Horned Hand memories submitted by bands, fans and Source readers | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Horned Hand memories submitted by bands, fans and Source readers 

Remebering the Hand

Holy smokes! SOO many great memories. There are a billion reason I love the Horn. I have made so many extraordinary friends through the Horned Hand—friends who have become best friends; some local and some from all over the country. I've seen the best shows there, some of my favorites: The Tornado Riders, The Hooten Hallers, EVERY Hopeless Jack show, Moondog Matinee, The Dirty Filthy Mugs, Onward Etc. Man, the list goes on...I love that there was never violence, that everyone there was always approachable whether a popular musician, artist, cowboy, punk rocker or your average Bendite. It has always felt like hanging in a friend's garage—absolute good times.

My favorite memory? Not sure I can think of an appropriate one, but I definitely enjoyed seeing Jasper (sound man and band man) put on a pretty dress with a touring band and prance around; seeing a fella (who I will not name) drink beer out of his shoe; or, when Rushad from Tornado Riders jumped on the slate bar with his electric cello and was then dragged on his back through the crowd while rocking it out! My other favorite memories are inappropriate and are sensible only to me (but you can surely ask me sometime!). Thank you Wes & Callie for bringing epic music to Bend and allowing me to make so many incredible experiences and friendships EVERY time I stepped foot in the Horn! It'll be greatly missed!


The Horned Hand will forever be the greatest Rock and Roll Club we've ever played. The accouterment of animal skulls, peanut shells, keg stools, and what felt like decades-old beer must, are menacing and novel simultaneously. But it wasn't the room itself, or the hand-built stage you prayed you wouldn't fall through or the tall boys of cheap beer generously handed to you from the moment you entered, that made the Horned Hand great. It was the real-life love of music that poured out of Wes and Callie and into every rusted nail that hung every plank and rafter in that place.

We walked into the iron-clad door from their gravel stretch of side street and grinning ear-to-ear Callie and Wes greeted us for the first time. To say that these two people are special is an understatement that can only be understood by a road-weary traveler. Wes, the overly friendly mountain of a man, and the soft disposition of Callie's witchery make those four walls into a place that has never been matched anywhere we have ever been.

We have played for their baby from womb to walking. We have played the Hand in summer sun and winter's chill. We have played to 7 people and to capacity crowds. We grew up there. 

We have stories of fireworks and wrestling matches, laughter and tears, hellos and goodbyes. We have slept on the floors and danced on the tables and we will forever be in debt for the love and camaraderie we received there.

We will miss pulling off 97 at Colorado Ave. and walking though its doors. The Horned Hand has always been home to us. It is the reason our torrid love affair with Bend was started and it is a place that neither Peter or I will ever forget.

We get asked more times than we care to count where our favorite place to play is, and our response is always Bend, Oregon, at the Horned Hand. We all need to thank Wes and Callie for their care, devotion and sheer stubbornness because nothing will ever be like the HH again. It is special and we are sad to see it go.

—Jack Beisel, Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil

In an odd way The Horned Hand has been a savior to me. They have provided a refuge for me to escape the stress of a divorce I've been going through. With great music playing several days a week it has been nice to enjoy the music and have a tasty glass of mead or yummy beer. It's one of the few places I feel really comfortable going to by myself. The people are laid back and friendly and I've certainly made some new friends. Special thanks to Callie, Wes, Adam and Stewart for always being so nice. You don't always realize what an impact one place can have on your life. Horned Hand, I will miss you.

Love, Valarie Seiders

We arrived early to load in for our first-ever show at the already infamous Horned Hand, only to discover that a private party was still under way. Naturally, we drank growlers of Fuego (damn you, Karl) in the street until the doors opened. We paused only brief steps past the entrance, gear in hand, as our percussionist broke the question we were all wondering, "Dude... where's the stage?"

"Through the fog bank," came the reply. It was all downhill from there.         

Porn of a pervasively freakish nature played on the wall. Happy and dancing weirdos drank their mead and shook their tail feathers. From the oil drum seats and mason jar mugs, to the art deco modge podge coating the closet-sized bathroom, it was clear that we had stumbled into some kind of hillbilly hell. This was the kind of place where anything might happen on a given night. Someone might steal your face, and the whole place would laugh as you curled in terror beneath the pool table in fear of the giant bat perched over the bar.

Naturally, the owners didn't help. Wes and Callie were too down-to-earth, polite, intelligent, and downright fun to be around. It completely threw us off.

We ended the night drunkenly and loudly, with someone laughingly shoving a bumper sticker at us that read, "Pull me over, I just left The Horned Hand."

But, we'll be glad to see it go. Entirely too many of our friends and family frequent the place. And hanging out with Wes and Callie has always been exceedingly difficult with their ridiculously high work ethic. They're supposed to close a week after our final show there, but honestly, we might just burn the place down and get it over with.

—Wishing you all our best, The Rum And The Sea

Great people, great music and great mead! Cheers,

—Ian Smythe

My best memory was the Halloween of 2011. The place was packed with drunken sycophant men and women that oozed appeal from their cherry vodka mouths. I was the only woman either drunk or brave enough to wrestle other patrons in a raft filled with fake blood. My latex was destroyed; my car was puked in and on; the music was out of this world; and the beer was, as it always was, exceptional and plentiful. I even got to take a bath with animal bones. Best of luck to Callie and Wes.

—Anna Kowalski

So I met one of the old brewers from Boneyard (Ian Greene, who's in Norway now) a year ago when my girlfriend, Natalie Fletcher, and I moved to town. We proceeded to try and kill a keg of RPM between the three of us...to no avail. We began talking to Ian about Natalie's art and places to hang said art. He proposed the Horned Hand. We drunkenly loaded up the car full of her artwork and drove down to the hand and met Wesley. Wesley did not know we were coming down, though. Drunken debauchery ensued, we hung the paintings, and now every time we come back to the hand, sober or not, Natalie and I will be forever more, "That Drunk, Artistic Couple." Thanks Ian, and thanks to the Hand for selling her artwork.

—Todd Schetzsle

Bend has been fighting to be thought of as a place with a vibrant music culture for years now. With only a single venue in town erected solely for the purpose of live music (Les Schwab Amphitheater) and the rest merely makeshift stages tucked away in the corners of bars, breweries and reception rooms, it should be no surprise that identity has remained elusive. Although the music scene in Bend has definitely been on the rise for the last couple of years, later this month, the most prolific venue Bend has for sustained—almost nightly—live music is closing down. The Horned Hand is going away. Boo.

As a regular concertgoer—long before writing for the Source—I've often been miffed at the turnout to some of the shows I've been to. It seems that sometimes, in order for bands to draw a decent crowd, the event has to be attached to some peripheral that makes people want to show up. A family friendly park event like Munch and Music, a beer release party. Or better yet, the show has to be free. At The Horned Hand, that was all starting to change.

This was a place where (most of the time for five dollars) you could see two or three great bands and where local groups could showcase themselves as openers for national touring acts. The music was the reason to be there and people showed up consistently.

I've talked with owner Wesley Ladd about music extensively and we both have the same opinion about helping creative and worthy music have a platform. I do it with a pen (keyboard), he did it by scouring the Web for struggling bands looking for a place to play. He is passionate about the bands he books even letting them crash at the venue if they needed to.

Granted, the innards of The Horned Hand were never much to look at, but when you've got the stellar Minneapolis rock band Communist Daughter traipsing across the country to play little ol' Bend, Oregon, the surroundings aren't nearly as important. Bend may not be fortunate enough to have trendy venues like Portland's Doug Fir Lounge or Mississippi Studios, but we had The Horned Hand, a place dedicated to bringing in bands this town would never see otherwise. That's a big hole to fill, and so far, no place seems willing to take up its mantle on a regular basis. That's too bad.

—Ethan Maffey, The Source music editor,

The life and death of the HH coincides almost exactly with the duration of my stay in Bend. I moved here in September of 2011, just a few months after the beloved rock 'n' roll bar opened for business. I remember the first time I pushed the heavy metal door open, into a cement room filled with vintage wrangler shirts and taxidermy of all shapes and sizes. Having just moved here from PDX I was ecstatic about finding a tiny corner of counterculture amidst a sea of Patagonia puffy coats.

It is impossible to pinpoint one favorite memory. Instead, there is a sea of extremes, like walking through feet of snow to be the only one in the audience or leaving soaked though with sweat from a sold-out rockin' party. I have left that place stone-cold sober and so drunk on mead I can barely walk. I have made new friends there and brought old ones in to see my favorite place to hang out in Bend.

As the HH prepares to close it's doors, my chapter in Bend will also be coming to an end. I feel blessed that I could contribute to the craziness that is the HH. Thank you, Wes and Callie, for giving us a glimpse into your world, and I wish you all the best with your future endeavors!


—Victoria Odinet

In the Summer of 2011, I was about to move to the East Coast, and I was looking for a safe place to park my paintings. As fate would have it, a week before my departure, good friend and fellow insane artist Dirk Spece introduced me to Callie and Wesley. Together we shared some of the earliest moments of the Horned Hand. The first night I spent hanging art/bones/dead animal parts at the Hand was a perfect taste of what was to come. Wesley was using a .22-Caliber single-shot Ramset to mount  art. Every time Wes yelled "Fire in the hole!," we'd all duck and cover our beers as bits of concrete scattered like shrapnel. I think Dirk got hit. It was like a happier version of Apocalypse Now without the surfing. 

I knew I had found the perfect home for my paintings, and in the process I had found lifelong friends and family. I was furious! Here I am about to move away and FINALLY Bend gets some new goddamn flavor.

Callie and Wes truly cared about the paintings on their walls, and the artists and musicians they supported. They were always straightforward, honest, no-BS people to deal with. The Horned Hand will be missed, but legends never die. It shall live on in the memories, tall tales and drunken ramblings of the people that were lucky enough to be there and be a part of something great and real, spontaneous and exciting. The kids will never believe us. I will never forgive my hometown for letting the Hand slip through its fingers.

May those who harassed the Hand in the name of the city be tickled to death by crows, may 507 NW Colorado Avenue be forever haunted, may Callie, Wesley and Wylde be successful in life (and in their new adventure, Nectar of the Gods).

—Alex Reisfar

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