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Devil Went Down to Georgia

While in rural northern Georgia during the first weekend of October, I learned that Hammerfest 2005 would take place nearby. The event would include Fallbrook resident Tom Metzger performing karaoke between sets by Whitelaw, Kremator, and Definite Hate. Metzger, onetime Grand Dragon of the California Ku Klux Klan, was one of the first people to recognize the recruiting potential of white-power music. He has released compilations to raise money for his causes.

Hammerfest 2005 organizers kept the locale secret until Thursday, only telling attendees (via the stormfront.org website) to book rooms near Douglasville and Lithia Springs. A number of tattooed skinheads and bikers arrived and filled area hotels. When directions were posted, they indicated that the show would take place Saturday and Sunday at the Georgia Peach Restaurant and Museum, which is run by a convicted sex offender. The museum's relics include black lawn jockeys eating watermelon, "Whites Only" signs, and photos of lynchings.

I hid my long hair under a beanie and drove to the concert site (at which the NAACP later protested). Police were milling around. A security checkpoint had been set up by "Hammerskin Nation Security Personnel," who wore red shirts and black armbands. I could hear a band playing (badly) and saw several dozen people walking in and out of a fenced-in area. I don't think there were more than 400 people in attendance, though I was unwilling to pay $35 to enter and see. I asked a guard when Metzger's karaoke session was scheduled.

"He's your hero, too, huh?" said the guard. I nodded. "He's going on [stage] tomorrow, but he's here today; I heard he's walking around, talking to people and checking out the bands."

I returned Sunday to catch Metzger's act, but, at 1 a.m., another band was abusing their equipment and nobody knew when he'd go on.

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While in rural northern Georgia during the first weekend of October, I learned that Hammerfest 2005 would take place nearby. The event would include Fallbrook resident Tom Metzger performing karaoke between sets by Whitelaw, Kremator, and Definite Hate. Metzger, onetime Grand Dragon of the California Ku Klux Klan, was one of the first people to recognize the recruiting potential of white-power music. He has released compilations to raise money for his causes.

Hammerfest 2005 organizers kept the locale secret until Thursday, only telling attendees (via the stormfront.org website) to book rooms near Douglasville and Lithia Springs. A number of tattooed skinheads and bikers arrived and filled area hotels. When directions were posted, they indicated that the show would take place Saturday and Sunday at the Georgia Peach Restaurant and Museum, which is run by a convicted sex offender. The museum's relics include black lawn jockeys eating watermelon, "Whites Only" signs, and photos of lynchings.

I hid my long hair under a beanie and drove to the concert site (at which the NAACP later protested). Police were milling around. A security checkpoint had been set up by "Hammerskin Nation Security Personnel," who wore red shirts and black armbands. I could hear a band playing (badly) and saw several dozen people walking in and out of a fenced-in area. I don't think there were more than 400 people in attendance, though I was unwilling to pay $35 to enter and see. I asked a guard when Metzger's karaoke session was scheduled.

"He's your hero, too, huh?" said the guard. I nodded. "He's going on [stage] tomorrow, but he's here today; I heard he's walking around, talking to people and checking out the bands."

I returned Sunday to catch Metzger's act, but, at 1 a.m., another band was abusing their equipment and nobody knew when he'd go on.

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