The plaque-ing of the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater began with the late Darrell Sweet, drummer for Nazareth.

The clip’s from 1981.

Way back on October 4, 2008, a bar bet was settled here at NAC.

Mark Keeler said that the drummer for Nazareth died in New Albany after 1995. I said he died before the pub started business in 1992. Let the record show that Darrell Sweet died in 1999, which means that Mark was right and I was wrong. Can anyone remember why Nazareth decided to play New Albany in the first place?

Better stated: Who booked Nazareth to play New Albany?

Here is the rest of the story. Darrell Sweet, drummer and founding member of the Scottish rock band Nazareth, took ill before a scheduled show at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater on April 30, 1999. He was taken to (then) Floyd Memorial Hospital, where he died of a heart attack at 51 years of age.

Fans of Nazareth commissioned a commemorative plaque for Sweet, which was affixed to the rear of the stage (facing the Ohio River) at some point prior to 2008, when the topic entered the barroom transcript.

Here is my 2012 photo.

A closer look.

And the plaque above Darrell Sweet’s?

Circa 2011, this plaque was presented by the local Democratic Party to Shelle England. It was followed by a plaque of different design for her husband (and three-term mayor) Doug England. Both were mounted at the amphitheater by mid-2012.

Ironically, without boatloads of money from the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau, there would not have been an amphitheater reconstruction following wind damage in 2008, and hence no Bicentennial gift for England to bequeath.

Alas, these funds never seem to get mentioned.

The preceding three plaques eventually were joined in 2012 by a richly deserved memorial to the late Kevin Hammersmith.

Somehow I get the impression that when it comes time to affix a Gahan plaque, we’ll no longer be measuring in inches.

Old Albania (photo credit Michel Setboun)