Murray Attaway, Jeff Walls, Rhett Crowe and John Poe formed the band in 1981. Its body of work includes “Watusi Radio,” “Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man” and “Jamboree.”
During their time together, the band toured North America and Europe. Their music videos were seen on MTV shows such as “The Cutting Edge” and “120 Minutes.” The band split in 1989 but has performed sporadically over the decades.
Attaway said their performance at this year’s Athfest drew the largest crowd in the festival’s history. They, along with the B-52s and R.E.M., also have ties to the college town and its historic music scene.
Attaway, who lives outside of Athens, continued musical pursuits after the band’s breakup. His recording “In Thrall” was released in 1993, and he provided movie scores for independent films.
An informal reunion in 1996 and subsequent performances resulted in 1998’s “Guadalcanal Diary At Your Birthday Party.” He said Guadalcanal Diary band members have remained close over years, and they have performed private shows at venues such as Smith’s Olde Bar.
However, Facebook was the catalyst for their upcoming show in their old stomping grounds. The buzz began with the online group “You are from the Real Mayretta if....other than that stop faking!!”
“The group wasn’t necessary intended for people in my age range, but they took it over and began reminiscing about Guadalcanal Diary,” he said. Ideas began to flow, and Attaway and Walls began discussing its possibility.
“(The Strand) had their ducks in a row when they proposed it,” he said. “I thought it was a great idea.” Attaway said he frequented the Strand when it was a movie theater, so he said he is looking forward to taking the stage.
So what’s next for these local favorites?
“I don’t know if there’s a next for the band,” Attaway said. But, he said if the right circumstances presented themselves, more shows could be a possibility.
Poe, the original drummer, will not be available Saturday’s show. Guadalcanal Diary band roadie and Marietta High School alum Pat Patterson will be taking his place.
Flamingo Royale and the The Dex Romweber Duo will open the show. A catered meet-and-greet party will be after the concert on The Strand’s fourth floor event room and terrace following the concert. Tickets are $30 for the concert and $45 for the concert and party.
The concert will be the first event part of “Bringing it on Home to The Strand” which is being produced by The Gem City Hall of Fame, Inc., an organization formed in order to honor Marietta’s rich history in performing and fine artists. Donna Kemp serves as president; Salleigh Grubbs, is vice president and treasurer; and Tim Lewis is the secretary.
The Strand Theatre is located at 117 N. Park Square. For more information on the New Year’s Eve show, visit www.EarlSmithStrand.org or call the box office at (770) 293-0080