C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with The Boat Drunks' Dyke Corson, owner of Corson Music:
You are surrounded by music every day in one form or another. What has it been like playing with The Boat Drunks and experiencing meeting Jimmy Buffett?
Playing with the Boat Drunks has been an awesome experience. I think it's one of the best gigs out there and I'm very grateful to be a part of it for the last 11 years. We have played countless festivals coast to coast, a cruise gig, and a week in Jamaica with Little Feat. Recorded in some of the coolest studios around and worked with legendary producers and technicians.
Playing with the Coral Reefer Band members is a real treat. Killer players and great folks to hang with. Jimmy Buffett came riding up to the stage in a golf cart when the Boat Drunks were setting up to be his opening act at Alpine Valley. He was really nice, remembered Champaign and the places he has played in central Illinois. (Unfortunately I was not there when this happened!)
When was Corson Music established and how do you feel about local business and support of local business?
While I have worked at music stores here in C-U since the early '70s, Corson Music got its start in 1996 when Lou DiBello had the idea to re-open the 1st National Guitar Store on Goodwin about 3 months after it closed. Two years later we opened Corson Music in downtown Champaign after Baldwin Music got out of the combo business. Things have changed drastically regarding shopping habits these days with the internet and big box stores. We still match all those prices you find online and back up the sale with in-house customer service. We need folks to continue to support local mom and pop stores of all types.
Your Favorite "Boat Drunks" or musical experience?
Too many to choose from! Getting to play steel guitar with Little Feat after we opened for them one night would probably be my fondest memory. Ritchie Hayward was still playing drums and also sang that night.
Opening for the Beach Boys (twice), backing up Mac Macanally, playing alongside the Coral Reefers, it's all been a blast. I'm a very lucky guy.
Where can we find your store locations and your next Boat Drunk Gig?
Corson Music's main location is at 71 E. University in Champaign, and we still have accessories, string instrument rentals and beginner instruments at 202 W. Main in Urbana.
This month the Boat Drunks are in Chicago, Alto Pass and Galveston, Texas, but our next local gig is Aug. 6th in downtown Champaign for the EIPHC (Eastern Illinois Parrot Head Club) annual fundraiser.