HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The 7th annual “Microwave Dave Day” is coming up Sunday, October 24th at Stovehouse. We sat down to talk with the man behind the music. For years, people have followed Microwave Dave and the Nukes.
Dave Gallaher moved to Huntsville in the 80’s. But his love of music began in childhood. “. It goes back to my own experience in Dallas in the fourth grade when that band came to our school and played,” he said sitting at a Stovehouse picnic table, “The band had been on the Ed Sullivan show and they came and played for us.” That changed his tune.
Dave now shares that love with students across the Tennessee Valley. “It was a moving experience, so I try to give that back to the kids as much as possible, not to form musicians out of them but to form inspiration,” he said.
For many, it’s the first time they’re exposed to live music. “Being out there in front of them and dealing directly with them as the focus part of the audience, not just kids that are brought along by their parents. They’re there and we play for them,” he said, “The show is for them.”
Dave and the band recently played for kids in a summer school program at Owens Crossroads. “They responded to everything. They listened to everything,” Dave said with a smile, “They took in every piece of information including the historical part of the blues that we talk about, how the beats work, how the music works. They took it all in. They paid great attention so that’s hard to beat an audience that’s that focused on what you’re doing.”
But this is no solo act. Dave works in harmony with the Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation. “Jerry, I don’t think it’s really fair to say, my name is on it, but it is really not my foundation,” he said humbly, “I don’t vote in it. I don’t run it. I don’t task it with anything. They have been doing this independent of me, which that was part of my deal when we started it up because I don’t want to be involved in board meetings and things. I’m not a good person with those kinds of things. I’m an entertainer.” And the blues man knows how to do that.
The foundation started Microwave Dave Day to honor a local musician and singer for what he has given back to the community for more than 30 years. It’s also releasing a book sharing Dave’s stories and photos from the past 60 plus years. “The pictures that I have seen that I think are in there, there are some good ones. They went back and got my baby pictures. No bear skin rugs or anything,” he said chuckling, “All the way back when my family was young and most of the bands that I have been in are in there and most of the stories about them are in there too.”
“I’m a Roadrunner” shines a spotlight on his musical journey. “The band I was in in Vietnam, I was an intelligence person over there and in my off hours I played in a band. That’s really part of what kept me sane over there to be honest and I found some of the pictures I had of those guys and I haven’t seen those in a long time,” Dave remembered. It’s a perfectly timed crescendo is a career of inspiring others.
The music for “Microwave Dave Day” begins at 2:30 pm and will last until 10 that night. Microwave Dave and the Nukes will take the stage at 8 pm. The event is free to the public but donations to the Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation will be appreciated.