Suzanne's Dixie Chicks ScrapbookThe Dixie Chicks, old and new, have always been surrounded by appreciative and devoted fans. One of the "Old Chicks'" biggest fans was Suzanne Lamb, and she has very graciously given me her permission to tell her Dixie Chicks story in pictures! She started following the Chicks in late 1992, when guitarist Matthew Benjamin replaced founding Chick lead singer Robin Lynn Macy, and stayed around all the way through the album release party for 1998's Wide Open Spaces. When Suzanne found my site, she sent me a note:
Have just spent the past hour cruising your Dixie Chick site. Yes, I am one of the OLD genre of fans...coming in just after Robin, when Matt Benjamin was added in. (Guess that would be fall '92?)
Have many stories and albums full of pictures of the old days. Will have to decide just which one stands out most in my mind to write about.
Will go look in my archives and see if I have the last few Chick Chats...
Wish I knew how to contact Matthew....Tom Van Schaik is drumming for Robert Earl Keen, Troy Wells (Matt's replacement) is with a band out in New Mexico -- you can go to www.steve-anderson.com. (choose bio and choose to see the band). It has a very good pic of Troy Wells and mentions in his background that he played for the Chicks. [Late news: Troy Wells is now with Daron Norwood] You can also find a (not so clear) pic of Tom Van Schaik on Robert Earl Keen's page, www.robertearlkeen.com.
Thanks for giving us old groupies a place to enjoy in cyberspace.
Of course, I begged her for more stories and info! Here's some of the great info she sent back.
My Dixie Chick saga begins in the fall of 1992. Robin Macy had left the group, and they had hired a guitar player from a band that I liked. Matthew Benjamin was the reason I went to Montage '92 in downtown Dallas. I had known who the Chicks were, but had not seen them in concert. This would turn out to be the beginning of a long friendship and "groupie" life for me.
To choose moments that stand out most in my mind would surely take up too much space and totally bore the average person. However, if you happen to be one of those devoted fans whose faces I kept seeing at the same venues and concerts, I hope these will bring back some good memories for you.
As you can tell, I have seen them grow and change and become the performers they are today. I will be a "Chick" forever, but I do miss those old days of throwing the quilt on the ground and hanging around with some pretty neat folks.
I wish them well and much continued success.
Since Suzanne "discovered" the Dixie Chicks when Matthew Benjamin joined in 1992, I asked her about Matthew's previous gigs.
When I met him, he played for a country band called RockRidge that played clubs and venues around Dallas. That band broke up just about the time Robin was leaving the Chicks. From what I remember he knew Martie from some music class in North Texas. He was an extremely talented young man who played the @#!$ out of a guitar.
Laura first noticed us girls when he would be given a small opportunity to hit some hot licks in one of their songs. We would all scream and yell and she would tell the audience that "Matt's Fan Club" is here tonight.
After a gig one night, she asked me "just who are you people?" Told her just a bunch of crazy women, mostly school teachers, who miss hearing him play most any weekend with the old band.
In December of 1993, he did a solo gig at Poor David's Pub with the girls as "back up". He had written "I Wasn't Looking for You", and they came on stage and sang it. He played many orginal guitar pieces he had written as well as anything from the Beatles to rock and roll to country.
He left the band in the summer of '94 to go to Nashville. I keep watching to see if he pops up in anything from there.
This has pretty much consumed my whole day. Makes me appreciative of the time you must take to work on the site. Thanks for allowing me a spot to share my memories.
The images in this section are all copyright © Suzanne Lamb, and are used on this site with her permission. If you want to use them on your site, please ask first! You'll feel better in the morning.
If you're interested in even more Dixie Chicks images, you'll find them on this site! Visit the Pictures Page for more images of the "Old Chicks", and check out the artwork of Chick artist George Toomer in the the one-of-a-kind Dixie Chicks Coloring Book, published in 1992!
To view the pictures in sequence, start at the first entry below and then click on the "Next" link at the bottom of each page. Or to view selected pictures, just click any of the entries below, then click the "Back" button on your browser to return to this page.
The descriptions were hand-written one day by Suzanne, and I've typed them in and HTML-formatted them.
Any mistakes in spelling and the like are probably my own! Any comments I might have are in [brackets].
- Picture 1
Matthew Benjamin and Suzanne Allison (Lamb), Montage '92 -- the first concert we saw since he joined the Chicks.
- Picture 2
Matthew on the guitar and Tom Van Schaik on drums at the Plano Balloon Festival on a beautiful spring evening in September, 1992.
- Pictures 3, 4, and 5
Halloween 1992 at Poor David's Pub. What better costumes than to be "chicks." Laura, Martie, and Emily made their entrance to the delight of the crowd in full Chicken outfits and then transformed on stage into glamourous women.
- Pictures 6 and 7
Featherheads Emily, Laura, Martie, and the "groupies" wear our creations. Suzanne, Debbie Fowlston (Allen) and J. J. McMorrough (Cullender)
- Pictures 8 and 9
December 1992 at Dallas Convention Center. Just a week before Christmas...they were all decked out in their holiday finery... red monogramed skirts and Santa hats perched on top of their cowboy hats. There weren't too many of us die hard fans there that day, guess everyone still had shopping to do. But whether playing for 50 or 500 or 5000, they always went on with the show. That's Laura posing on the real live bull with Emily just waiting for her to fall!
- Picture 10
Martie fiddling away at a Fatso's show in January 1993. Yep, in the full western outfit.
- Pictures 11, 12, and 13
April 1993 at Duncanville's Panther Field That was one weather filled evening... from wind to rain to rather chilly temperatures. That was when I learned that the umbrellas on stage were for the equipment... not the performers. The girls came out to the field in style in the red convertible -- Matt gets there the old fashioned way -- walking.
- Pictures 14, 15, and 16
Fatso's in Arlington, June 1993. Laura with her bass, Emily on banjo and Martie on the fiddle.
- Pictures 17, 18, and 19
Spring Creek Festival in Garland, June 1993. Still an opening act, playing before sundown. Notice Matt was on the right side of the stage -- puddles were a little deep for electric cords in his usual spot.
- Picture 18
October 1993, Sunday Night Showtime. One of several times they would perform on the Dallas Cowboy talk show. Pictures are from after the show was taped -- Tom Van Schaik on the left, Martie talking to Doc Swicegood.
- Pictures 19 and 20
November 11, 1993, Granada Theater, Dallas. Album release concert for Shouldn't A Told You That. The opening act was a horse!
- Pictures 21 and 22
Matthew's solo gig at Poor David's Pub, December 1993. Laura and Martie came on stage to sing "I Wasn't Looking For You", which Matt wrote.
- Pictures 23 and 24
1994 begins with a New Year's party at the Raddison in Dallas. All dressed up. Martie, Laura, Suzanne, Debbie, Emily. And just what a Chick needs -- plenty of hair spray.
- Pictures 25 and 16
Pocket Sandwich Theater, January 1994. Hey -- Emily can play bass, too! Doesn't Tom bear a striking resemblance to that picture in the foreground?
- Pictures 27 and 28
St. Patrick's Day 1994 at Poor David's Pub. Laura in her Yellow Rose poofy skirt and Martie in Irish green sparkles. (I still miss those sparkle days.)
- Pictures 29 and 30
Taste of Richardson at Breckinridge Park, April 1994. Another one of those "swamp" nights -- at least they had a big tent.
- Picture 31
Warm Place Benefit at the Stockyards Corral, May 1994. Bass player on right was before Bobby Charles Jr. came to the band.
- Pictures 32, 33
Renaissance Tower, June 1994. Going to the "Planet of Love". Laura wore a great hat... till the bugs started liking it too.
- Picture 34
The Nouveau Extravaganza, July 1994 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel. Who better to play for all those "hair" people? Bobby had joined the band.
- Pictures 35, 36, and 37
Spring Creek Festival, July 1994 in Garland with the Fort Worth - Dallas Ballet. Oooh -- those guys hated the red fringed shirts. Laura - the lady in red and Laura getting into the act. This was when Matt left for Nashville. The new guy they tried out for awhile was on stage with white electric guitar.
- Picture 38
Montage, September 1994. Troy Wells has joined the band. That's Bobby Charles in a hat! And Mr. Lloyd Maines on the steel.
- Picture 39
November 1994 was one of those "cafeteria" tours, visiting Luna Elementary. We sorta enhanced the artwork from the coloring book
- Pictures 40, 41, and 42
Broken Spoke - Austin, TX, January 1995. Not too much ceiling clearance for Bobby's head. All jamming with Gary P. Nunn. Remember "Rock A Bye Boogie" as the closing song? And yes, Sony was showing interest before Laura left.
- Picture 43
Fatso's in February 1995. Laura with Joseph Vincelli. "Pink Toenails" on the saxophone - wow!
- Pictures 44 and 45
Another Warm Place benefit in May 1995. Troy and Tom doing their thing.
- Picture 46
June 1995 at the Granada was the Bachelorette concert for Martie's marriage to Ted Seidel. Fixing up the bride-to-be.
- Pictures 47, 48, 49
July 1995 was a great trip in the Fourth of July parade through Highland Park. Decorating the trailer at 6 a.m. was especially fun. Get that trailer decorated and Laura, too!
- Pictures 50 and 51
July 9th at The Ballpark In Arlington, during All Star Weekend. Singing the National Anthem and with [relief pitcher] Jeff Russell.
- Picture 52
Farmers Branch, September 1995. Tommy Nash has joined the band.
- Picture 53
State Fair 1995 would be the last time I saw Laura perform. Tommy Nash had been added to the band and major changes were about to take place.
The New Beginning with Natalie
- Picture 54
Poor David's Pub, February 1996. Natalie's second show with the group. Ooh -- check out all the long, not so platinum, blonde hair.
- Picture 55
On stage at the KSCS Country Fair in April 1996.
- Picture 56
Singing for the SPCA at Southfork Ranch in May 1996.
- Pictures 57 and 58
Playing (and dancing) at the Amarillo Rodeo Dance in July 1996. And the last time I saw Tom as their drummer. J. J., Tom, Suzanne.
- Picture 59
Mac Tull and Laura at Weatherford College in April 1997.
- Picture 60
Benefit at Lakewood Theater, June 1997. No more denim and rhinestones.
- Picture 61
Sons of Hermann Hall, July 1997. Pat Green was the opening act with Michael Tarabay on guitar.
- Picture 62
Christmas night at Billy Bob's Texas, December 15, 1997. The door to success is about to be thrown "Wide Open".
- Picture 63
Album Release Show at Cowboy's Red River in Dallas, for "Wide Open Spaces", January, 1997.
More from Suzanne!Suzanne's Dixie Chicks collection also includes two hard-to-find Chick Chat mailings: Spring 1996 with Laura Lynch's farewell and Natalie Maines' welcome, and the Summer 1997 postcard that marked the end of the "cowgirl" look. The Spring 1996 page also includes a revealing note by The Dallas Morning News' columnist Helen Bryant, from November 1995, that shows some of the raw edges left by Laura's ouster.
Last update: 10/13/1999