Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Jess Nicks...One Man Behind the Memories


It's an amazing thing that for three decades, Bill Compton's contributions to music and musicians is a subject of much interest and inspiration. Some of the reasons for the continuation of Bill Compton's legacy are not so publicly known.

Of course, Bill Compton's contributions were officially recognized by the AZ Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame when he was inducted into AMEHOF in April 2005. The emotional response to the tribute came as no surprise.

We have other tributes to Compton: Radio Free Phoenix, which, thanks to the vision and dedication of its creators, is celebrating its first anniversary August 18th. The success of Radio Free Phoenix indicates the strong longing for the renewal of the kind of radio experience Bill Compton created. And Jimmy Magahern's KCAC LIVES BLOG is an ongoing tribute to Compton and to those who were part of KCAC and KDKB's genesis.

People who were not here during the groundbreaking time of KCAC and the original KDKB cannot truly realize the extent of what Arizona lost with the death of Bill Compton and his radio vision. And in the aftermath of Compton's death, one person who had the resources and the desire to help build a tribute to Compton's memory was Jess Nicks. He built the now defunct concert venue Compton Terrace. Sadly, on August 10th, just days after Stevie Nick's benefit appearance here for the AZ Heart Association, Jess Nicks died of a long illness.

Compton Terrace was situated on land adjacent to the old Legend City and was the premier rock concert venue for many years. Fleetwood Mac put on an unforgettable show at Compton Terrace. Compton Terrace was the only venue Fleetwood Mac would play when in the Valley.

Many remember driving to Compton Terrace, past Compton's name in great big letters...the lump in our throats when the venue first opened...and the excitement of so many people who wanted something tangible to represent their love and appreciation for Bill Compton's contributions. Compton Terrace gave us all a wonderful way to celebrate Bill Compton's spirit and love of music. Compton Terrace allowed us to experience still, at least for awhile, what we never imagined could so abruptly cease.

To Jess Nicks we give our heartfelt thanks.

Mariah Fleming
Az Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame

4 comments:

Jimmy said...

Great post, Mariah. Here's a link to Stevie Nick's open letter to her fans from last week, short but very sweet:

http://www.nicksfix.com/jess_aug2005.htm

I've also updated the Song of the Week - not sure if this is the one Stevie would choose, but she has occasionally dedicated it to her dad in concert.

Mariah Fleming said...

Jimmy-
Thanks. Glad you found a picture of Jess Nicks at Compton Terrace-sort of gave me the shivers...what a time that was for the Valley...wow. The article is on the AMEHOF web site too.

Mariah Fleming said...

By the way Jimmy-Landslide is perfect...just listening now...I'd heard her say she does it for her dad too-what a nice choice.

vagabondvet said...

Thanks, Mariah, this is a great memory.

Peace 'n Love...