oddbodysmusicroomlogoMany of you, myself included, have been buzzing about the newest concert venue in town, Oddbody’s Music Room, which will be opening this summer in the building formerly known as McGuffy’s House of Rock. The buzz and curiosity around this well-known area concert venue seemed like the perfect opportunity to start a new project that I’m calling Venue Spotlights! With each Spotlight, I’ll be featuring a different local music venue to provide a general overview of the venue as well as some questions tailored specifically to the venue.  Earlier this week, I had the amazing opportunity to spend some time at Oddbody’s Music Room and sit down with two of the venue’s new owners, Richard Eckhardt and Skip Murray, for a chat about what we can expect later this summer!

MC:  Richard (Eckhardt), you’ve been in the spotlight as the main public contact for the venue and have mentioned in previous press releases that you have a “passion for live music”.  Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and where that passion came from?
Richard:  
When I was growing up in Chicago, my dad got my mom a piano, and that taught me early on to love music.   We moved to Dayton in 1981, and when I was 14, I got my first bass guitar and fell in love with playing it.  I had my first show at Canal Street Tavern and was immediately hooked on the live show. After playing house parties with some of the coolest acts around and feeling the love from friends and fans, I couldn’t help but love the energy and fun of live shows.  I don’t play live shows any more, but I still love them and take my kids to them whenever I can so that they can have some of those same experiences.

MC:  How did the idea to become owners of a concert venue come to be?
Skip: We’ve all known each other for a long time and even worked together for about 10 years or so. We’re very different people, but we have a love of music in common and have talked about going in together on a business for as long as we can remember.   Ideas and opportunities have come and gone, and there were several times during this process that we thought the opportunity to get this building would unravel as well.   We had a lot of talks and negotiations with the previous owners, but things just never seemed to quite work out.  Right at the point when we were about to give up though, some major opportunities shifted, and we were finally able to start this venture.
Richard:  I really feel like we got a lot of karmic love for everything we’ve put into this dream.

MC: What kind of overall feeling or vibe are you looking to give your patrons?
Skip:  We’ve talked about that a lot as the owners, and what we want most is to provide a connection between the fans and the music and to protect that connection.   We want to give each customer a great live music experience with fast, friendly service. Every decision we’re making about the look and feel and the overall experience here is all about creating and protecting that connection and enhancing that experience.  We truly believe that doing that successfully every time will give us the best chance to create a successful concert venue here in Dayton for a long time to come.

MC:  McGuffy’s was well known for having rock, hard rock, and metal shows, but you’ve decided to rebrand the venue and open it up to pretty much all genres.  What was the thinking behind this?
Richard:  Well, for one, we really felt that there would be significant diminishing returns if we focused on any one or two major genres.   Take me for example.  Even though I absolutely love 90’s rock, alternative, and grunge, I only have so much disposable income to go see shows.  Eventually, I’ll run out, or I may just decide that I get more returns from spending that income on some family event or a new car, etc… Combining that with the fact that there are only so many people in this area who will be willing to spend some of their disposable income, who also happen to be rock fans, we felt that the odds would be against us to stick with just one area of music.  With a venue our size, we have certain minimum numbers we need to meet, so we decided that diversification was the best route to go.
Skip:  As for the name, we did consider keeping the name and format for a while. With any venue that has been around as long as McGuffy’s was, though, there are pros and cons to keeping the old brand.  Ultimately, we decided that moving forward with a new brand would be the fresh start the venue needed.

MC:  I think there are probably a lot of local acts that are curious about playing here under the new management and name.  What plans, if any, do you have to work with local acts and include them in shows?
Skip:  We’ve made promises to the City of Riverside to bring in a lot of quality music and shows to continue to improve the economic development of the area.  We will definitely have showcases to incorporate local music because the local scene is really important to all of us.   That will have to be balanced with our main goal as a concert venue, though, which is to create shows that ensure we have a future and that the neighborhood continues to grow in a positive direction.  We have a fairly large capacity size for a local concert venue in this area, so that means we’ll be reviewing all acts for their abilities to provide not only great music but a great fan base.
Richard:  For local showcases to succeed, we believe they’ll need to have a solid headliner, a great lineup, dedication from each act to make the show a success, and probably some type of major event such as an album release.  Local acts that can prove themselves may be offered chances to open for larger acts.

MC:  What other changes could/should patrons expect, relative to previous experiences they may have had at the venue?
Richard: One of our main goals was to really open up the building and create more space for patrons to get up close to the music.  What we found is that whenever there were large shows here, the crowd would get backed up almost 2/3 of the way through the bar. That started to make things confusing for those in line getting drinks, so we’ve made several changes that we hope will help alleviate that issue, including:
1.) We’ve permanently closed off the old kitchen and reduced its length by about 15 feet (on the stage end) in order to move our light booth further back and create additional space in front of the stage.   We’ll still be using the old kitchen space for some storage and supplies, but it won’t operate as a kitchen for us.
2.) We’ve moved the sound booth back (away from the stage and towards the main entry) about 22 feet. This was, again, to create additional space for patrons to get close to the music. This will also help delineate the area for band merch and meet and greets.
3.) Lastly, we’ve moved the bar wells more towards the middle of the bar as well as create a space at the end of the bar toward the stage for drinks so that when the crowd does get deep, patrons will have an easier and quicker time getting a fresh drink.
Skip: We’ve also removed all of the old decor off the wall behind the bar so that the mirrors are clean and bright and help give the space a larger more open feel.  People should also know that we are considering some major changes to help relieve the bottlenecks created at the front door from act load ins and load outs. We can’t quite disclose those considerations yet, but we are are aware that there were a lot of concerns about this issue from previous patrons and performing acts. Overall, we’re really doing everything we can to create a successful and amazing local concert venue that supports music and the community as a whole, and we really hope that folks will give it a chance and come to shows starting later this summer!Oddbody's Music Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Venue Capacity: Pending a fire inspection, the venue will have a capacity of 550 patrons.
Show Days and Times: Currently booking shows for every day of the week except for Sundays. The venue will be looking to hold  a minimum of 8-12 shows each month.  Doors will open at 7p.m. and shows will start at 8p.m.
Musical Style Preferences: The venue will provide great, original music of every genre. There will be an exception for hip-hop, of which the venue will only entertain shows with major national/international acts. Oddbody’s will also book high-quality tribute shows, and both electric and acoustic acts will be welcomed.
Number of Acts / Show:  On average, shows will have at least 2 but not more than 6 acts.
Ticket Prices: Prices will range anywhere from $5 up to $25 or more, depending on the show. Local showcases will have a $3 surcharge for patrons over 18 but under 21.
Booking Contact: Email booking@westernnnoise.com any time to submit an EPK or receive information on booking a show. The owners will review each submitted act for quality and ability to create a great show.
Artist Payment: Touring national, and international acts will be obtained via contract.  All other artist payouts will be negotiated directly between the booking act and the venue.
Equipment: House sound and lights will be provided for a fee.  McGuffy’s previous audio engineer will be providing sound services.   The stage has approximately 550 sq. ft. of performance space and is 28″ tall.  The drum riser is 8′ x 8′ x 2′.
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Comments
  1. Diana Ward says:

    I wish you all much success and happiness!!! I worked at mcguffs from 87 – 97 and from 2002 – 207. would love nothing more for you all but to succeed!!!good luck and best wishes!!! my years working there were the best times of my life! so thrilled your keeping the live music. and the variety is an awesome idea!

    Like

  2. Angela Aldrich says:

    Thanks…. Just the info I needed…

    Like

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