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A plaque dedicated to Pylon along the Music Walk of Fame is hit by morning on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in downtown Athens, Georgia. The Music Walk of Fame, looping from the 40 Watt Club to the Caledonia Lounge, showcases famous Athens bands with plaques shaped like guitar picks. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

Like everything else, plans to showcase the Classic City’s music scene were disrupted. Originally, the first round of plaques in the Athens Music Walk of Fame were supposed to be installed in time for the summer 2020 AthFest Music and Arts Festival. However, after the festival was canceled, the Walk of Fame was pushed back as well. The Walk finally was unveiled in early September.

The first installment features 10 plaques along the block that is home to the 40 Watt, Georgia Theatre and Morton Theatre. The plaques for the project were designed by local artist Allen Sutton, who drew inspiration for his design from pins on a map and guitar picks. 

“I love the design,” said Didi Dunphy, program supervisor at the Lyndon House Arts Center and a member of the selection committee. “It isn’t just the usual little rectangle or star, like a Hollywood star. I think this really speaks to the town. And that it was designed by a local creative, it’s just terrific.”

In place of ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Kelly Girtz talked to Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. via video conference about their time in Athens, their music careers and how the town has developed since their time here. 

“I almost teared up,” Hood said in the video describing being part of the Music Walk of Fame. “I can’t even begin to say how honored I feel about that.”


This article originally ran in The Red & Black's Fall 2020 Visitors Guide special publication.