Music News

The Beatdown

You have the right to remain silent, and for chrissakes, Tammy Alverson should have taken advantage of that.

The Rock In' Freak Fest at Fat City officially ended at 5:30 a.m. November 1 -- but the riffs keep coming.

When I rolled into the office last Monday morning, I was greeted by a message from Riff magazine's Alverson (who had helped coordinate the event), which she'd fired off in the wee hours of Saturday morning. "I figured I'd better tell the story," she wrote, "before the story becomes some twisted gossip." Alverson went on to explain that she'd been unceremoniously fired from Riff -- without being paid for her efforts -- because of $20,000 worth of damage caused by some of the punk bands that she had fought to get on the bill. She posted almost the same message on the Web board.

What Alverson failed to mention in her missives was that she'd been booked through that morning -- photographed, fingerprinted and released pending the investigation of possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance.

According to the Jeffco sheriff's report, officers were dispatched to Fat City at 12:30 a.m. after an off-duty deputy working the event was alerted by Fat City security that they'd observed a female (later determined to be Alverson) "doing cocaine" in one of the green rooms. The Jeffco officers went into the room to collect samples of the unknown powdery substance -- there was a "very large basket of Smarties candy near the table," one officer reported, which could have created the powder -- while Alverson and Chris Dellinger (of Blister 66) waited in the security office.

Alverson told officers that "she had 'cut' some 'stuff' for later use, tasted it and then quickly flushed it down the toilet," the report states. When officers asked her exactly what she'd been "cutting," Alverson said she wasn't sure and was "only getting it ready so she could 'hook' one of the band members up with it later." The officers then questioned Dellinger and the two security guards who'd witnessed the alleged indiscretion via video.

According to the guards, Alverson had placed "something" on the table and "appeared to be chopping it with a small card or other object," then had put her hand up to her face as though she was "tasting" or "snorting" what she had been chopping up. They also told the Jeffco officers that two males -- identified as Dellinger and Greg Stone (aka Uncle Nasty, who had his own problems later in the evening, as reported in last week's Beatdown) -- were in the room with her. The officers then watched the video for themselves.

At that point, Alverson was informed that the sample had been taken off-site for testing and that the substance she'd been "cutting" was suspected to be cocaine.


The officers told her she could "go about her business" (the event was slated to continue for several more hours), but if the white powder tested positive for cocaine, they'd return to Fat City to take her to jail. Which they did about 1:30 November 1, after the white powder had tested "presumptive positive for cocaine." (It's now in the Jeffco evidence vault.)

At the Jeffco jail, Alverson was read her rights and gave the officers a statement -- and what a statement it was.

"She told me the following," wrote one officer: "She was one of the people who organized the party/concert at Fat City. She was working for a rock magazine and knew the bands that were playing. She had gotten some cocaine earlier in the night from a male she has used several times for the same reason. She was going to 'hook' a band member up with the cocaine. Since the cocaine was still in chunks, she wanted to 'cut' it up. When she went to the band room, Dellinger and 'Uncle Nasty' followed her to talk about how they were going to get paid from her magazine for the work they had done that night. While talking with them she was running out of time and decided to 'cut' the cocaine. She obtained a card that resembled a credit card from Dellinger. While cutting it, she got some on her fingers and licked it off. When she gave the card back to Dellinger, he licked the card. A few minutes later, an employee from Fat City walked in on them. She told me she threw a napkin over the top of the cocaine to prevent it from being seen. When the employee walked back out of the room, she put the cocaine in a small glass vial. She got up and went to the restroom and flushed the vial down the toilet. Then someone was knocking at the door telling her that the police wanted to speak with her."

But Alverson didn't stop there. "Alverson continued by telling me that for several years she has been involved in the 'rock and roll world' as a writer," the report continues. "While trying to get good interviews and things she needed for her articles she would often 'hook' tour managers and others up with cocaine in return for a good interview."

After she made her official statement -- and then some -- Alverson was booked and released and went home to make her unofficial statements on the Web. Charges have not been filed at this point, and the Jeffco DA's office says the case is still under investigation.

Alverson declined to discuss the incident that led to her visit to the Jeffco jail. Regarding the statements she gave to the officers, she says, "I really don't recall. I was pretty stressed out."

And the saga continues. According to representatives from several of the bands on that night's bill that I've spoken with, Riff has yet to pay them, and there's talk that several of the acts will jointly file suit against the magazine if they do not receive payment. Darrell Hughes, Riff's marketing manager, has not responded to numerous requests for comment.

As for the damage that Alverson mentioned in her posting, Denise Lomax, marketing director and spokeswoman for Fat City, confirms that the facility sustained some damage but says $20,000 is not an accurate figure. She also acknowledges that Fat City filed a complaint regarding the damage and that Jeffco officers are investigating. All this aside, though, Lomax says Fat City will continue to support local music by producing shows at the facility.

Upbeats and beatdowns: This Saturday, November 15, Etherglow celebrates the release of its new disc at the Bug Theatre with the Wind-Up Merchants and DJ Court-R. Also on Saturday, the Czars rule at a free, all-ages show at Andenken Gallery, 2110 Market Street; original art by each of the bandmembers will be on sale. Finally, shine up those shitkickers and practice the boot-scootin' boogie, y'all: The Grizzly Rose will host the USA Network's Nashville Star Auditions on November 18, 19 and 20.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera