Updated: Eddie Owen Confirms Eddie's Attic Firing
Owen says he will now concentrate on booking concerts at Red Clay Theatre in Duluth.
After being fired from Eddie’s Attic in Decatur last Friday (May 11), founder Eddie Owen said he will now focus “100 percent, no 1000 percent” on making his latest venture at the Red Clay Theatre live music venue in Duluth a success. “I’m hitchin’ up my britches and going full steam ahead with my vision for the Red Clay Theater and ‘Eddie Owen Presents,’” he said.
Owen confirmed with Duluth Patch Wednesday that he had been fired last Friday afternoon by new Eddie’s Attic owner Alex Cooley. Owen said that Cooley wanted him to end his involvement with the Red Clay Theatre and devote his efforts to Eddie’s Attic. He was fired after he refused, Owen said.
Owen resigned last October as general manager of Eddie’s Attic under the previous ownership and subsequently announced plans to launch his “Eddie Owen Presents” concerts at the Red Clay Theatre in downtown Duluth. The first EOP concert at RCT occurred in December, and Owen has been regularly presenting live weekend concerts by singer-songwriters in the 250-plus-seat Duluth venue acclaimed for its pristine acoustics.
After Cooley and Dave Mattingly purchased Eddie’s Attic, Owen said he agreed to help the new owners book acts “if they would help me in Duluth, but that just never happened.”
Owen, a proponent of “Live Music Matters,” leases and manages RCT under an agreement with the city of Duluth and plans to expand and start a school for musicians and songwriters.
Recently, Owen started adding mid-week concerts to the weekend line-up at RCT, and he has acts booked through August. Some of the RCT concerts have been sold out, and most of the others close to it.
"The vision and dream at Red Clay Theatre are bigger than Eddie Owen, Alex Cooley, Eddie's Attic, Red Clay Theatre, or all that combined," Owen said.
Owen founded Eddie’s Attic in 1992 and later sold it. He has become known for his ability to recognize and nurture talent and has been credited with launching the careers of the Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, John Mayer, Sugarland, the Zack Brown Band, and the Civil Wars.
Duluth Patch reported Monday that Owen had been let go from Eddie’s Attic in Decatur based on a post Monday morning by Owen on his personal Facebook page initially cited by Atlanta magazine columnist Rich Eldredge in his Eldredge ATL blog.
In the Facebook post, Owen stated: “I won’t be going inside Eddie’s Attic again, got fired on Friday.” The FB post was later taken down, but fans have continued to express their dismay over Owen’s firing and promise to come to Duluth to see a show.
Cooley was interviewed Wednesday by Eldredge and said:
"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."
Cooley said he's not afraid of potential backlash from artists: "I've contacted all the acts, nobody's cancelled. No problem." Cooley said he's currently taking on some of Owen's booking chores, but that Andrew Hingley will be moved into the role full time. Cooley said he had 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 said 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 said.
Atlanta magazine then contacted Owen, who said of Cooley's quote: "That's not even worth a comment."
Owen posted an update on Facebook Wednesday.