was in my new dentist’s chair, I heard artists of today like Panic at the Disco, Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots or My Morning Jacket.
It sounded a little different from the Eagles, Commodores and Gloria Estefan stream that I had played at B98.5 (WSB-FM), the soft rock station I had worked for. We have been great in dental offices for many years.
I have to wonder if in the future people will hear Lil Kim, or Lil Naz X, or someone else’s Lil. Nas X looks like something the doctor would use if any of the other drugs didn’t work.
I nicknamed my Sandy Springs dentist “Dr. Numb Gums. I first experienced nitrous oxide under his care. He knew how anxious I was, and when he saw it. he had to do it, he knew it was going to take awhile.I think he bought a new Datsun 240-Z thanks to my mouth.
We became friends, so I invited him to a concert that was at the Agora Ballroom. I don’t remember who we were going to see – maybe Dr. Hook or someone very familiar, but Dr. Numb Gums wasn’t exactly a rocker. I was happy with that because who wants a rocker with a drill, a “numbing needle” and more tools so they don’t play their “best game” while fixing their teeth. I’m also pretty sure it was the first time he smelled grass.
The Agora was Alex Cooley’s former electric ballroom. It was located in the Great Ballroom of the Georgian Terrace Hotel, very close to the Fabulous Fox Theater.
The Electric Ballroom was in operation from 1974 to 1979 before becoming the Agora. Many incredible current and future stars have performed there. It was big enough for decent sized crowds and small enough for some privacy.
From acts of Bow Wow Wow to Beach Boys, REM, to early Prince (who performed part of his second set of the show wearing only a jockstrap), Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and many more performed there. . You get the variety.
The Agora closed in 1983. The structure burned down in 1987. Another great place is the history of Atlanta music which served its purpose and is now in our rock and roll memories. There is more to remember, and I will do so in future columns.
As we move into the holiday season, I hope your vacation will be the best ever!
Thanks so much for reading. Remember to floss your teeth.