sometimes in the course of things, things come up
Shawn Ledford opened his first Mellow Mushroom on Broad Street in the prehistoric era when folks wondered if downtown could support Pizza Joint AND a Mellow Mushroom.
Along the way, he’s opened a Mellow Mushroom in Evans-Las Vegas sign and all, and one on the Alley in downtown Aiken. One of the things that drew him to investing in Mellow Mushroom was the Grateful Deadish ethos of the company.
Ledford is a Deadhead to be sure, a Spreadhead certainly, but above all else, he is a raconteur of the highest order. Something about how he chuckles through all his stories sort of draws the listener in.
So on a recent visit to the Mellow Mushroom in Evans to talk about the upcoming Amp the Alley! free show featuring Ray Fulcher next Thursday night, we sort of veered off topic (as conversations with Ledford tend to do) into a discussion on how he has fallen back in favor of the escapism that is network television (with a little Netflix thrown in).
The evolution of family entertainment. We used to gather around the TV as families and have the shared experience of watching shows together. How quaint, right?
Shawn Ledford: I’m back onto network television. Every week my son Hayes and I, we have a different show. Now if I’m bingeing something I watch Netflix. But we watch network now. I can’t watch any cable network news. I just want to punch people in the face. Mainly those people on TV, you know.
We’re watching this show called God Friended Me. God is giving these Facebook suggestions to this one guy who has a podcast. Well, he’s an atheist but his dad is the minister of a church in Harlem. It’s got everything.
Metro Spirit: That sounds horrible.
No! We like it. Didn’t you like Fantasy Island when you were young?
Well, it’s exactly like that. I was trying to tell someone that the other day and they had never heard of Fantasy Island.
But that’s exactly what it is.
It’s almost fantasy TV. It’s like fantasy TV without a whole lot of cussing. They have all kinds of innuendo, there’s all kinds of stuff in it. Another one is the Rookie, who is the oldest rookie cop- an LA cop.
Shaking head no.
Ok, there’s another one. There’s 9-1-1. You used to watch Rescue! (he means EMERGENCY! but he’s on a roll) when you were a kid. Remember that? Remember the little red truck pulling out of the fire station? It’s exactly what that is. Except now it’s freaking high tech and a lot of visual stuff. It’s all the same old thing though.
That’s what you should do. Take down all of these new shows and replace it with an old childhood show. Nobody would know what they are.
Like Big Brother?
Shaking head no.
All summer long. Didn’t watch ESPN until football season.
Have you seen the Mind Hunters?
Heard of them.
Well I grew up in Atlanta, where Wayne Williams was killing all those kids? So one whole season they dedicated to profiling him.
Guilty as sin. So guilty. So guilty.
They were staking out this bridge. They heard a splash. They found this guy. He comes back across. They stop him. They found gloves, a short rope, and they found this green carpet. He came up and was pretty cocky and they ended up letting him go, because they never found the thing that fell in the river.
Well they did like a week later.
But, he left, and he ended up cleaning his car like you wouldn’t believe, took the green carpet out of his house, and he burned trash in his back yard until the sun came up,at least that’s what his neighbor said. You know what his job was? He didn’t have one. He was a child music promoter. He was looking for child superstars.
I couldn’t ride off my street on my bicycle.
It’s a good one, Mind Hunters. I’m not going to tell you what it plays up to, but it builds through two seasons and the third season that’s coming out is going to be about a serial killer. It’s going to be very cool. It’s a dramatized show about how the FBI created their profiling division. Or their psychological, behavioural science department is what it is. It’s weird. It’s really really good though.
Have you seen the Ted Bundy thing? From his girlfriend’s perspective? That’s good.
Sometimes I just lay my phone on my chest and drift off to sleep listening to it. I’m in and out of it.