Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

March 12, 2013

Classic rock 38 Special band re-opens Wild Adventures this weekend

VALDOSTA — The last time 38 Special played Valdosta, guitarist/vocalist Don Barnes said, “This band has actually outlasted a lot of our marriages. We have found tolerance.”

As the classic rock band prepares to return this weekend to play Wild Adventures’ opening day, Barnes is newly married to a woman who understands his life on the road.

“She’s got a rock & roll heart,” Barnes says of wife Christine, who is a management advisor. The two married just a few weeks ago.

About two years ago, Barnes says he was stuck at the Charlotte, N.C., airport on two of the most miserable traveling days of a nearly 40-year career that still has 38 Special playing 100 gigs annually.

“I was sitting there and this sweet voice asks, Is this seat taken?” Barnes says. “I look up and here’s this gorgeous woman talking to me.”

She sat down and they struck up a conversation. She was somewhat familiar with 38 Special, though she said her brother would be far more familiar with the band. She took a photo of herself with Barnes and texted it to her brother. A framed copy of that text picture now sits beside the couple’s wedding photo.

“We just really hit it off during that conversation,” Barnes says. “ ... I’ll look at her and say, Can you believe you walked up to your future husband in an airport filled with tens of thousands of people?”

They met after Barnes had divorced his former wife and lost his father in the previous months. Christine was the right person to enter his life. She has also adjusted well to being the wife of a rock star.

“It takes a unique person to understand this,” Barnes says, adding that he and his band mates look at 38 Special as their careers and know that greeting the public and meeting certain public expectations are part of the job. “Not everyone understands this but we turn it on for the show and turn it off when it’s our time.”

Given the length of the band’s career, 38 Special has had plenty of time to refine the balance between public and personal time.

Barnes and fellow band founder Donnie Van Zant have been together since they were children, growing up in a poor neighborhood on Jacksonville, Fla.’s westside. Barnes’ dad would take the young teen musicians to various gigs, co-signing for guitars and equipment. “My dad was my hero,” Barnes says.

As teens, Barnes and Van Zant played the Navy town’s sailor clubs. They kept playing, getting better,

refusing to quit music.

“We got cocky and wanted to do our own songs. We felt this was the next direction,” Barnes says. “We had to work at it, but in our case, we were too stubborn to quit.”

As 38 Special, writing their own songs became a catalog of hits in the 1980s: “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “If I’d Been the One,” “Back Where You Belong,” “Chain Lightning,” “Second Chance,” etc.

Turn on any classic-rock radio station today, you will likely still hear any of these songs within an hour or two. Barnes says he appreciates that 38 Special’s music continues getting airplay, but he wishes classic rock radio would play some of the band’s newer music.

Recently, 38 Special was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Gathered together with past and current members, Barnes says one associate said, “Can you believe those little sings we cobbled together are still played everyday?”

These songs continue earning 38 Special new generations of fans. With nearly 40 years together as a band, Barnes says it’s still a kick to see a group of 13- or 14-year-old guys high-fiving in the audience.

“That was us when we saw Led Zeppelin,” Barnes says of his band mates’ younger years. “We were those kids.”

As for the band’s many trips to Valdosta through the past several years, Barnes says 38 Special enjoys playing Wild Adventures. With his mother, sister and other relatives still living in Jacksonville, it’s not unusual for family to travel to South Georgia to hear the band.

“Of course, we have family all over the country,” Barnes says. “There’s always someone’s cousin, or uncle, or somebody coming to a show.”

SHOWTIME

In concert, 38 Special plays.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16, as part of Wild Adventures reopening this weekend.

Where: Wild Adventures Theme Park, Old Clyattville Road.

Admission: Concert is included in the park’s regular admission price, and with an annual pass. Reserved seating available for an additional $15.

More information: Call (229) 219-7080; or visit wildadventures.com

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ARociewilliams_002.jpg Woman shares nearly a century of lessons

    With nearly 100 years of life under her belt, Ocie Viola Williams has plenty of advice to share with the world. Her top two pieces of advice: know the importance of education and don’t expect a teacher to raise your child for you. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • psst1 photo page copy.jpg PSST! finishes peachy season

    Peach State Summer Theatre concluded its 2014 season Sunday, a season which broke attendance records for the professional musical theatre company.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_2381.jpeg Award-winning young professionals share success secrets

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s MetroOne Young Professionals hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn to highlight successful business practices.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140726_summerlibrary002.jpg Library celebrates end of summer reading program

    With the first day of school just around the corner, students are soaking in the last few weeks of summer vacation. The end of summer also means the end of the South Georgia Regional Library’s 2014 summer reading program.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • artseason1 copy.jpg A sneak peek at some area arts organizations’ 2014-15 seasons

    Beethoven. Tennessee Williams. Non-stop art. Two versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 2014-15 arts season is coming.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • sabalmap.jpg Sabal Trail explains its position

    Representatives from Sabal Trail Transmission recently sat down with The Times to provide an update on the ongoing pipeline and potential economic development opportunities associated with the project.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514-MoodyComp007.jpg Moody AFB crews race in load competition

    Moody Air Force Base hosted a weapons load competition Friday morning, a maintenance group tradition in which two 23d Maintenance Group A-10 munition load crews raced against the clock to load munitions onto an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • moonshine bust.jpg Police close illegal drinking house

    After receiving numerous complaints, the Valdosta Police Department shut down an illegal alcohol sales operation Friday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results