For a party gig in 1975, veteran musician Tommy Dean and some pals painted themselves different colors and wore the wildest things they could find. "At one point, I was wearing a tutu and a World War I leather fighter pilot helmet with my pigtails coming out of the ear holes," Dean recalls. "Crowds usually let out a whoop as we approached the stage because we looked so ridiculous."
Eventually, the shows evolved into grand, comedic productions, and the band, christened Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People, became a staple of the burgeoning club scene. "It was a revolutionary name for a band at the time," says Dean, who hatched the moniker as a dig at backwoods rednecks who referred to African-Americans as "colored."
Dean, with color-coded Steve Wofford, Steve Marsh, Charles Wolff and Bruce Baxter, preceded seminal Atlanta landmark bands such as the Swimming Pool Q's, the Brains and the Satellites, but the reunion show will involve members of all those bands. Bob Elsey of the Q's will fill in for the late Baxter as "Blob Greaswood." Wolff was in the Brains, and opening act the Blue Velvets features David Michaelson of the original Satellites.
"We were scoped out by some major labels and represented by some characters who, let's say, were not destined for priesthood," concludes Dean. "What started as a lark progressed into some freewheeling creativity and was soured by the unfulfilled promise of money. Now it's just for fun. So enjoy!"
Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People play Jake's Toadhouse Sat., Oct. 29, 9 p.m., with opening acts Cruisomatic and the Blue Velvets. $15. 2272 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur. 404-633-4111. www.jakesroadhouse.net.