By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Joe Cool 24/7I spent a week in Fullerton Saturday night.
Remind me never to go out with old peopleagain.
"Let's go to Fullerton" should have been enough of a red flag to avert the disaster that was my Saturday, but naiveté set in, and I was game. After all, my sister hadwritten this very nightlife column for upwards of eight years; like Brownie, she'd done a heck of a job. Surely she'd know what was crackin'.
As it turns out, I stand convinced that she and her friend Kedric put me through some kind of ritual hazing, the likes of which The University of Colorado would be proud. Fullerton is a punishment to be inflicted upon only the worst of enemies, and, apparently, the newest of nightlife columnists.
My friend Rod the Photographerand Ifollowed my sister and her friend from her home in Anaheim to our first destination, Rockin' Taco Cantina,which apparently is neither Rockin' nor a Taco. It's a piano bar that, at first glance, invoked the essence of Tempe, Arizona. This was not your typical piano bar crowd, mind you. The faint smell of Mystic Tanningand hair gel could be detected from the alley behind the joint. In my limited experience, average ages of piano bar crowds stretch from 57 to 63. Such is not the case with the Rockin' Taco, where the typical patron looked to be about 22. Like me! By the entrance, five or so bloated and dissatisfied bouncers idled, clad in red uniforms with heads cleanly shaven, waiting to frisk. Also idling near the door were several generic, beautiful blondes. Hmm.
So we were frisked—I'm assuming for weapons of mass destruction, but they found no yellowcake. Rod's camera apparently wasn't on the guest list. Unfortunately, we were.
There was a direct correlation between proximity to the entrance and level of attractiveness. As I made my way toward the rear of the bar, the average body type was obese and the average hairdo was some kind of funky jeri-curl perm complete with the requisite can of hairspray. Dueling pianos wreaked havoc on my disposition. On piano left, a woman who bore a striking resemblance to Shari Lewisof Lamb Chop notoriety.Atop the opposite bar was a man in a facetious mullet, blowing a whistle. And in between was I, wondering why Fullerton has no Fire Marshalor Culture Czar.To rub salt in my wounds, a middle-aged man in a gray wifebeater paid his way onstage for a duelin' piano karaoke rendition of "I'm Too Sexy." Note: wearing a wifebeater that lets the bar see your gigantic puffy nipples puts you on my eternal shit list. If you are a man.
Next stop was 2J's: where the girls aren't. Decidedly less glamorous than the Taco (!), 2J's can best be described as depressing. Inside playing pool was an emaciated boy in a wifebeater (shit list!) wearing sunglasses (double shit list!) and a bandanna. A trucker wore a shirt that posed the question, "Got beer?" And guess what? He did!
2J's does have a saving grace, and that would be its music. Hits from the '80s will save just about any old joint, and this hole was no exception. There is, however, an awkwardness associated with dancing with your older sister to "Sex" by Berlin, especially when TerriNunn decrees brazenly that, "We'll make love together." After a 20-minute tab closing, we were ready for Cero'sin Anaheim.
Cero's is empty, I'm pretty sure always, but it shouldn't be. The décor is stucco and brown, just like I like it. Behind the bar sat a luminous, white-cloaked KKK Bear.There are neon signs, but they're short on neon. And it seems as though Jeanne the barkeep wants to serve you some pot roast. It's just that kind of spot. Proudly advertised is Toni's 65th birthday party, Oct. 2. Too bad you missed it!
Bob Chance and the Hot Mix,led by drummer and singer Dave, were enjoyable, playing bluesy covers and perhaps an original or two. In the corner of the bar sat Air Drummer,who was surprisingly on-beat. In the corner opposite sat the BTK Killer(he was even wearing gloves!), or at least his twin. I've got to give it up for Bob Chance and his hot mix, playin' like there's no tomorrow for a crowd of seven, and even turning in another set at 12:50 a.m. for that same crowd of seven. And when Joaquin,the lead guitarist, accosted my friend Rod in a very homoerotic fashion, I didn't mind.
Then Kedric explained to us what a "hot lunch" is, and I learned that my sister once slept through an orgy that she may or may not have participated in. And we all agreed that we don't like it when people call PCH, "ThePCH."
And then we left.