The stepfather of A. Jay and Jeremy Popoff of OC band Lit was killed and their mother seriously injured after a collision with a drunk driver on Ortega Highway Saturday night, June 4. Sheri and Kerry Suglia were returning home to Lake Elsinore on their motorcycle following a daytime visit with their sons. Kerry was killed on impact, and Sheri was in critical condition with many injuries, including a leg so badly mangled that it had to be amputated, according to Ken Phillips, the band's publicist. The driver, a woman returning from the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Ortega is a notoriously dangerous highway, and Phillips says motorists were killed there the night before and the night after the Suglia accident. Kerry had no life insurance, and while Sheri had personal insurance, Phillips tells the Weekly"it was the lowest you could have." As you can imagine, the medical bills will be astronomical, and so a memorial fund has been established to help Kerry's family and Sheri. The fund underscores an eternal truth in rock & roll: very few make it big. The Popoff brothers are hardly rolling in rock-star cash these days: friends say they live modestly, six years removed from their signature hit record MyOwnWorstEnemy.If you want to contribute, send donations to the Kerry Suglia Memorial Fund, c/o R&R Business Management, 17609 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 203, Encino, CA 91316. Condolences can also be expressed by clicking on the band's website at WWW.LITLOUNGE.COM/MEMORIAL.HTML.
The Fullerton Museum Center's just-concluded "The Orange Groove: Orange County's Rock 'n Roll History" exhibit was hugely successful, with just one exception: the Gwen Stefani dress is still missing and presumed stolen. But given the atrocity that is "Hollaback Girl," there's some possibility that the undresser is now so ashamed by his/her theft that the thigh-high circa TragicKingdomred sundress will show up in the FMC mailbox any day now. The museum's most popular show ever, "The Orange Groove" will continue as a permanent, though scaled-down, exhibit. FMC director Joe Felz and "Orange Groove" curator/Weekly scribe Jim Washburn say it'll open the museum's new Leo Fender Gallery. A spring 2006 launch is hotly—hotly!—anticipated.
With one institution safely preserved for public viewing, Washburn might want to get on down to the Crazy Horse at the Irvine Spectrum and snag some memorabilia: the once-renowned country music hall is closing for good at the end of the month. Actually, it's really just moving to the Pike shopping complex in downtown Long Beach—so said the woman we rang up at the club, whom we reached only after enduring the following phone message: "Thanks for calling the world-famous Crazy Horse, where disco is alive and well every Friday and Saturday night. We're not just country anymore!" Siiiiigh.To recap the Horse's history, the original Santa Ana Crazy Horse (the building was bulldozed earlier this year) was one of the premier live country music clubs in the nation—no less an authority than the Academy of Country Music said so, and blessed the room year after year with awards that proved it. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Trisha Yearwood, Randy Travis, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks and Lyle Lovett all played there. But after owner Fred Reiser sold the club in 1999, the new owners left the original locale by the 55 freeway for the more upscale Spectrum. Then things went to hell, at least artistically. Country music was booked into the room almost as an afterthought, with name acts sometimes scheduled only one night a month. It gradually turned into a pussy-hunting pickup joint, with such hideous "entertainments" as Marlon the Ultimate Elvis Experience and bikini sniff-off contests. You can get a final feel of what the Horse used to do best when Merle Haggard plays the room this Monday and Tuesday. The county's own country queen Jann Browne is on tap for a June 26 gig. But come July 1, it's goodbye to the OC Crazy Horse forever.
Reading this on Thursday or Friday—that would be June 16 or 17—and despondent over why you've been inexplicably excommunicated from Alex's, Long Beach's favorite punk rock bar, all week long? Cheer up—everybody's been given the jackboot since Monday, when a film crew took over for the purpose of shooting scenes for the upcoming Tenacious D movie. It's a cool thing for Alex's, maybe the first step toward becoming as world famous as we think the room deserves—a SoCal CBGB—as opposed to just Long Beach/OC famous. Aye, but we're greatly disturbed at the awful price Alex's must pay: that of furthering the film career of fabulously unfunny Jack Black. Really, people, he's Gilbert Gottfried unfunny. Like Carrot Top unfunny.
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