Some years ago I found myself sitting in the now defunct Corazón club on a cloudy afternoon along with former SFR editor Julia Goldberg. We were watching local musician Andy Primm belt out an original song called "You Make Me Sick." It was part love ballad, part diary entry and a whole lot of clever, and it was then that a thought first occurred to me: Primm rules.
Cut to a little over a week ago, and I'm standing in Skylight for SFR's Día de los Muertos party with a lump in my throat, nervous half to death about the hack job I was about to perform on a beloved Hedwig and the Angry Inch tune. And then I started to relax as I watched Primm transform himself into full costume and makeup for a performance from his KISS cover band, Love Gun. And once again, that same ruling thought.
If there's a harder-working man in local show businesses, I've never heard of such person. In the past several years alone Primm has played with a touring production of Hedwig, Led Zeppelin cover band Moby Dick, KISS cover band Love Gun and all-sorts-of-covers band Chango; worked as a videographer for the likes of SITE Santa Fe, directed the annual Fiesta Melodrama two years running, taught drumming and Rock Camp lessons at The Candyman and even released a solo album of original songs. His presence in the community is, in a word, bonkers.
"It's a challenge to mentally keep myself prepared for whatever that next thing is without becoming anxious; but two years ago if I could have seen what I'm getting up to now, I would be amazed," Primm tells SFR. "All I can really hope is that in two years from now I'll be able to say the same thing."
A native Santa Fean, Primm's dedication to the local arts stems from a combination of hometown pride and his attempts to artistically better the community and, by way of that, the world at large.
"I came to this realization that a good part of the value of anything I do creatively is that they come from this place…if I take these things to other places that's great, but I'm a part of the fabric here," he says. "I think there are things in Santa Fe that could be better, but these are the same things that could be better anywhere else you go, too."
In his case, that includes (in addition to that huge list up there) taking part in the Academy for the Love of Learning's El Otro Lado program as an artist in residence. According to the Academy for the Love of Learning's website, the main goal of the program is to "provide the opportunity for a community-wide activation of the perennial and profound inquiry into, 'Who am I?'"
Primm is one of 12 local artists who enter local schools to provide mentorship and guidance in the arts and given that he plays multiple instruments, is well-versed in the digital video arts and is about one of the most accessibly human rock stars to ever don spandex, he's a perfect fit for the program. According to Primm, "We're in a very serious phase in America where it's not just the pendulum swinging, but I think all of us who believe in humanity and decency and art—it's our time to stand up."
"He's sort of the embodiment of a charisma-flavored M&M if such things existed," Goldberg says of Primm. "Some of my favorite moments have been watching Andy perform, in groups and in particular his solo work…I also like seeing what he's done with his hair on any particular day."
Should you be interested in finding out for yourself what all the fuss is about or even just what he's done with his hair, Primm can be found fronting Chango on Nov. 15 at Evangelo's.
"There's a mystical thing that happens between us that makes it all work, and we have one rule," he concludes. "If the girls are dancing to a song, it stays."
9 pm Saturday, Nov. 15. $5
200 W San Francisco St.