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Buford bar embraces big hair, bigger bands
Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi tribute band, regularly graces the stage along with other rock bands at 37 Main in Buford. - photo by For The Times

Big hair, dark eyeliner, long screeching notes and endless guitar riffs is what ’80s hair bands are all about.

And by featuring bands such as Warrant, Bang Tango, Great White and ’80s tribute bands, 37 Main has carved itself a niche in the rock music scene in Northeast Georgia.

Locals are loving it.

"They are bringing back a lot of ’80s hair bands that were big in the ’80s and they are actually bringing them local," said Buford resident Kenny Maddox, who frequents the rock-oriented bar. "They had Bang Tango there the other day ... It’s all about the music and the drinks."

37 Main also does something else for the historic Buford square, Maddox said.

"No one ever goes there otherwise ... just lets people realize that the Main Street is still there," he said.

Besides national acts like Warrant, Marcy’s Playground, Drivin’ N Cryin’ and Foghat, 37 Main also books tribute bands.

Any weekend may feature Sublime tribute band Wrong Way, Journey tribute band Depature, Bon Jovi tribute band Slippery When Wet or Appetite for Destruction, a Guns ‘N’ Roses tribute.

"It’s a fun vibe, the second you walk in the place you can tell it’s a little different," said Jason Morey, lead singer of Slippery When Wet. "As a performer they have a decent size stage and a decent PA ... in this area, yes, they are probably serving a product that a lot of people can’t get in other places."

37 Main opened under new ownership nearly two years ago. Located on Main Street in historic downtown Buford, owner Joe White said the bar and club found a following among ’80s fans.

"We started doing some of the ’80s bands and the tribute bands started doing really well, so we kind of wanted to stay in the ’80s field anyway," said White, who co-owns the venue with brothers David and John White. "We graduated to more national acts and we do those some Wednesdays and Thursdays, but every Friday and Saturday we like to keep it cover and tribute (bands)."

White said he’s had a blast bringing in the acts from the 1980s, like Warrant, which has been his favorite so far.

"They put on a great show and those guys can still do it," he said. "L.A. Guns was fun, to see Tracii Guns, formerly of Guns ‘N’ Roses. And then we have some big ones coming up — Great White is coming in July and then in August we have John Corabi, was the singer of Motley Crue. And then that same night we’ll have Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns again."

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