HistoryEditAfter moving from Kansas City and working at his father's fast food restaurant on Indianapolis's fashionable north side, Smedley struck out on his own and opened Smedley's Dream as a small neighborhood diner. Business at the diner, driven by foot traffic alone, was slow. The restaurant was in peril of financial failure when Indianapolis dream-pop band the Sunflower Conspiracy asked Smedley if they could play a show in Smedley's dining room. This first show occurred on January 26, 1996; the Sunflower Conspiracy subsequently played the diner a number times again thereafter.1 Asterisk was the next band to play at Smedley's, in March. Over the course of the year, the diner's use as a music venue became more and more frequent as the roster of bands playing the venue grew. While shows were initially conducted by moving a few tables, allowing just enough space for a band to squeeze into the corner of Smedley's tiny dining room, shows eventually grew to require that the dining room be completely cleared in order to accommodate bands and the audiences they drew. (On October 26, 1996, Peachead set an unofficial attendance record at Smedley's by drawing a wall-to-wall crowd of over 100.2) At the height of its popularity, Smedley's Dream was operating in separate capacities as a diner by day and a music venue by night, and was filling a vital, largely-unserved niche as an all-ages music venue in Indianapolis.
In deference to concerns regarding noise in the closely-packed Fountain Square neighborhood, Smedley closed Smedley's Dream and opened a new venue called the Purple Underground, located in the basement of a commercial building a few blocks to the north on Prospect Avenue; the Purple Underground, which was a dedicated music venue whose food sales were limited to packaged snacks and drinks, featured live music in the early evening followed by all-ages raves in the late evening. Smedley would later close the Purple Underground and open another short-lived music venue called Festivilla, located in a vacant warehouse in an industrial area on the near northeast side of Indianapolis.
Omar Haddad Today Edit
Omar Haddad currently runs an airsoft field in Maine. When he's not tending the field he works as a nurse. He apeared on The Straight Shit Podcast for an interview.
- Michael Mullins's 1997 Journalism Class Feature on Smedley [requires Adobe Acrobat Reader]
1 Sunflower Conspiracy performance archive (accessed September 21, 2010).
2 Id. (Asterisk was the "other band" for the dismal October 26, 1996 show at Music-Go-Round.)