One piece at a time

David Muskin

Photo By Brad Bynum

Davidson’s Distillery

275 E. Fourth St.
Reno, NV 89502

(775) 324-1917

David Muskin is co-owner of Davidson’s Distillery, a rough-and-tumble bar at 275 E. Fourth St. On Aug. 9, Davidson’s will be hosting the second annual One Hot Night, an event celebrating “rat rods,” which Muskin (on the right in photo with Rick Miller) describes as “home-built hot rods built out of found and scavenged parts.”

Can you give me an overview of the event?

It was started as a hot rod event to show off the hot-rodding skills of people that had actually started this stuff back in the late ‘40s early ‘50s, who built barebones hot rods from scraps and pieces they found—as opposed to the very high-end hot rods at this stage of the game. … I would say that wealth dictates a lot of that, and there’s nothing wrong that. But these are just scratch-built, barebones hot rods that were run on the old salt flats and things like that, and people building things in their own garages. Miller’s Custom Auto out in Sun Valley—they build some of the most creative ones I’ve ever seen. … In general, these cars look unfinished because they’re either primer or bare metal.

Is the event set up to contrast with Hot August Nights?

It’s set up to be an alternative. I don’t want to get into any slander … but I’d say it’s an alternative, and it’s also the premise of Hot August Nights before it got so fancy.

In addition to the cars, there are some bands playing?

There’s four bands … one of them is The Clydesdale. They’re from Las Vegas.

The Clydesdales? Those are the horses, right?

Yeah, but this is singular, not plural. Just The Clydesdale. And they’re an incredibly talented, almost B-western, Spaghetti Rockabilly band with original lyrics and a high-powered woman vocalist. … I have a lot bands and book all my own music, and this is probably in the top 10 percent of great bands. … Also, The Mighty Surf Lords are playing—and that’s surf guitar music. Then a band called the Xenophobes. … They’re psychobilly. And then there’s going to be a solo performance from Lesley Swift, formerly of Shockbox.

Are the other bands local?

The Mighty Surf Lords are local. I would consider the Xenophobes local, but I think they’re from Fernley. But to me, that’s still local.

That’s pretty local.

The only ones that are from out-of-town is The Clydesdale, and I feel privileged that a band like that even considered coming here. I have had that ability to bring certain bands here from out of town, and when people come to hear them they’re just sort like, “Whoa.” And this is a no-cover event … there’s going to be a barbecue put on.

If people have a car they want to show off, what do they need to do?

Just come. There’s no fee to enter. … I can look up Miller’s [Custom Automotive] and you could call and talk to one of the brothers. Their Dad actually taught them how to build cars, and I think there are three or four brothers … and those guys are so into telling you about what they do, and the pride of what they do, without making you feel like an outcast or anything. They welcome people to learn about what they were brought up with. There’s so little of an elitist feeling to what they do that it’s beautiful. Talk to Rick, Robert or Randy.

The anti-elitist thing is really cool.

It might be anti-elitist, but it’s also pride of construction and innovation in what they do. They’re building air suspensions on cars that you can’t go out and buy—they’re creating it. … There’s just so much pride in what they do.