Andyman's partner Quinn Fallon discusses keeping the beloved DJ's charity alive and rocking with his new band Los Gravediggers.
During his brief time on Earth, John Andrew "Andyman" Davis helped spearhead independent radio in Columbus as program director of CD101. More importantly, he raised thousands of dollars for children's charities through his non-profit CD101 for the Kids, most notably with an annual 48-hour on-air fundraiser called the Andymanathon.
When Davis drowned while vacationing with his family in 2010, there was never any question whether his friends and colleagues would keep his philanthropy alive. The DJs at renamed CD102.5 have maintained Andymanathon, which continues this weekend. And Quinn Fallon, who co-owned and managed Davis' quirky bar Andyman's Treehouse from 1999-2008, throws an annual concert in conjunction with the radiothon.
"(Davis) contributed so much to Columbus," Fallon said. "In my adult lifetime I've gotten to see this town turn from a podunky, jokey kind of thing into this amazing place to live, and he is no less a part of it than Mayor Coleman or Woody Hayes. I give that to him. And just to be able to carry on a tradition that he started is an honor."
The third annual Andymanathon concert is Sunday at The Bluestone. Davis' 12-year-old son Johnny Ray will emcee as usual. Davis' old pals Watershed, Miranda Sound and Two Cow Garage will perform, as will breakout punk band The Girls!
"We always get somebody brand new in there," Fallon said. "I never want it to just be all the old dudes who knew Andy."
Rounding out the bill is Fallon's new band Los Gravediggers, a group formed by accident.
In 2009, with his longtime band X-Rated Cowboys winding down, Fallon recorded a set of straight-laced country tunes called If Heartbreaks Were Highways with hopes of selling his songs in Nashville. Despite a sterling lineup including Al Perkins (Flying Burrito Brothers, The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street), Dan Baird (The Georgia Satellites, Marty Stuart) and a slew of great Columbus players, the project didn't get any bites in Music City, U.S.A.
But when Fallon's pals Matt Mees, Mark Nye and Jake Reis heard the songs at an open mic, they demanded to become his backing band. Naturally, the drinking buddies' influence has Fallon back to the inside jokes and black humor of his Cowboys days as he works on the next Los Gravediggers record.
"A lot of it will be more twisted, a little darker," Fallon said. Not that dark, though: "We're all kind of pop kids."
Davis would undoubtedly approve.