Veteran Atlanta concert promoter and current Eddie's Attic co-owner Alex Cooley talked to Atlanta magazine today about Attic namesake Eddie Owen's unexpected exit from the Decatur nightspot. Cooley told us Wednesday: "Eddie's got a new passion and that is the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth. He was no longer doing anything for the Attic. He hasn't been at the Attic in quite a while. He hasn't kept regular hours there in well over a month."
When Owen announced his firing Monday via his personal Facebook page, legions of friends and fans posted notes of support and many pledged allegiance to his new venture while fans and musicians threatened to boycott his home of 20 years on the square in Decatur. But Cooley says he's not afraid of potential backlash from artists: "I've contacted all the acts, nobody's cancelled. No problem." Cooley says he's currently taking on some of Owen's booking chores currently but that Andrew Hingley will be moved into the role full-time. Cooley says hired Hingley for the position over a month ago. "There was a big hole in the booking," Cooley explains. "I had to do something. [Hingley] was going to work alongside Eddie, but then this happened."
Cooley says there was no particular event or incident that broke the camel's back between him and Owen. "It was the culmination of a lot things," he says.
Even without the man on the neon sign outside the club, Cooley says intends to keep the attic open and operating as the venue celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. "I bought it to preserve the Attic," he says. "It needs to stay here, in Decatur. I've done what I had to do to keep the Attic here."
Shortly after our interview with Cooley, Owen contacted us to express his thoughts on what Cooley told Atlanta magazine. Related Owen: "That's not even worth a comment." In a separate interview, Shalom Aberle, the head sound guy at the Attic and at Owen's new Red Clay Theatre venture reflected: "Eddie is anxious to move on with his business. I think he's saddened that it didn't work out [at the Attic], but there are no hard feelings. He's ready to move on."
To read Atlanta magazine senior editor Tony Rehagen's extensive profile on Owen and the 20th anniversary of Eddie's Attic in the May issue of Atlanta magazine, click here. This morning, Owen posted an update to friends and fans on Facebook. To read his message, click here.
Tony Rehagen contributed reporting.