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This list is by no means complete- just a few suggestions from the crew at GONER
For a more complete, entertaining guide (and great pictures c/o JIM COLE!) check out

updated guide to best barbecue, music spots, and cool cultural stuff around the Memphis (and Arkansas/Mississippi) area! Topics covered include 10 Free Things To Do, Memphis Restaurants Owned By Memphis Musicians, What to do if you're considering sitting in with a blues band, and more. Introduction by Jim Dickinson! 3.00
(via Shangri-la))
New edition coming!

for a map of Memphis, go here (the excellent YAHOO maps)!

check out the wonderful Memphis Weather for your trip!

other links for info on memphis happenings & hotspots:
unbelievable site! TONS of Memphis music, videos, more!

(Memphis Society event calendar!)

Memphis Craigslist
Dining With Monkeys

(kid-friendly restaurant reviews)

Record Stores
(one thing the Lowlife Guide omits!)

GONER Records
Our own horn-tootin' great record store in the heart of the Cooper-Young district. New, used, Lps, cds, 45s, garage, punk, soul, jazz, blues, R&B, country, rap, heavy metal, classical, turntables, ampls, and assorted local artists cool wares- it's here!
2152 Young Ave 722-0095

Hippest store: in town: lotta vinyl indie rock, blues, jazz, local acts, books & zines No flotation tanks. Good advice for shows & area goings-on.Check out the 70s museum (that's my Kiss On Tour game on the wall). Tell 'em Goner sent ya!
1916 Madison Ave 274-1916

Last Chance
Not as hip as Shangri-la but pretty cheap
best punk rock selection in Memphis
lots of vinyl, lots of blues, rockabilly, and weird

2072 Walker 272-7922

River Records
Collector's store tons of expensive rare Memphis & rockabilly records not priced- not mint- not fun
822 S. Highland 324-1767

Lots of jazz & blues vinyl, CDs too
Worth poking around in their
good blues/ jazz /memphis cd selection.
1698 Madison Ave 278-1166

video store
Black Lodge Video
831 South Cooper at Evelyn
Great selection of Cult, foreign, weird, and lots of just GOOD movies like you can't find in your regular video store.
Easy terms (no late fees!), good peoples, occasional personal appearances and low-key rock shows (USAisamonster)- check it out!

Places to See Music

Hi-Tone 1913 Poplar 278-TONE
The Hi Tone books most of the smaller "alternative", rocknroll and punk bands. Home of Gonerfest!

Young Ave Deli 2119 Young Ave 278-0034
Not booking as much live music any more, but occasional shows. Sponsors the great Midtown Soccer Club!

Madison Flame 1588 Madison 278-9839
The bar that for decades hosted the only punk rock shows as the Well, The Antenna, and later as Barristers is now a Lesbian beer bar that occasionally hosts some wild rock shows- like Shangri-la's Sir Mack Rice blowout!

Murphy's 1589 Madison 726-4193
Decent small bar that's cleaned up the clientele from bathroom-packing snifflers... punk and rock shows often.

P&H Cafe 1532 Madison 726-0906
Easygoing beer bar has been the hub for Memphis artists for decades and occasionally has live music

Buccaneer 1368 Monroe.
Cozy pirate-themed hole in the wall just re-opened with a full bar, decent eats and a non-stop rock calendar!

Omni New Daisy
330 Beale St
800 seater for the bigger names. Regular boxing, wrassling, and metal.

Beale St.
Tourist blues outside in Handy Park in warm weather can be great, and there can be occasionally great bands in any club- check the Memphis Flyer for listings good bet: Charlie Wood's organ action at King's Palace, BB Kings, Hard Rock Cafe, Elvis Presley's Memphis...

For some REAL blues / R&B:

Wild Bill's 1580 Vollintine, 726-5473
Thursday through sunday nights, this stripmall storefront is rockin with some down home blues. Get there around 10:30 and you'll have a shot at a table. Bill will be at the door taking the money, and you're gonna hear "Hole In The Wall."



james arthur attacks Gus' amazing chicken

Taqueria Guadalupana
God Bless la virgin de Guadalupe!
Great Mexican food
Unfortunately no beer. New! Guadalupana #2 just opened up on Winchester!
4818 Summer Ave

La Espiga
Solid mexican food, about 1/2 a mile closer than Guad.
3967 Summer Ave
(901) 454-9220

Ellens Soul Food
Awesome fried chicken-great sides, too.
601 S Parkway East
901- 942-4888

Gus' Chicken

Front street, downtown, or out in Mason, TN (original location rebuilt after a fire), best fried chicken around. The sides suck, well, the cole slaw and the beans are straight out of a can. Fried rice should be avoided. Try fries if you need to balance the chicken / beer combo out with some starch. Delicious!
Downtown: 310 South Front St, 527-4877
In Mason: 520 U.S. 70 (take Summer Road just past the "Welcome To Mason" sign) 294-2028

Big S Grill

JC Hardaway cooks it up in the Big S, in the not-so-distant good old days. We miss you JC!

Nice greasy spoon option for breakfast!
3965 Summer Ave

(901) 324-7494

Good hamburgers & basic bar food
Free live music sundays of the blues/rock/roadhouse variety bar open until 3 am locations downtown, midtown, and out in the eastern boonies.
midtown: 1927 Madison 726-4372
downtown: 77 S 2nd St 527-2700

Memphis Pizza Cafe
employs 78% of Memphis' musicians
2087 Madison 726-5343

Arcade Restaurant
oldest restaurant in town- cool diner, great pizza
has hosted some epic shows in the past (T-Model Ford, Gasoline, Guitar Wolf, Jackie & The Cedrics, Reatards, 68 Comeback)
540 S Main 526-5757

Paynes Bar-B-Q
great chop shoulder sandwich! Jay Reatard says: try the ribs,
and don't pass up the bean pies and especially the sweet potato pies!
1762 Lamar 272-1523

Cozy Corner
oh, man. The Ribs! I've heard the Cornish hens are good- i can't get past the ribs! Drivers beware: Hot hot sauce is hallucinogenic! Closes around 6
645 N Parkway

 Fig 1.
An admirable attempt to eat a 2-rib plate with a smoke sausage sandwich.

Vietnamese Food

My Thanh

Great small restaurant stuck inside a small asian foods market, friendliest service and big menu! Sandwiches, too. Jay Reatard and the Oscars are regulars. Great.
306 N Cleveland 725-5079

Pho Saigon
Well, maybe their pho is better... but not by much. Good eats.
2496 Poplar 458-1644

Pho Ho Binh
Another Vietnamese joint, nice folks, chicken wings & egg rolls on the lunch buffet along with a buncha tofu dishes for the veggie lovers.
1615 Madison Ave (901) 276-0006

Three restaurants in Memphis-
kinda California-style, but good Sushi.
This is the Midtown address:
25 S Belvedere 725=0005

Maybe more authentic, and cheaper Japanese food
Guitar Wolf's favorite!
4792 Summer Ave 767-7096

Bayou Bar & Grill
Good New Orleansish food in Overton Sq. Kitchen open late.
2105-1 Overton Sq 278-8626


Music Equipment Stores
Taylor's Music
1739 Madison Ave (901) 276-7717
Great small store, best prices in town, good stuff!

Right around the corner from Goner, John Lowe
makes his Lowebow cigar box guitars, sells Orange amps,
and has all kindsa book, too!

Consignment Music
3952 Park 458-2094
Consignment's got a 24 hour vending machine for strings, picks, etc!

Memphis is ruputed to have some of the sleaziest strip joints with the best-looking young
girls in the south (maybe the country?), even as the city tries to close these
revenue-grabbers down as "public nuisances". One expert (works for Playboy, okay?) declared
Memphis' Platinum Plus the best strip club in the USA.

For gambling, you've got your dog races (and "games of skill") in West Memphis (5 minutes from downtown) and the much-improved casinos of Tunica (1 hr 15 minutes south to Mississippi). Tunica, previously one of the poorest counties in
the US, is no Las Vegas. Still, big-name acts play Tunica when they won't come to Memphis, but the
casino atmosphere and audience leaves lots to be desired.

Speaking of vice, if you're arrested and taken downtown (jail is at 201 Poplar), expect to spend 5-18 hours in
piss & vomit-covered holding tanks with trash-talking gangsters, wanna-be gangsters, real gangsters, rednecks, and habitual
drunks. Hopefully not your idea of fun. Avoid at all cost.

Radio Stations
WEVL 89.9
: community free-for all: great blues, jazz, weirdo rock
107.1 hard rap, lotsa New Orleans bounce & Memphis G's
WHRK 97.1 more slowjams, but some good southern rap too...

Tourist Attractions

Sun Studio
it's worth standing in the room where it all happened, and the tour can be pretty good (depending on the tour guide)! Say hey to Goner friend filmmaker Mike McCarthy if he's there!


...is a zoo. Especially during Elvis Week (in Aug). But if you gotta see it... The Jungle Room rules!

National Civil Rights Museum

in the Lorraine Motel, where Rev Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated- interactive tour of the Civil Rights Movement hopefully does the cause justice- across the street is Jacqueline Smith, who was kicked out of the apartment complex to make the museum and has been camped out across the street ever since, protesting her (and other tenants) evictions to make way for the museum.
Stax Studio
Has been reborn as the Soulsville Museum of Soul Music & Stax Learning Academy, teaching music and performing arts to kids. Great! Record geeks could spend hours in the hallway with thousands of Stax / Volt / Truth / etc Lps and 45s on display... whoah!

Beale St.
used to be THE place to go throw away your paycheck if you lived in the mid-south...
now it's a pale (ha!) version of what used to be a center of Black entertainment. Still, there's decent food and music... Charlie Woods plays great Hammond B3 james

photo Eric Friedl



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