Photo by Jack GouldThis year saw so many openings, closings, reworkings, reopenings, reclosings, renamings, re-emergings, re-reopenings and re-reclosings in the local live club scene that you practically needed a DVD with director's narration and scene selection to keep up.
And then there were the Nazis.
The high- and lowlights:
*A little Anaheim bar on Kraemer Boulevard, The Shack usually hosts haggard '80s hair bands or Van Halen tribute acts. Toward summer's end, the Weekly uncovered a not-so-secret secret: the club had been booking racist/skinhead White Power/Nazi bands for a few years, something owners Bob Gibson and John Terbay had tried to keep on the down-low. Not long after our story appeared, a Shack booker phoned to complain he'd been having trouble finding bands to play his club. Apparently Nazis drive away more customers than Pat Benatar tribute acts.
*The House of Blues opened, and, as its one-year anniversary approaches, has hosted maybe, what, four honest-to-God blues shows?
*Club Mesa closed and then, after an extensive remodeling and a much-buzzed-about inaugural set from Stereolab, was reborn as Detroit Bar. Nice digs, though for all its newfound taste, the club's men's room still has horse trough urinals.
*Linda's Doll Hut became merely the Doll Hut and adopted an all-rockabilly-all-the-time format after Linda Jemison sold the building.
*The Sun Theatre became the Grove of Anaheim, presumably to honor the citrus trees paved over, what, in the 1960s?
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*Garden Grove's Felt Room was shuttered for what looks like forever (though some bands say this was actually a good thing).
*Steamers, Fullerton's favorite seven-nights-a-week jazz joint, remained Orange County's only seven-nights-a-week jazz joint.
*Removed from Santa Ana, the Crazy Horse hardly seems country anymore on nights when it becomes a dance club, but they've gotta pay those Irvine Spectrum rents.
*In Long Beach, the old Foothill finally reopened as a salsaria. A curfew was enforced upon the Lava Lounge, which helped get booker Mark diPiazza the boot after too many noise complaints from a few vocal neighbors, and then the room was reincarnated as the Java Lounge, but then business at the new, quieter venue lagged big time, so then diPiazza was asked back, but they still can't have music past midnight on the weekends, but then most of the good-to-great bands are playing diPiazza's own restaurant down the street anyway, so it's okay.