It was last summer. A Sunday night in fact, in a little East Hollywood dive called the Garage. For years it had been a bath house called the Bunkhouse, all cowboy and leather, back when this neighborhood had been all bad boy and leather. That was before the Plague. I seem to recall wandering into to it once during it’s next, non-deviant phase, the name of which escapes me but it was something collegiate, pathetically so, being that the only college within miles was a battered City College a few blocks away. Then Silverlake came into vogue and someone bought the place and brought back the deviants and began booking bands on Sunday nights. Those Sundays became quite the chic hangout for the hungover crowd. The fact that the corner of Melrose and Virgil was not in Silverlake—not even “Silverlake adjacent” as the realtors say—did not prevent the various national magazines—the Rolling Stone’s and the Buzz’s and the Los Angeles’ and Hirsute Woman’s Whatever’s—from labeling it as such. From then on you could see a smattering of tourists mixing uneasily with the boys in leather and the punks and the jaded old scenesters. But that ‘s all ancient history. I’m on my way to see the Nip Drivers. Continue reading →
Just saw that it’s been 20 years since Nirvana’s Nevermind came out. Great record. Too bad it wrecked everything. Ya see, there was this underground scene before that, hopelessly uncommercial, a global thing of all these crazy little bands struggling along from gig to gig, record to record, party to party, and it was a blast and innocent and all our own and no one paid attention to us. That was the 80′s scene…amazing shows every weekend, almost every night, all these brilliant bands. It was all about creativity and attitude. It was glorious. Continue reading →
I was just at a party this weekend on the 4th of July out here in LA. It was at our old friend Edwin’s place, up in Lincoln Heights, with a spectacular view of downtown LA and Dodger Stadium, Hollywood and the East Side, and on a clear day all the way crosstown to the Pacific. On July 4th it’s an ideal spot to watch the city erupt in pyrotechnic frenzy. Edwin and I go back quite aways; I’ve known him since the early punk days back in Santa Barbara, from ’78 through ’80.
The party began a little slow but grew incredibly crowded and then wound up absolutely surreal. What a maelstrom of fireworks. They were coming from everywhere. It was wild. Even wilder was the fire started by an errant rocket in the empty lot on the steep slope in front of Edwin’s; the brush and trees went up like mad. Neighbors watered down their roofs as mothers hustled their broods to safety. And hipsters were fleeing in high-heeled panic. Car horns, yells, cackling laughter, sirens, flashing red lights Continue reading →